High School & AAU Coaches Sound Off (Part 7)

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 seven we spoke to King James Shooting Stars (now King of the Court) coach, Percy Robinson.

Percy Robinson is a coach for the Kin of the Court AAU program and is on the staff at Bedford (OH) St. Peter Chanel High School. He has coached high level prospects like Raymar Morgan, Marcus Johnson, Delvon Roe, and Kosta Koufos.

What does the next coach have to do to be more successful in Ohio?

"The biggest and most important thing that Tommy or any coach should do when they see a guy that might turn into prime time player is  they shouldn’t drag their feet.  They should go after him right away.  Tommy and I talked about that.  That's why he almost got Delvon Roe.  He agreed. He said that maybe he did drag his feet early on with Raymar Morgan."

"The worst thing that could happen for Michigan is for the head coach not to come in enough.  Show yourself. I saw Tom Izzo at the high school championship games here in Columbus. He is the only college coach that I saw. He outworks other coaches.  If there is someone he wants and he gets the opportunity, he goes to see them himself. He doesn’t send anybody else."

What do you think about Tommy Amaker's tenure at Michigan?

"I think that Tommy did a really good job in recruiting once he picked things up with Raymar.  His recruiting tactics were good and his sales pitch was really good.  He treated the athlete and their people very well and he welcomed them with open arms.  He didn’t do anything different than any other coaches did on their visits, but Tommy does give you that wholesome feeling being around him.  Andy Moore did a good job at recruiting my area for him.  Those guys worked hard. I will say that.  They just weren’t fortunate to pull the big time players they needed, and I just can’t figure out why. I know why with Raymar…because they came in late.  It came down to the last two for him and it was Tommy and Izzo.   Raymar kinda’ battled with that.  But at the end of the day, Izzo was the one at that gym in the beginning and at the end."

Are you familiar with most of the guys that are being mentioned as replacements for Tommy?

No, not really. I'm familiar with a few. (Sean Miller & John Beilein).

OK, I’m going to say those names, and you tell me what you think about them.  Sean Miller?

"He’s done a good job at Xavier. I don't have a whole lot of experience with him, but I know that Xavier can really recruit.  They had been sending me invitations during my whole season this year. 'Bring your team… come on out…Bring your team… come on out.'  Kenny Frease committed to Xavier yesterday (Tuesday, March 27th)! The guy has me to the point where I would send a guy there just to say “hey, go see what Xavier looks like.'  Miller will get out there and work and his people work for him also.”  

John Beilein

"He’s a good coach, but between those two that I know something about, it would be Miller."

OK, but what do you think of Beilein as a coach and as a recruiter?

"As a coach I think he knows how to make it happen without the best players.  He still gets the job done.  He won't have a player on his team that's in the top 25 or 50, but he'll be winning games.  He hasn't gotten those top players, but he has still had success.  That tells you what kind of coach he is."

How about as a recruiter?

"As a recruiter?  Uhhhh… he'll get out there and go after the big guys, but if they don't come, he settles for the next best guy and makes it work with them."

Is there a particular coach that you want to see get the job?

"I wouldn't say that.  I'll just say that I think Michigan has some good options.  These are all coaches that are on the rise.  It seems like with every one of them the forecasters have been saying, 'he won't be around next year.' The Butler coach, the George Washington coach, and the others… everybody is saying that those guys won't be there next year. So it sounds like Michigan is going to end up with a good coach."

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