Vince Baldwin Weighs in on UM's Latest Commitment

I spoke at length with Prep Spotlight's Vince Baldwin regarding a number issues yesterday afternoon. We found the time to discuss little basketball and he gave me his thoughts on Jerret Smith, the supposed rift between Joe Crawford and Malik Hairston, and Dion Harris' eligibility.

Vince Baldwin is THE source on high school basketball in the Midwest region. For instructions on how to obtain his print publication and/or to view his online content, visit him at Prep Spotlight

Give your thoughts on how well you think Jerret will fit in with Michigan.

"I think he'll fit in great. He's an unselfish kid that really likes to pass the ball. With the wing players Michigan will have surrounding him; Joe Crawford, Ronald Coleman, Lester Abram, Dion Harris...he'll have no problem setting things up. At the same time, he can take it to the basket and create for himself if necessary."

Do you think Jerret will be able to come in and start from day one if Daniel leaves early?

"In an ideal world they would like to have Daniel back for that last year. A one-year apprenticeship under Horton would be great for Jerret. That said, you couldn't really plan for him to be around after year 3 because it's a definite uncertainty. I think all things being considered they wouldn't panic at all if they had to hand the ball to him as a freshman."

Where do you have him ranked in the 05 class?

"I flip flop between #2 and #3 ranking for Jerret in the 05 class in the state of Michigan. I currently have him rated as the #8 PG in the country and the #29 player overall in 05."

Comment on the rumors about friction between Malik and Joe Joe.

"That's a false rumor. Actually there is NO animosity between Malik and Joe Joe off of the court. The two kids are actually very very good friends. They even room together on the road by choice. I think at one point a little something came into play because of outside interference. It can be tough for 2 top ranked players to be on the same team. While they are both competing for the same unified goal, they are also competing for individual recognition. I think that at one time some people close to the Renaissance program tried to sort of pit those two against each other. They would tell Joe Joe he had to be better than Malik and tell Malik he had to be better than Joe Joe. Fortunately the two kids never really bought into it. They have learned to really play together well. Any talk of animosity or friction between the two is waaay overblown. It's just speculation by people whom haven't even been around these kids and don't really talk to or know them. There are also others that simply have their own agenda that they are trying to forward."

From left to right; Malik Hairston, Detroit Renaissance Coach Mark White, and Joe Crawford

"I personally was surprised at how close they really are off of the court. On the court, sure there is some competitiveness from time to time, but there's nothing ill natured. They feed off of each other out there as you can see. Off of the court they are the best of friends. The fact that Joe Joe is going to Michigan isn't what's keeping Malik from going to Michigan. There's nothing personal there. The fact the Joe Joe, Ronnie, Lester and Dion are going to Michigan is what has him looking elsewhere. He wants to go someplace where he can get significant minutes early in his career and carve his own niche. With the number of wings Michigan has, Ann Arbor probably isn't the best place for that."

Comment on the rumors of eligibility problems with Dion Harris

"From what I know, Dion Harris is fully qualified. I know some people had concern about his test scores, but he passed that with no problem. I expect him to report to Michigan pretty soon to get started in the program."

GBW would again like to thank Vince for his time and we will be having more from him in the very near future.

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