Coach Francis talks like a proud father when he speaks of Caris LeVert, you can hear it in his voice.
"Caris comes from such a beautiful family. He is just a great young man. Caris has control of his grades and has a commitment to academics. Basketball-wise he can flat out play off the bounce catch and shoot, he is a multi-talented player who has length, size and skill. You tell him something once and he does it."
GBW asked Coach Francis: why do you think he is a good fit for Michigan?
"Well, with the way they run their offense and what they ask of the players, he can play well in Michigan's offense," Coach Francis answered. "Caris has the ability to really shoot it, he can get to the basket to score and he is capable of stretching the defense."
Coach Francis gave us comparisons of two players that Caris Levert reminds him of with the way his game has developed.
"For Michigan fans I would compare him to a Manny Harris type of player because he is aggressive on the dribble drive at getting to the basket to score. I call him baby Kevin Durant of course -- I am not saying he is Kevin Durant, he reminds me of him: his slender frame, his ability to shoot threes, and Caris has the talent to absorb contact to score."
In choosing Michigan Coach Francis felt like Michigan was a good spot for Caris Levert because of what The Wolverines were offering.
"The opportunity to play right away and contribute," Fransis said. "And his mom felt really comfortable with the staff at Michigan. The job that Bacari and Coach Beilein did in recruiting him it was a first class warm welcome for him that will make for a smooth transition. Caris has a lot of upside and growth to him. His mom is 6'2 and he has a younger brother that is 6'8, so he might not be finished growing yet."
Benji Burke and his son Trey have helped with getting Caris some attention, but Coach Francis helped Benji with a very important decision as well.
"I remember when Benji was looking at Michigan and he called me up to say, 'Hey what's Coach Beilein like; what do you know about him'. I told Benji he is a good guy who is a teacher of the game and that is going to develop players as well as give them every opportunity to perform. I told him that Coach Beilein does everything by the book and he can't go wrong with him."
That is what started the trek North for players like Trey Burke and Caris Levert. Coach Francis feels with what Trey Burke has accomplished has brought more attention to the area.
"Trey really moved things along with the shift in kids going up North to play. The way he produced during the season and the type of year he had was impressive."
Once Caris received his release from Ohio University, Coach Francis sent out a DVD to Michigan and they seemed impressed.
"When the staff looked at that DVD, they were in right after that trying to set up a visit. Then you had Benji telling them about Caris and how he was going crazy on the competition down here. Benji was really letting the staff know just how good Caris is."
What is obvious is that Coach Francis felt comfortable with Coach Beilein and Bacari Alexander for a reason.
"I have known both guys for quite a while and they are good people, so I understood who Caris would be around."
Levert a good fit for Michigan
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