The Wolverine

June-July 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 55 2017 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE "It was big. Our school had never won a championship," he said. "The way we celebrated afterward with parades and a banquet, it all sunk in. We had fun with it." TAYLOR CURRIE 6-9 • 205 • PF Clarkston (Mich.) High Three-Star Prospect Currie transferred from Worthington (Ohio) High to Clarkston (Mich.) High before the season, and he helped lead his new school to its first-ever state title with a win over Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian. He notched 16 points and 10 rebounds in the title game, playing inside more than he had in his career, and continues to de- velop. Big Ten schools have been showing him plenty of interest, and he visited Michigan State for a game this winter. His mother is a Michigan alum and fan, however, and the Wolverines have plenty going for them. "I talk to all the coaches, mostly Coach [Jeff ] Meyer and Coach Beilein a little bit … he's a great guy, an awesome guy. I talk with Coach [Billy] Donlon and Coach [Saddi] Washington as well. "I've been up there a couple times. I went to the Texas game this year and then was down there for a visit last sum- mer. It was a lot of fun. It's a great school, a great place, and I love the coaches and academics." Adding strength will be a big key if Cur- rie hopes to play Big Ten ball. He's rela- tively thin, and though he battled with MSU pledge Xavier Tillman in the state title game, Tillman bullied his way to 25 points. Currie admitted he was still getting comfortable playing in the paint and is more of an outside guy at this point. "I'm a stretch four or five, I would say," he explained. "I put a high price on rebound- ing and my ability to defend. I can score in a variety of ways, shoot the ball, attack the rim off the dribble or post up." It's very early in his recruitment, he noted, but added Michigan and Michi- gan State are showing a lot of interest, along with Purdue and Wisconsin. He's more focused on improving every day than recruiting, but he does know what he's looking for in a school. "I want to get along well with the coaching staff. That's probably No. 1," he said. "Academics, of course. I like account- ing, so probably something in that field. I'm just looking for the right fit." He has plenty of time to figure out where that might be. Some Out-Of-Staters To Watch QUINN SLAZINSKI 6-7 • 200 • PF Houston Westbury Christian Three-Star Prospect Slazinski's game has been compared to M ichigan rising- re d s h i r t j u n i o r D. J. Wilson's, and he's got ties to the state — his w h o l e f a m i l y h a i l s from the Mitten, and he grew up there. He's got a cousin at Michi- gan, a brother who plays baseball at Saginaw Valley State and his grandparents live in East Lan- sing. He's already visited Michigan State twice — his mother graduated from the school — but he plans to see Ann Arbor in May. Beilein and Meyer have been to Hous- ton this spring to watch him play, and Meyer has ties to his head coach, Trey Austin. Meyer recruited Austin in the 1990s when Meyer was at Liberty Uni- versity. Slazinski holds offers from California, Texas A&M, Texas, Tulane, Rice, Okla- homa State, Georgia Tech and Houston, among others. KEION BROOKS 6-7 • 180 • PF Fort Wayne (Ind.) North Side's No. 26 Sophomore Nationally Brooks is an elite talent, and Michi- gan was in to watch him at an open gym at his school in April. He's a four star with offers from Indiana, Michigan State and others, and most believe he'll end up at either IU or MSU, possibly Purdue. U-M is watching him, however. "They were trying to come in to pick up more interest. I'm definitely hearing from them," he said. "But I really haven't talked to Beilein too much … I don't know what they want to do, but I know they are really interested. "I did see one of their assistants watching me [on the Nike AAU circuit in Indianapolis]." Brooks averaged 20.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore. JORDAN MITCHELL 6-6 • 185 • SF Montverde (Fla.) Academy's No. 41 Sophomore Nationally Mitchell, from Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln, has become an Ohio State priority, and he holds offers from OSU, Florida, Xavier and others. Wisconsin, Kansas, Indiana and Michigan are among those showing serious interest. "I've been working to get my jump shot more consistent," he said in early spring. "I want to be more consistent with my catch-and-shoot and everything." He's looking for the right system to fit his skill set. "Playing up on the 17U level, Mitchell is going through an adjustment," Rivals. com reported in April. "He's an excellent open-court athlete and has a nose for the rim but is a little timid at times." JOE GIRARD III 6-1 • 170 • SG Glen Falls (N.Y.) High Not Rated Meyer was in to see Girard in April, reported, and so was Villanova. George Washington, Albany, Vermont and Siena also watched him, and Notre Dame, Syracuse, Villanova, Louisville, St. John's and Washington are all showing interest. Penn State is his big- gest offer to date. Girard averaged 36 points per game last year and could pass New York's all-time scoring leader, Lance Stephenson with 2,946 points, by the end of his junior year, notes. Most of his shots in spring AAU play (85 percent) have been triples, and he's shot 36.5 percent through two Nike Elite Youth Basketball League events. "Coaches like how I shoot the ball and my basketball IQ," he said. "I am a point guard, but I can create my own shot and create space for myself." His father, Joe Jr., scored 2,179 varsity points and played at LeMoyne College under Beilein. ❏

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