The Wolverine

August 2015 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  BASKETBALL RECRUITING BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan seemed on the verge of closing out an impressive 2016 recruiting class after landing Glad- stone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard's School five-star shooting guard Tyus Battle ('s No. 21 player nation- ally) in June, leaving one spot avail- able for a point guard. However, the coaches have had to re-evaluate, fol- lowing Battle's decommitment and subsequent pledge to Syracuse. This is foreign territory for head coach John Beilein, who said he's never had to deal with the sting and fallout of losing a committed pros- pect. In addition, another guard the Wolverines were in good standing with — Madison (Ala.) High five-star Josh Langford (No. 16 player in the land) — committed to Michigan State when U-M informed him there was no room after Battle's pledge. "He was not necessarily on the verge of committing to Michigan, but they were very high on the list," Langford's dad, Tellus, said. "They were looking for a more traditional point guard to go along with Tyus at the time." Instead, the Wolverines are now looking for another wing or shooting guard to go with a point guard, and a few new targets have emerged. Pickerington (Ohio) Central's Ibi Watson isn't rated yet, but he will be soon. The 6-5 shooting guard earned MVP honors at the Best of the South tournament in Georgia over the July 10 weekend, leading his All- Ohio Red squad to the title, and also played well on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit this spring, averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. "I thought July would be a big month for me," he said. "I put so much work into it, and I wanted to do really do well this month and get some more offers. I've been shooting the ball pretty well and rebounding better, especially in transition. "I've been in touch with Michigan   BASKETBALL RECRUITING U-M Expands 2016 Net After Losing Tyus Battle Amir Coffey — a 6-6 shooting guard from Hopkins, Minn., and Rivals' No. 50 player in the class of 2016 — has Michigan in his final five schools. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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