clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Weekend Recap: Off-season records broke, recruiting news

New, comment

A recap of the events that happened throughout Michigan basketball this past weekend.

NCAA Basketball: 2K Classic-Marquette vs Michigan Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of the coaching hires of Luke Yaklich and DeAndre Haynes to the assistant coaching positions, Michigan began its off-season workouts this weekend.

While there were many different points of players who stood out, it was the sophomore Ibi Watson that stole the show.

The 6-foot-5 wing supposedly set a new team record in the vertical leap on Friday, jumping 44 1/2 inches to touch 12 feet, 1/2 inches, strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson tweeted out.

While Watson did see playing time in 19 games last season, it was limited. He played behind ex-Wolverine forward Zak Irvin who took most of Watson’s minutes away. Watson averaged 1.3 points in 4.4 minutes per contest.

While this news may not change his playing time right away, it should be recognized. In the NBA Draft combine, Memphis’ D.J. Stephens set the record in 2013 for 46 inches on the vertical leap, only 1.5 more inches than Watson’s jump.

Once again, there is a lot in front of Watson that will be blocking him playing big minutes. Transfer student Charles Matthews and senior Duncan Robinson will play a majority of the minutes at the three/stretch-four position, while incoming freshman Jordan Poole could also play a role in Michigan's different looks.

The Pickerington, Ohio native should gain more attention from the coaching staff with little sighting like this one, and could seriously improve Michigan’s depth by becoming a more consistent scorer and defender.

Also according to Sanderson’s Twitter, senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman was another person who set a record.

He set the best time in the John Beilein era in a ¾ court race, getting across the floor in 30 seconds. The video was tweeted out by Sanderson.

The 6-foot-4, 175-pounder is now going to have more expected production of scoring with the graduation of Derrick Walton Jr. and Irvin. He played in all 38 games last season, averaging 9.1 points (a career high), 2.8 boards and 1.9 assists in 30.6 minutes per outing.

Recruiting update:

In the past, Michigan has went to the Ohio recruiting corps multiple times under John Beilein and found great talent.

This player however, recently de-committed from Ohio State, creating a more personal effect.

Beilein and his new staff have offered three-star, small forward Justin Ahrens a scholarship for the 2018 class on Sunday evening.

As a native of Versailles, Ohio, Ahrens is 166th overall in the 2018 bunch and is 43rd at the small forward position according to the 247Sports composite.

The 6-foot-5, 185-pounder de-committed from the Buckeyes this past June following the firing of former head coach Thad Matta.

He is considered a sharpshooter that can score the ball from distance on a consistent basis. Ahrens was named Ohio Division III co-player of the year by the Associated Press after averaging 22.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game during his junior season at Versailles.

Ahrens also has a tie to Michigan’s other rival school Michigan State. His brother Kyle Ahrens plays for the Spartans currently.

Michigan is now down to just one opening on their roster, barring any attrition or transfers that are not expected in the near future. The Wolverines have now offered 12 scholarships to the 2018-19 class, including commitments from power forward Brandon Johns and point guard David DeJulius.

Michigan will continue these off-season workouts until October when they get more practice time to prepare for game action. They open the season against North Florida on Nov. 11 at the Crisler Center.

Additional information:

During the College Practice Camp that Michigan hosted on Saturday a couple of big names for the upcoming years were spotted.

The 2018 commit Taylor Currie was amongst that group, and was drawing a good deal of attention.

Saddi Washington was spending a lot of time with the 6-foot-9 forward, as well as one-on-one situations with Beilein off to the side.

The 2019 prospect Quinn Slazinski was also in attendance, taking an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, got the chance to meet Currie. Currie and Slazinski ended up going against each other in a few drills throughout the afternoon.

According to an article from umhoops, Slazinski and Currie both got the best of each other a couple times, but overall had pretty even play and just traded blows.

Besides Currie and Slazinski, Caleb Hodgson, a 2019 forward from Dansville rated as a three-star by Rivals, and Jacob Polakovich, a 6-foot-8 forward from Grand Rapids Catholic Central, were some other notable front court members who were in the group of visitors.

In other news, on Sunday the Michigan basketball Twitter account released a video of the players scrimmaging during a practice. It was mostly centered around guard play, highlighted by a Mathews block near the rim.