Late Friday evening during halftime of a lacrosse rivalry game a basketball announcement was made.
"On Friday evening we were at a lacrosse game, Pickerington Central vs. Pickerington North," Coach Francis told GoBlueWolverine, "and the announcement was made that Caris is a Michigan Wolverine. He was introduced at the game with all of his Michigan gear on. He was very happy about it!"
On his visit to Michigan ten days ago, Caris LeVert had a chance to see the campus and learn about what the academics were like, and the chance to meet with the coaches. It is in that meeting that Caris showed just how much he wanted to be a Wolverine.
"When they were meeting with Caris he told the coaching staff, 'If it is okay with you, if you want me, I would love to come to Michigan'," said Coach Francis. "That's just the type of kid he is."
Coach Francis knew that he had a really good player on his hands starting the second half of this past season. It was the way teams were attempting to slow him down by putting a special emphasis on guarding him.
"He was beginning to get a lot of gimmick defenses thrown his way to slow him down. Teams were trying to roughhouse him a bit. And it didn't matter -- he was still able to score and play really well. Clearly during that second half of the season, that is when I thought this kid could play in the Big Ten."
The thinking that Caris could play in the Big Ten was there, but the young man just was not getting any attention for what he was doing on the floor. Interest did start coming in from Prairie View A&M and Alabama A&M, and St. Francis assistant coach John Mahoney -- who is a good judge of talent -- was looking at Caris as well. Coach Francis was making calls but no one was following up. And then things changed a little.
"An assistant coach from Ohio (Ohio University) came up and couldn;t believe how good Caris was with no offers. Then he came back with the whole staff and offered -- and Caris accepted the offer to go to Ohio."
Shortly after that, as we all know, John Groce the head coach was offered the job at Illinois and accepted it. Caris asked for a release from his Ohio LOI and it was given with certain stipulations, one that we know about was he could not attend any MAC schools. Everything else is about the release is not out and neither Michigan nor Ohio are talking about it. But at the end of the day Caris Levert is at a place that he wants to be -- The University of Michigan.
In part II of our interview Coach Francis talks about why Michigan is a good fit, and what Trey Burke has done to bring attention to the area.
Caris Levert Becomes a Wolverine
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