Michigan camp serves as a barometer for recruiting success


Michigan hosts its annual College Practice Camp this Saturday in Ann Arbor as the summer recruiting circuit chugs along. While the addition of the April evaluation period has lessened the need for “elite camps”, John Beilein still makes effective use of his camp.

The Wolverines will hold two camp sessions, a morning session for rising 9th and 10th graders and an afternoon session for 11th and 12th graders. While a day camp in Ann Arbor might lack the glamour of some prestigious AAU events and showcases, it is one of the most important weekends of the summer the Michigan staff. Camp makes a difference – especially when it comes two weeks before Michigan’s head coach extends his first round of offers to class of 2015 prospects.

Darius Morris (2008), Tim Hardaway Jr. (2009) and  Glenn Robinson III were all former stars of Michigan’s Camp. Two years ago Devin Booker went from relative unknown to priority target because of a monster showing at camp; Beilein and his staff have been following him ever since. Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Mark Donnal and Austin Hatch all earned their scholarship offers at perhaps the most competitive camp of Beilein’s tenure.

For the big name prospects (Kameron Chatman), attending camp is a clear declaration of serious interest and a chance to understand what it’s like to be coached by the Michigan staff. For unheralded, on the edge prospects and underclassmen it’s an opportunity to impress the coaches in person.

The quality of competition in camp serves as a measure of Michigan’s recruiting health. Previous camps have been filled with talent, even if it didn’t all end up in Ann Arbor. The 2008 (Darius Morris), 2009 (Tim Hardaway Jr.) 2010 (Glenn Robinson III, Denzel Valentine, Matt Costello) and 2011 (Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Mark Donnal, Austin Hatch, Monte Morris, Demetrius Jackson) camps were loaded with prospects that would eventually earn Michigan scholarship offers. Just one player in attendance at the 2012 camp earned a scholarship offer (Keita Bates-Diop) and he has since committed to Ohio State.

Michigan’s recruiting in the class of 2014 isn’t going poorly by any stretch, the Wolverines already have a pledge from Ricky Doyle and are in a strong position for a number of highly regarded prospects, but it certainly hasn’t moved at the pace that we’ve seen in other recent classes.

There are legitimate reasons for last year’s poor attendance. Michigan’s camp overlapped with Nike’s Elite 100 Camp (for its top underclassmen) and an Adidas Nations event. That meant that the majority of the top players on both the Nike and Adidas AAU circuits had other commitments. This year’s camp overlaps with the USA Basketball 16U Training Camp, Pangos All-American Camp, the Super Sophomore Camp in Atlanta along with a handful of regional events. The impact of other events is still significant, but this year’s field should be an improvement over the 2012 crop.

2014 wing Kameron Chatman is making the trip all the way from California and should earn an offer. Jalen Coleman and Hyron Edwards, Michigan’s top two 2015 targets in the state of Indiana, are expected to make the trip. Noah Dickerson is traveling all the way from Georgia to attend. The Illinois Wolves are sending the majority of their 2016 and 2017 AAU teams up to Ann Arbor and a number of other talented underclassmen are expected in Ann Arbor.  Devin Booker, arguably the top prospect on Michigan’s recruiting board, has even hinted that he might make it to camp after flying back to Michigan for the summer on Friday afternoon. Michigan’s camp should have a fair amount of talent this year.

Find a list of expected campers and notable misses due to national events below.

Expected Campers

Notable Other Commitments

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