Wolverine head man John Beilein added a huge piece last week in EM top 30 forward Ignas Brazdeikis. With one, and possibly 2 spots remaining in the 2018 cycle, let’s take a closer look at the 2018-2019 classes.
Ignas Brazdeikis (#29)
Brandon Johns (#43)
David DeJulius (#93)
Taylor Currie (#173)
Noah Locke (#96) – elite shooter that knocks down perimeter shots off the catch and the dribble from both distance and midrange. Ballhandling/creating ability not good enough to be an on-ball player at the next level. Undersized, limited athlete that lacks ideal size as prototype SG but shotmaking ability is among tops in the country. Projects to be mostly a catch and shoot type at the next level. Developed frame means he’ll likely see some minutes as a freshman as a spark off the bench. High floor, low ceiling prospect that will likely be utilized very well at Michigan. Visits Florida this weekend, has Michigan in his top group and chances appears to be at least 50/50 that he ends up a Wolverine.
Colin Castleton (#138) – ranked him conservatively based on limited live evaluation. Gut tells me he’s more likely in the 90-100 range. elite rim protector/shotblocker that is a good rebounder as well. Offensively he has good touch around the basket and a nice shot from the midrange area. Shows some flashes of back to the basket game with jumphooks over both shoulders but more of face-up post player at this point. Good passer from the high-post area. Not an explosive athlete but is fluid with good size and length. Projects as a rim-protecting center that will score on dumpoffs, putbacks, rolls and midrange jumpshots. Low floor, high ceiling prospect that will likely need a year to add muscle mass and improve reaction time before being a heavy contributor. Visiting Michigan this weekend where the Wolverines appear to be the favorite to land him.
2018 High Interest:
Adrien Nunez (NR) – have never seen him play live, but I do like the limited film I’ve seen. Appears to be a very good shooter with a quick release. Has great size at a legit 6’5 with a college ready frame. Plus athlete with strength that can absorb contact and maintain balance and shows decent elevation. Appears to be able to create his own shot from the perimeter but handle does not appear good enough to consistently create separation on quicker defenders in order to get in the paint. Projects as a 2/3 at the next level that is mostly a catch and shoot type that can finish in transition while being a decent rebounder as a wing. Taking official visit to Michigan this weekend. Have no information on where he’s leaning, but I’d have to assume Michigan would be in the driver’s seat if Coach Beilein extends an offer. May be a backup plan to Noah Locke.
Romeo Weems (4*) – high motor small forward that scores at all 3 levels. Has plus handle and can create his own shot off the dribble and finish at the rim. Nice back to the basket game, consistently scores in the post with turnaround jumper after backing defenders down in the paint. Three point shot vastly improved over the last year, now an average/above average shooter. Great motor and tremendous effort in terms of rebounding and defense, goes all out on nearly every possession. Good athlete with nice strength and verticality. Legit 6’6 with 6’9 wingspan. Projects as small forward at the next level that is likely to be a very good two-way prospect with the ability to play multiple spots on the floor. Michigan needs to make up a lot of ground here, as Weems is trending toward MSU.
Mark ‘Rocket’ Watts (4*) – high level scorer from the perimeter with range out to 28 feet. Good shooter off the catch and has improved his ballhandling over the last year and becoming more of a combo-guard. Limited athlete that lacks ideal size to be a prototype SG, nor does he have ideal vision/creating ability to man the PG spot. Projects as a combo-guard at the next level with continued development of his ballhandling/creating ability. Would be shocked to see Watts end up at Michigan.
Tyrese Maxey (5*) – elite scorer that averaged over 16 points per game while playing up a year in the 17u EYBL division. Very good shooter that has range out to 25 feet off the dribble or the catch. Great shot creating ability for himself or teammates. Good athlete that can get to the rim and finish with either hand. Very good isolation player that can break down a defense and score at all three levels. Good passer that consistently finds teammates for open looks in scoring position. Can play either guard spot at the next level, elite prospect. Has legitimate interest in Michigan, paid his way for unofficial visit to Ann Arbor earlier in the Summer, where he was not offered. Father subsequently took assistant coaching job at SMU. While that is certainly a huge factor, don’t think it is automatic that Tyrese ends up there. He’s a high character kid with a good academic resume (Stanford offer).
Vernon Carey (5*) – son of former NFL OT Vernon Carey. Elite post prospect that can shoot the ball well from distance, has elite vision for a post-player and is a good scorer with his back to the basket. An absolute man-child at 6’9 and close to 300 pounds of solid-muscle. Not much to discuss here………I highly doubt Michigan is ever seriously considered at this point.
Jordan Mitchell (4*) – high level athlete with prototype size/length at the wing spot at 6’7 and a nice wingspan. Once considered a borderline 5* prospect, his skillset hasn’t developed as much as initially anticipated. Can handle the ball a bit but not well enough to be a primary ballhandler in the half-court. Below average shooter that cannot space the floor from distance. Jordan is a high-upside, low floor prospect with serious potential to be a nice two-way wing at the next level but needs tons of skill development to reach the desired level. Currently at Montverde Academy (FL) but originally from Columbus. Not an OSU lock by any means, and no doubt has legit interest in Michigan. Staff seems to have cooled on him over the last year.
Joe Girard (3*) – elite shooter that knocked down nearly 45% of his shots from beyond the arch while playing up a year in the 17u division of EYBL. Very undersized SG that lacks the handle to play on-ball. Below average athlete that does not possess the straight line speed or lateral agility to contain dribble penetration on defense at the high-major level. Projects to be the typical ‘just shooter’ type at the collegiate level. Staff showing interest but no offer may be indicative of a wait and see approach.
Harlond Beverly (4*) – very good athlete with plus handle that can create his own offense off the bounce. Good shooter off the catch from three despite some funky mechanics. Needs to develop vision a bit in order to become more dynamic playmaker. Has good size for a combo-guard at legit 6’3. Very high upside prospect that will emerge as a top 50-60 type prospect on all sites within a year in my opinion. Projects as a combo-guard once vision improves, as the handle and shooting are already above average/good. Michigan has not offered, but would be wise to do so in short order. Harlond is not an MSU type player stylistically in my opinion despite the fact that he’s visited a few times and holds an offer.
Carrington McCaskill (4*) – the one name that hardly anyone is familiar with. 6’7 Elite athlete that is extremely explosive around the rim. Skillset still a bit raw, but does show some ability to change direction with the ball on some occasions. Flashes ability to knock down shots from beyond the arch when feet are set. Great offensive rebounder that is very light on his feet and gets off the ground extremely quick. Good rim protecter as well. Low floor, high-ceiling prospect that is going to absolutely blow up if his skillset improves marginally. Projects as a small-ball 4 at the next level that finishes at the rim, stretches the floor a bit and defends multiple spots on the floor. He visited Michigan for a few games last year and the Wolverines are definitely keeping tabs. He visits MSU this weekend for the football game against Iowa.
DJ Carton (4*) – superb athlete that has great elevation, good straight line speed and nice first step acceleration. Almost impossible to stop him from getting to the rim in isolation with his combination of ballhandling and athleticism. More of lead-guard that looks to score as opposed to a true PG that distributes. Lack of size is the only issue, as he’s only a legit 6’1. With this type of explosion and ballhandling ability though, he’s no doubt an upper tier prospect. Projects to be a PG at the next level unless he grows a few inches. He visited Michigan a few weeks back so there is some interest there.
Chris Harris (4*) – high level shooter that knocks down jumpers off the dribble or the catch. Has range out to 25 feet right now. Has a plus handle and can create his own shot, but not a primary ballhandler. A bit undersized for a SG at 6’2, but compensates with superior strength. Decent athlete that shows some elevation at the rim when finishing and good body control. Projects to be an undersized SG at the next level, but would thrive in Coach Beilein’s system coming off down screens. Very preliminary interest so far, as Harris is the HS teammate of Tyrese Maxey. I can assure you Chris is legitimately interested in Michigan.
Donavan Moore (3*) – another name not many will be familiar with. Just transferred from the Chicago area to West Bloomfield. pretty similar to DJ Carton, a bit less explosive but probably a better shooter. Michigan definitely keeping tabs now that he’s local. High upside here, will be interesting to see his game evolve over the next year.