What are some dream scenarios Michigan could wind up living out on the recruiting trail?
With the early signing period a little over three months away, recruiting scenarios for the Michigan basketball program are beginning to take shape. New targets have emerged in recent days. Official visits are being set up. All of it will come to a head this fall.
Some of these recruits would be dreams come true for the Maize and Blue faithful. Despite the fact there are some dream scenarios to be had, only a few are realistic. Those are the ones you will read about.
For instance, it would be surreal for Michigan to land the nation's No. 1 overall prospect, Jahlil Okafor. The chances of it actually happening are slim to say the least. There are still plenty of other talented recruits out for the taking, though. And plenty of dreams that can become reality.
Finding a replacement for Glenn Robinson III, who will likely give serious thought to entering the 2014 NBA Draft, is the top priority for the Michigan Wolverines on the recruiting trail.
Michigan already has a verbal commitment from 2-star small forward Austin Hatch, so signing one more prospect would be ideal. Landing two of their current targets would be a dream scenario for the Wolverines.
One of those targets appears to be tumbling down Michigan's board. According to Chris Balas of The Wolverine (subscription required), Vince Edwards "seems likely to be a Purdue Boilermaker". This leaves 4-stars Trevon Bluiett and Kameron Chatman as the only small forwards with an offer from John Beilein.
Reeling in those two studs would give Michigan great depth at the 3. Realistically, however, the Maize and Blue will probably only get one. Chatman will officially visit Ann Arbor on Sept. 6, but it will be difficult to lure him away from the West Coast. Bluiett seems like a safer bet, though UCLA and the rest of his top six are by no means out of race.
In recent weeks, just one of those prospects committing would have been a big win, considering how few targets remained. Kevon Looney's recently trimmed list, which does not include Michigan, has changed things. New targets are starting to emerge.
Jonah Bolden, a Flint, Michigan native who grew up playing in Australia, is one who stands out. The 6'8", 195-pounder is returning to the United States to attend Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, and he is high on the Wolverines.
A recent scouting report by Eric Bossi of Rivals is exactly why Bolden should be a new addition to the dream scenarios for 2014. Bolden has the build to play both the 3 and 4.
"After feeling his way around against the U.S. players for a bit, Bolden showed off a nice-looking jump shot with deep range," Bossi wrote. "With his size, mobility and athleticism, you can see him playing at the three or the four."
Another small forward the Michigan Wolverines are still pursuing is 4-star prospect Devin Robinson. Given how everything is still fairly open in terms of who Michigan will be bringing in at his position, simply staying on Robinson's short list of schools would be a big win for the time being.
Until someone pulls the trigger, staying in the hunt is all the Wolverines can hope to do. Good news for Michigan fans, Paul Biancardi of ESPN believes the Maize and Blue are a legitimate contender for Robinson's signature. South Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Georgetown are battling for the nation's No. 74 overall prospect as well.
Much like Jonah Bolden, Robinson has the build to play either the 3 or 4. Obviously, the 6'8", 180-pounder will need to put on some muscle to spend time at both positions, but the length is there. The smooth jump shot Robinson possesses will make him a difficult matchup at the college level.
The Virginian plans to reassess his top schools "very soon", so making the cut is the dream scenario for the Wolverines right now. Once some of Michigan's other dominoes fall, though, this could change very quickly.
Devin Booker has been atop the Michigan Wolverines' recruiting board for quite some time. John Beilein's persistence and constant scouting over the past five years has led to Michigan holding "a special place in (Booker's) heart."
Anything short of landing Booker would be a nightmare for the Wolverines. There are plenty of teams ready to play the role of spoiler, too.
The 5-star shooting guard has yet to officially trim his list, but five schools are standing out above the rest. A recent report from Chris Balas of The Wolverine pegged Michigan State, Kentucky, Missouri, Florida and Michigan as the front-runners. None of those schools will go quietly into the night.
Booker likes Tom Izzo, John Calipari is arguably the best recruiter in college basketball and his father was an All-American for Missouri in the '90s. Billy Donovan is not to be overlooked in Gainesville either.
As of now, the nation's No. 16 overall prospect intends to utilize the early signing period. This means a fall official visit for Booker and his parents will likely determine the outcome of this recruiting battle.
Michigan needs to land Booker in order to be living any kind of a dream come signing day for the class of 2014.
John Beilein could be on the verge of a top-10 recruiting haul.
Each of the past two seasons, the Michigan Wolverines have brought in a top-15 recruiting haul. The 2014 group could be even better, and ranked higher than the No. 12 class John Beilein signed for 2013. Another haul with a similar ranking would be ideal, but a top-10 bunch would be a dream come true.
In order for Michigan to climb the charts, landing Devin Booker is a must. Same goes for Trevon Bluiett or Kameron Chatman. Landing both would make the No. 10 spot a lock, but just one would keep the Wolverines in the mix. Two 4-star prospects along with Booker are necessities for an elite class.
Five teams inside the top 10 right now only have two verbal commitments, which means there is plenty of time for movement.
Rankings are not the end-all be-all when it comes to recruiting. However, being one of the 10 best teams on the trail is a dream the Maize and Blue faithful would love to see come to fruition.