High School/AAU Coaches Sound Off (Part 2)

In Michigan's search for its next basketball coach much has been made of the next coach's ability to recruit and relate to the high school and AAU coaches in the state. Ironically, no one has spoken to many of the people that must be related to, so GoBlueWolverine has been busy doing just that. In part two we spoke to Deshawn Sims' high school coach, Detroit Pershing's A.W. Canada.

What do you think went wrong under Tommy?

"I just think the main thing is, the kids just didn't play hard enough.  He built their character.  I have two guys up there… my little brother and one of my players… so I know he definitely built their character.  But I just think somewhere along the line they didn't perform for him like he knew they could.  I think if he was still here, Manny would have helped change that program.  Manny (aka Corperryale Harris) is going to be the kind of guy that pushes it.  He is going to be that in your face intense guy.  They didn’t have that. Daniel gave it to them.  Manny is going to bring that intensity back to the program."

How did you think he was as a recruiter?

"Every time you turned around he was in the city.  I don't know how he was with Manny, but with Deshawn he was at a lot of games.  He even followed Deshawn on some AAU trips.  I think for the most part he was visible.  Could he have been more visible?  Probably so.  Everyone has their own opinion, but for the most part I think he was visible."

What is the next coach going to have to have to recruit the city?

"One thing is he going to have to have a personality.  Right now you can basically say that Izzo runs the state of Michigan as far as recruiting.  Don't get me wrong.  He didn't get Petey (Deshawn Sims) or Manny, but he got Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers.  The one thing about Izzo is he is approachable and is a down to earth kind of guy.  Whoever it is, you have to be able to relate to them, talk to them, and they have to be VERY visible.  He has to be able to communicate with the coaches in the city.

What do you think of some of the candidates that are being mentioned for the job?

"Lon Krueger seems like he would bring that up and down style and he would bring a lot of experience to the position.  I think he has taken three different teams to the NCAA or something like that.  I heard them talking about Calipari for a minute, but then I saw that he got that extension.  Basically all of these guys will be having new starts.  The main thing is all of them have a philosophy, but can they get the kids to buy into what they're trying to do?"

 Is there a guy out there that you like?

"I like what Stan Heath did at Arkansas, but I know they aren't going to do that.  The one thing is he can definitely recruit the city.  He definitely knows the people in the state.  Then he has "Tali" (Oronde Taliaferro) who is a guy from the city that can recruit the state and the around parts.  I know the bar was set high at Arkansas, but I like what Stan did with those guys down there."

How familiar are you with John Beilein?

"Beilein is straight.  He runs that 1-3-1.  He's got a nice system.  He gets his kids to play hard and there's structure to what they do."

Do you know Karl Hobbs?

"He's real good man.    It's funny… even the guys at VCU and Southern Illinois are good.  There are a bunch of mid-major guys that could come in and make a big difference.  Now the guy at GW (Hobbs) can recruit.  I know that for sure."

Talk a little more about Chris Lowery.

"He would be great.  He lets the kids run.  The one thing you notice about his kids is he has them disciplined.  He keeps them very disciplined but he lets them run.  Anytime you have a bunch of horses, you've got to let them do what they're good at.  I think the guy at Southern Illinois, he definitely does that.  Plus he seems pretty outgoing based on what I've heard and what I've seen."

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