For a team that had just one senior this past season, Michigan Basketball’s roster has undergone a major renovation in the last few weeks. The lone senior, Jordan Morgan, is an irreplaceable leader. The Wolverines also lost three players, Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary, to early entry in the NBA draft. Additionally, Jon Horford has transferred to Florida.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s coaching staff has been putting in work to fill out the roster. They already had a solid four member recruiting class inbound for the upcoming season. You can add two more players to that list; as Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman and Aubrey Dawkins have pledged to join the Wolverines 2014 recruiting class.
Abdur Rahkman and Dawkins, who is the son of Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins, are both players with high upside. They may have been destined to star for a mid major team, but have instead opted to join the Michigan family.
Michigan currently has 12 scholarship players on board for the upcoming 2014-15 season. A staggering seven of those 12 players will have freshman eligibility. Here’s how it breaks down by eligibility;
Juniors: Caris LeVert, Spike Albrecht, and Max Bielfeldt
Sophomores: Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin,
Freshmen: Mark Donnal, Kameron Chatman, Ricky Doyle, DJ Wilson, Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman, Aubrey Dawkins and Austin Hatch
As you can see the Wolverines will once again be one of the youngest teams in the country. They will rely heavily on Caris LeVert, who seems to be on the fast track for early entry into the 2015 NBA Draft, Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin. That’s an outstanding trio, but Michigan will need instant impact from some of those freshman eligible players.
The likely candidates to make that instant impact are Mark Donnal, who redshirted this past season, and Kameron Chatman, who rivals.com ranks as the 25th best player in the 2014 recruiting class.
Here is the starting five I projected in a recent article;
Derrick Walton Jr – Sophomore, 6-1, 185
Zak Irvin – Sophomore, 6-6, 200
Caris LeVert – Junior, 6-6, 185
Kam Chatman – Freshman, 6-8, 210
Mark Donnal – RS Freshman, 6-9, 230
John Beilein typically runs with a 7-8 man rotation, so look for 2-3 more players to be major contributors. Spike Albrecht and Max Bielfeldt are going to contribute and there is certainly an opportunity for some of the other incoming freshmen to play right away.
There is still one open scholarship available. Michigan has targeted Nevada transfer Cole Huff, who would have to sit out one season and then have two seasons of eligibility remaining. They could also bank the scholarship for the 2015 recruiting class, which figures to be a small one.
It will be fascinating to see how it unfolds and fear not Michigan fans, with John Beilein at the helm, the Wolverines will always be a factor in the Big Ten race.
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