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


I gotta say, I don’t see the appeal of any of those programs - other than the obvious, which I won’t mention explicitly.


Well Watts has been pretty clear about wanting to play a ton right away and having a green light to be himself for awhile now, and based on those statements it honestly makes sense why those schools are ahead of Michigan and MSU. Beilein and Izzo aren’t the types to typically do that.


Yeah, every time I see Watts I get the impression he wants unlimited shot attempts and guaranteed PT in college.I.E., be himself.

Just don’t see him at M.


Beilein runs one of the best offenses in the country which has produced multiple pros at the PG and wing positions, with Matthews and Poole likely to join the ranks next.

I literally can’t think of an FSU point guard who has made the NBA since Charlie Ward. Maybe I’m overlooking someone.

Our wings and guards get PLENTY of shot opportunities. If he just wants to play for a team that runs no offense, and he wants to shoot 25 times a game, so be it, but it’s unlikely to impress any scouts at the next level.


You aren’t the kid in the position he is though. Every kid sees different paths to the next level. He thinks the place he can get the most PT and shots right away is the answer. Not saying I agree but that seems to be his preference. It has worked well for him so far all things considering too. All he has to do is point at Jordan Poole to make him not be intrigued because he had a maverick score first style too. I’m not saying I disagree with your arguments but look at it from his view and how he’s been raised to play and think on the court.


I keep seeing arguments about the validity of this recruiting pitch or that. When someone presents some information about how a kid might feel about this or thay, you have to remember that they aren’t saying it because they necessarily believe in the pitch.

Recruiting is sales. It isn’t just simply plugging in a bunch of factors and spitting out the result. It is about where an 18 year old kid (and everyone in his decision making group) is comfortable with and can see himself attending college. It’s an emotional decision as much as it is a factual decision.


I suppose.

I mean, when I was applying to both undergrad and law school, I visited a lot of schools. Ultimately, though, the academic standing of the school was a much more important factor for me than my emotional connection to any given school.

To put it bluntly, teams like UConn, FSU, Mississippi, and Baylor are, for the most part, poorly coached, don’t win much, and don’t turn out pros consistently. The pros they do turn out (for example, Johnathan Isaac at FSU) are guys that never needed much development.

Returning to the law school example, it would be like picking Illinois (a decent law school) over Columbia (a great one). Almost no one does that.

If you’re a top 50-100 player and want to make the NBA, Michigan has a far better track record of getting guys like that drafted than anyone else, and it’s really not close.


What if your wife had a great opportunity there? What if your family was close to there? What if a professor there was a very close family friend?

Picking a school to play basketball at isn’t the same as law school or undergrad and there are thousands of reasons that a school could be a better fit for a player than strictly looking at it technically.

And saying some school is “poorly coached” is not a black and white thing. It can be up for debate and obviously will be sold differently by different schools.

I’m just trying to point out that the actual merits of those debates really have no impact on recruiting, or a very small one, and you can’t just fall back on that in every recruiting thread and say well it is a no-brainer that player X or player Y should come to Michigan, etc.


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.