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Citadel Spits, Michigan Swallows

IF you still want to defend Tommy Amaker, please feel free to hop up on stage. I've got plenty of time and the speakers list is not that long. Before your proceed, please keep in mind that this man has never taken Michigan to the NCAA Tournament and has yet to land a top-10 recruiting class. Oh, but he has such a nice smile!

On Wednesday, Tommy Amaker added little-known PG Reed Baker to his already not-that-scintillating 2006 recruiting class. Having missed out on nearly every conceivable point guard prospect in nearly every conceivable way--save for there being too much of a logjam at the position or there being too many highly talented kids already in the fold--Baker will be a great addition to the team since we've already ordered a certain number of jerseys and sneakers and need people to wear them.

Why isn't there more enthusiasm about Baker? Well for starters, the dude was set to go to The Citadel until the school changed coaches and told Baker he was no longer desired. Read. That. Again. Next, he was slated to attend the University of the Southern Part of Birmingham (You Know, Down the Block from Home Depot, Olive Garden, and the Land Rover Dealership) but that fell through when up-to-that-point Division 1A USPB(YK,DBHD,OG,LRD) decided to drop down to the D3-level of competition. At the time of this competitive demotion, USPB(YK,DBHD,OG,LRD) head coach Hugh Fuk-Ing Kayers said, "Baker was gonna be a big--wait, Reed Baker who got punked by the Citadel? Eh, whatever."

This is all horrible stuff to write about a high school kid who I don't know and who may really be the 6'1", 175-pound overlooked version of Magic Johnson. I know that, and I really don't carry any specific animus for Reed. I'm sure he's a great guy. I mean, Tommy Amaker is all class, and that means he knows which kids to get.

But still, you can't really feel too good about your basketball program when it adds a kid in JUNE who was listing interest in basketball powerhouses Citadel, Air Force, Mercer, Florida Gulf Coast University (!), and USPB(YK,DBHD,OG,LRD). He isn't rated by Rivals and there is no video of him.

To put this in music terms, this would be like you, a previously well-regarded rapper who had fallen on some hard times after leaving your label, taking a verse that even Rick Ross wouldn't use and proclaiming it to be the hottest shit that you ever wrote. In politics, this would be like Al Gore pursuing George Bush's energy policy. Is Isiah Thomas suddenly running this team?

To be optimistic, though, maybe Ron Coleman is no longer the player on the roster least likely to end up on SportsCenter. Kudos, Ron. And more so, maybe UM can apply this strategy elsewhere. Why not start sifting through the trash of NCAA Tournament teams to find dinner? That might work, too.