2019 - G - Cole Bajema (Commit)


Jordan morgan.


Wasn’t that due to injury?


It’s just hard to understand why you are using as an example a player who was a late bloomer yet was still able to contribute as a Frosh. So like Caris but not really?
Wilson would be a much better example. He was forced to sit because of injury but really struggled when he did play and continued to do so as a Soph for the most part, so looking back you can argue he wasn’t ready.
Duncan also is a kid who wasn’t ready to play at the D1 level at 18 and now is getting a look with the Heat.
So there are examples. They just have nothing to do with Caris, who would be an example of a kid who even though super skinny was still good enough to contribute. That’s the hope for Bajema.


I don’t know much about Robinson in H.S.

I think DJ is a good example of a kid to gamble on that had a very good chance of blossoming.

I am using Caris as an almost premiere example of the type of late blooming kid to gamble on. There is, in my opinion, every year, a pool of H.S. Juniors who are not considered top 100 recruits almost entirely because they are late bloomers. Caris was one of those kids and was originally going to a mid major.

I don’t understand how Caris is a bad example of the type of kid I think we should gamble on when he was 1) not getting high major interest initially; and 2) he ended up really really good; 3) was an obvious late bloomer. I mean, does Caris become a better example of the type of late bloomer we should gamble on if he had: Less success? Less playing time relative to his teammates?

Hindsight is 20/20 but Caris is the type of kid we should have gambled on before he even committed to Ohio.

The first time I saw Caris play in college, I literally said, “this kid is going to go to the NBA after he goes through puberty.” It was half a joke but it was so obvious he was way behind the growth path of his teamates and yet he was holding his own.

Anyway, I think I have used up my allotted times I am allowed to use the word “puberty” for the day:) I am not sure how much more I want to defend my position. Besides, I kind of think JB already does what I am advocating for…


People are saying it is a bad example because everyone was debating redshirts. Caris didn’t redshirt and would have gone to the NBA early if he didn’t get hurt.


Again, Caris leaving early is not relevant in my point of view. Because the objective would not be to get a Caris LeVert or DJ Wilson to play a 5th year. The objective is to take a couple of recruiting risks per 4 year cycle with the fall back plan of red shirting late-blooming kids if they prove to not be ready to actually contribute their first year. It is debatable if Caris ever was a potential redshirt. What is not debatable is that Caris, prior to committing to Ohio, was not even considered the type of player a high major program would want to gamble on and even give a red shirt to–and yet that proved to be obviously wrong thinking… I think recruiting with the intent to redshirt, in a very limited way, is a worthwhile scheme to consider, because we might be able to win recruiting battles, for NBA types, against Ohio and Williams college something like 100% of the time.


You take risks on big guys not guards. Taking risks on guards could cost you your job.


I generally agree. And I think that has been JB’s m.o. too.

However, I do wonder if JB might start taking more risks, here and there, with guards, especially guards who seem to have the possibility of growing tall and the ability to play multiple positions, as our team, through more successful recruiting, gets more stacked, and the nature of the lineups creates less “guaranteed” or probable immediate playing time for incoming players. I would not be surprised if JB changes his recruiting dynamic to account for the changes in depth/ quality of future rosters. I wonder if the Bajema commitment might reflect a changing aspect created by our recent success in recruiting and projected depth.


Levert was moving toward redshirt until Vogrich made it clear he couldn’t cut it.

But he showed immediately that he was a guy that the colleges missed on as he was described to me as the second best off the dribble guy on his team; Burke being the best.

As redshirt candidates go, Levert was a fluke as a possibility.


Again, I am not arguing that Levert should have redshirted. The fact that Caris was considered a redshirt candidate at the time of his commitment (and beyond) is the relevant piece of info.


Maybe somebody knows something that I don’t, but I never got the impression that when Levert was recruited it was with a thought that he would or might redshirt; redshirt whispers came after there was a chance to evaluate the roster.

At this level, you don’t prioritize guys who you don’t believe will play as freshman, especially given how fluid the roster situations have become.


I wouldn’t say that Caris was prioritized. Her was a late pick-up using an available schollie. I believe that Benji Burke tipped Beilein off on Caris. I agree that he wasn’t recruited as a definite red shirt, but as someone for whom that would be a real option, given his body and pedigree. As you’ve said, once the staff saw him practice, they realized quickly that he wouldn’t be a red shirt candidate.


My memory is that the whispers were there from the minute he committed. Beilein later seemed to confirm that by openly saying he wanted to redshirt Caris:

With Doyle and Davis, Beilein definitely discussed the possibility of a redshirt up front, so it’s not out of character for Beilein to take a commit with the redshirt as a likely option.
But to bring this back to Bajema, there’s still no reason to think that he is a redshirt candidate or that has been part of the discussion. They need depth at the 2G with no proven backup there. While he’s skinny, he’s not raw skill wise as they once described Caris and it’s way too early to predict what he will look like 15 months from now.


There you go, Maker. Ruining a perfectly good debate by introducing facts. :slightly_smiling_face:


I don’t really get what’s going on in this thread.

@gtfomycourt’s point seems to be about prioritizing people at different points in their development which is fine, but that’s not recruiting guys with the idea that they will redshirt. You want everyone to be able to play, realize some people might not.

As far as Caris, talking about potentially redshirting a guy who you sign in May is a bit different because you are going to ride out the open scholarship otherwise.

I get that Beilein considers it in November when guys might be out of the rotation, I just think the eventual benefit is pretty limited to use RS’s in this day and age with roster turnover, grad transfers, etc.


It sounds like we can agree that there is a potential upside to taking a risk on a late-bloomer twice per 4 year cycle; then maybe I am missing the downside of redshirting 1 out of 26 scholarship spots over the course of 2 year cycles. When only 9 or 10 will likely play meaningful minutes and given we are moving toward having 10 or 11 very college ready players for the foreseeable future , and given you can burn a redshirt at anytime, then, what is the downside in your mind of recruiting with the intent to redshirt 1/26 scholarship spots over a 2 year cycle?


This redshirt conversation has gotten so strange. It keeps jumping around and I don’t even know what we are talking about anymore.

Cole Bajema isn’t redshirting and I look forward to watching him continue to develop before he comes in Ann Arbor.


We should move the redshirt posts to the Ad Nauseum Debate thread.


I do not want to add another post this thread either. I am annoying myself :slight_smile:


Jamal Crawford’s pro-am league is in action this weekend. CB’s playing for Bellingham Slam.