Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Breaking Down Michigan's Targets In The 2014 ESPN60

ESPN has released their 2014 basketball rankings and it has worked out well for Michigan's 2014 recruiting targets.  These type of rankings mean little in the long run, especially because recruits often outperform or underperform these ratings once their arrive on campus, but they are probably some of the clearest measures for high school talent and when coupled with other ratings, can usually be relatively accurate in their predictions.

Just a few quick reminders.  First, I have generally found that ESPN's basketball recruiting coverage has been the best of all the major recruiting services.  It's not perfect, but it has been the best.  Other services have done some great things and I think that they have improved in some areas, but overall, I still give the nod to ESPN.  The most important thing, however, is to compare where recruits are placed on different lists.  If a person uses just one or two services, they are probably going to get a limited idea of a recruit's potential.  Combining different recruiting services, offer lists, and video seems to be the best.  Regardless, here are the rankings for the ESPN60 in 2014:

  • N/A


The first thing worth noting is that Michigan is in very good position for 2014 at this point.  Having six serious targets in the ESPN60 is pretty impressive.  I think it's safe to say Michigan won't get all of these players and I really don't see guys like Kevon Looney, who is rated the highest of Michigan's targets on this list, committing to Michigan.  However, Michigan still has a solid shot with at least four of the targets on the list above and even more who were not listed, including Trevon Bluiett, who was already offered a scholarship, and Tyler Wideman, who is a very talented big man.

Starting down the list, it's hard not to think that Looney's ranking is just about right.  His highest national ranking at this point comes from Scout at #9 and ESPN's ranking of #16 would be the lowest.  Rivals and 247Sports both have him ranked at #13 in the country.  When you're debating 5* recruits, there isn't going to be a ton of difference and this little of a difference is nothing significant.  Devin Booker also has a similar description.  Scout has him as a 5* recruit and #19, but both ESPN and Rivals has him lower.  Either way, this isn't too far out of line.  Michigan's 3rd highest target, Keita Bates-Diop is also a bit lower than he appears on Scout and Rivals' lists, but it's less than ten spots and there isn't a ton of variation between them.

Michigan's three highest rated targets on this list may not have a lot of drama in comparison to other 2014 rankings, but Bryant McIntosh is where things become interesting.  ESPN seems to think that McIntosh is one of the nation's elite recruits.  However, the only other major service that has rated him, Scout, has him as a 2* recruit.  I do think one of the problems with this situation is that there just isn't a ton of information out there at this point, but I just get the feeling that ESPN has him up a little too high here.  My typical system is that in these type of disputes, I side with ESPN's ratings.  Scout has made some horrible errors lately, but I think we're going to see McIntosh be a little lower when Rivals and 247 get around to rating him and ESPN might slide him down a little bit as well.

Jae'sean Tate also has a similar problem.  ESPN has him rated very highly, but many of the other sites just haven't gotten around to him yet.  In fact, the other three haven't even rated him yet.  I certainly think he's worthy of his 4* rating and believe he's one of the elite recruits in the country.  I could see him sliding down a little bit, but for all we know, the other services may absolutely love him.  He's been getting interest from some bigger programs like Purdue, West Virginia, and Xavier as well.  The big thing to see is how he develops and is rated now that he has the national spotlight on him.

And finally, we have Rashad Vaughn.  I've been pretty hard on Michigan's 2014 targets so far, but this is one that I feel has been underrated.  He's an outstanding player and I really believe that he should be rated higher in the ESPN60.  He barely made ESPN's top 60 players, but other sites have him rated in the top 20 in the nation and even as a 5* recruit on Scout.  He's playing well and I think he deserves a little more respect.  It's one thing to be debating 5* players and put one up or down a couple spots, but the other services seem to clearly think that he is one of the nation's very best.  He's still rated extremely high on ESPN, but just not as high as I believe he deserves.  I think Scout might have him a little too high, but #55 is still too low.

Michigan may not have a commitment in its 2014 recruiting class yet, but there's no reason to think that Beilein won't bring in another elite group.  With six targets in the top 60 in the country and other great players being recruited, this could be an extremely talented class.  ESPN's ratings are not perfect, as one can see from my comments above, but I think they do help us get a better idea for where recruits belong and I don't think there's any doubt that these targets should be able to do a lot at the collegiate level.  The big question is just whether Michigan can snag commitments from some of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment