Beilein is Byrd Watching

Blackhawk Christian (Ft. Wayne, IN) SG Russell Byrd has been one of Michigan's hottest targets on the AAU trail in recent weeks. Running with Blessed IJN, the 2010 prospect has been deadly from long range… and more and more coaches are taking notice.

The Michigan Wolverines are always in search of shooters, and they are hot on the trail of yet another in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Russell Byrd, a 6-5, 175-pound SG in the class of 2010, was among the deadliest sharpshooters GoBlueWolverine observed at the King James tournament in Akron and the Spiece Run N Slam Classic in Ft. Wayne in recent weeks.  On multiple occasions he showed uncanny marksmanship and big time range… so big that many of the big timers have already come a callin’.

“IU (Indiana) has offered, Iowa has offered, Notre Dame has offered, Baylor has offered, Louisville has offered.  Michigan State and Kentucky has been talking, a lot of interest in those schools.”

John Beilein’s program is another of interest for the talented youngster.  The Maize & Blue has made its interest known of late, but an offer has yet to be extended.

“Not quite,” Byrd responded when asked if he had received a Wolverine scholarship.  “I am going to go for a visit, unofficially, and (an offer) might be up there I guess.  This month maybe. Coach Beilein came and went to one of our open gyms at school and he is showing a lot of interest.”

Byrd has already had an opportunity to chat with Beilein and observe the Michigan headman’s style.  The Hoosier State standout came away with a favorable impression.

“Coach Beilein is very approachable,” said Byrd.  “A very nice guy.  I watched him coach a lot on TV and I was impressed with the way he coaches.”

As one might expect, Byrd finds Beilein’s wide open offense particularly appealing.  Style of play will play a huge role in his ultimate decision.  So too will the presence of a floor general that can deliver him the rock.

“I like run and gun (offenses),” Byrd said describing his criteria.  “I also like point guards that know what I can do and just kind of kick it out when they want to, and know I will knock down shots for them.”

“I’m also looking at the coaching staffs to see if they are solid guys with good morals and good characteristics,” he continued.  “I’ll look at facilities and the role thing or the situation that I will be in.  I definitely want to go somewhere where I will play.”

At this point there is one program standing out a bit from the rest, but he insists there is plenty of time for other schools to make their moves.

“I would have to say Iowa,” Byrd admitted regarding his leader.  “The coaching staff is awesome.  They always come every game… every AAU game… not every high school game.  Iowa is definitely one of the favorites.  I’m not doing anything anytime soon though.   I’ll decide late.  I am not a very good decision maker (laughing).”

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