2017 Recruiting Notes


I totally agree. Something has got to change. I don’t like groce the coach, but he is a great recruiter because he is all over these kids and praises them. It’s starting to annoy me that we seem to be losing on kids because of our approach is still old school. I just cannot believe a kid would want to play at Illinois over Michigan that isn’t from the state.


In my 4 months of doing this heavily - the number one factor almost universally without doubt is ‘the love’. Kids want to feel prioritized and needed. Playing time is #2: System is rarely even a thought for most upper tier kids unfortunately, because they’re confident enough to think they can succeed in any system


This is the first day in a couple weeks that I’ve cared to read these threads. No idea what those of you who complain about MattD are looking for in a forum. He brings info, insight, and debate. Yes please.

2017 - F - Jamal Cain (Offer)

I totally agree. I hope we figure something out soon. I know groce personally, I love the person he is and kids are attracted to high energy/love he shows them every single day. I don’t like groce the coach but he is such a fun guy to be around.


Thanks, I really liked chapman. His inability to become a shooter seemed to kill him at UM. He looked great passing from the high post. Hope he finds success. Thanks for sharing.


Given how intelligent he is I would like to think Beilein would take some ideas from Harbaugh. Recruiting energy, the fancy “offer” letters more so than early offers or climbing trees.

Any hope from our new coaches on this part?


Billy Donlon is the POLAR opposite from JB. Brings fire, passion, and accountability in his coaching style. Whether or not he relates to the kids, I can’t really say to be honest. But you can often find him actually playing pickup ball with the kids.

In terms of offers, JB is calling the shots, and it is a pure dictatorship in that regard. Assistants may make recommendations, but nobody gets offered until JB sees them, I don’t care how good they are or how far we lag behind in terms of time.


Football recruiting is so different than basketball recruiting. Beilein is not Harbaugh and never or ever will be Harbaugh.

I’ll give you an interesting Beilein story from his days at LeMoyne and Canisius. He recruited Darrell Barley while at LeMoyne but couldn’t get him into school even though Beilein thought he was a very good player. He told Darrell that he had to stop recruiting him. After the season was over, Beilein got the Canisius job. His first phone call was to Barley. He wanted him at Canisius. Barley was extremely confused because he couldn’t get in to LeMoyne but now Beilein wanted him at a D1 school. Barley ended up at Canisius and became one of their better players of all time.

He is generally up front and honest with the kids and their families, while most coaches skirt the truth. That has cost him many recruits including a few kids that have wanted to verbally commit to his program.

He has a different way of doing things and always had. I almost compare him to a “basketball rainman” for his dealings with how practices are run, how he prepares, and how he recruits. He isn’t for everybody and not everyone is for him.


And I know its a touchy subject for most people here, but that’s where the term ‘swag’ comes in. We simply don’t have it, and probably won’t as long as John Beilein is the coach at UM. Not a knock on him, its just not who he is. Jim Harbaugh is swag on steroids, and kids are begging to play for him despite the complete mess we were under Hoke/RR. And I know some of you would like to think that swag doesn’t mean much, but it means A LOT to 14-17 year old kids.


I agree with the honesty portion 100%. Nearly every recruit I’ve spoken with praises him for that, unfortunately it just doesn’t make much impact in terms of the end result. John Beilein works extremely hard in the evaluation phase of coaching as well, he stays much longer at live evaluation events in relation to other head coaches.


One of the hardest things for Beilein is that, at times, he still thinks he is a JUCO or D3 coach. He evaluates EVERYONE. He doesn’t need to but he does. John Mahoney (his former assistant) would get so mad at him because he would talk about half the players on a team that he watched after Mahoney told him to watch a specific kid.


John Beilein stays for entire games and is attentive. Other coaches may stay 10-15 minutes and spend 5 minutes texting. It really stood out to me in Vegas when JB was front row for Dream Vision vs. Team Loaded for Donnie Tillman, and Donnie was putting on an absolute show before going down with a hamstring injury (had 13pts in first 10 mins)…JB stayed for the entire game despite that fact that it was clear Donnie was not re-entering the game. He presumably did this just to see what kind of teammate/person Donnie was.


That’s the old adage: “head coaches make decisions, assistant coaches make suggestions”

JB is (rightly) calling the shots as HC. His rules for offers are:
1)Beilein sees you play
2) you’ve gotten an academic tour on campus
3) must be after sophomore year

Right? (Add whatever I missed). So how could we add “love” or “swag” within that framework? That’s where I’d like to see growth. (I agree we lack swag, which has hurt our on court product by not appealing to enough swaggy [I hate that I said swaggy] guys).


Unrelated recruiting question since I know it bugs people in our recruiting strategy. How many players in the NCAA or even big ten end up playing for a school they’ve never visited? Did umhoops, or anyone ever sort through that data and publish?


Kyle Wiltjer committed to Kentucky before visiting and that might be the only one I can think of.


I don’t mind players having to visit to get an offer. I mind waiting so long to get involved and a lot of players we target. I don’t believe in only going after 5*s by any means but our current roster is not very well put together imo and that has to fall on someone’s shoulders. I like beilein probably more than anyone as a coach. The recruiting is starting to irk me though. I don’t understand why no big time guys want to come here, I don’t get it.


Which B1G hoops coaches have “swag”? I can’t think of even one.


I see that livers is now ranked #76 by ESPN. Does anyone know what they had him ranked before the updates?

  1. That’s why I say these rankings are getting ridiculous. I’ve done a TON of work with Livers (he actually broke the UM commitment news to me before anyone), and I like the pickup. But to think that Livers is #76, while Cain is NR on ESPN is crazy in every sense of the word. For more context, Livers is higher than Eastern as well.


That’s a lot of bold lol. I love livers’ game a whole lot. He’s a perfect 4 man that can shoot pretty well. I think he will be a key asset for us in a few years. His body already looks good and Sanderson can always make it even better.