The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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of 2012 was no exception. The transfers of sophomore forwards Evan Smotrycz and Colton Christian, along with freshman guard Carlton Brundidge, presented an opportunity for Pickerington (Ohio) Central shooting guard Caris LeVert. After a few visits, the 6-4, 185-pounder pledged to Michigan May 11. LeVert, a three-star prospect, not only helped capture a state title for Central in the state of Ohio's largest division, he earned tourna- ment Most Outstanding Player honors after scor- ing 20 points in the Division I title game, a 45-40 win over Toledo Whitmer March 24. LeVert scored 13 in Central's 60-45 win over Fairfield in the semifinal and notched 28 in his best tournament game, making five three-point- ers in a 60-58 regional semifinal win over Olen- tangy Liberty. LeVert played for the Ohio squad against Ken- Becomes The Fifth Member Of 2012 Class Departures often open the door for other scholarship players, and the class Ohio Shooting Guard Caris LeVert Especially if his incredible work ethic continues, as expected. "He's a sponge," Russell added. "He'll be in the gym day and night." the Columbus Dispatch. "Caris is the kind of player who is absolutely fearless. He lives for that moment. tucky All-Stars in the annual Battle for the Border April 7, taking runner-up honors in the three- on-three competition. On April 22, he led Ohio's South all-star team to a 116-114 victory over the North in the Division I-II game, hitting a three at the buzzer to win it. LeVert had hit another three-pointer from the same spot 30 seconds earlier, and finished with 23 points and six rebounds to earn MVP honors. "Those were two monster shots, ton, Iowa and others and Columbus Dispatch All-Metro and Co-Player of the Year honors after leading Central to a 26-2 record. "He's good — really good, gan sophomore Trey Burke, reported. "He has a chance to really help this year, I believe. He can stretch the defense, shoot the three from range and has enough handle to create his own shot. Also, he can help out ball-handling if need be. I just think he can really help this team, especially if he comes in and does what he's supposed to do. " All-Ohio Red AAU coach Benji Burke, father of Michi- averaged 18 points per game. The elder Burke has watched LeVert grow into a high major talent — literally — in the past few years. "He's gotten taller each year, and his game has matured, LeVert earned second-team All-Ohio honors after a senior year in which he " taken on an ownership role. If you need a bucket, he'll go get it. He's 6-5 and long. It will be like having two Tim Hardaways out there. He can shoot the three off the dribble, not just catch and shoot, and he can create his own shot. shoot a little out of his range sometimes, but that's where the coaching aspect comes in. He works off ball screens, rips through and can pull up. "We've tried to teach him to work inside out. Kids tend to fall in love with the He moves well without the ball, too, Central head coach Jerry Francis added. "He has tremendous skills, " " Francis said. "He's an outstanding shooter. He might three-pointer, so we encourage him to shoot inside the three-point line and work out. He's a tremendous scorer. LeVert originally signed with Ohio University, but was granted his release after head coach John Groce left for Illinois. Because LeVert already signed a national letter of intent once, Michigan will have to wait until he goes through the proper admission channels before the coaches can make an official statement on the matter — and since he can't sign another letter of intent, he'll instead sign a financial aid agreement, which also counts as an athletic scholarship. — Chris Balas " McGary averaged 11.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in his senior season, and he was ranked the No. 30 player in the country by PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM 22 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2012 " Burke said. "He's really That is one of the reasons LeVert earned interest from Michigan, Purdue, Day- " for McGary in the month before he heads to Michigan is Brumm's plan, one that involves helping the big man regain his swagger. McGary av- eraged 11.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game and had his moments for a loaded Brewster Academy team that lost one game all year, but he didn't dominate the way he did in the summer. McGary was among the elite last June through August, and Brumm believes he will be again at Michigan, predicting Beilein will bring out the 6-10 standout's best. "He's not a back-to-the-basket guy BIG MAN MITCH MCGARY HAS SPECIAL POTENTIAL Establishing a similar regimen LeVert, who stands 6-4, earned second-team All-Ohio honors after averaging 18 points per game as a senior. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM " South coach Ed Calo of Westerville South told at all. That's not who he is," Brumm said. "He is a face-up guy, whether he plays the four or the five. Coach Beilein and the staff do such a great job of developing that they're mak- ing everybody better, and they'll know what to do with him. You saw it last year." Beilein disproved the fallacy that he wouldn't recruit highly rated players long ago, and he put to rest the theory that he couldn't land a top- five talent when McGary pledged on national television Sept. 3, 2011.

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