2019 - G - Mark "Rocket" Watts (Former Target)


Jordan poole would make him “not be intrigued”?


Agree. I tried to point out to a fellow poster a week or so ago that he was looking at recruiting through the eyes of a mature adult and not an 18 year old kid. Who knows what their priorities are or what will impress them.


Well, we can objectively quantify how many Michigan players have been drafted under John Beilein, and where those players were ranked as recruits.

See this Gary Parrish article: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/is-john-beilein-the-best-at-turning-lowly-recruits-into-lottery-picks/amp/

The great thing is, the article was written in 2014 and since that time, we have had Caris LeVert, DJ Wilson, Derrick Walton, Mo Wagner, and now Duncan Robinson make the NBA. That’s an incredible track record. And we’ll probably add Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole to that list in the next year or two.

I understand that’s not how recruits and their families necessarily make decisions. But I am saying that if making the NBA is your top goal (and, by the way, winning a lot of games, making deep tourney runs, and attending a great school in the process), picking schools with track records of underachieving with both player development and draft status is a bad move. Baylor - a bad move. Period. That school has been plagued with serious scandals for 15 years, there’s no way Scott Drew was getting players legitimately, and they flame out in the tourney every year. You give John Beilein their rosters over the past 10 years and he probably wins 1-2 national championships. I think it’s really this simple - if Beverly picks Michigan, he has a good chance of developing into an NBA player, and if he picks Baylor, he doesn’t.


I was thinking about the law school example too. If you wanted to go into politics in Louisiana, would you choose Columbia or Tulane or even LSU? How about if you just wanted to live and work in New Orleans? Although the top schools are best in general, other schools can be better for some purposes. There’s also the issue of where you want to live for three years of school and not always having that decision yours alone to make.

It’s not a close analogy to choosing a school for basketball, just showing that different people have different factors to consider in making their choices. Some that we might ignore because they don’t apply to us.


When Jordan made mistakes, he came out. Whether it be for a poor shot or a defensive lapse, and he and Beilein have admitted that much several times over. He needed to learn the system. If you’ve ever seen Rocket live, he’s Jordan Poole juiced up. LOTs of questionable shots and sub par defense at times. Beilein doesn’t give a kid a advantage coming in as freshman higher ranked. We all know this. It’s equal footing or as close to equal footing as there is anywhere.

Rocket is phenomenal. He might be the top scorer in the country. Top 3 at worst in my eyes that’s as low as he can be. But being a elite scorer means generally that you throw caution to the wind regarding shot selection. For him that is definitely the case. So yeah, I can see him maybe being put off by Poole’s PT this year. It’s not a perfect fit but there is enough there to make a connection. And it’s just speculation regarding that. I was just throwing a hypothetical out about possible reasons Rocket would not consider going to Michigan outside of shadier reasons someone hinted at. I try not to put those into the reason ever for any recruit. It makes people begin to dislike kids for things that likely aren’t true at all and we won’t know Forsure anyway.


First, this is the Rocket Watts thread so not sure why Baylor/Beverly are at the front of your discussion. Second, Michigan hasn’t offered Beverly. Baylor offered him a year ago and @BP3 outlined a lot of the reasons why Baylor/X are strong in his recruitment in this post

2019 - G - Harlond Beverly (Target)

Again, no one is disputing Michigan’s track record for drafted players over the last few years. Just the idea that because of those drafted players, anyone would be crazy to not go to Michigan. There can be a near-infinite list of things that go into the decision making process.

Maybe a player’s mom or a player is more comfortable with a certain head coach or assistant coach. Maybe an assistant coach has a deep bond to a player’s HS or AAU coach that establishes a level of trust that others can’t get to. Maybe 70 degree winters sound better than 15 degree winters. Etc. etc.


You are spot on, JB does not tolerate turning the ball over. This also leads to winning games with additional possessions which is why he gets paid. Regardless of what happens I believe he stays with kids that are team first and development focused that protects the winning culture.


Right, but can you think of even one NBA-related reason why Baylor would be a better choice?


Baylor will give him more early playing time.
They will let him play through mistakes.
They will tailor their offense to his strengths.
He won’t have to play catch up learning a difficult system.
He doesn’t have to share the ball with Jordan Poole.

That’s a combination of sales pitches and facts.

We might be thinking about making the NBA differently than a lot of these kids do. We can point to a lot of players that Beilein has developed into NBA draft picks. That so many weren’t that heralded as recruits impresses us even more. It surely impresses a lot of recruits too.

But what about the kids who think they already have NBA level skills? Instead of development, they might mostly be looking for a place where they can show what they can do. Can you give one reason Michigan would be a better choice for his becoming a one and done?


Bingo. :point_up:


Sure, but how many 6’1" guys outside the top 30 with no interest from Duke, KY, etc., will get to the NBA as long as they have a place to hoist shots? Not nearly as many as think they will. Perhaps both sides of this discussion are right: that’s what many kids think, but most of those kids are wrong. Sometimes you gotta learn the hard way though, no shame in that.

This is an interesting quote for me. Again, I sort of agree, but I get the feeling Beilein would have some insights to share off the record. I really don’t think Beilein would ever say, “you’re going to be freshman of the year.” And I wonder if some of UM’s long term success is getting guys who aren’t necessarily won over by those sorts of sales pitches.


Again, nothing I’m really saying in here is meant to pertain to any one recruit.

Recruiting is mostly about sales and networking (relationships). There’s a reason that Michigan was able to get involved with Jalen Wilson or DJ Carton (Yaklich’s relationships with their coaches). There’s a reason that Xavier is going to be involved with just about every kid who comes out of REACH, etc. That’s the networking part.

This idea that selling a kid on a role and a plan for his development somehow makes him a kid that wants to take shortcuts or isn’t a good teammate is also bush league to me. Everyone is selling a plan to a kid and some people just buy into someone’s plan better than others. Michigan is preaching their player development and coming in to be a “wolf” etc.

Just because someone sees a better opportunity at another school doesn’t mean they don’t want to compete for a spot or whatever else.


I didn’t mean to suggest that a 17-year old that believes he has the skills for the NBA is a bad teammate. And immediate playing time can be a good in it of itself, regardless of whether it leads to the NBA. Who doesn’t want to play? And there are plenty of reasons to play for teams other than Michigan, some “logical” and some “emotional,” nothing wrong with any of them (as long as they don’t break the rules of course).

But it is fairly well-known that JB approaches this “relationship-building” aspect of recruiting a little differently. I do think there’s a difference between telling a kid “we think you can be a guy who hunts shots in our offense and whoever is best will play,” and “you’re going to be big ten freshman of the year.” Doesn’t mean the kids who want option b are bad or wouldn’t do great at Michigan too.

And some depends on timing and class size. Michigan had some big and talented classes coming in at wing in '17 and '18. Carton could see the difference in depth charts at UM vs OSU.

p.s. No “bush league” opinions here.


Certain posters would argue to the death the shade of oranged that is a basketball.


Neither Beverly nor Watts are one and done talents. Let’s get real.

Second, Baylor is hardly Rutgers. (But as I say that, what a great example - how has being “the man” worked out for Corey Sanders?). They have good players and they’re not going to hand anything to anyone without it being earned.

You’re going to have to share the ball wherever you go, and usually it’s a good thing. How did sharing the ball work out for Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson, and Caris Levert when they all played together? Oh yeah - all of them looked great, we had an awesome offense, we made the Elite Eight, and all those guys made the NBA.

Playing for a successful team, in a good offense, where you show you’re a good passer in addition to being a good scorer, is seen as a good thing in the NBA. Everyone knows that if you shoot the ball 30 times a game, you’ll probably score 25 points. That’s not valued by the NBA at all. Efficiency and intelligence is.

Very few kids have the ability to be one-and-done first round draft picks. If that’s the mindset of either Beverly or Watts, that’s their first mistake. And their second mistake, if they happen to feel that way, is that sharing the ball or showing you’re a good teammate and a smart player is somehow detrimental. It’s the exact opposite. Coach Beilein doesn’t like turnovers? No kidding. Neither do the pros.

If kids in the 50-150 range are realistic about their present abilities, and which coaches can develop their skills and basketball IQ to a level where the pros want them, Michigan is a 100%, no-brainer choice over Baylor.


Thanks for the explanation. Makes more sense.


Well, Poole was playing behind a very good player (MAAR) and the team itself made the title game. Those are valid reasons, and any good coach would have treated it similarly.

And we have had TONS of freshmen stars who played immediately under JB. Manny, Trey, Nik, Hardaway, GR3, etc.


As a coach at the high school level, and close connection with a JUCO coach and former grad asst. at Baylor–I can tell you… pretty much every kid who is even lightly recruited in HS honestly believes they’re headed to the NBA. My best players always are sure they’re “going to make it”–even some of them who have matriculated to low tier JUCOs are still convinced. “Man, if I just get the right opportunity/coach/system to show my game…”

When you are that young, dominate often, have adult strangers making youtube vids/asking you for interviews, and have high profile coaches even in the same gym as you–you think it’s going to be easy. And, even the young athletes who are aware that their mid major offers/low tier power 5 means the odds are long, most are convinced that they are the exception. I think that confidence kind of comes with the territory as an elite athlete–not knocking it. All this is to say that we are going to be analyzing these decisions through a much different lens. Critiquing one’s choice becomes hard then.


Recruiting is about relationships and salesmanship.

Is this not universally known?


You’re misrepresenting what he said, which was “But what about the kids who think they already have NBA level skills?”

It doesn’t matter what the reality of the situation is, it only matters what they think.

As has been said several times in here, you bring up objectively good points for why Michigan would be a better situation in the long run. However, the 17 year old kids don’t always view things from the perspective that you do. He might think it’s a better situation to just be given the ball and be told “Hey, do something” even if it’s probably not for a guy like him. You don’t have to convince us of anything regarding the two schools and the odds of the NBA from each. He might also just dislike that he was a plan B here and a plan A there. Maybe he just connects with their coach more. There’s many reasons why one would choose somewhere over another.