LeBron: Stone Recalls "Crazy" UM Experience

Though it took place last fall, 2015 Milwaukee (WI) Dominican center Diamond Stone has a vivid memory of his unofficial visit to Michigan. GoBlueWolverine caught up with the five-star prospect at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas this week, to reflect upon his time in Arbor, discuss his overall recruitment, his decision timeline, and much much more.

Sam Webb:  Let us go back to the season, back-to-back (championships), just talk about how that felt.

Diamond Stone:  “It was a good experience.  Our freshman year we won it.  I was a young one and now I’m a veteran, sophomore year.  It was harder than the first one, but we put it through.  Me and Dewayne, the team and we got it done.”

Sam Webb:  What was it like going through this season, because clearly your profile was higher.  Even more people knew who you were.  It seemed like more of a target, a bulls-eye on your back.  Did you feel like that was the case?

Diamond Stone:  “Yes.  Everybody was going after your spot, trying to prove themselves.  That they are good in your eyes.  I had a lot of big guys coming after me.  You just have to play hard, play 100% every time because you never know who is watching and you never know…if someone is playing against me and they are doing good, they are always remember that they outscored Diamond Stone or they scored on Diamond Stone.  So you always have to play your hardest no matter what.”

Sam Webb:  Obviously you’re stronger, you’re about the same height, you were 6’10” last year.  What are the biggest differences in your game?  If you evaluate yourself where are you better and where do you need to get better.

Diamond Stone:  “My weight. I lost (14) pounds.  I was 263 and I’m 249, that’s a big thing.  I’m trying to get used to it.  I’m faster now.  I’m jumping higher.  When I come back from Lebron’s from this camp, I’m in the weight room so I can make this 240 all muscle and I’ll be good.”

Sam Webb:  Do you even know how many scholarship offers you have?

Diamond Stone:  “My dad said close to 30, maybe over 30.”

Sam Webb:  Have you even gotten to the point where you’ve narrowed down a list of favorites or singled out a list of favorites yet?

Diamond Stone:  “No, I think probably this upcoming school season and probably sit down with my parents and have a talk about schools and I’ll probably take a couple more visits and go from there.  Senior year I’ll probably decide.”

Sam Webb:  Take me back to that experience, it was for a football game?

Diamond Stone:  “Yes, Michigan-Michigan State. It was a crazy experience.  Michigan fans showed me a lot of love and so I appreciated that.”

Sam Webb:  So they knew who you were before you showed up?

Diamond Stone:  “Yeah.  Michigan fans showed me a lot of love.  Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, they told me that Michigan was a great school.  They look out for you, in and out of school when you graduate, you come back.  The facility is nice.  They have good equipment.  The court is nice.  Coach Beilein, he is nice.  He is a good dude.”

Sam Webb:  One of the things when I talked to your dad and you, you guys said you were looking to see this season on how they use the bigs.  How does the big man fit into the offense?  Watching them on their run… watching Mitch McGary, did you get the comfort level that you were looking for.”

Diamond Stone:  “Yes.  When Mitch has a post up, they are going to pass him the ball.  If he doesn’t he’ll set a pick and roll.  Pretty much play off Mitch.  Trey Burke is a good finder, he is a good passer today.  If Mitch is open he’ll pass it to him, if he is not, he’ll shoot.  It was a good system, I liked it.”

Sam Webb:  Have you talked to Mitch at all since you’ve been here?

Diamond Stone:  “Yes.”

Sam Webb:  Outside of just that, what were some of the things he talked to you about Michigan or recruiting in general.

Diamond Stone:  “He said once recruiting is over, you will feel much better no matter what school you go to.  Just get that off your chest.  He said Michigan is a good school and he was just telling me that Coach Beilein is a good coach.”

Sam Webb:  Any plans on getting out to any other schools this summer or is that going to wait until the school year to get out on some more visits?

Diamond Stone:  “I’m trying to figure out what Midnight Madness I’m going.  Coach Calipari asked me to go to his Midnight Madness.  So I don’t even know.  It’ll probably be Michigan, Marquette, Wisconsin.”

Sam Webb:  You have over 30 offers, a bunch of school coaches are looking at you, what are going to be the factors that separate five or so schools from the rest?

Diamond Stone:  “A, First of all a big schools. I like big schools, a good coach, good teammates.  Not teammates that get down on each other.  Gets the ball in the post, utilizes a good point guard.”

Sam Webb:  What about distance from home is that going to play a role for you at all?

Diamond Stone:  “No.  My parents said they were moving to wherever I go.”

Sam Webb:  I’m curious, your dad hails from Flint, Michigan, do you get any pull from his hometown folks in Flint or any people in the state of Michigan saying come back to the Great Lake State?

Diamond Stone:  “No.  They are just happy for my success so far and whatever school you go to, we’ll be happy for you.”

Sam Webb:  I talked to dad and one of the things that we didn’t talk about, what does mom say about the whole thing?  What does mom want you to do and is she talking about any preferences in her mind?

Diamond Stone:  “Yes.  She likes a school that has a good education.  She pretty much just said that she will let me know what school I want to go too, but she’ll give a hard look at the top five schools in her opinion and then she’ll just let me do my thing.”

Sam Webb:  Timeline for cutting it down and timeline for making a decision.  Obviously, you’ve got guys making decisions before you, and then guys waiting all the way to senior year.  Where do you fall in that spectrum?

Diamond Stone:  “I wanted to do it my junior year, but my parents wanted me to wait until my senior year.  Junior/Senior year, you never know, it might just pop up one day.”

Sam Webb:  Do you think you are going to wait that long to narrow it down as well?

Diamond Stone:  “Yes.”

Sam Webb:  You told me what you like about Michigan.  What questions do you have about the Wolverines, if any?

Diamond Stone:  “Honestly, I have no questions.  All my questions were answered when I was there.”

Sam Webb:  What is the vibe like with Coach Beilein and Coach Jordan?

Diamond Stone:  “There was one other one Coach Alexander.”

Sam Webb:  Outside of the x’s and o’s what’s the vibe like with those guys?

Diamond Stone:  “I like them.  They are funny guys.  They know what they are doing.  They know  how to coach, which is good.  They just made me feel like I was home.”

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