When John Beilein was first hired to be Michigan's basketball coach back in 2007, one of the biggest concerns about the hire was his ability to recruit big-time talent. Beilein hadn't experienced a ton of recruiting success at West Virginia, although his success on the court rightfully overshadowed the recruiting rankings quite a bit.
At Michigan, Beilein slowly but surely started gaining traction on the recruiting trail. His first big get was Darius Morris as part of the 2009 recruiting class. Morris went pro after last season and was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. A year later, Beilein picked up a couple of talented players in Evan Smotrycz and Tim Hardaway Jr., who is expected to be one of the best players on this year's team. Beilein has already secured a top 40 player in Glenn Robinson III for 2012, and on Thursday he added center/power forward Mitch McGary, who is considered one of the top three players in the country for 2012.
McGary announced his decision to commit to Michigan on ESPNU. The announcement confirmed speculation that had been swirling for the last month or so about McGary favoring the Wolverines. He visited Michigan at the beginning of September, and within a month Michigan reportedly jumped to the front of the pack in his recruitment. Although things seemed to even out a bit in the weeks that followed, Michigan again emerged as the frontrunner for McGary in the past week.
McGary's commitment gives Michigan an outstanding recruiting class for 2012. The aforementioned Robinson III, who is on the same AAU team as McGary, committed to Michigan in September 2010. Since then he has shot up the recruiting rankings, and currently he is ranked 34th in the nation for 2012 by Rivals. Nick Stauskas committed to Michigan in March and is the No. 79 player in the class of 2012, according to Rivals.
McGary, who plays for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire and is originally from Michigan senior Zack Novak's hometown of Chesterton, Indiana, is a universal five-star recruit. He is ranked third in the nation by Rivals and second in the nation by both Scout and ESPN. All three sites list him as the top player at his position. He is the type of player that is expected to start from the second he steps on campus, and he is expected to be a high NBA Draft pick potentially after just one season in college if he elects to go pro.
The 6-foot-10 McGary holds offers from the likes of Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland and North Carolina. Duke and Florida finished right behind Michigan in McGary's recruitment, and the rest of his top five included UNC and Maryland. Michigan hasn't been known to beat out schools like that for basketball recruits in a long time, which is why McGary's decision to commit to the Wolverines is so big. He is one of Michigan's highest rated basketball recruits since Chris Webber and the days of the Fab Five, and from a perception standpoint, if anything serves as an indication that the Wolverines have finally recovered from the scandal related to the Fab Five and the mediocrity that followed on the court, this is it.
Michigan Basketball Recruiting Class Of 2012
- SF Glenn Robinson III (St. John, IN) - 6'5", 192 lbs., ****
- SG Nick Stauskas (Southborough, MA) - 6'5", 182 lbs., ****
- PF/C Mitch McGary (Chesterton, IN) - 6'10", 250 lbs., *****
(Height, weight and stars from Rivals.com)