Michigan Basketball: Top Storylines from Wolverines' 2015 Recruiting Trail
John Beilein's success on the recruiting trail is evident each time Michigan takes the court.
So too is his success when it comes to developing prospects. Thanks to his track record, he's now talked about as one of the best coaches in the game.
Give him a player with potential, and let nature take its course.
Trey Burke and Nik Stauskas weren't blue-chippers, but they turned into legitimate stars under Beilein. Now with the Utah Jazz, Burke secured his spot among top NBA rookies by averaging 12.8 points and 5.7 assists per game in 2013-14. Stauskas, who fully bloomed as a sophomore, is projected as an early first-round pick and stands to benefit any team that's looking for a sharpshooter who's prone to gaudy outbursts.
As of late May, the Wolverines didn't have any commits to their 2015 class, but they remain in the hunt for Burke and Stauskas 2.0. Per VerbalCommits and 247Sports, Beilein has extended six offers (VC lists seven, but one is a duplicate player).
This slideshow will cover the top storylines as Beilein looks to secure another well-rounded group capable of charging toward the Final Four. Unless otherwise noted, prospect information comes via 247Sports.
The Point Matters
Derrick Walton is the point guard of today.
Getting the man of tomorrow is Beilein's task at hand.
Per 247Sports, Michigan has offered three PGs. So if the counts of six schollies are correct, that means that half of the Wolverines' efforts, in a sense, are focused on securing their next 1-guard.
However, it's worth noting that Eric Davis was offered during an unofficial visit on May 15, per UMHoops.com. For some reason, 247 doesn't list the 6'3," 172-pound Saginaw Arthur Hill 4-star on Michigan's page. He's pretty much Michigan State's anyway.
And it's also worth noting that he said he liked his visit, per Dylan Burkhardt of UMHoops:
Take me through your Michigan visit?
“It went really well. I got got there and talked to Coach. We went to campus, to the academics area, the study hall where the guys study at, we went by some frat houses, we went to see where the guys stay in the dorms, went to a couple classes where I’d be at. Then we went back to Crisler Arena and we went in a room and he kind of showed me the offense and then told me that I’d be a perfect fit for the offense and Coach Beilein offered me a scholarship.”
How did he offer you?
“He told me that he wants me, the staff loves me and he said that my game and my character fit Michigan very well and then he said ‘I’m offering you a scholarship to the University of Michigan.’”
How did he say you would fit in the offense?
“Just the way I can score with pick-and-roll offense, where I can attack off the dribble and find shooters and just my overall game."
At the moment, Jalen Brunson, another 4-star, is of prime interest. As the No. 4-ranked point guard of 2015, the 6'1," 190-pound standout from Adlai Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Illinois) has drawn attention from Michigan State, Illinois (the current favorite per 247's Crystal Ball), Villanova, Kansas and UConn, among others.
Hoops: Jalen Brunson staying the course http://t.co/wIFtVz63xW—Wolverine Sports Now (@WolverineSN) May 14, 2014
He may get away, but the Crystal Ball says that Jalen Coleman, a 4-star out of La Lumiere School in Indianapolis, is Michigan's for the taking (92 percent). The 6'3," 160-pounder is tops in his state, has Big Ten powers at his doorstep and is being followed by the likes of Duke, Kansas and Louisville.
He's a popular guy and would fit well into Beilein's offense, as would Davis and Brunson.
But there's one more player of interest: Perry Dozier of Spring Valley High (Columbia, South Carolina), who has "cool" interest in the Wolverines, per 247Sports. The 6'5," 180-pounder seems bound for North Carolina, per 247. He's the No. 8-ranked point guard in his class and packs a great combination of scoring and distributing into his game.
Out-of-State, In-State Tussle for Trevor Manuel
Trevor Manuel is playing ball in Virginia, but he's Michigan through and through. A Lansing native, he played at Sexton before transferring to Oak Hill Academy and has deep-rooted ties to the area.
An area that happens to be Tom Izzo's backyard.
Beating Izzo in Lansing would be a solid victory for Beilein. But grabbing the out-of-state in-stater would be important in terms of national perspective, too. It would show that Michigan is a destination, not a secondary option or Plan B.
6'9" Trevor Manuel, @jerrymeyer247 's #50 junior, said Michigan, Michigan St., N.C. St., Wake Forest & Xavier are recruiting him the hardest—Andrew Slater (@ASlater247) April 5, 2014
At 6'9" and 215 pounds, Manuel, the No. 10-ranked power forward of 2015, fits the mold for teams looking for an athletic big man with exceptional athleticism. Fit and comfort will likely come into play during Manuel's decision process.
Michigan and Beilein would be a wise choice, and it looks as if the Wolverines will be finalists. Per 247Sports, Manuel has "warm" interest; he visited Michigan State in November and passed through Ann Arbor on March 8.
Danjel Purifoy is a hot commodity these days. He has an offer from Kentucky—and "warm" interest, per 247—and is considered one of the best small forwards in the country.
But Michigan remains in the mix. Beilein's staff is chasing down Alabama's No. 1 recruit:
The 6'6", 190-pound Bibb County 4-star is a few pounds away from ideal weight. With a year of free NCAA-sponsored meals and workouts with Beilein, he could evolve into the Wolverines' next GR3.
Just like Little Dog, who is NBA-bound, Purifoy has no problem getting to the rim or gaining position in the post.
2015 forward Danjel Purifoy's Top 7: Maryland Michigan Georgia Auburn Minnesota Alabama Wichita State Per @CoachNeal—Chip Miller (@UKBIGBLUENATION) May 4, 2014
Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines basketball writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81