Saturday, July 28, 2012

Updating 2013 Commit Austin Hatch

If there has ever been a commit that has received unanimous support from the Michigan community, it's Austin Hatch.  Not because he's an insanely elite prospect, but because of the hardship he has endured since he committed to Michigan.  He recently survived a brutal plane crash that killed both his father and his stepmother and has been on the road to recovery ever since.  He was injured severely in the crash and for him to even contemplate a return to basketball is amazing.  Every year and recruiting class typically brings one "heartfelt" story, but Hatch has taken that meaning to a new level and should be one of the most beloved Michigan players in future years, whether he turns into a great college player or not.

Hatch's major asset that he brings to the table is his shooting ability.  However, with the plane crash there have been major questions raised about his abilities in terms of both his athleticism and general basketball skills.  In fact, it's still a question whether he will be ready for basketball at all once he arrives on campus in 2013.  I do believe he will be ready to play, but it's going to be quite awhile before he recovers the talents that encompassed his game before the crash.  Until he is completely college ready, which may even be a year or two into college, he's not going to be a major contributor.

Here are the basic listings for Hatch:


Future150
Height
6’6”
6’6”
N/A
6’6”
N/A
Weight
210 lbs
214 lbs
N/A
N/A
N/A
Position
SF
SG
SF
SG
N/A
Rating
2*
3*
3*
NR
NR
Position Rank
#74
NR
NR
NR
NR
National Rank
#100+
#150+
#99+
NR
NR


Following the plane crash, it's pretty evident that most of the scouting services have dropped him or are just extremely unsure about his potential.  In my opinion, Hatch should probably be a borderline 3* recruit, but he has the highest ceiling in comparison to his ratings of any player in Michigan's 2013 recruiting class.  If there's a steal for Michigan in this recruiting class, it is Austin Hatch.  Of course, the big question marks will surround his recovery, but if he recovers how many expect him to do over the next couple of years, he should easily exceed his current expectations.  The services just can't rank him higher because of the uncertainty that surrounds his future.


As mentioned in my update on Zak Irvin, there will likely be a hole at Hatch's position when he arrives in Ann Arbor.  If Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway go pro after next season, there will be a huge opportunity for guys like Irvin, Hatch, Caris LeVert, and Nik Stauskas.  Having said that, I do not expect Hatch to play in his first season.  Because of his recovery, he will probably not be college ready at the beginning of his career.  At this point, reports are that he hasn't even been cleared to play basketball for his high school.  I anticipate he will by time fall rolls around, but that's a big question mark.  Along with this, Michigan will already have some highly capable players that can fill these roles.  


To me, the best decision right now for Hatch's freshman year is a redshirt.  Now, if his recovery goes well and he is more college ready by 2013, the coaching staff may want to reconsider that decision.  However, with Irvin, LeVert, and Stauskas already on the team, there should be plenty of depth at Hatch's position.  Along with this, Hardaway and GR3 are not guaranteed to go pro after next season.  If either of them returns, then there is absolutely no reason to play Hatch.  I still think Hatch will have a solid career at Michigan, but he just probably isn't going to be a player with the instant impact of someone like GR3 or Mitch McGary.

Here's his highlight video:

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