With a spate of summer visits coming up (Locke, Tyson, Carmody, and Nance over the next three weeks), and with the summer approaching, I thought it might be interesting to see people's predictions at this time as to who will be in the class of '18 when it's all said and done. I'm not talking about who you hope will be in the class, or who you want to be in the class, or even who you think we should take in the class--rather I'm talking about who you think will get offered and sign on the dotted line.
I'll start. The analysis is complicated somewhat by the fact that while we currently have four spots in that class, one of which is committed to David DeJulius, there will very likely be attrition at year;s end and we'll have more. Mo Wagner will likely go to the NBA, and if he doesn't, will whichever of Austin Davis and John Teske is running third on the depth chart want to stay buried for another year? If Charles Matthews blows up, he could declare for the draft, and if he doesn't, will Ibi Watson, especially if he doesn't play this year, stick around (that may be a question even if Matthews leaves if Watson isn't playing)? If Xavier Simpson doesn't take a step up this year (I think he will, but we'll see) and become the clear heir apparent, will he stick in the face of two other point guard candidates? I don't know what will happen. I do think there's an overwhelming likelihood that we'll have at least five empty spots, and that eventually, this class will contain five players.
Will we fill the slots in November though? John Beilein's track record says no, though he has been a bit more flexible on a number of issues in the past few years. I'm guessing no. The exception may be for a guy we really want (Brazdeikis, Hunter, Johns) who is not part of the first four to commit. We pretty clearly won't do so for a "Plan B" guy--if we sign a fifth guy in the fall, you'll know that he's a "Plan A" guy to the staff's way of thinking, regardless of ranking.
With that, here's my prediction for the class (with a hedge at the end). This won't make some people happy, in that it lacks a wing athlete (at least in the fall signings) and adds Nance about whom there is a wide difference in opinion (I like him and really hope he's in the class, others don't)--just putting on paper what I think the class will be as of June 10:
- David DeJulius
- Ignas Brazdeikis
- Pete Nance
- Hunter Tyson
- Unnamed spring add, which could be Brandon Johns if he preps and waits, Gabe Brown if he proves he's a fit, Damezi Anderson if he waits, or someone off the radar.
I think Tyson will get an offer and commit quickly--some would rather we hold that spot, but I don't think it's going to happen. Nance is rumored to be deciding in the next month, likely with Michigan and Northwestern as the leaders, and I think we're the favorite. I think we'll get Iggy. If Hunter or Johns want to come aboard in November, I'd grab the first one to commit. Whether Beilein will, I don't know. If he doesn't, if they choose elsewhere even if we'd oversign and take them, and/or if we don't eventually get an athletic wing in the class capable of immediate contribution, it will be a pretty good, but not a great class (I love Iggy--love him, think Nance will be very good in time, though perhaps not an immediate contributor, and like DeJulius for his readiness, toughness and ability to create for himself and others and Tyson for his size, potential and shooting ability, but we do badly need a wing athlete in the class). With that group plus Hunter or Johns, it would be a great class.
Of course, there could be new guys on the radar after the July evaluation period, and these lists can/will be updated. Just starting the guessing now.