Cassity Emerges as 08 Target

The Michigan Wolverines will upgrade their collective shooting ability with the additions of Ben Cronin and Stuart Douglass next year, but they want to add even more. The Maize & Blue is still on the prowl for youngsters with deft touch, and they may have discovered another hidden gem in Pinckneyville, IL G Kyle Cassity.

Michigan head coach John Beilein has made no secret of his desire to add an additional piece or two to the 2008 class. The Maize & Blue staff has been busy uncovering hidden talents all over the country, and one of the more recent targets to emerge is Pinckneyville High School (Pinckneyville, IL) G Kyle Cassity. The 6-4 185-pound shooter was initially regarded as a mid-major talent by national recruiting analyst Dave Telep, but he earned higher marks after a “an outstanding, not to mention gutsy, performance at the Marshall County Hoopfest.” Cassity dislocated his thumb in a contest before returning to play well in spite of the injury. The Wolverines are among those that have taken notice of his game, and the southern Illinois standout is definitely interested.

“I first started hearing from Michigan probably a couple of weeks ago,” Cassity reported. “They called my coach first and he got a hold of me. I was actually pretty excited. That’s Big Ten. That’s big time. That something I always wanted to do, but the Big Ten… I always thought it was a dream.”

The interest in Cassity appears to be growing by the day, as evidenced by the Michigan staff’s increasing presence in Pinckneyville.

“They came down to a game,” Cassity recalled. “It was probably a couple of weeks back. Coach Beilein called me (Wednesday) and said he is coming next week to a practice. It was a good conversation. He told me they had to play Minnesota (Thursday), then he was going to Ohio State next Tuesday, then he would by next Wednesday for a practice.”

“They said something about me coming up for a visit a while back,” he continued, “but they haven’t said anything more. When Coach Beilein comes down on Wednesday, maybe we’ll talk about it then.”

According to Cassity, the Wolverines are recruiting him as a combo guard. While it’s true he is capable of manning the point, he is most regarded as a shooter. That skill is the one that has garnered him much of the recruiting attention thus far.

“I’m hearing from St. Louis, Albany, VCU (Virginia Commonwealth), my coach got a call from Vanderbilt… UMKC (University of Missouri Kansas City) has offered, and SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) has offered,” he said. “During the early period I took a visit to Missouri Kansas City, but that’s the only visit I’ve been on. I also have offers from Albany and Missouri Southern State.”

When asked to describe his game himself, Cassity’s modesty comes to the fore. He’d much rather talk about his team… which is right in step with the kind of mentality Beilein covets.

“I play a little point, wing, and I also play the post a little bit,” said Cassity. We’re not very big, and I’m one of the tallest guys on the team. We run a five out. I just do what I can. I dish it, I can shoot it a little bit, and I just try to do what I can. I’m not even positive what my stats are. If I had to guess I’m averaging 18 or19 points per game, three or four assists…somewhere in there, and probably seven rebounds. Those are guesses. They aren’t written in stone or anything.”

“As a team we’re actually playing pretty well,” he added. “We’re 18-4. I think we’re on an eight game winning streak and we’re playing pretty good. We’ve only got five regular season games left and then we hit the post season, so we’re playing good at the right time.”

The team success is obviously reaping positive dividends for Cassity when it comes to the growing interest he is receiving from college suitors. At this point, though, he is taking a wait & see approach to finding the best fit.

“Whenever I think I know where I want to go, that will be the time that I sign somewhere,” he said. “I don’t really have a timeline. When the time is right I’ll go somewhere that I think I want to be, somewhere that I fit in, and somewhere I can have success.”

GoBlueWolverine will have more on Cassity in the coming weeks.

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