General Recruiting/JB Philosophy Thread

The other thread was getting bombarded with recruiting strategy type comments, so let’s just make this thread the catch all for general recruiting/JB philosophy posts to the extent readers don’t have to be subjected to off topic posts in other threads.

I’ll start it off by acknowledging JB has made an effort to target more multi dimensional players and good athletes in the 16 class. Hopefully it pays dividends

For those that want to create the narrative that Amaker couldn’t recruit I present the data below. Perhaps players didn’t improve under Tommy, which is a fair criticism, but to say he wasn’t a good recruiter is utter garbage. In 6 seasons, he nabbed 8-11 top 100 players (depending on whihc service you prefer), or 8 top 100 guys, with 4 additonal top 150 players (again depending on which service you prefer).

2002 - very good recruiting, 3 top 100 recruits

Daniel Horton - #17 overall & # 2 PG (Scout)/4 Star & #7 PG (Rivals)
Lester Abram - #48 overall & #12 SF (Scout)/3 Star # 12 SF (Rivals - this is before they did a top 150)
Chris Hunter - #91 overall & #19 PF (Scout)/3 Star #8 C(Rivals - before they did a top 150)
Graham Brown - NR & #87 PF (Scout)/NR on Rivals

2003 - excellent recruiting, 3 top 100 recruits

Dion Harris - #23 overall & #5 SG (Scout)/#28 overall & #3 SG (Rivals)
Courtney Sims - #43 overall & #9 C (Scout)/#36 overall & #16 C (Rivals)
Brent Petway - #68 overall & #14 PF (Scout)/#71 overall & #16 PF (Rivals)

2004 - decent, one borderline top 100 recruit

Ronald Coleman - #28 SG (Scout)/#95 overall & #26 SG (Rivals)

2005 - above average recruting, 2 top 150 recruits

Kendric Price - #71 overall & #16 SF (Scout)/#126 overall & #29 SF (Rivals)
Jevon Sheopard - #97 overall & #22 SG (Scout)/#125 overall
Jarret Smith - #50 PG(Scout)/3 star (Rivals)

2006 - above average, 1 top 100 recruit and 3 role player/3 star types

Deshawn Sims - #32 overall & #9 SF(Scout)/#31 overall & #6 PF (Rivals)
Ekpe Udoh - #36 PF/3 Star (Rivals)
K’Len Morris - #43 SG (Scout)/3 Star & #46 SG (Rivals)
Anthony Wright - #112 SF (Scout)/3 Star (Rivals)

2007 - above average, 1 top 100 recruit and 1 borderline top 100-150 player

Manny Harris - #41 overall & #12 SF (Scout)/#34 overall & #6 SG(Rivals)/#38 ESPN
Kelvin Grady - #24 PG (Scout)/#107 overall (Rivals)/#39 PG (ESPN)

Add on a comment about how good 5 star basketball talent is

Last year’s NBA All Star game featured 17 players who were 5 stars by Rivals

The only ones who were not:
Steph Curry- NBA Dad
Dirk- Germany
Joe Johnson
Paul Millsap
Tony Parker- France
Damian Lillard

Also forgot Paul George

Here are things that Coach Beilein looks at while recruiting a kid (I worked for him for a year while at WVU and I know it’s changed since he’s been at Michigan but a lot of it is the same).

  1. Does he fit what they are looking for? At WVU, he said, “I want MAC All Conference guys.” He wanted guys that would be slightly under the radar (from high majors) but could really develop. I know it’s different at Michigan, he has a broader base to recruit from and has a stronger state when it comes to high school players. He felt that Michigan has a national name while WVU didn’t (relatively speaking).

  2. What does the transcript look at? He would back off immediately if the kid’s grades weren’t up to par, even as a sophomore. He didn’t want to worry about their academic performance. The NCAA Clearinghouse is a pain to deal with, it’s better to not have to worry about it. He also wanted to see if they could retain all the information that is involved in playing for him. His use of vocabulary (with names for different drills, cuts, and plays) while practicing and playing is unfathomable for most players and coaches.

  3. When is his birthday? His thought is that a younger kid would end up developing (mentally and physically) more once they get to college. I know it’s not always the case especially when you look at McGary and Irvin but he definitely looks into it.

I know there are many more things he looks at but those are a few that were extremely important while at WVU.

The number one thing I think any coach should look at is can the kid play…if the kid can’t play, the rest of those points are moot.

Don’t disagree with what you said Matt but if he doesn’t have the grades then he can’t play either, so it’s a 1A and 1B situation. And it’s not like Michigan is like Auburn (or most SEC schools) and would accept anyone that can spell their name correctly.

WVU was hot and heavy on a kid from Colorado that was supposed to be a Pittsnogle clone. His transcript actually had a downward trend at the end of his junior year and Coach Beilein backed off. The downward trend would’ve still got him admitted into school and would’ve gotten him through the Clearinghouse but Coach didn’t like it and the kid was moved down the list.

Another thing that is fascinating about Coach Beilein is that he evaluates all the players on the court. Which is completely unnecessary but that is just how he has done it for years. I have to think the assistants really make sure he is focusing on their top targets while going to a game but it’s something he has done since he was at Eric CC.

I actually remember him really liking Jamal Abu-Shamala (ended up playing at Minnesota) after seeing him in a tournament in Minnesota. Recruitment didn’t really go anywhere but he almost always came back with a name after going recruiting.

To kind of put it in perspective, Maryland was universally picked between 8-12 for the conference, and Dylan even scoffed at a few of us (including me) for claiming MD to be the most underrated team in the conference. Fast forward a month and MD is rolling right along…with their best player out. You know why…because they brought in a great recruiting class. Raw talent trumps system fit every time, plain and simple. You adjust the system to the player, not vice versa. Talent is the name of the game in every sport, and we need to seriously improve our talent/recruiting moving forward.

Matt, your stuff on Amaker is amusing. Are you a friend of his or something?

Again, all you’re doing is focusing on recruiting rankings, not actual talent.

Of the actual best players we have had over the last 13 years (Amaker to now), the top of the list is literally all Beilein players.

You call getting two top 150 players “above average recruiting,” yet you continue to bemoan this year’s effort with two top 75 players (Wilson and Chatman). It’s ridiculous. And those two top 150 players were Price and Shepard, two guys who literally couldn’t play a lick.

Let’s be honest - as you like to say. Burke, Stauskas, Hardaway, Levert, McGary, and even arguably Robinson are better than any players Amaker ever recruited, with the possible exception of Manny and DeShawn (I could arguably put each ahead of Glenn) - two guys JB developed and one guy (Manny) JB re-recruited.

Amaker definitely got some talented bigs (Sims, Hunter, Petway, Sims, Udoh), but did nothing at all with them.

At the guard and wing positions, it’s not even close.

I would rate our PGs as follows: (1) Burke; (2) Morris; (3) Horton; (4) Walton (and I give Walton a good shot of passing up Horton)

Wings: (1) Nik; (2) Hardaway; (3) Levert (may well pass Tim at the end of the year); (4) Manny; (5) Glenn; (6) Dion Harris; (7) Irvin (will definitely pass up Dion soon); (8) Lester Abram; and (9) Chatman - very likely to have a better career than Abram.

As far as the emphasis you place on talent alone, I don’t agree. And anyone who has watched Steve Lavin recruit and coach would probably agree with me. Of course talent is important. So is team chemistry and scheme. But hey, when you’ve won 700 games as a Division I head coach, I’ll take your criticisms of Beilein’s approach more seriously.

As far as the comment on five star talent, of course most scouts are able to identify the very elite guys who go on to become NBA all stars. It didn’t take a genius to figure out guys like Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose were elite talents.

But every year, there are about 20-25 “five star” guys. Not all of them turn out to be elite. In fact, some are just plain busts.

If you’re not going to be a prime competitor for those type of guys - and generally we are not with a few exceptions - you have to be able to find lower ranked guys who can perform like elite talents even if they are not rated that way. This staff has so far identified and signed guys like Morris, Hardaway, Burke, Levert, Stauskas, Walton and Irvin - all guys ranked in the 40-100 or higher range. The only “elite” recruits we have gotten (in terms of rankings) are Glenn, Mitch and Chatman.

Finally, even many of our role player recruits (Spike, Morgan, Novak, Stu) have far outperformed their recruiting rankings.

The hypocrisy of this guy is comical. In the 1/4 review thread he states that recruiting rankings aren’t accurate (I agree they are meaningless) but then goes on to cite top 100 players with their respective rankings that have been signed under JB as proof that JB can recruit…how inconsistent is that?

I’ve consistently maintained that I don’t care about rankings, and my analysis about players like Booker, Nance Jr, Grantham, Towns, Leaf, Irvin, absolutely back that up. I look at film and live games (when given the opportunity) to determine how good I think any given recruit is.

If you want to say JB players turned out to be better in College, I have no issue with that, but to say Amaker didn’t bring in talent is downright stupidity. With the bigs it’s not even questionable, Amaker by far brought in more talent, and I don’t think many will take issue with that. With guards/wings, can we honestly say Burke, Morris, or Walton were better than Horton coming out of HS? I doubt it. If you want to say they were better college Players, then you may have an argument with Trey, but thats about it. Again though, you are attempting to change the criteria to fit your BS narrative. This thread is about recruiting and obtaining talent out of HS, and Tommy was better at doing it.

Wings - can anyone in their right mind say that Caris, Irvin and THJ were better than Manny and Lester out of HS? Nik was the only one on that level and it was a wash in my opinion because Nik was certainly more skilled but those two were far superior athletes. Coleman was an amazing defender out of HS and a good 3 point shooter, basically a more valuable Irvin but with a lower ranking. You can’t use GR3 as a wing because he was a big under JB (another flaw of his ‘system’). Contrary to what you may think Sheopard was very talented out of HS, but under JB, if you can’t shoot, you don’t play unless you are a 5…which is why we see Spike taking Chatman’s minutes.

Overall Amaker’s was vastly superior at bringing in talent in the frontcourt, JB has the nod on overall talent acquisition at the PG, and Amaker has the advantage on the wings.

Stop trying to blur college production with talent acquisition, they are distinct. If you want to say Tommy couldn’t develop then I have no issue with that (I actually agree), but to say he couldn’t recruit is dumb.

By the way, you want to talk about overrated…Chatman is the most overrated recruit in 2014 (I actually thought he would be much better as well), nowhere near a top 25 player.

Matt, agree with everything you said except one thing. GR3 was not a big. He covered bigs at times but he was clearly the 4 in the offense, which is the same exact thing as the 3 but just on the opposite side. Beilein did a lot of same things with GR3 as he did with Frank Young (6’5") at WVU. Spots are interchangeable.

I would label DeShawn Sims as a “big” because he actually played some 5 in the offensive system.

Here is one thing to keep in mind. UM has lost five guys to the NBA in the last two years. Never in his wild dreams did Beilein believe that that would happen. Not easy to recover from that for any coach. Look what is happening at Syracuse right now (Cuse also has players that were higher ranked out of HS). If you lose that amount of talent that quickly, the program is bound to take a step back.

I guess the big/small distinction is all about your criteria…my criteria is that you are who you guard, hence GR3 is a big (at UM anyway) in my view. I can agree that DeShawn could be labeled a big, but he spent a lot of time on the perimeter under JB as well…that one could go either way.

Just frustrating to see so many project types…guys that take 2 years before they are even ready to see the court, and 3 years before they are impact players…you simply can’t field good teams on a consistent basis if you don’t have instant impact guys…need to up our recruiting game if you ask me.

The team will be better in late February and March. They will win a few games no one thinks they will and they probably lose against teams they shouldn’t. The team reminds of Coach Beilein’s last team at WVU when they won the NIT. This team is still very young and inexperienced. Maybe the Arizona game is a true wakeup for the guys.

I believe the coaching staff was under the impression that Chatman would be an instant impact guy. He hasn’t lived up to the hype YET. He can still have a solid freshman year, just hasn’t got off to a good start. Still a lot of time left in the season and he will get better.

I know we keep saying there is a lot of time left (myself included), and I’m not ready to throw the towel in…that being said, a third of the season is over. For instance, even if Chatman improves, it would have to be a HUGE improvement for it to really impact our team’s success…marginal improvement from his current play does very little. Quite frankly, I think this year’s success boils down to our ability to hit semi-contested, deep 3s…and that’s a very scary thought. We simply don’t generate easy baskets

This is going to be very interesting going forward. I remember when people were thinking that recruits were shying away from us becauses of a perceived logjam in front of them. Now we have massive needs for 15 and 16 and significant PT available. The early entry attrition was hard to plan for realistically ( although that is the landscape now ) and left the staff scrambling. I actually think they desperately tried to restock but we’re left at the altar. We initially had a lot of big time offers out ( Booker, Blackmon, Dozier, Davis, Brunson, Coleman ) and the flirtation with Prince Ali and Jaylen Brown. For whatever reason nothing has went our way, and to me the question is why, and I think it is a legitimate one. What is the consensus reason that our offered prospects seem to willingly ignore our overtures and chose someone else? Is there a macro insight in recruits minds lately that is unidentifiable to the fan base as to their rejection? Damn, this is still a great university in my opinion, and the recent on court success is dynamite. I can’t help but wonder if a lot of kids just don’t relate well to JB, for whatever reason. Michigan should not be spurned so consistently IMO. The incredible amount of offers out for 16 would seem to belie a couple of future takers, especially with the open PT. Sure hope some of them come to fruition.

I’ve been hinting at this for months…I don’t think younger, urban kids, relate all that well with JB for a variety of reasons…I know people are really irked when I say that. Obviously I have no inside info, but it’s really not all that hard to envision based on JB’s cultural background, age, and conservative social nature. I think we generally tend to connect better with suburban kids, that aren’t as “tough” minded, and I think our signees reflect that.

The “I hate MattD”/"John Beilein is Jesus"posts should be placed here.

Beilein is a better recruiter than Amaker.

Being able to identify NBA talent (Morris, Burke, Hardaway, Stauskas, GRIII, McGary, LeVert) is a very crucial variable when discussing recruiting. To pretend like this variable is insignificant is simply pushing a specific (and a bit creepy) agenda.