Michigan Basketball Recruiting: 2014 Prospects Wolverines Can Still Land
Although the Michigan basketball program is already bringing in five prospects for the 2014 season, recent departures by Glenn Robinson III, Nik Stauskas, Jon Horford and Jordan Morgan have freed up some scholarships for it to work with.
Recently, the Wolverines added Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who could wind up being another diamond in the rough.
"If you've been in this game long enough, you can tell who can play and who can't play," long-time basketball coach Dave Rooney told Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com. "(Abdur-Rahkman) has great shooting ability and in big games, this kid wants the ball and he can shoot it. He's got point guard skills and a shooting guard's mentality."
The following prospects are not limited to potential incoming freshmen either. A couple of high-profile transfers will also be on the market. Head coach John Beilein is very open to the idea of bringing in an experienced player from another program.
"(While coaching) at Canisius and Richmond and West Virginia, transfers were really important to us," Beilein told Quinn. "If we have openings and there are transfers who fit who we are, we would be open to that."
Aubrey Dawkins, Guard
Aubrey Dawkins is the prospect highest on Michigan's board right now. The Wolverines offered less than a week ago and there is genuine interest on both sides.
Two other teams pose a threat to the Maize and Blue though: Marquette and Dayton.
"It's clear the Flyers are a possibility, even though he told us he really enjoyed his Michigan visit. Dayton has been recruiting him longest and he has a very good relationship with their coaches," Chris Balas of The Wolverine (subscription required) wrote. "Marquette might also be a possibility given Dawkins' father, Johnny, is a former Dukie and tight with new head coach Steve Wojciechowski.
"That said, Dawkins told us today that he has heard Marquette is interested but has yet to hear from them."
There is no doubt the coaches would accept Dawkins' commitment, even though they have the option to set aside an extra scholarship for 2015. Although he is only a 3-star prospect, according to Rivals.com, John Beilein and Co. have proved highly-touted prospects are not who they are after.
Keep an eye out for any news regarding Dawkins' recruitment.
Cole Huff, Forward
Cole Huff is not a class of 2014 prospect, but he could wind up at Michigan via transfer this summer. Even though he would have to sit out a year, there is no real downside to adding a veteran scorer and effective rebounder.
According to Huff's AAU coach, Clint Parks, his former player is interested in five schools: Michigan, Dayton, Iowa, Creighton and Vanderbilt.
All of this is subject to change, but the Wolverines will definitely be in the mix.
As for his play on the floor, Huff seems to be a good fit at the 4. He stands 6'8" and weighs 205 pounds, which allows him to rebound with just about anyone. Last season at Nevada, the sophomore averaged 12.4 points, a figure that ranked second on the team, and 5.4 rebounds per game. He also knocked down 40.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and shot 45.1 percent overall.
It is unclear when Huff will make a decision, though it should not drag too far into the summer months.
Byron Wesley, Guard
Again, this is not a 2014 prospect, but Byron Wesley is going to be on the market for several schools this offseason. He will graduate from USC this summer and is expected to consider Indiana and Michigan, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
The 6'5", 210-pounder is a lot like Glenn Robinson III, minus the freakish athleticism. He led the Trojans in scoring (17.8 points) and rebounding (6.4). His 2.3 assists per game ranked third on the team as well.
Much like Robinson, Wesley does most of his damage inside the arc. He finishes at a 60.7 percent rate at the rim, which is where over 43.5 percent of his attempts come from, according to Hoop-Math.com. Overall, Wesley shoots 46.7 percent and went 24 of 71 from three-point range last season.
However, Chris Balas of The Wolverine is not exactly convinced Michigan will put itself in the running for him.
"We don't see that one happening," Balas wrote (subscription required). "Wesley did tell the L.A. Times he was considering Michigan and Indiana, but it seems likely the Wolverines will look elsewhere."
Stay tuned, but this one seems unlikely.
Tavarius Shine, Forward
The first three prospects in this slideshow appear to be far better options than Tavarius Shine, but Michigan could elect to turn up the heat on this small forward very soon.
Shine can do a little bit of everything, and his long frame is one Michigan could use out on the perimeter. He has shown some ability to knock down threes, but consistency will be a question mark from long distance. Same goes inside the arc. Like most prospects, Shine is at his best when attacking the basket.
Obviously he will have to put on some weight. Still, he could provide the Wolverines with some depth after a redshirt season.
As of now, Shine does not seem likely to wind up in the 2014 haul, but things can change in a hurry, as evidenced by Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman's recruitment.