Michigan Basketball: Report Card for John Beilein on the 2013 Recruiting Trail

Zach DirlamSenior Analyst IIFebruary 25, 2013

Michigan Basketball: Report Card for John Beilein on the 2013 Recruiting Trail

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    Before head coach John Beilein took over the Michigan basketball program, the Wolverines were by no means had any major player on the recruiting trail. Six years later, Beilein has secured back-to-back recruiting classes ranked in the top 15 nationally.

    With the Maize and Blue reaching heights on the floor and in recruitment that have not been seen since the early 1990s, expectations for the Wolverines have also skyrocketed.

    Did Beilein become a victim of his own success at Michigan, or should he be receiving an above average grade on his recruiting report card? Click ahead to find out!   

     

    Note: All player rankings and ratings are courtesy of ESPN.com.

What Were Realistic Expectations for the Class of 2013?

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    All of the money Michigan's athletic department spent on a new player development center and renovations to the Crisler Center finally gave John Beilein a major selling point to utilize on the recruiting trail.

    Naturally, brand new facilities leads to a significant increase in expectations for future recruiting classes.

    The Wolverines needed to match, or improve upon their No. 14 class ranking from 2012, despite the fact this year's haul was not going to be any larger than three prospects. Such is the life of a rising program attempting to consistently contend for championships.   

    With two starters looking like potential early entries for the 2013 NBA draft, Michigan had to land a pair of highly touted prospects ready to contribute as true freshmen to offset any attrition. 

    Fortunately for Michigan, sophomore point guard Trey Burke looks like the only one ready for the professional level right now. Junior shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. still looks to be a year away from making the jump to the NBA.

    The Wolverines still managed to sign its impact newcomers, though, in 4-star prospects Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton.

Who the Wolverines Are Bringing in Next Season

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    Each of the Michigan Wolverines' three newest recruits are ranked inside the ESPN 100 and earned a 4-star rating. This gave the Maize and Blue the nation's No. 12 recruiting class in the country for 2013.

    Chandler Park (Mich.) Academy point guard Derrick Walton is lightning quick and his ability to score and dish in transition makes him a perfect fit for John Beilein's offense.

    Walton can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor, but the 6'0", 165-pounder will need to become more consistent at the next level. Packing on some muscle is also going to be a priority for Walton in his first year at Michigan.

    If Trey Burke opts to bolt for the NBA draft at the conclusion of the 2012-13 campaign, Walton will be the favorite to replace the Wooden Award candidate in the starting five.

    Incoming freshman small forward Zak Irvin is going to make a push for early playing time as well. The Fishers, Ind. product has the ability to attack the rim, or pull up and hit jump shots from any distance.

    Like Walton, Irvin will need to pack on roughly 15 pounds to help withstand the physical style of play in the Big Ten Conference. 

    Power forward Mark Donnal rounds out the newest group of Wolverines. Donnal does not have much of a post game, though, he will be a tough match up for a lot of big men because of his shooting prowess.

    The nation's No. 86 overall prospect will be a solid reserve for Michigan next season. Expectations for Donnal's freshman year should not be very high.

Are the Newcomers Addressing Michigan's Recruiting Needs?

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    There were three primary needs for the Michigan Wolverines' 2013 haul. John Beilein managed to take care of two of those concerns with an impressive trio of prospects.

    The Maize and Blue had to build up their depth with this latest group of recruits. Zak Irvin provides insurance for whenever Glenn Robinson III heads to the next level. Mark Donnal is going to give Michigan a strong rotation of four big men. 

    Another one of the main concerns the Wolverines had to address was Trey Burke's flirtations with the NBA. Beilein responded by locking up Derrick Walton. 

    Michigan's coaching staff failed to lock up a premiere shot blocker, though, which is arguably its biggest weakness at the moment.

    Mark Donnal still needs to bulk up his 6'8", 225-pound frame and develop a post game before he can be an asset for the Wolverines down low. Even after a season or two in Ann Arbor, Donnal is not going to be a dominant defensive player in the paint.

Final Grade

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    Although John Beilein did not exactly bolster the Michigan Wolverines' interior defense with the class of 2013, the future of the program is brighter than ever.

    For two straight seasons, Beilein has been able to lure three ESPN 100 prospects to Ann Arbor. Michigan should have no problem maintaining their current level of success either with Beilein expected to be at the helm for the next several years

    Although Beilein failed to bring in a physical big man to help the Wolverines win the battle in the paint, he has managed to significantly upgrade the bench with the likes of Mark Donnal and Zak Irvin.

    Beilein also secured Derrick Walton to help Michigan maintain its dynamic offense in 2013-14. 

    Overall, Beilein and his staff did an outstanding job of securing commitments from highly ranked recruits very early in the recruiting process.

    This year's class will keep the Wolverines in the hunt for Big Ten titles and Final Four runs for the foreseeable future. As a result, Beilein deserves an above average grade for his efforts.  

     

    John Beilein's Overall Grade: B+