The Wolverine

November 2015

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2015-16 BASKETBALL PREVIEW BY CHRIS BALAS "T ake the easy way out and go to Stanford" is not a phrase heard often when it comes to recruiting — academic, athletic or otherwise. The Cardinal's high stan- dards make scholarships coveted, even when the sports programs aren't at the top of their games. Michigan sophomore Aubrey Dawkins, though, might have been one of the few to have viewed that possibility differently. His father, former Duke standout and Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins, could have taken the senior out of Palo Alto (Calif.) High School as a preferred walk-on or even on schol- arship, an option he never would have thought possible when his son was a 5-8 sophomore at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif. What might have been a tough sell to his bosses was irrelevant, for one reason alone — Aubrey was having none of it. He was going to earn what he got and break free from the shad- ows of his college basketball legend father. So the younger Dawkins headed to New Hampton (N.H.) Prep, where he developed into an elite athlete with great potential on the basketball court. In short, he was right for Michi- gan head coach John Beilein, who is known as one of the nation's top de- velopers of talent. He arrived at U-M with a 12.3 points per game average in one of the best prep school conferences in the coun- try — and, most importantly, with the "disrespected" card in his front pocket. He was a perfect fit with guys like seniors Caris LeVert, an over- looked two-star prospect once com- mitted to Ohio University, and Spike Albrecht, who followed a similar path to end up in Ann Arbor. Now, Dawkins is about to become the next great Wolverine sleeper to emerge, Beilein predicted in calling his sophomore the team's most im- proved player following the offseason. "I can see it every day in practice — that the game is slowing down for him," Beilein said. "The work that he's put in with his ball handling and HIS OWN MAN Out Of His Dad's Shadow, Aubrey Dawkins Is Ready To Shine

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