Michigan coach John Beilein had high praise for incoming freshman point guard Xavier Simpson, center Austin Davis.

Michigan coach John Beilein had high praise for incoming freshman point guard Xavier Simpson, center Austin Davis.

While John Beilein and Michigan continue to figure out a shuffling depth chart at point guard and rotating door at center, two future Wolverines continue to impress on the floor as high school seniors this winter.

A recent addition to Michigan's 2016 class, four-star Lima (Ohio) point guard Xavier Simpson recently pumped in 59-points, catching the eye of his soon to be head coach.

"I talked with Xavier after the game," Beilein said Friday afternoon. "He reminds us of another guy that we got from Ohio, many times."

Of course that former Michigan point guard from the state of Ohio Beilein speaks of is current Utah Jazz member, Trey Burke.

In two seasons with the Wolverines, Burke brought Michigan to the cusp of a national championship, all while earning National Player of the Year honors in the 2012-13 season.

Like Simpson, Burke's recruiting journey landed him with the Wolverines late in the process.

"It's tough to compare those two but there's a lot of similar type of traits for a guy that can score from deep," Beilein said. "He had five threes in that game, I think it was five. 

"The knock on him going into last summer was he couldn't shoot and he's become a really good shooter. But his in between game, his assists and defense are outstanding."

On the floor and off the floor, trying not to get too far ahead of himself, Beilein didn't back off with the comparisons.

"He's very much like No. 3 as far as he is driven to be the best point guard he can possibly be," Beilein said. "He's got a little bit of a chip on his shoulder and that's really healthy."

Another member of Michigan's 2016 signees is Onsted (Mich.) center Austin Davis, a player assistant Bacari Alexander had a chance to see live this week.

Davis earned a scholarship offer from the Wolverines over the summer and almost immediately accepted. Since that time, Davis has continued to hone his craft, according to Beilein.

"If you know Austin, Austin is probably 50-pounds lighter, maybe even more than he was at one time," Beilein said. "He was a big 280 at one time and scoring 50-points in a game as a sophomore. 

"Now that he is probably in the 230's, his first reaction I believe was I can't get there because I'm too slow. And now that he's much faster and can jump much higher, he's learning that I can get there. That whole mindset of how fast can I run the court, I'm really looking forward to it."

Looking for players under the basket that can impact the game on both ends of the floor, Davis is becoming more and more consistent in his senior season.

For Beilein though, one trait stands out above the rest.

"He's got great hands," Beilein said. "That's one guy that catches everything that he sees, rebounds everything that's in his area and beyond."


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