Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Michigan Nabs Big Basketball Recruit

Amaker Gets "Solid Verbal" From Corperryale Harris (SG-Detroit)

Finally! Some good news from the basketball program. The Diag, sitting both TheWolverine and GoBlueWolverine, is reporting that stud 4* soon-to-be 5* guard/wing Corperryale Harris of Detroit verbally committed to the University of Michigan yesterday.

Big deal? Um... Yes. Chili cheese fries for all.

After getting repeatedly kicked in the groin by high level prospects, Michigan finally landed someone capable of replacing Daniel Horton. My Bakermania is slowly beginning to go into remission.

The Vitals:
Corperryale Harris
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 170
School: Detroit Redford
AAU: The Family (Graham Brown and Lester Abram are alumni)
Recruit Year: 2007
Ranks: Rivals #45 overall (#13 SG); Scout #16 SG

Peep Game:
Harris averaged 25.7 points per game and led Redford to the Detroit Public League Championship and the Class A state semi-finals. He was named to the Detroit News "Dream Team" as a junior. Harris also joined Michigan 2006 commit DeShawn Sims on the Free Press' All-Metro Team. His sister's got game too. She signed with Marquette after leading Detroit Renaissance to the Class B state basketball championship. GoBlueWolverine did a guard/wing write up in May that sums his game up pretty well (scroll mid way). They've also got a great free piece on his meteoric rise into the top 100. Not only did Harris average in the mid twenties, he pulled down 6.5 boards a game and dished out 4.5 assists per.

A little video on "Manny" can be accessed here. ($$)

Harris apparently can do just about anything on a basketball court. At 6'5" he's a match-up nightmare. When teams have matched quicker shorter guards on him, he's taken them down low and displayed a polished post game. When faced with bigger wings or forwards, he's fast enough to take them off the dribble. Completely unafraid of contact. Harris likes to drive the lane, but has a decent jumper when teams clog those lanes. Defensively he's a monster. A lockdown guard with "long length" (yes, that's a joke).

Sports Illustrated was at the Nike All-America Camp and reported Harris was routinely getting deflections and steals. He also posterized 7 footer Solomon Alabi at the camp's first game. There's also a brief mention of Harris in the Rivals coverage of the Nike Camp. According to Scout he needs to work on his three point range and Rivals says his shooting form needs some work, but those seem to be his only critisms.

Rivals Hoops has another interesting write up on his participation in the Nike Memorial Day Classic. An important thing to note from that write up is Harris seems to know what to do when he doesn't have the ball. Always moving, looking for openings. Finally, every report has him pegged as a grinder in the best sense of the word. Hard working and devoted. Always looking to get better. In short, a stud.

Puzzle Pieces

As a 2007 recruit, expect Harris to step immediately into Dion Harris' starting role next season. With DeShawn Sims and Harris locking down one side of the court, their effectiveness will be determined in part by Amaker's ability to land a big man. With Smith running the point, Sims and Harris at 3 and 2 respectively, a true center and power forward remain HUGE needs. Udo may well fill that need at power forward. That said, a center becomes our greatest need. And there's only one spot left.

All that's left now for 2007. A single scholarship. One left. How Amaker either wastes it or uses it is anyone's guess. My choice target for the last scholarship should by Gigantor, Jr., Indiana Center Gary McGhee. 253 lbs of man-child. Land him and Michigan is not only respectable for the next three-four years, but begins to make the tournament with regularity. However, winning a Big Ten title will remain a pipe dream as long as MSU and OSU continue to point and claim the cream of the recruiting classes.

No. I'm not losing my mind. Without a 4* center who can actually play center, Michigan remains a bubble/likely NIT bound team. A center pushes this group over that bubble. If three of your five starters are 4* or better, your point guard is a competent 3* and you can develop a serviceable 5th player, you're in good shape. Udo should fill out nicely at power forward, providing boards and defense. The bench? Meh. Unproven, young, mistake and transfer prone. With some playing time, they could become serviceable. Shepherd and Prince should produce some points over the next two-three seasons. However, again, without a center, especially with the competition in the Big Ten, Michigan is still on the outside looking in.

There is still the chance Tommy will give the last scholarship to someone who died a year ago. But as of today, there's a better chance he'll give it to someone he's actually seen play. Tommy went hard after Harris. Harris said no one else came close to Tommy's pursuit. If that's the case, and Tommy only has to focus on one more person, we could be in decent shape.

My main fear was Harris would wait until everyone else had committed before making his decision. If that had happened, as it has in the past, we would've been left with no one to pursue. His early commit frees up tons of time and energy to devote to our last remaining scholarship. It also means that there are several top centers remaining who haven't committed anywhere else. There are still people to choose from. We can actually be somewhat selective rather than spending out time scouring the transfer and peanut-allergy wires. Harris' commit is a big step toward respectability. Its also a huge recruiting boost. Because of it, I'm more confident we'll land a center now than I was yesterday.

Good job on this one Tommy. Don't screw up the last scholarship.

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