2017 Recruiting Notes



Justin Smith

Maybe it’s not so much the highly-athletic 6-7 Smith raised his stock –– he was already a top 100 player nationally and had his choice of high-major offers before July rolled around –– but he certainly played well enough to solidify his status and open more eyes. Don’t be surprised if he inches his way up a few spots in those national rankings after his play this July.

The slow, steady, positive progress Smith has showed since January (which the Hoops Report highlighted last week in THIS STORY) was seen by those that matter most throughout July. Maybe now a few more will zero in on what Smith brings to table at a high level rather focusing on the blemishes. Smith is the best senior prospect in the Chicago area heading into the 2016-2017 season and arguably the Class of 2017’s No. 2 prospect in the state.


which offer?


There were only a few jumpers in the video on the front page of Tillman, but I think you can tell he’s been working on his long range jumper. It’s better than the first few videos I saw of him.

I’d like Tillman and whoever else commits first. I put Tillman first because of versatility. He could play the three or the four. Whereas Young is strictly a four and Cain is strictly a three at this point (though I can see JB putting him at the four at times), Smith looks like a four to me. I don’t necessarily rate Tillman as a better overall prospect than some of the other guys we’re looking at, but he is the most versatile so he would keep our options open for the other spot.


I would love Tillman and Young but I don’t think that’s happening. We seem to have Smith and Cain higher.

Not sure what combination they would be willing to accept between Wilkes, Young, Smith (if offered in August), Cain, Livers (if not committed to MSU by August), Tillman (if offered).


I think some combination of two of those would round out a pretty good class. Obviously they all have different +s and -s, but talented enough to figure the rest out later.


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: 2017 - F - Donnie Tillman (Target)

2017 - F - Donnie Tillman (Target)

I really hope we turn up the heat on Tillman.i think out of the fours were in pursuit of he makes the most sense. Tillman and Mathews are a nice yin to brooks and pooles yang skill wise, would be a nice fit. Then get say Cain, Bowen or Wilkes for a blend of both tandems skills. Or smith if he keeps shooting well. For some reason I keep getting the feeling smith is going to be our combo 3/4. I am happy about to.

Poole has so many connections to a lot of our targets. Let’s see how good of a recruiter he is. Or who he can sway


Lots of measurements here


Dang. Jaren Jackson 6’10.5" // 220 lbs // 7’4.5" wingspan


No surprise as mutual interest seemed low, but no Michigan in Malik Williams’ top 8.


Confirmation from @MattD


A post was split to a new topic: 2017 - F - Donnie Tillman (Target)


Is there a case to be made that between Tillman, Livers, and Smith, the best option might actually be Smith under the assumption all would slot in at the four? Do we think he can defend the position adequately? Offensively, I think he is probably the best fit of the group for UM at that spot given his versatility and ability to stretch the floor…


I’m not sure Smith has the size, or more importantly, the lower body base, to be able to defend at the 4. I saw Smith live several weeks ago. He looked about 6’6" to me, and I’m more confident of that guess than I otherwise would be because I was with a friend who is almost 6’4" (just measured as part of a physical) and Smith was standing next to my friend at a break in the action. More to the point, he doesn’t seem to have much thickness in the lower body. One thing our undersized 4s (Novak, GR III, Irvin, etc.) have had in common is sufficient base so that they don’t get pushed off the low block. I’m not sure Smith has, or will develop, that base.

I like Smith, and would be happy to get him. He could certainly be a 3, and if he could develop his lower body sufficiently or grow height wise, he might be capable of being a 4. However, personally, I would want a clear 4 in the class along with him.


I would echo this sentiment. I know JB doesnt get too hung up on positions sometimes, but I think there are clearly two groups of forwards that he is recruiting:
3’s/Wings: Cain, Wilkes, Smith, Bowen
4’s/PFs: Young, Tillman, Jackson, Livers
There maybe some overlap there but I think generally the “wings” bring a different skill set than the “PFs” and the wings are generally smaller guys who would have a tough time guarding the 4 on another team


6 posts were split to a new topic: 2017 - G/F - Anthony Gaines (Target)


I know a lot of people were big Malik Williams fans, he’s off to Louisville.


On the Victors board someone mentioned Webb said there is two tiers of recruits, the first one is Wilkes, Bowen and Jackson who JB will wait for in the spring. The other one has everyone else in it and the first one to commit gets the one spot.

Thoughts, did anyone hear the recruiting roundup?


I heard that and it makes sense. Even though we may not have a great shot with the 5 star guys you might as well save the last spot for one until the spring. If they don’t jump there would still be other options available in the spring including giving the spot to Donnal.

My only caveat to that is I wouldn’t hold a spot for them if you got one of the second tier wings AND then Young wanted to commit. I think Young should be a take at that point.

But for the second tier wings, I think it’s the first one to commit and then wait till spring.