John Beilein is in good position to land some highly touted prospects.
The Michigan basketball program has already locked up two class of 2014 prospects. Head coach John Beilein is looking for at least two more, especially considering the fact Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III could be leaving early, per a report by Nick Baumgardner of MLive.
There is plenty of groundwork built around other top prospects, though. Needless to say, the Wolverines' recent run to the Final Four has helped in this regard. Out of the highly touted prospects considering Michigan, five have emerged as serious targets.
Recruiting information courtesy of ESPN, unless noted otherwise.
With the departure of Glenn Robinson III likely on the horizon, bringing in an impact small forward is a priority for the class of 2014. Trevon Bluiett fits the description.
The 4-star prospect can knock down jump shots from anywhere on the floor. Bluiett is not overly reliant on his jumper, though. With a 6'5", 205-pound frame, Bluiett can create shots by driving the lane and getting physical with opposing defenders. In other words, he can flat-out score the basketball.
As it stands right now, the Michigan Wolverines are battling with Indiana and Butler for Bluiett's signature. UCLA has also entered the mix, thanks to new assistant coach Ed Schilling, a former Indiana high school coach.
Those four may be standing out at the moment, but Bluiett has not officially cut down his list. There is no timeline set for a decision either. Official visit destinations are still up in the air and so are the number of trips Bluiett will eventually take.
"If it's the right college, I won't need to take any other officials,” he told Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com.
The Wolverines are in good position to land Bluiett. However, Butler will be tough to beat out.
If the Michigan Wolverines miss on Trevon Bluiett, fellow 4-star small forward Vince Edwards would make for a great consolation prize.
The two are very different players, though. While Bluiett features an impressive jumper, Edwards prefers to do most of his damage at the rim. Finishing in traffic is also one of the 6'7", 200-pounder's strengths. Edwards' length and athleticism allow him to grab plenty of rebounds at both ends of the floor as well.
Using the dribble to create shots and knocking down threes are two areas where Edwards stands to improve the most. Even without those skills fully developed, the Ohioan could still be a very productive player as a true freshman.
Michigan and the Purdue Boilermakers have long been the favorites to land Edwards. The similar styles head coaches John Beilein and Matt Painter implore on the recruiting trail have made the choice a difficult one.
"They’re both equal right now, honestly,” Edwards said of Michigan and Purdue in an interview with UMHoops. “They’re the same type of guys, the same people.”
The No. 80 overall prospect does not have a decision timeline. A commitment could come any day now—or as late as national signing day.
Rising sophomore Mitch McGary is the first elite-level big man Beilein signed in his 30-plus years as a head coach. The Maize and Blue faithful are hoping 5-star power forward Kevon Looney will be the second.
Not only can Looney dominate the paint, he has the ability to hit plenty of mid-range jumpers, too. For a big, Looney displays impressive ball-handling skills. This allows him to create shots individually, which is important at the next level. The Milwaukee, Wis., native is working on a perimeter shot as well. Perfecting that would make Looney an extremely difficult matchup.
Although Looney claims no favorites for the time being, things will be changing soon. The No. 9 overall recruit plans on trimming his list to just five schools by the end of the summer. Once those schools are known, a decision will not be far off.
"I want to make sure I have a list of five before I let people know about visits," he told Chris Balas of TheWolverine.com (subscription required). "I'll take those in August and in the fall. I want a decision before my high school season in November."
Michigan appears to be a long shot to actually land Looney. Crazier things have happened, everyone at 247Sports has Looney joining the Duke Blue Devils. There is no reason to doubt those predictions right now.
One of the most recent scholarship offers made by John Beilein was extended to 4-star small forward Kameron Chatman. Beilein made the offer during Chatman's time at the Michigan college practice camp.
The Long Beach Polytechnic High School product is a bit more balanced skill-wise compared to Trevon Bluiett and Vince Edwards. Chatman can knock down threes, mid-range jumpers and attack the rim at will. Ball-handling and passing are strong suits for Chatman as well.
Oregon, UCLA, Washington, Arizona and Connecticut are the only other programs to extend an offer to Chatman. If distance plays any part in Chatman's decision, those first four schools will be tough to beat. The competition will get even stiffer if Duke and Michigan State throw themselves into the mix.
In a recent interview with UMHoops, per Joe Stapleton, the 6'6", 175-pounder said he is "in no hurry to make a decision."
The best shot the Michigan Wolverines have of landing a 5-star talent for the 2014 class is shooting guard Devin Booker.
John Beilein has been recruiting Booker longer than any coach in the country. Other marquee programs caught on quickly, though. Official visits could be the deciding factor for Booker. Michigan will be one of the five schools the rising senior takes a trip to in the near future.
As far as skills go, the Wolverines will be hard-pressed to land a better 2-guard than Booker.
Spotting up for shots is what Booker loves to do. Driving the lane and finishing at the rim is something the 6'5", 185-pounder still has to get better at, especially before joining the college ranks. According to ESPN's scouting report, Booker's basketball IQ and shot selection are what separate him from other wing guards.
One thing working in Michigan's favor is the fact Booker used to live in Grand Rapids. Booker plans to spend some of his summer in the Great Lakes State, which can only benefit the Wolverines.
Out of all the aforementioned prospects, Booker seems most likely to wind up in a Michigan uniform. There is plenty of time for other schools to catch up, but for now, it appears the Wolverines have the edge.