Incoming UM recruits have Beilein beaming

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Michigan basketball coach John Beilein's face lit up when the name Xavier Simpson was brought up.

Michigan coach John Beilein

Simpson, a point guard from Lima, Ohio, who is signed to join Michigan next season, scored 59 points in a game Tuesday night.

"I talked to Xavier after the game," Beilein said. "He reminds me of another guy we got from Ohio."

That would be Trey Burke, of course.

"Many times, it's tough to compare those two, but there's a lot of similar traits," Beilein said. "The knock going into last summer was he couldn't shoot. Well, he's become a really good shooter."

In the game, a 103-57 win for Lima Senior over Ross, Simpson hit 23 field goals, including eight 3-pointers. The 59 points set a school record, edging the previous mark by two.

Burke, from Columbus, Ohio, was Michigan's starting point guard for his two years at Michigan, before going pro.

"He's very much like No. 3, as far as he is driven to be the best point guard he can possibly be," Beilein said of Simpson. "He's got a little chip on his shoulder, and that's really healthy."

Another member of Michigan's Class of 2016, big man Austin Davis from Onsted, Michigan, also is catching Beilein's attention.

Beilein challenged Davis to get his weight down; he was at 280 at one point — when he scored 51 in a game as a sophomore -- and today he's down into the 230s.

"He's much faster and can jump much higher," said Beilein, who raves about Davis' hands. "He's learning, 'I can get there.'"


So, you're saying there's a chance?

Spike Albrecht called it a career last week, but Beilein continues to leave the door slightly cracked for a possible return.

Albrecht, who had two hip surgeries this spring, remains on scholarship and could actually get another year of eligibility — because he remains just under the 30-percent threshold of games played this season.

"I don't think he plans on that," Beilein said. "That's gonna be up to Spike."

There's been no actual discussion yet between the two.

If UM were to get Albrecht on the floor for even a second on Senior Day, March 5, against Iowa at Crisler Center, he would burn that extra year of eligibility.

"We would have to be very careful with that," Beilein said.

Slam dunks

Derrick Walton Jr., following his first game in two weeks because of a left-ankle sprain, said he had some slight soreness after playing 34 minutes Tuesday but no swelling.

Beilein said D.J. Wilson (right ankle) practiced a bit Thursday and is "trending in the right direction."

... Freshman big man Moritz Wagner played only three minutes Tuesday, but Beilein doesn't consider that any type of demotion. His minutes will go up and down depending on the matchups, said Beilein, adding Northern Kentucky was "running particular action that was confusing to Mo. It happened three times in a row."

... Michigan has a triple-header at Crisler Center on Saturday, with UM-Dearborn's women's team playing Albion at noon, followed by the UM women's team playing Miami (Ohio) at 2:30 p.m. before the men's team plays Youngstown State at 6.



Youngstown State at Michigan

Tip-off: 6 Saturday, Crisler Center, Ann Arbor

TV/radio: ESPN3/WWJ

Records: Youngstown State 5-6; Michigan 8-3

Outlook: Forward Bobby Hain leads Youngstown State, averaging 14 points and 7.4 rebounds. Forward Matt Donlan, from Australia, averages 12.9 points. ... Michigan leads the series, 4-0; the teams last met in 2006.