The Michigan basketball staff has hit the streets hard in recent weeks to build
their 2008 target list. One trait that seems consistent in all the prospects
that have emerged thus far is the ability to shoot. It should come as no surprise,
then, that one of the newest targets is Hale Franciscan (Chicago, IL) High’s
Matthew Humphrey. The 6-6 shooting guard has drawn praise for his deft stroke,
and he has put it on display a few times already in the young AAU season. He
had a strong showing with college coaches looking on at the King James Shooting
Stars Classic in Akron a few weeks back. This past weekend at the Spiece Run
N’ Slam All Star Classic, his game was a little more up and down.
“King James went a little better than this tournament,” Humphrey admitted. “Now I’ve got a bull’s-eye on my back (laughing). You see how close those dudes were playing me, man?! They wouldn’t even let me touch the ball. I’m just trying to do other things…play good defense and score when I can.”
Michigan coaches weren’t in attendance at Spiece (it wasn’t a NCAA sanctioned event for college coaches), but they were present at King James, and Humphrey’s long range ability definitely caught their attention. That interest recently manifested itself in the form of a scholarship offer.
“(The Michigan offer) happened about two or three days ago,” Humphrey told GoBlueWolverine in Ft. Wayne this weekend. “I was getting letters from them. At first they were more on Josh Crittle (Humphrey’s teammate Tai Streets’ Mean Streets AAU club) than me. Now it’s about the same. Coach Beilein called me and my father. He came to my school that last open day. Then I talked to him on the phone and he offered me.”
One of the primary topics of conversation between the young sharpshooter and his prospective coach was how he would fit into Michigan’s plans. Beilein made it clear that Humphrey’s skill set is tailor made for his system.
“He said he liked me,” recalled Humphrey. “He said needed a guard that could shoot, dribble, and guard bigger guards as far as big swing dudes that can shoot. He said he needs a dribbling forward that can play defense. I can do some of everything. I’m a shooter, I’m a combo guard, I can put the ball on the floor, and I play defense. I don’t really compare myself to anyone. I like T-Mac though. But he doesn’t play enough defense for me. You see they lost (Saturday night).”
Michigan isn’t the only school whose interest has been piqued by that all-around game. According to Humphrey, his offer list has been steadily growing since the winter
“Oregon, Notre Dame, Colorado, Illinois…it’s like 20-something (offers),” he said. “I’m going to narrow it down probably closer to the open period in July. Sometime in June I’m going to narrow it down. I’ve got to sit down with my father and my mom and talk about that. I’ve visited the local schools already. I’ve been to Illinois, I’ve been to Wisconsin once, Notre Dame a couple of times... I think that’s pretty much it. I want to visit some other places.”
And how does Michigan fit into his recruitment?
“They’re there,” said Humphrey. “It sounds pretty good to me.”
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Humphrey in the coming weeks and months.