As Michigan basketball coach John Beilein looks to fill his few scholarship openings this spring, Westland John Glenn big man Mike Edwards is becoming a focus.
The 6-foot-9 Edwards, who averaged 18.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.5 blocks per game, visited U-M over the weekend and might be on the verge of a scholarship offer.
“He likes Michigan a lot,” said Rockey Black, the president of the Michigan Warriors AAU program. “The funny thing is his dad was a football player at Michigan State.
“I really believe that Michigan is probably going to offer him. They need a big, and he’s very intriguing at that level. He loves Michigan; he loved Michigan State. If (Michigan) offered him, I think he would take it.”
Michigan only has one scholarship available for the 2015 class, with Max Bielfeldt departing. While Bielfeldt was more of a traditional center — even though he was only 6-feet-7 — Edwards is versatile.
“He’s a really skilled four. What he’s gotten a lot better with is he can get to the rack and finish, and his handle has gotten a lot better,” Black said. “He shoots it well midrange and has become really active. He’s athletic and just had to develop into his body, and that’s what he’s done. … That’s why he’s looked at as a late bloomer.”
U-M reportedly has offered a scholarship to German big man Moritz Wagner, who visited in early March but is not slated to make his decision until sometime in April. By then, U-M might have another scholarship available if Caris LeVert leaves for the NBA or if any current players transfer.
Edwards has been at U-M “several times,” with this past weekend being more official.
“With him being around, he kind of knows what it is,” Black said of U-M. “They’re much more interested in him now, like a lot of schools are now, as he gets more offers, high-major. He likes Michigan a lot. Talking to his parents, they like it.”
Black has seen Edwards’ growth in recent years, which often appeals to Beilein: seeing a player who has not approached his limit.
“It’s all up to Mike how good he wants to be,” Black said. “You can tell by his wingspan and his frame, he’s going to continue to get bigger when he gets to the college level.”
As with many big men, he’s learning how to push himself.
“For the last two years, he worked out with trainers, he works out at his school, he’s dedicated physically and mentally,” he said.
Contact Mark Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mark__snyder.