Michigan Making its Mark on Prather

Michigan head coach John Beilein, flanked by assistants John Mahoney and Jerry Dunn, made his way into the home Jackson (TN) Northside wing Casey Prather Monday night. It was just another example of the Wolverines' consistent presence in the four-star prospect's recruitment… a presence often surpassed that of the other finalists Florida, Clemson, and Vanderbilt.

Casey Prather Profile

Sam Webb: Did have you had the chance to chat with Casey about his visit to Ann Arbor and his in-home with the Michigan coaching staff last night?

North Side Coach Tony Brown:  "Yes sir I did.  He said that he felt comfortable.  He really has been impressed with just simply the coaching staff at Michigan.  He said that it was real weird… that they acted like fathers… they are different.  He told me that just by talking to them, he did not feel any pressure to open up and talk with him.  He said that if maybe he had a problem with campus or something, he wouldn't feel like he couldn't talk to anybody from the coaching staff.  Coach B(eilein) brought down two other coaches (Coaches Mahoney and Dunn).  Casey said that he felt comfortable and he's really been impressed to know that this is actually the Michigan where the Fab Five came from and everything.  He's just been really excited knowing that a program such as Michigan is really interested in him."

Sam Webb:  As his coach, you have a unique perspective on his game.  For people who haven't seen him play, break down his game for us; how would you describe it? 

Tony Brown:  "He's very explosive.  When you look at him you would probably think that he may shoot all the time, but right now Casey is probably the best passer on the team and he's very unselfish.  In transition he is so explosive, and you don't even see it coming.  I was giving him a name; he's my gentle giant.  You just don't see it.  His first step is quick.  As far as playing on defense, he is just so versatile.  He can do it all but then again, he is still humble.  That's what makes him to me a phenomenal athlete.  That's the best I can say about him."

Sam Webb:  What about on the basketball side of things; what about Michigan appeals to him? 

Tony Brown:  "From what I gathered it has been the playing style.  He likes the up tempo, but then again he likes the x's and the o's.  If he was playing, he would be playing probably behind Manny (Harris)… not that Casey was comparing his game to, but he said I can see me doing in that particular role on the floor.  He's tall and strong and everything.  That is pretty much what he's talked about.  He said that Coach B seems like he's laid back but there are times he can get intense and everything.  Really ultimately, he probably takes care of all that in practice and once he hits the floor, he is just in his own zone and if you produce, you stay on the floor… if not, you come off the floor.  That's pretty much…ultimately, I would just say the style of play."

Sam Webb:  Obviously you are on the frontline of dealing with these coaches as sort of a buffer with Casey; how would you sort of describe Michigan's approach?  How would you describe the job that Michigan has done recruiting Casey relative to the other schools?

Tony Brown:  "I would say on a scale of one to 10, I would say a 12, because I've seen more Michigan coaches at games.  Now this is during the regular season. Michigan has been there through thick and thin.  I've seen them.  I can't say that every other school, in my opinion showed… I hope they don't read this (laughter).  But Michigan… the head coach, he flew down to Fayette-Ware when we were in the district tournament. I was impressed then because Fayette-Ware is in the middle of nowhere.  When I came out of the locker room, I looked up and there was Coach B.  He was just displaying that proud M symbol on his sweats and everything.  He waited until after the game was over and he talked to me and everything.  Everything that I've seen from Michigan has been exactly how it should be.  They're not trying to sell Casey on coming to Michigan.  I think they are very wholesome people and very humble people.  I think they pretty much put it all onto the table and if you decide to come there that is fine.  I think the coaches, if Casey didn't come to Michigan, I think they would still be cool.  One thing that has really impressed me is they have not put down any other program.  To me that was really impressive, because a lot of programs put down other programs, which I think is not good.  They have come in and talk about Michigan and where Michigan is and where they are trying to go.  Even at the games in Memphis over the summer at the tournaments, Michigan was there.  I've really been impressed with their presence."

Sam Webb:  Have you spoken with Casey about when he might be ready to make a decision?

Tony Brown:  "Yes, but he made me promise that I wouldn't tell yet.  As a matter of fact, today during my lunch…he's always coming to talk to me and stuff, most of the time when he is traveling back from like visiting the actual campus, he'll say alright coach we need to talk about this.  I'll go pick him up and we'll talk and stuff.  That talk has come real soon, where we'll go to dinner or something and we'll just shoot the bull and then we'll get into it then."

Sam Webb:  Let's say that day comes whenever it is and he is getting ready to sit down and make his decision, what are going to be those factors?  What are going to be the key points that make one school stick above all the rest?

Tony Brown:  "I think it is going to be important if the school has what Casey wants to major in.  I think that is really going to be good.  I think he wants to look at the graduation rate.  Casey really wants to see if the men in the program are graduating.  He's looking at what type of rapport is he building to players that he has met going to visit.  If the guys don't like you, why would you come to that school?  I think that where he feels most comfortable with and of course is he going to getting some playing time, because we talk about that.  You have to look at who is already there and then who is coming in behind you too.  Those are some things that I'm pretty sure would relate because we talk about that all the time.  What would happen if this or if he goes here and he doesn't get to play or this or this.  I've told him, you're going to have to earn a spot.  Guys just do say hey freshman, come on in and you can have my starting spot.  It is going to be through a lot of dedication and work."

Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine.com for even more on Casey Prather, including further details on his timeline, visit schedule, and more.

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