Saturday, April 14, 2012

Michigan No Longer Recruiting Amedeo Della Valle

Earlier last week, Michigan's recruitment of Amedeo Della Valle ended abruptly.  There had been a good amount of excitement building for Della Valle as he was scheduled to visit campus on this weekend and was the only real point guard prospect remaining for Michigan in the 2012 recruiting class.  However, he tweeted this that Michigan had stopped recruiting him.  The move seemed as surprising to him as it has been to many fans of the program.

Although there were some obvious factors that led to this development, such as Trey Burke's return next season and Spike Albrecht's commitment, it is still surprising to see this sudden end to Della Valle's recruitment.  Beilein and the coaching staff seemed quite interested in getting a commitment from him, but that interest must have been outweighed by Burke's return and the potential to get some higher rated recruits in the 2013 and 2014 classes.

Now, the big question; is this a good or a bad move for Michigan?  A lot of people are going to say this is a good move for Michigan, but I actually disagree with this opinion.  Is this move that's going to destroy any Michigan team (present or future)?  Probably not.  However, I think it could have some unintended consequences and damages for the 2013-2014 season.

One might ask why I believe that Della Valle could have helped the 2013 Michigan basketball team.  The biggest reasons are depth and experience.  Take a look at what is expected to be the next two seasons point guard depth for the Wolverines:

Trey Burke (So)
Derrick Walton (Fr)
2nd String
Eso Akunne (Sr)
Spike Albrecht (RS Fr/So)
3rd String
Spike Albrecht (Fr)

The big thing to note from this list is that I'm assuming Burke is going to go pro after next season and that there is a possibility that Spike is redshirted next season, although this is extremely far from being official.  We don't know how prepared Spike is for college ball and we can't assume Akunne's readiness after a season-ending injury this year.  However, I think all of these are relatively safe assumptions, but I wanted to make sure I noted them.

Now, let's look at the situation in 2013-2014 without Amedeo Della Valle.  Michigan would have two point guards on the roster.  Although these players would be talented, Michigan was faced with this problem in the past season and it led to insane amounts of minutes for Burke and little involvement from the bench.  Along with this, there is no way to know whether Walton and Spike will be productive point guards in college.  I think it's safe to assume that Walton will be at least a manageable at the point, but it's pretty tough to speculate he's going to be as good as Burke has been or that he's going to be awesome from the start of the season.

With this in mind, not recruiting Della Valle is essentially putting the entire point guard position for 2013-2014 in some jeopardy.  Yes, many recruits for Michigan have entered Ann Arbor and produced almost immediately, but there are many that haven't done well at the beginning of their careers.  Along with this, Spike has not been given a ton of love from the scouting reports and he is a pretty big question mark.  Yes, he's probably going to improve a lot over next season, but how good is he really going to be for Michigan?  I've been one of the few that have shown a lot of love for Spike, but I don't believe he's going to be a point guard that can dominate or control a game, he can just be a good distributor for the team.

Bottomline, without Della Valle, the 2013-2014 Wolverines are looking at a true freshman and a very lowly rated sophomore or redshirt freshman.  To me, that's a scary situation.  The team's probably going to be fine, but if Della Valle was on the team, you'd at least have two point guards on the roster with experience and at least Della Valle has some love from the scouting reports.  Like I said, this probably isn't going to ruin or effect any Michigan team in a significant way, but I think taking Della Valle is a better option than a higher rated 2013 recruit just because of the depth and experience issues for Michigan.  However, I guess time will tell whether Beilein and the staff made the right decision.

Photo Credit: EuroHopes

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