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Posted on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

An Ohio-to-Ann Arbor basketball pipeline? Swingman Caris LeVert hopes to visit Michigan next week

By Nick Baumgardner

Trey Burke did an awful lot for the the Michigan basketball program last season.

But the Columbus, Ohio native may be paying more dividends than the obvious for John Beilein and company just one year into his Wolverine career.

Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School swingman Caris LeVert, a three-star 2012 prospect, plans to visit Michigan next Thursday.

According to his high school coach, Burke's on-court success has LeVert very interested in the Wolverines.

"What (Burke and his father, Benji, have) done is help open up central Ohio for all kids," Pickerington Central coach Jerry Francis told "With the outstanding year Trey had, it kind of lets kids know you can make plays outside of (Interstate) 270. Sometimes you can leave 270 and do great things, and Trey has definitely established that.

"(Trey) has been able to go outside of Ohio State University and make a name for himself at a great institution such as Michigan."

Keeping in tune with Francis' statements, Benji Burke -- a personal friend of Francis' -- took to Twitter earlier Thursday afternoon with a similar message.


Pickerington (Ohio) Central's Caris LeVert (22) will reportedly visit the Michigan basketball program next Thursday.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"The pipeline has begun. #uconcious," he wrote.

LeVert, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound wing, was originally an Ohio U. signee -- but, according to and, was given his release from the Bobcat program after coach John Groce left for Illinois.

A wing with the ability to play three positions, LeVert (who attends the same high school as 2013 Michigan football signee Taco Charlton) was compared to former Michigan guard Manny Harris by Francis -- meaning he's a player who can score in several different ways.

"He's an exciting player, can really score the basketball and score off the catch and in transition," Francis said. "He also has the ability to get offensive rebounds and post up with his size, depending on matchups.

"He can play one through three, as far as at the college level. He's sort of like Manny Harris a little bit."

Michigan has two scholarships available for the 2012 season.

The Wolverines currently have a four-man signing class of five-star forward Glenn Robinson III, four-star power forward Mitch McGary, four-star shooting guard Nik Stauskas and three-star point guard Spike Albrecht.

Francis said LeVert hopes to take a visit to Michigan next week. According to a Dayton Daily News report, LeVert visited Dayton on Thursday, and will also stop by Purdue on Tuesday.

Asked if Michigan might be considered a leader for LeVert at this point, Francis said that would likely depend how much he enjoys his trip to Ann Arbor.

"The visit is always sort of the starting point for a kid's decision process," Francis said. "But I truly believe with the Big Ten being established, and Michigan being established as one of the top schools in the Big Ten and in the country, I think Michigan definitely has a chance to be one of Caris' favorites.

"No doubt about that."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Ron Granger

Sat, Apr 28, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Pipelines? What a brilliant idea. Just think, if we had pipelines connecting the schools, we could use them to send the marching band to the game in Alabama! Just put'em in and woosh....


Fri, Apr 27, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

Agree! Welcome to U of M, Mr. LeVert!


Fri, Apr 27, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

This is as good as done. Dayton? No way. Purdue? Maybe, but with all the hype surrounding UM's program and recruiting class, What school would you pick? Welcome to the University of Michigan, Caris. You just made a great decision for your future!