Q: How many guys are we going to sign in the 2015 basketball class and who would be your best guess for those spots right now?
A: Right here, right now I see two spots available. This is my opinion only because I think if you’re Michigan you have to secure a big man in the 2015 class. Michigan has made it clear they will take a scoring guard of some sort in the 2015 class and I think Eron Harris and Jalen Coleman remain first priority with Eric Davis just behind because of his timeline followed by Kyle Ahrens should he get back to the level he was playing at last year before his injury. Henry Ellenson is the ideal candidate and best of both worlds type prospect with the size Michigan needs and in and out game to really add a different dimension offensively. My guess right now is Jalen Coleman with a to be determined around the other spot. It is without a doubt a first come, first serve situation though.
Q: What are the chances we land at least three of the five stars in the 2016 class?
A: I’ve been in several different discussions with the parents and student-athletes at the top of Michigan’s wish list in the 2016 class and all of them have said the right things for the Wolverines but to expect three five-stars in that class could be a little early and complicated. Personally, I think Michigan gets Derryck Thornton Jr. and Tyus Battle. Beyond that, I think T.J. Leaf is a great fit and you’d have your one, two, and three spots sewn up with those guys. Again though, a big man will be a major priority in 2016 and it remains to be seen who the major targets will be.
Q: What are the chances that Jon Teske gets an offer on June 15?
A: I don’t believe Teske gets an offer on June 15. The injury he sustained this spring has kept him out and I think limited the opportunities for Michigan to see him live. He has visited campus and done what was required in that sense and other 2016 bigs aren’t showing as much interest as he is so that is a positive sign for him. I still get the feeing Michigan waits to evaluate Teske a few more times before going all in with an offer. Just my opinion on this of course.
Q: What are our chances with T.J. Leaf and Esa Ahmad? If Michigan gets one of them do they still pursue the other?
A: I think things look very good for Michigan with T.J. Leaf. He has great size, is a knock down outside shooter and visited Michigan on his own dime. My opinion, Leaf will receive an offer. With Esa Ahmad, he should be visiting Ann Arbor in the near future but until that happens I’ll remain less optimistic. I think Ahmad is a tremendous fit in the offense though and the perfect four the Wolverines covet.
Q: What are our chances with Eric Davis? Who is the top competition?
A: I don’t like Michigan’s chances with Eric Davis simply because of his timeline. If Davis had told me he was really thinking about shutting things down following the Michigan offer I might feel differently, but with other offers out there and still four months before he plans to make a commitment, I believe someone else would scoop that offer up before him. I think Michigan has done a good job but that will be the issue for Davis, I also think Michigan State is the main competition despite him looking to take visits on the west coast.
Q: If Eron Harris commits to Michigan, are we done with 2015 recruiting?
A: As I said above, I personally think Michigan needs a big man in the 2015 class. If Harris commits, it would certainly shut down guard recruiting in that class but moving forward the Wolverines need depth on the front line and I think they’ll look to address it.
Q: Early prediction on starting defense for the Michigan football team?
A: On the defensive line: Clark, Wormley, Henry, Charlton. At linebacker: Ryan, Ross, Gedeon. Cornerback: Peppers, Lewis. Safety: Wilson, Thomas (though I could see a scenario here where one of either Ray Taylor or Blake Countess makes the move to safety if they lose their starting cornerback spot, unless one earns the nickel job).
Q: Way too early defensive MVP outside of Jake Ryan? Same on offense outside of Devin Gardner? Freshmen that will contribute most aside from Canteen or Peppers? Who has the best chance to be an All-American this season?
A: Chris Wormley is my way too early defensive MVP outside of Jake Ryan. I think Devin Funchess makes a leap this year but my offensive MVP might just be Derrick Green if they can get the offensive line moving a bit. Freshman that will contribute, I’m going to go with Lawrence Marshall. Best chance at All-American status is a tough one, to be honest, outside of Jake Ryan, not sure Michigan will have one.
Q: Is Mark Donnal ready to step into the starting spot and really contribute?
A: I’ve been a fan of Mark Donnal’s for years. For his size, his skill set has always been at a level far beyond the high school level. Now, following over a year working one on one with John Beilein, I expect that to be even better. This young man will be able to stretch the floor and shoot it when asked as well. My biggest question will be in the paint. Mitch McGary’s biggest contribution in his last season with Michigan might’ve just been his work with Donnal in toughening him up a bit and showing him some of things that can make you an elite rebounder and finisher inside. Toughness will be key for Donnal, really the most muscle the team has on the roster. I’ve seen Donnal lose his temper on the basketball floor in one game and that was in Orlando in July of 2012 -- it was something to see. If Donnal can learn to play with the added intensity necessary at this level, I expect huge things from this young man. Either way, he’ll be a redshirt freshman and will need to be given some patience but he’ll without a doubt be a plus player and add production that the Wolverines desperately need. I also think the trip to Europe will be huge for him and open his eyes a bit as he gets back into competition mode on the floor.