When John Beilein thinks about the profile for kids he loves to recruit, Blake McLimans scores bonus points.
Not only is the 6-foot-10 power forward young for his age, but he hasn’t even focused solely on basketball until this season.
“He’s a very intriguing kid,” Worcester coach Ed Riley told Scout.com. “He’s 6-foot-10 ½ and he weighs about 212. He’s a little on the thin side. He’s not your typical high school or AAU product. He was a 3-sport athlete in a small high school. He’s fundamentally sound, knows how to play basketball. He can do lefty-righty, runs and has a high motor. He plays at a guard pace.”
Plus, McLimans doesn’t look the part … yet. “I’m not sure if he shaves yet,” Riley chuckled.
Add up the parts – age, versatility, perimeter shot, under the radar – and you’ve got all the trimmings of a guy Beilein would value high and eventually transform into a winner. He specializes in seeing down the road and turning Joe “The Plumber” into Joe Alexander.
In McLimans, Riley sees a kid who is now focused on one sport and ready to break out.
“I think his development and lack of notoriety is the most startling piece. Very few people knew about him. He played baseball and volleyball and never devoted anything extra toward the basketball piece. This is the first year he’s paid extra attention to the basketball.
“What he liked about Michigan is what Coach Beilein has done with his previous bigs. He liked the system and he can knock down the shot. When he puts on weight and becomes a 235 pound man, he’ll be a trail 3-point shooter with a lot of versatility.”