Sunday, November 18, 2012

2014 PF Keita Bates-Diop Picks Ohio State

For many, Keita Bates-Diop had become the most desired prospect in Michigan's 2014 recruiting.  When I posted on him visiting campus a few months back, he was already receiving rave reviews from the scouting services and he has only went up from there.  He performed very well during the summer and to no surprise, had been receiving some major attention from multiple programs including Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

When I first talked about Bates-Diop, there seemed to be a few schools that were really recruiting him hard, but Michigan and Purdue definitely seemed to be high up on his list.  However, Ohio State got in the mix and really recruited Bates-Diop pretty hard and ultimately, recruited him very effectively.  He tweeted earlier today that he committed to Ohio State.  He is now Ohio State's only commit for the 2014 class and will surely do a lot for them in the coming years.

The more important aspect of this commitment for Michigan is that they have now struck-out on one of its biggest prospects for the 2014 class.  I'm not one to dwell on negative news, but he was certainly one of the prospects that I was excited about and the coaching staff will definitely have to re-evaluate how they want to approach replacing him.  Now, that isn't to say that Michigan isn't lined up for some great recruits across the board in 2014 and beyond.  Michigan is currently recruiting some players that are actually rated even higher than Bates-Diop in the rankings, so there is no reason to hit any type of "panic" button just yet.

Michigan still has some major offers on the table for guys like Devin Booker, Vincent Edwards, and Jae'sean Tate.  All three are highly rated prospects and have the ability to make any recruiting class good.  The Wolverines have also been recruiting a few guys at the power forward position that might have the chance to get offered now that Bates-Diop is off the table.

A few of the notable names to remember in the coming months could be Tyler Wideman, Jabari Craig, and Ricky Doyle.  None of these three are guys that will get 5* rankings, but they could be suitable guys if Michigan really needs a big man.  Michigan could try making a run at a guy like Kevon Looney, but I do think part of the 2014 recruiting will depend on how the team's current big men perform and Michigan's recruiting in 2015.  Michigan is in on some major prospects in 2015 like Karl Towns and Diamond Stone who are ranked #1 and #2 in the nation.  Plus, if some of the players like Mitch McGary and 2013 commit Mark Donnal are around for 2014, there won't be a huge need for a big man in the 2014 class (not that Michigan wouldn't like one with the skills of Bates-Diop).

Undoubtedly, I was disappointed to hear that Bates-Diop picked Ohio State over Michigan and others, but there's absolutely no reason to start panicking for the future.  Michigan will have some quality players both in the 2014 class and beyond.  I do think that Beilein will try to find a guy to replace the spot taken by Bates-Diop for this class, but even if he doesn't, I think Michigan's recruiting will be in fine shape.  Finally, we wish Bates-Diop all the best (except when he plays Michigan).

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