Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gone in a Flash

Beverly Commits to Arkansas

Show of hands, who didn't see this coming? In yet another kick to the groin of Michigan basketball, Patrick Beverly committed to Arkansas today. Despite what was perceived as a great visit to Ann Arbor during Michigan's NIT run, Arkansas brand new facilities and NCAA tournament berths won out for his services.

Bottom Line: This sucks. While I can't say his decision is a surprise I was holding out hope he'd commit to Michigan. Like I said earlier, everything he mentioned following his trip to Arkansas indirectly pointed out the major flaw in Michigan's current program. While we both could offer playing time, Arkansas had some shiney new digs to show off and we didn't. Another thing that likely killed us was Alex Legion's decommitment. I got the feeling from Beverly's interviews that he was impressed by the fact that Michigan had secured such a high profile player. When Legion bolted, I'm sure Beverly took note. With Legion, Beverly had a bona-fide fill the net partner on the wing. It looks a lot better as a pointman when you've got a scorer to dish to. Without him, well, you don't.

As annoyed as I am, I can't blame Tommy for this one. The first thing out of Beverly's mouth was how great Arkansas' facilities were. Tommy's gotten us just outside on several different recruits, only to have Michigan's shoddy practice and weight rooms derail once promising recruiting efforts. Take a look at our facilities (at right), would you want to practice here? Hopefully losing yet another commit based on the physical problems with the program will help Martin to realize the team desperately needs some infrastructure help. NCAA appearances generate revenue and good publicity. However, they cost money (in terms of buildings and repairs) to obtain. So make it happen Billy, or watch the program fade into Bolivian.

As for a silver lining on this little storm cloud, Michigan will now turn its attention to another once promising prospect. Guard Scottie Reynolds, a former top Michigan target, has asked to be released from his letter of intent to play for Oklahoma following Kelvin Sampson's departure. Michigan was one of his top three before committing to Oklahoma. Reynolds is ranked as the 74th best player out of the Rivals.com top 150. Like Bevelry, he's a scoring point guard who could fill Horton's shoes. We'll see how Tommy's renewed pursuit pans out.

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