In a surprising turn of events, the Michigan basketball program picked up its third verbal commitment for the 2014 recruiting class. Kameron Chatman, who appeared to be an Arizona lean, per MLive.com's Nick Baumgardner, chose the Wolverines after an in-home visit from head coach John Beilein and his three assistants on Tuesday night.
With the nation's No. 49 overall recruit, per ESPN, in the fold, Michigan now has its replacement for Glenn Robinson III. Barring injury or a mediocre campaign, the rising sophomore small forward is likely going to be one of the most coveted prospects in the 2014 NBA draft.
If Robinson does indeed leave Ann Arbor after just two seasons, Chatman will be the perfect replacement.
Chatman gives John Beilein one of the qualities he loves most ... versatility.— John Borton (@JB_Wolverine) October 2, 2013
Like Robinson, the 6'7", 200-pounder has the ability to play multiple positions. Chatman could spend a significant amount of time at either guard position, small forward or even serve as a stretch 4 in smaller lineups. The options are seemingly endless given Chatman's diverse skill set.
Chatman's father and AAU coach, Canaan, told Joe Stapleton of UMHoops:
Kameron is a perimeter player who just happens to be extremely tall and has the gift of rebounding. ... Coach Beilein sees him playing one, just because he does have the ability to facilitate; he’s a great passer, he handles the ball extremely well. He’s six-seven and a half right now. By the time he gets to school, I know he’ll be a little over six-eight, might be closer to six-nine. So he might move a little bit off the ball, but his skills will be in place.
There is not a whole lot Chatman cannot do. The Portland, Ore., native shoots the ball well enough to be a 2-guard, but his length and ability to finish at the rim would make him a difficult matchup for opposing small forwards.
As a 4, Chatman has the passing and ball-handling skills necessary to operate out of the high post. Once he is able to pack on some weight at the college level, he should be able to back down defenders as well. A smooth turnaround jumper, which Chatman flashes at times, will help him score over opposing forwards.
The biggest impact he could have, though, is on the glass. No matter what position Chatman is playing, the coaches will expect him to be an active rebounder.
Where Chatman winds up playing the most time will depend on several factors.
A smaller lineup would likely feature Chatman alongside shooting guards Zak Irvin and Nik Stauskas. If the Wolverines opt to go big, he fits in more as a small forward paired up with either Irvin or Stauskas.
As Michigan fans have seen before under Beilein, the best five players will be the starters. No matter what their natural positions are. Given the fact Chatman is a jack-of-all-trades, Beilein will be able to adjust his lineup accordingly and plug in his newest commit once the other four positions are set.
Once we get a chance to see the 2013-14 team in action, Chatman's future role will become a bit clearer. Good news for the Wolverines, he can adapt to whatever their strengths and weaknesses are.
Follow me on Twitter @Zach_Dirlam.
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