As the Michigan basketball program enters the 2014-15 season, recruiting may be the farthest thing from the mind of head coach John Beilein. You see, Beilein and company technically have no scholarships to give out this year, per VerbalCommits.com.
Obviously things can change, as they did last year for the Wolverines when they lost Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary early to the NBA. Also, a player or two could transfer, or any other number of situations can unfold to add more players.
So, let's address three burning questions about the Wolverines' 2015 recruiting plans.
Will transfer Duncan Robinson be the only newcomer to the 2015 class?
In August, the Wolverines roped in Duncan Robinson (which the school just officially announced), a highly touted transfer from Williams College from the Division III level.
MLive Sports @MLiveSports
Michigan officially announces signing of D3 transfer Duncan Robinson http://t.co/YEWYgyw8CM2014-9-3 18:31:00
Of course, as per NCAA laws, Robinson will have to sit out this year, but he will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2015. Noted as a dead-eye shooter, he figures to be a perfect fit in Beilein's offense. Hopefully his skills can translate to the Big Ten. He did average 17 points and seven rebounds per game last year, and he looks like he'll be be a major role player going forward.
However, as mentioned before, technically the Wolverines have no open scholarships, and Robinson could conceivably be their only addition, despite the Wolverines' interest in 2015 recruits such as Eric Davis, Trevor Manuel and Perry Dozier.
One thing that may happen is for Michigan to add no players in the fall signing period. Which leads us to the next point.
Who may be available later in the spring in case a scholarship opens?
That is a very fluid question, considering all of the variables involved.
Beilein's best hope is that some of his 2015 targets postpone their college decisions 'til the spring. Dozier is scheduled to make a visit on September 26, and perhaps Beilein can squeeze him in, or maybe convince him to wait it out, which is unlikely.
The thing is, the Wolverines have two potential NBA talents in Caris LeVert and Zak Irvin. And just like Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Stauskas and Robinson III before them, LeVert and Irvin could be tempted to leave early too. It's too early to speculate on this, but Beilein has to have a contingency plan just in case.
There is really no telling who will hold off on their commitments this fall. No doubt Beilein and crew are hoping some of the guys they like hold off 'til the spring when he'll know for sure what LeVert and Irvin plan to do.
How will 2015 recruiting class affect 2016 class?
Also of significance in regards to the class of 2015 is how it relates to the 2016 class.
Obviously, the more 2015 recruits Michigan locks up, the fewer scholarships they can offer to the 2016 class. And by all accounts, the 2016 class is where the Wolverines may strike gold, as they are tied to many top-notch recruits.
Beilein already has a commitment from Jon Teske, a 6'11" center from Medina, Ohio, who is considered a fringe top-100 recruit (he's ranked as the No. 105 recruit according to 247Sports). After that, Michigan has approximately two open spots left.
MLive Sports @MLiveSports
Five-star guards Tyus Battle, Derryck Thornton, Cassius Winston highlight list of 2016 Michigan basketball offers http://t.co/fiA1qTz2La2014-6-15 23:28:26
Expect Beilein to go hard after a couple of top-10 point guard prospects in Cassius Winston and Derryck Thornton Jr., with both liking Michigan a lot. With Derrick Walton Jr. expected to be a senior by the time either of these guys would enroll, Beilein will want some depth at point guard. And both Winston and Thornton Jr. are considered can't-miss prospects.
After that, Michigan may look for the best available players, and they have extended offers to plenty of high-end prospects in V.J. King, Josh Langford and T.J. Leaf (all top-25 recruits according to 247Sports).
With the wealth of talent legitimately considering Michigan in the 2016 class, Beilein may bank all possible scholarships he may have for 2015 and pursue the 2016 class more aggressively.
Nevertheless, the way Beilein approaches the 2015 class will impact how the 2016 class shapes up.
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