Every year Michigan head coach John Beilein gets the impression that things will slow down, he said Monday from the Bob Ufer Quarterback Club Banquet at Barton Hills Country Club in Ann Arbor. Every year he's proven wrong.
This year he worked with sophomores Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary to help determine their draft statuses, sometimes for 12 hours a day. With McGary, part of their work entailed appealing when they found out he'd failed an NCAA-administered drug test that would have required a one-year suspension had he returned.
"When we had the opportunity to appeal, I was very hopeful," Beilein said. "Obviously, it didn't come through.
"This offseason, we just see a continued changing of rosters all over the country. I don't know what to do."
Other than to keep recruiting. The Wolverines added a pair of 2014, 6-4 Rivals.com three-star senior prospects nationally in Allentown, Pa., Central Catholic's Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Aubrey Dawkins, and they're in on a number of 2015 prospects (and likely to take two, a shooting guard and potentially a big man). The Wolverines have 12 on scholarship next year, meaning one is still available for '14.
"We're never done," Beilein said. "We'll look at this last one that we might have and be very judicious with it. We'll see where it goes, because it could be coming into '15 right away, or '16."
U-M has one on the table in La Porte, Ind., La Lumiere's Jalen Coleman (6-4, Rivals.com's No. 32 junior prospect nationally, and was once considered the leader. He's now taking his time. Another, Lincolnshire, Ill., Stevenson's Jalen Brunson (6-1, Rivals.com's No. 15 junior prospect nationally) is a point guard/combo guard who has emerged into a five-star. U-M is in solid standing there, too, though early playing time could be a factor in his recruitment. He could play side by side with sophomore Derrick Walton Jr., but he's looking around.
It was only a matter of time before former West Virginia sophomore guard Eron Harris officially received his release, too - that happened Wednesday, and he confirmed Michigan head coach John Beilein was one of the first to inquire. Harris wanted to play closer to his Indianapolis home, and Purdue is another that has made him a priority.
A 6-3 shooting guard, Harris averaged 17.2 points per game last year for the Mountaineers, shooting 42.2 percent from behind the three-point line. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He'll have to sit a year before being eligible to play two more. We expect him to visit within the next few weeks.
As reported yesterday, De Pere, Wis., shooting guard Brevin Pritzl (6-4, unranked) tore up the Spiece Run-n-Slam in Fort Wayne, Ind., and will visit this weekend. Another who played well: New Hampton, N.H., Academy's A.J. Turner, who used to play at Warren, Mich. De La Salle (6-5, Rivals.com's No. 141 junior nationally). Arizona State, Iowa State and others have offered, and U-M is watching closely along with VCU, Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Harvard, Stanford, Wake Forest, Boston College and Iowa.
Beilein and staff have remained in contact with Turner, and while he might not be a Plan A recruit, he's back on the radar after very good showings at the Sacramento Nike EYBL (Elite Youth Basketball League) AAU tournament and scored 31 points (five triples) in a win over Brunson and Chicago-based Mac Irvin Fire. He's had big games in the past followed up by poor showings, but he was consistent enough to warrant more attention over the weekend.
Finally, U-M will continue to scout big men in the 2015 class, as well. We expect they'll only take one if it's the right one, however.
"We'll have two freshmen with Ricky Doyle and Mark Donnal, and [redshirt junior] Max Bielfeldt obviously has a lot of experience," Beilein said. "So we said, 'that's it - we'll go with that and see what we have.' And we'll decide whether '15 or '16 is the best year to bring in another big man."