National Signing Week is upon us, and it is time to take stock of the country. Here is a look at what went right, what went wrong, and what is still left to do for teams. This edition focuses on the Michigan Wolverines.
What went right?
While the Wolverines didn’t pull in a top 100 player in the class, they did land a group that John Beilein has reason to be excited about. Michigan has three quality pieces, all of which fit in to what Beilein likes to do.
Jordan Poole was the first commitment for the Wolverines, and he is someone who is a very good shooter when his shot selection is good. Poole can handle and pass it some, but he is a high level shooter first and foremost, and should provide an ability to stretch the floor with solid size.
Also on the perimeter Michigan added Eli Brooks. Brooks played on an under the radar AAU team, but he had a lot of buzz around him in July, and the Wolverines beat out Villanova for his pledge. Brooks should be a point guard who makes some shots and runs a team with solid athleticism.
Finally the Wolverines nabbed in-state forward Isaiah Livers. Livers decided between the Wolverines and Michigan State, and in the end chose to make his home in Ann Arbor. He is a versatile forward who falls outside the top 100, but has a ton of versatility and a high skill level.
What went wrong?
Beilin isn’t someone who recruits a ton of prospects so the misses are usually minimal, but still there were some high profile players that the Wolverines were interested in that they simply couldn’t get traction with.
Forwards such as Kris Wilkes, Jaren Jackson, and Brian Bowen all in the Midwest and all in recruiting hotbeds for the Wolverines were once targets, but Michigan wasn’t able to get on the final list for any of that trio.
Also guard Nojel Eastern was a one-time target, but it didn’t seem as though the Wolverines and Eastern were ever much of a match.
What is left to do?
At this point the biggest thing left to do is stay in the race with five-star center Mohamed Bamba. Bamba visited the Wolverines somewhat surprisingly in the fall, and they remain in the mix, even if somewhat of an outside chance. Bamaba is one of the elite players in the class, and would provide rim protection and rebounding that no one on the Michigan roster comes close to providing.
Overall things are pretty much set for the Wolverines, but if the right player comes available in the spring there is some roster flexibility to make a late run and add to this class.