2017 Recruiting Notes


I would presume the same as Smith, but that’s purely speculation on my part. Cain was not mentioned.


You snooze, you lose.


Well I definitely don’t want to hear the Beilein critics complain about him taking the easy road with recruiting anymore.


Which is Smith to a T.


Trying to be optimistic here, is there any chance this speaks to some insight that we may have a better shot with Wilkes or Bowen than we think?

Maybe we have the dogs to recruit Bowen now with Livers and Poole both having strong relationships and maybe we know we’re in Wilkes top 5 already?

Or maybe that’s as crazy as it sounds haha


That doesnt sound crazy. Maybe i am just as hopeful as you but this sounds like a low risk situation. If we consider the limited scholarships in '18, I like the swing for the fences or bank mentality.

Also, I really like banking on Poole’s ability to recruit. The kid seems charismatic and if he is Bowen’s ear all year, it certainly couldnt hurt our chances


Fully agreed, and you won’t hear it from me if they stick to this thinking and don’t waver – even if we dont get bowen or wilkes. gotta hit some home runs at some point if you want to ascend to the higher tiers in the sport, and have to be capable of swinging hard enough to do so. This move may look poor in retrospect but I don’t think we know that answer for 2-3y. Definitely signals a change and i’m 100% for it.

Given the range of talent we have taken in the last 2-3y, I wouldn’t have expected to be in the position where this was even possible. W/o judging this specific decision, JB+staff have made some big strides and raised the bar to even have the decision to consider.


I’m generally ok with this decision to swing for the fences, but I think that mentality is partly why our roster situation is what it is. Starting in the 2014 class, we seemed to focus our early offers almost exclusively on the type of instant-impact players that everyone was after. When those players chose to go elsewhere late in the game, we were left scrambling.

I actually like the approach to the 2017 class. Grab some solid, if unspectacular, high major prospects early and save 1 spot for an instant-impact guy. I think we can win big with this approach.


I think Bowen is a super long shot, but we have a chance (albeit against tough competition) for Wilkes.

Also, we have a ton of 2/3 guys in 2017 - MAAR, Duncan, Mathews, Watson, Poole. Adding a sixth guy to that mix would create a ton of competition for playing time. Sure, Duncan and MAAR leave, but if we add Ryan and Carmody in 2018, then you again have at least five guys competing at the 2/3, and that’s NOT including another 2017 kid.

Of course, you have to take a five star talent. Just saying that we are actually in a great position to sit tight and simply bank the scholarship if we want. Give me a 2018 class of Johns, Ryan and Carmody, maybe add Cohill to that if we have some attrition, and the roster looks really good IMO.


We are in a good position right now to sit and wait for a late 5 star decision. We don’t have a pressing need that needs to be secured. You never know what might open up later. The Dukes and Kentucky’s of the world can’t take everyone.


You nailed the difference - we swung for the fences in 2014-2016. In 2016, aiming a little lower, I would bet we could have easily had a class including Kyle Guy, Kevin Huerter, and Quentin Goodin. Whether that would be better or worse than the class we actually signed remains to be seen.

But when elite recruits seem to be highly interested, what do you do, say no? Imagine the flak JB would have taken if he didn’t even reciprocate that interest.


Ugh, that hypothetical 2016 class just pains me, especially considering the Langford debacle.

But, that hypothetical class–at least in terms of ranks–is pretty similar to what we are brining into 2017 (especially if you include Matthews), and I love how this class is coming along so I am glad with the recruiting philosophy change.

And yeah, the only way JB wont take flak is if he recruits AND lands 5 stars. Otherwise, it’s either “He didin’t even try to get them” or “He wasted time recruiting talent that he never even had a chance at landing.”


Regardless of how likely it is that we land the 5 star talent, you’d have to think that JB and staff are making an ‘educated’ decision. Who knows just how confident they are, but they must like their chances enough to take the risk.

I like Smith’s game enough that I think it would’ve been smart to take him and plan on him playing the 3; I just dont see a ton of overlap between his game and Livers’ game, so I dont understand why taking Livers means we cant/shouldnt take Smith.

While the 5 star talent is tempting, I think it is the promise that the 18 class is showing, that really relieves some anxiety about ‘moving on’ from a kid of Smith’s caliber. As has been stated below, we dont ‘need’ Smith for roster construction, so we could bank the scholarship (give it to Mark or find a graduate transfer for 2017) and keep it for the top 100 kids we are recruiting for 18.


I like the path the coaches are taking here. It might not pan out, but I agree with the underlying risk/ benefit analysis. Over the long haul this way of recruiting will put us in a good position to land a 5 star. I don’t at all feel bad for the 3 star players that had a chance to commit and waited. A few of them should have thought of themselves as lucky to have offers…


Agree with this, it’d be what makes the most sense. We’ve got two guys with close relationships to Bowen. That could be a huge factor and it makes sense that JB would be willing to gamble on it.


Yea it is going to be very interesting to see how this all shakes out in a few years. Its not unlike when we were recruiting Walton, Morrris and Jackson. All were quality players and similarly ranked and Walton ended up being the first to jump.

I can’t really blame the staff for taking Livers commit. Bird in the hand is usually the way to go with similar players.

And I think it makes sense at this point to save a spot for the 5 star guys until the Spring. If they go elsewhere then the staff can reevaluate whether they want to take another wing or save the spot for 2018.


Hoping this isn’t true, lol



I wouldn’t put too much weight into what that guy says. I doubt he has any actual sources.


I don’t agree with the need to fill depth at the Wing with the 17 class. Eliminating the 2 PGs the '17-18 roster looks to have 7 players for the 2-3-4 spots — including high minutes guys in MAAR, Robinson, and potentially Matthews. And the '18-19 roster looks to have 5 (not counting the likelihood of one of Ryan/Carmody/Cohill committing in the '18 class). Remember Beilein likes to cut down to an 8 or 9 man rotation in conference season, so available minutes are sparse on the wings.

Smith may turn in to a fine college player, but he was not likely to crack the rotation in '17-18 and an outside shot to even crack the rotation in '18-19.

The situation lined up real well this year to take out a lottery ticket chance on a game-changing 5* talent like Bowen or Wilkes. And if the staff misses, roll the scholarship to 2018 — which isn’t a bad fallback if the coaches feel Cohill/Carmody/Ryan are more talented players than Smith/Cain/etc group this year. Plus Donnal on a 5th year wouldn’t be the worst use of the 13th scholarship spot, either.


I think this is the right move, despite the fact that I like Smith and Cain and think that Bowen and Wilkes are long shots. The guys we have in this recruiting group–Poole, Brooks, Livers, and I’ll count Matthews as well–are all very good players, but we could use a super, and we don’t need Smith or Cain to fill a need on the roster. Both are very good players, like the guys we have, but neither climbs into that superstar category. I’d wait for a super. If, for some reason, we need another very good player in the spring, we may well be able to find one anyway.

The one kid I can’t decide about in terms of an instant take is Nojel Eastern. He’s not a Bowen/Wilkes level player, but he is very unique. He might be a take for me, and one we’d have a better chance at than Bowen or Wilkes, but he too is not deciding until spring.

The other advantage of waiting is that the staff will hav a better feeling of how good Ibi Watson is by then, and thus what our needs might be. Personally, I think he’s going to exceed expectations, but that’s a guess until practice begins in earnest, and even then, it’s somewhat questionable until the lights come on.