Aug 14, 2014, 10:25 AM EDT
In the past two seasons, Michigan has seen Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III all depart for the NBA Draft with eligibility remaining.
While that’s good for the public perception of the program, it’s not necessarily a good thing for the program itself. It’s really hard for a team to win when the stars of three recruiting classes are playing in the NBA, not in the Big Ten.
Enter Caris LeVert. A little-known recruit coming out of high school, LeVert was one of the best players on the Wolverines this past season, morphing into a guy who will find his name on preseason all-america teams and who will be the centerpiece for a Michigan team that is now expected to compete for Big Ten titles every year.
Back in May, LeVert underwent surgery on his ankle, and while he’s made his way back to the court in preparation for the team’s trip to Italy, LeVert is not yet at 100%.
“Caris started playing last week, but he’s not himself yet,” head coach John Beilein said in a Wednesday press conference. “As you can imagine, he was pretty much dormant for 16 weeks and so you’ll see some of those flashes today. It’s just a matter of him getting back in game shape.”
As a sophomore, LeVert averaged 12.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists while shooting 40.8% from three. There were times last season where he was Michigan’s best player, and while he’s not quite the playmaker that Stauskas and Burke were, he is a 6-foot-6 guard that can handle the ball in the pick-and-roll while taking games over.
He’ll share the back court with returnees Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin as well as Kameron Chatman, who headlines Beilein’s six-man recruiting class. That is an impressive group, but with holes along their front line, Michigan will be counting LeVert to be a star this season.
The season kicks off in three months, as Michigan hosts Bucknell on Nov. 17th.
- #FredHoibergWatch officially commences today, as Bulls fire Thibodeau 3
- There’s only one way the NCAA gets UNC investigation wrong: a 2016 postseason ban 43
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer 7
- North Carolina announces receipt of Notice of Allegations from NCAA 3
- LSU’s ’25 is coming’ campaign doesn’t try to hide that they’re monetizing Ben Simmons 2
- Looking Forward: Catching up on the American’s offseason 1
- Five-star center Caleb Swanigan has committed to Purdue 8
- There’s only one way the NCAA gets UNC investigation wrong: a 2016 postseason ban (43)
- Four men’s teams banned from 2016 postseason due to APR scores (10)
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer (7)
- Report: Class of 2016 four-star wing considering college among playing options for next season (5)
- Frank Kaminsky writes a farewell letter to Wisconsin fans (5)