June 15th: Junior Day

post[1]Javontae Hawkins (0) dribbles the ball with determination past Davison Friday night at Powers Catholic High School.  Powers won the game 75-48. Hollyn Johnson | The Flint Journalmidland-dow-vs-bay-city-western-basketball-020jpg-3889d8a8fbd01848_large[1]bilde[1]
Yogi Ferrell, JaVontae Hawkins, Matt Costello, and Gary Harris are a few of the top sophomores on the Michigan radar.

Much has been made of the fact that Michigan refuses to offer kids in the class of 2012 before June 15th. The practice makes no sense to Michigan fans who see other schools offering handfuls of 2012 prospects, even 2013 kids and beyond before the June 15th date.

The question is: what rule is Michigan following and why doesn’t anyone else follow it? The answer is slightly complex. There are actually two issues at play; one is a rule and the other is an NABC guideline.

The rule at play is that June 15th following a prospects sophomore year is the first day when coaches can call recruits. Prior to June 15th all phone contact would have to be initiated by the prospect themselves. After June 15th, coaches can make one phone call per month to a recruit.

The other issue at play is an NABC guideline, or official request, to not offer high school prospects until June 15th following the player’s sophomore year. This USAToday article explaining the guideline quotes a number of coaches that flat out say that they don’t plan to follow it. The intention of the rule was to cut down on coaches offering 7th or 8th graders, which is understandably ridiculous. However, it seems to be overkill because many of the top players on the scene have established themselves by their sophomore year.

John Beilein, head of the NCAA ethics committee, follows this guideline to a T. He refuses to officially offer any prospect before June 15th following their sophomore year and it’s tough to tell whether this has cost Michigan any recruits or not. Technically, I can’t think of any kids that have committed to another school before June 15th but it’s almost impossible to quantify the effect of being the “first offer” to these kids and with the rules the way they are, it’s unlikely that Michigan will ever get that chance.

Michigan will tell a kid that they plan to offer him officially on June 15th which means today is the day that a number of official offers will start rolling out.

We’ll be trying to track down a number of Michigan offers that go out today but here is a quick blurb on a number of 2012 prospects that could be in line for an offer.

  • Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (6-foot, G, Park Tudor, IN, Video, 2): Joe recently interviewed Ferrell, who has been told that an official Michigan offer will be headed his way on June 15th. Ferrell is a playmaking point guard that can score the ball or setup for his teammates.
  • JaVontae Hawkins (6-foot-5, G/W, Flint Powers): Hawkins is a dynamic wing that has begun to fulfill his potential this summer. Rangy and athletic, Hawkins has played very well on the AAU circuit over the last month or so and could be poised to explode this July. Hawkins visited Ann Arbor yesterday and is expected to receive an official offer on June 15th.
  • Gary Harris (6-foot-3, G, Fishers, IN, Video): Harris has quickly exploded into one of the top prospects not only in Indiana but in the entire state. The 6-foot-3 guard can shoot and handle but is also extremely athletic. Harris is also expecting a June 15th offer. Harris already has offers from Butler, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan state, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Xavier; he also visited Ann Arbor just a couple weeks ago.
  • Matt Costello (6-foot-8, PF/C, Bay City Western): Joe caught up Costello, one of the top 2012 big man prospects in Michigan, recently and while he wasn’t sure about an offer, Costello expected to hear from Michigan on June 15th.
  • Alex Murphy (6-foot-8, PF, St. Marks): Murphy is a blue chip recruit from St. Marks that has offers from across the country. Murphy’s most recent offer came from Duke and it’s clear that his recruitment will be a contested battle ‘til the end. Murphy’s teammate, 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski is also drawing significant Michigan interest and is expected to receive an offer as well.
  • Ray Lee (6-foot-2, G, Romulus): Ray Lee might be one of the most dynamic guard prospects in the state of Michigan. Lee is drawing interest from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, USC, Georgetown, Syracuse, and Notre Dame.
  • Other Names to Watch: I don’t have enough time to write-up every 2012 prospect on the radar but here are a few other names to watch: Denzel Valentine, Jordan Hare, Jacobby Bledsoe, RJ Hunter, Kaleb Tarczewski, Anton Wilson, Alex Murphy, Chris Jenkins, Cameron Fowler, Marcus Paige, Kellon Thomas, Malik London, Marcus Paige, Jordan Price.
  • The number of names on the list makes it very clear that it’s time to update the 2012 hotboard. We’ll try to get an updated version done shortly after some of the dust clears. We’ll also be trying to catch up with many of these kids over the next couple days to find out how their conversations with Michigan went.
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