The July evaluation period opens at 5 p.m. this evening as college coaches will spread across the country in search of talent. The Nike Peach Jam, Adidas Gauntlet Finals, Under Armour All-American Camp and adidas Invitational headline the first week of the live period. Here are five things to watch for this July.
1. Establishing priorities
July isn’t just about discovering new prospects, it’s also about showing full attention to your top prospects. Several of the top class of 2016 targets on Michigan’s recruiting board will be at the Nike Peach Jam this week and we would expect the Wolverines to pay very close attention to these three in particular:
- Cassius Winston: Winston has been Michigan’s top priority at the point guard position for months and I’d expect a Wolverine coach to be at every game he plays this July. The point guard is coming off of a hand injury, but should be back with The Family at Peach Jam.
- Kevin Huerter: Huerter has blown up as quickly as anyone on the circuit this spring and summer and continued his impressive play at the Nike Skills Academy in California. He has discussed a potential visit to Michigan and is a perfect fit for the Wolverines’ offense with his passing and shooting ability.
- Bruce Brown: Brown is a versatile 6-foot-3 combo guard who Michigan is recruiting as a point guard. He doesn’t have an offer (no visit), but lists Michigan as one of the schools recruiting him the hardest along with Indiana, Texas, SMU and Miami.
2. Tyus Battle fall out continues
Tyus Battle’s decommitment has seemingly had more than his original commitment because many of Michigan’s other priority targets are now off the board.
Battle is back in action after a long layoff due to various injuries and will be at the Nike Peach Jam. Michigan’s presence, or lack thereof, at his games will be telling about where the two parties stand after a tumultuous several months.
Battle’s recruitment sits in a sort of awkward state this month because he’s already taken four of his five allotted official visits, committed and decommitted before his final summer of AAU. Syracuse is widely regarded as a favorite after securing Battle’s first post-decommitment visit, but the fact that he didn’t commit has given some pause. I would be surprised if Duke re-prioritized Battle as the Blue Devils have moved onto other targets, but Louisville could be one darkhorse in the race.
3. Backup targets emerge
The shortened April evaluation weekends don’t provide as much time to uncover new targets, but there are always one or two surprises that are discovered in July.
Expect Michigan to keep a close eye on a pair of under the radar in-state guards throughout the month of July. Both Justin Turner and Karmari Newman are on the Wolverine radar after strong showings at Michigan camps in June.
Turner is a 6-foot-3 point guard from Detroit Renaissance with interest from Dayton, St. Bonaventure, George Mason and Louisiana Tech. He’ll be playing with the Michigan Mustangs alongside Michigan commitment Austin Davis at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta.
Karmari Newman is a 6-foot-5 wing guard from East English Village who has emerged as one of the best shooters in the state of Michigan. Newman plays his AAU ball with Detroit Showtime Select and will be in Indianapolis to kick off the live period.
Bank Hoops praised Newman’s play at Oakland’s Team Camp last month.
Fearless shooter who hasn’t seen a line or landmark on a court he didn’t want to test as a launching pad. Long lefty and versatile streak scorer with some Mo Pete in him. Some coaches prefer Spencer Littleson to Newman because of his consistency, while I still give the latter a brief edge as the state’s top senior combo guard:
4. Quentin Goodin back in the mix
Quentin Goodin recently trimmed his list to five schools and eliminated Michigan, but shortly after he announced that he had updated his list — replacing Louisville with Michigan.
“I got a lot of answers that I didn’t have before and we like the current recruiting situation, so they’re back in,” Quentin’s father, Chris Goodin, told MLive.com
Now Goodin is down to Michigan, Western Kentucky, Miami, Xavier and Florida and is considering a decision before his high school season starts.
“Our conversation has been to maybe try to get it done before the basketball season starts,” Chris Goodin, told BG Daily News. “That would mean he’d have to take quite a few visits close together, after July and when the college year starts.”
5. 2017s playing for offers
Michigan still hasn’t extended an offer to a class of 2017 prospect, but I would expect that to change by the end of the summer.
July is an opportunity for Michigan to sort through its long list of targets and start to prioritize the rising juniors. Brian Bowen, Greg Floyd Jr., Christian David, Xavier Tillman, Jaren Jackson and Jermaine Jackson Jr. are just a few names that Michigan with a chance of parlaying a strong July performance into a scholarship offer.
It also wouldn’t surprise if Michigan’s 2017 recruiting board grows significantly as Michigan starts to put more focus on the class.