Wednesday's Docket: A Surprise Signing and Transfer Possibilities Galore
Michigan Signs a 6-10 Power Forward
Yup, someone other than Courtney Sims will be taller than 6' 7" next year. Whew. Michigan announced yesterday that it signed 6' 10" Edmond, OK power forward Ekpe Udoh to a letter of intent. Udoh will join the Wolverines as a freshman on the 2006 roster. While not a major coup, this is a "big" deal for Michigan. With the departures of Graham Brown and Chris Hunter, Michigan was desperate for some help in the paint. Having a legit power forward, to bang the boards and pump in a point or two, is crucial to Michigan making any sort of tourney run next year.
Udoh was on Amaker's radar for a while. While he was interested in Michigan, he had made numerous grumblings about going to prep school next year to increase his market value and acquire a few mor offers. In fact, I'd pretty much written him off a few weeks ago. Instead, he'll suit up next year and give Michigan another down low presence.
As the Ann Arbor News Points out, this signing end a period of repeated kicks to the crotch for Michigan recruiting. Legion. Beverly. Just about everyone else. Mgoblog speculates, probably correctly, that Amaker showed Udoh a roster devoid of big men and he bit. I'm inclined to agree. First time in a while the, you'll start immediately line has worked though. Brian also gives a great analysis on what we're getting in Udoh. Raw offensively, better defender than scorer, no back to the basket game. The Diag, who broke the news, also takes a look at what Udoh brings to the table.
My thoughts: Yea. We got someone. We got someone we actually targeted. We got someone who fills an obvious need. He's big. He's strong. He can shoot (short to mid range, what a forward should be able to do). We actually need a guy like him. He's not going to be Charles Barkley. For that matter he probably won't even be Chris Hunter. But, he may be a mix of Hunter and Brown, and that is a pretty good addition.
Where it Leaves Us: Udoh's commitment means we have four scholarship players for next year, with one open scholarship to give out. The four are DeShawn Sims, K'len Morris, Anthony Wright, and of course Udoh.
The Open Scholarship: Well, your guess is as good as mine. The transfer wires have been hot, hot, hot. Well not that kind of hot, but there have been rumors a plenty. Center Eric Boateng of Duke (who recently vistied Ann Arbor) and foward Zach Gibson of Rutgers are both mentioned to be seriously interested in Michigan. Both are big dudes, but the crown jewel of the transfers out there is Boateng who was rated as the #3 center in the class of 2005. A recent Rivals article talks about both players, but also mentions for the first time PG Farnold Degand, who is transfering from Iowa State. Rivals reports he was inked in as ISU's starting point guard this year, but aparently wants out. Michigan and Notre Dame appear to be the front runners. Degand was quoted as saying the following:
"Those are great environments and really prestigious schools," Degand said. "You graduate from those schools and your diploma has a little more oomph to it. The lure to play in the Big Ten (at Michigan) is big, though there would have to be something special about those schools to make me consider them more than those East Coast schools."Um. So that's good.
The hang up I'm sure is the sceptre of pseudo-transfers, Scottie Reynolds a 6-1 point guard and McDonald's All American. He was released from his LOI to Oklahoma when Sampson departed for Indiana (and left a flaming pile of horse crap and recruiting violations on OK's doorstep). So far three commits have asked out of the LOIs at Oklahoma. Reynolds has visited Michigan and LSU. He's also slated to take a peak at Nova. Tommy's been all over this kid since his decommit, as Reynolds reported had Michigan as one of his favorites. Reynolds would be a great fit at Michigan, and as a veritable free agent, would not have to wait a year due to transfer rules.
While Reynolds would be a great addition, I'm crossing my fingers for Boateng. A true center is EXACTLY was Michigan needs, especially after Sims leaves. Plus the thought of some epic Boateng v. Oden battles in the post gets me all googly eyed. I actually think Jarret Smith will be more than adequate at the point as a distributor. However, he's going to need a lot of work on his jump shot. We'll see. There are some decent fish in the pond. Tommy finally switched to some good bait and it netted Udoh.
Let's see if it works twice.
Loads of new on new hockey uber-recruit Trevor Lewis over at Mgoblog. You may commence over hyping your expectations. In other news, foward Zach MacVoy is leaving because he didn't get enough ice time. News flash: You were a freshman! (HT Mgoblog)
The Final Sculpting of The Midwestern Conference is Complete
It's done. Conference USA and the Midwestern Conference are set. Kyle has proven again why we call him The Mayor. Executive decisions, dammit! In honor of this new Big Ten, here's a leggy shot of Angie Harmon.