The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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32 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2018   2018 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan head coach John Beilein has proven to be one of the most efficient recruiters in the country. He continually finds players that are recruitable and also talented, turn- ing many of them into professional prospects. There have been some absolute gems among them that were obvi- ously under-recruited, like Colum- bus (Ohio) Northland three-star point guard Trey Burke, the eventual National Player of the Year. There have also been sleepers he identified early who became five-star prospects (Glenn Robinson III, No. 11 overall in 2012 after committing as a three- star recruit), five-stars like Zak Irvin (2013) that enjoyed solid careers and players like 2008 forward Zack No- vak, a two star when he pledged who helped change the program's culture. All of them helped Michigan win, and Beilein has done it without com- promising his principles. "If people are breaking the law, if people are committing felony crimes in our business, then get them the heck out of our business," Beilein said last fall when informed he was voted 'cleanest coach in the country' in a vote of his peers. "College bas- ketball is my life, and it should be clean." Novak once said it drove him nuts at times how stringent his coach was with the rules, but said "now we know why he was" when the FBI's college basketball probe unfolded. He hasn't changed a bit over the years, either. Detroit East English Vil- lage point guard David DeJulius (6-1,'s No. 95 overall prospect nationally), U-M's first pledge in his class, recalled how Beilein kept a close eye on him during a second visit in two weeks last fall. "A week after my official visit, there were a couple more recruits taking their officials," DeJulius re- called. "We were at a football game. They were passing out waters to them. Coach B stared at me as the waters were getting passed out to make sure I didn't get a free water." Despite his strict adherence to the rules, Beilein has been able to bring in enough talent to reach the national championship game twice in the last six seasons. "If there's anything I've learned over the past few years when it comes to John Beilein, it is to take no- tice of guys he is recruiting and look real close at them," Rivals national basketball analyst Eric Bossi said. "In my opinion, he's proven to be one of the best talent evaluators in the business and more specifically he's a great evaluator of talent that fits the way he wants to play." IN-STATERS GOT IT STARTED Only twice before has Beilein signed a class as big as this year 's haul — in 2012, a star-studded group of five among the nation's best, and in 2014 when he brought in six play- ers following an NBA exodus. He and his staff had plenty of time to assemble this year 's class, and they were able to haul in many of their plan "A" targets. It's rare when recruiting works in such harmony, and only once before (2012) has Beilein had as much success with his first choices. He landed Glenn Robinson III when he was a three-star rising ju- nior, before the forward became a five star, and hauled in four-star Mitch McGary, Robinson's good friend. Four-star Nik Stauskas was another he'd identified early and pri- oritized. DeJulius had to wait until Decem- ber of his junior year to get his offer, after four-stars Cormac Ryan (Stan- ford) and Robby Carmody (Notre Dame) had gotten theirs, but Beilein Fearsome Fivesome Michigan's Five-Man 2018 Basketball Recruiting Class Is Among The Best In The Country Five-star Ignas Brazdeikis headlines the 2018 class, which at No. 10 nationally is John Beilein's highest-ranked group of incoming freshmen ever at Michigan. PHOTO BY JORDAN WELLS

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