Kalamazoo Central’s Corey Person isn’t often mentioned when discussions about the Michigan’s 2008 recruiting class arises, but the sharpshooting guard is confident that will change before his Maize & Blue career is over. The freshman walk-on, who was Kalamazoo Central's valedictorian and also a recipient of the Kalamazoo Promise academic scholarship, is eager to prove his worth to the basketball program on the floor. He rejects the notion that he is just a practice player that will help the team’s GPA, adding that Coach Beilein really likes his versatility.
"I ran the point guard for Central,” Person said. “Coach Beilein says that he looks at me as a combo guard. Competition is going to be fierce for playing time. I'm not sure how things will play out until we get closer to the season. There are going to be a lot of cats working hard to get on the floor. I can tell that the guys are playing hard."
Person got a firsthand account of just how hard when he made it to Ann Arbor for an open gym last night.
"Just about everybody was there,” Person reported. “Kelvin, Manny, Gibson, Jevohn… DeShawn was there but he didn't play while I was there. He might have played earlier before I got to the gym, I'm not sure. All the guys look good. They look bigger than last year... more explosive. Those cats look like they have been hitting the weights."
"Robin (Benzing) is on campus too and he participated in the scrimmages,” Person continued regarding the Wolverines’ German recruit. “He is about 6-9 or 6-10 and shoots the ball well. He can put the ball on the ground and can really hit the open three point shot. We ran together along with Laval, and (David) Merritt."
Having seen the improvement in Michigan’s players first hand, Person is even more confident that Beilein can help develop his game.
"In talking to (Beilein), he made quite an impression on me as far as talking to me about improvement,” Person recalled. “He really stressed how he can help improve my game, I really felt that he could make me a better player and help me to improve my weaknesses."
Count Person among those who can't wait for a UM practice facility to be built so players can work on those weaknesses whenever they want. That said, he admits that it’s not a daily topic with the team.
"The guys don't really talk about the (practice) facility that much,” he said. “They leave that up to the decision makers, but there is no doubt that having something will give us an opportunity to get our shots up. Right now we are sharing the gym with the ladies' team and sometimes there isn't any place to play. We sometimes use a rec center to get our shots up. It will definitely help us once it's built. Playing on MSU's campus, when their gym is being used, they can walk over to their auxiliary gym and work on their game."
For time being Person and his new teammates will make the best of what they have. At the moment, Person is much more concerned with getting acclimated to college life. He will room with fellow freshman Zach Novak this fall and is excited about the direction of the program. He is eager to see what transpires through summer workouts heading into the fall.