Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bad Recruiting News On The Horizon

As commenter cyclonejohn notes in the previous thread, Gopher fans will in all liklihood have to swallow a bitter recruiting pill tomorrow when Sagniaw, Mich. power forward Draymond Green opts against coming to the Twin Cities to play for Tubby Smith.

Green, you may remember, verbally committed to Tubby at Kentucky but later pulled back from his pledge when the new Gophers coach bolted from the bluegrass state. Minneapolis and St. Paul columnists suggested that Green would follow Tubby to Minnesota, and that to increase those odds, Tubby and the U would offer Green's high school coach an admiistrative position with the program. None of that happened and Minnesota isn't listed in Green's top 3. He has a presser set for Thursday to make his decision between Michigan State, Michigan and Indiana.

Accoding to Rivals, Green is the 78th ranked player in the 2008 recruiting class. He could have been an integral part in changing the direction of the men's basketball program.

I've had an email back-and-forth with a couple 'Tubby is a Savior' types who suggest that this development isn't of much concern. It's early on in the 2008 recruiting wars, they argue, and Green is just one of many talents Tubby has been after.

I can't argue with those points. But this does mark the first recruiting loss Tubby Smith has endured as head man of the maroon and gold. I believe it's best to withhold judgment on Tubby's extremely important 2008 class until a few more targets have made verbals.

But I do find one item disconcerting about Green's recruitment, which I will share with you after a outquote from the Detriot News.

Green is a 6-foot-7 forward who was the lone underclassman to be selected to The Detroit News Dream Team last season. Green averaged 22.5 points and scored 27 in Saginaw's 79-57 victory over Detroit Redford in the Class A state championship.

Saginaw coach Lou Dawkins said Green has made unofficial visits to U-M, MSU and Indiana, and the three Big Ten schools are at the top of Green's list. Dawkins said Green might make another unofficial visit to Michigan today.

"These are the schools who have been after him the hardest," Dawkins said. "By (tonight) he'll decide. If not, then he might make it when he wakes up Thursday."

Descriptions from all around the recruiting world were positive on Green. And writers in Minnesota looked at the Michigan standout as player who could elevate Tubby's 2008 class. What worries me is the quote given to the Detriot News by Dawkins, suggesting that Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana have been after Green "the hardest."

That, after all, was one of the knocks on Tubby in Kentucky, that he was outworked by his competition.

We know that Green was ready to play for Tubby at Kentucky. So, it's more likely Green preferred Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State to Minnesota, than it is his decision is a referendum on Tubby's recruiting.

And while it's far too early to judge Tubby's 2008 recruiting class, I don't like reading three Big 10 schools recruited a coveted recruit harder than we did.


Mark said...

Is it worth keeping in mind that the "after him the hardest" quote came from his coach?

Who, if the rumors about him being offered an assistant's position, may be inclined to stick it to Tubby after that didn't happen?

Or if he does end up getting offered an assistant's position by one of the other schools, is that perhaps what constitutes "recruits him the hardest" in his mind?

Personally, if that's the kind of stuff that would need to go on to get this kid, I'm not so upset about losing him. Let some other school deal with that mess.

PJS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PJS said...

That is certainly a possibility. And if that is the case, you might be right about not worrying about losing out on him.

But giving his coach the DOB position wouldn't be any differnt than giving it to Joe Esposito who was coaching at the high school level last year.

I hope Tubby needs gets a solid verbal from a top recruit one of these days to ease some concerns.

cyclonejohn said...

Draymond Green did commit to Michigan State. Even when he had committed to Kentucky when Tubby was there, he still said his dream school growing up was Michigan State. When Izzo offered, he accepted within a week.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this incident with Green will become a trend at Minnesota under Tubby Smith. He does not communincate with teenage recruits on their level and is typically outworked by other recruiters. Kids at that young age are all about "me" and OTS fails to realize this often. If he had trouble landing recruits at Kentucky with a new 35 million dollar practice facility, the perreniel attendance records, and the history of the program.........

Best of luck Gophers.....and I mean that sincerely. We were where you are at one time not that long ago.