Sunday, June 23, 2013

Michigan Basketball: A Scholarship Update

Photo Credit: Thomas Beindit
In early June each year, Michigan basketball begins offering the next cycle of recruits.  This June, Beilein and his staff began offering the class of 2015 recruits.  As of now, only a handful of recruits have received offers including Luke Kennard, Jalen Coleman, and Jalen Brunson.  However, something that is incredibly important, but often gets swept under the radar, is the scholarship situation.  Michigan has finished recruiting in the 2013 cycle, but the 2014 and 2015 cycles are in full swing, which makes this an interesting discussion.  So let's take a look at where things stand:

2014 Cycle:
Currently, Michigan is set to have 10 scholarship players for 13 open spots for the 2014-2015 cycle.  This means that the Wolverines can take up to 3 commits in the 2014 class.  As of now, Michigan has 2 commits in the class (Austin Hatch & Ricky Doyle) and 1 open spot.  With numerous offers out this begs the question of how Michigan will make room for potentially 2 or 3 recruits for 2014 class.  The clearest answer can be found on the current roster.  Mitch McGary and GR3 nearly left Ann Arbor following the 2012-2013 season for the NBA Draft.  In all likelihood this will happen following the 2013-2014 season, which would give Michigan 5 open slots for the 2014 and beyond.  With 2 recruits already committed, that means the Wolverines could add 3 recruits to its 2014 class assuming McGary and GR3 leave following the season as expected.  However, I'm not completely convinced Michigan will max out the scholarship slots for 2014.  Verdict: 4 member 2014 class

2015 Cycle:
As we get farther out in the predictions, things always become tougher to predict.  There are some major questions about how the 2014 class will end, but there are even more about the 2015 class.  If we continue using the verdict listed for the "2014 cycle" that means Michigan will start the 2014-2015 season 1 scholarship short.  This team would feature a bunch of seniors and Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin as sophomores with an even bigger chance of a jump to the pros.  It's hard to believe that the 2014-2015 season will end without at least one player jumping pro.  This brings the scholarship numbers to roughly 10 out of the available 13 for the 2015-2016 season.  It wouldn't be too difficult to imagine another person jumping pro or transferring, which would open up 4 slots for this class.  Many of the players look committed now, but if they aren't getting playing time in roughly 2 seasons and Michigan lands some big 2014 recruits, they may start looking around for playing time.  With this in mind, the class will probably end up around the same size.  Verdict: 4 member 2015 class

2016 Cycle:
If predicting the 2015 class wasn't hard enough, for some reason I've taken the challenge of looking at 2016, which is nearly impossible.  Using the predictions listed above for the 2014 and the 2015 classes (which will probably prove faulty), it would leave 3-4 open scholarship positions for the 2016 class.  This depends on whether one of the older players transferred or one of Irvin or Walton jump pro as listed in the 2015 description.  For this, we'll just assume that it was not a transfer and both Irvin and Walton jump pro.  This would leave Donnal as the only person on the current roster left for the 2016-2017 season.  This gives you an idea of how far we are looking into the future.  Along with Donnal, there would be 4 scholarship players from 2014 and 4 scholarship players from 2015.  So this leaves a class of 4 assuming none of the 2014 or 2015 recruits leave, which seems to be a virtual lock to occur.  For instance, if Michigan lands Devin Booker, will he make it through 2 full seasons and not jump to the NBA?  Seems unlikely.  With this in mind, here's a way too early 2016 prediction.  Verdict: 5 member 2016 class

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