Beilein Drops in on Bhullar

Michigan is slowing ratcheting up the intensity in its pursuit of Huntington (WV) Prep big man, Sim Bhullar. John Beilein hit the road yesterday for another in-person evaluation of the 7-5, 280-pounder, and his presence definitely didn't go unnoticed.

Despite rising interest from numerous college programs in recent months, most of Sim Bhullar's athletic attention has been focused on his high school team.  But now that his season nears its conclusion – and only the wait to see if his squad will get into the ESPN Rise tournament in the next week – he has now begun paying a little more attention to his recruitment.  That turns out to be great timing for Michigan, which has worked hard to become more of a factor on his list lately.  The latest example of that was John Beilein's presence at the big man's school yesterday.

"He was down here, but he wasn't allowed to talk to me," Bhullar told GoBlueWolverine.  "I think I am going to talk to him over the phone in the next couple of days. He is going to call me in and talk about (a visit to Ann Arbor)."

Beilen's efforts are the necessary compliment to the strong start that assistant Bacari Alexander has gotten Michigan off to in the youngster's recruitment.

"Coach Alexander is a great guy," stated Bhullar.  "He's a real good coach.  It seems like I can connect with him.  He's like my lifeline to Michigan."

Alexander's immediate success in developing Jordan Morgan has definitely resonated with Bhullar and those that coach him.  The youngster's AAU coach, Mike George, believes that his star pupil can take his burgeoning game to another level with proper molding.  Michigan is believed to be one of the program that can offer that.

"Yes, he can fit at Michigan," George said.  "(Michigan) has been giving their big guys touches.  Then if you look at the conference – it's big physical, and banging inside -- that's right up his alley.  I think for him it would be a good fit.   That's not necessarily saying that that's where he'll go, but it would be a good fit for him." 

"(Bhullar) is extremely coordinated," George continued.  "That is one thing that you love about him.  As far as his footwork, coordination… all of that stuff, it's already there.  Once he gets in better shape – which he is getting in -- the sky is the limit.  He's going to have a huge impact on whatever college he plays for.  He does a good job with that outlet pass, which gets you going.  Then if you need to slow it down and set it up, then obviously you've got him inside to do what he needs to do.  He is one of those guys where I think coaches will learn to adjust and adapt to him, and not necessarily him adapting to them.  Obviously you can't teach height.  He's 7-5!  Plus he's got great hands, a good feel for the game, he finishes well inside, and he has a high IQ.  One thing he has got o work on a little bit – which he is getting much better at -- is exchanging ends.  But he's 7-5, man -- he's a problem (laughter)."

Whether he'll be a problem for one lucky school in this year's or next year's class is one of the bigger questions in Bhullar's recruitment.  As he reported to GoBlueWolverine last month, he has enough credits to graduate later this year.  Michigan still has a spot remaining in its 2011 class and they've made their preference known.

"They told my coach that they wanted me in 2011 or 2012, but they want me more in 2011," Bhullar said.  "I'm not sure yet (what I'll choose to do).  I'll find out this summer."

Added George, "If he sees a situation that is the right fit for him and he is comfortable with it, then he might head off earlier.  If he isn't then he'll come back for another year."

Regardless of the graduation year he chooses, the Wolverines have two significant "comfort" factors that will count in their favor.

"I think (proximity to Bhullar's home in Toronto) will be a big factor," said George.  "It's one of those things where if you can get that scholarship you've always dreamed of playing at a high level close to home, it doesn't get any better than that.  The good thing is I know (in Ann Arbor) there is a huge Indian population, so that helps as well."

GoBlueWolverine will have more on Bhullar in the coming weeks and months.

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