Guy-Marc Michel signs with Indiana

Guy-Marc Michel

Guy-Marc Michel, a 7-foot-1 center from North Idaho College, signed a letter of intent with Indiana on Friday, he and his coach Jared Phay said.

(Korman here: We believe his first name is pronounced like it would rhyme with bee, and not like the word you’d use to describe a random male person. His last name is pronounced like my mom’s name, Michelle, but with a French accent. So, MEEshell. Happy mother’s day, mom, by the way. To you too, Mrs. Dopirak. And now back to Dustin’s reporting.)

“I think it’s a good place for me to get playing time,” said Marc-Michel, a Martinique native. “It’s a great team and it’s a school with great history.”

Michel chose Indiana over offers from Boise State and Gonzaga, though he admitted interest from the Bulldogs had waned since he went to North Idaho. He said he originally wanted to go to Gonzaga because of the success of Martinique native Ronny Turiaf, but didn’t have a qualifying SAT score, so the Bulldogs suggested he go to the junior college in Couer d’ Alene, Idaho, about 45 minutes away from Spokane.

However, the Bulldogs already have a 7-footer in center Robert Sacre on the roster, and Michel said he didn’t think he would see much playing time there.

“in my opinion, I think I would not play enough there,” he said. “I would’ve been a backup because they already have a really good center. I didn’t really want to do that.”

The Hoosiers, of course, are in desperate need of a center. They do have 6-foot-11 freshman Bawa Muniru on the roster, but he’s proven to be something of a project, and 6-foot-9 centers Tom Pritchard and Bobby Capobianco don’t have quite the shot blocking ability that Marc-Michel might be able to provide. The 7-foot-1, 265-pounder has a 7-foot-8 wingspan according to his coach, Jared Phay.

“As far as blocking shots and rebounding,” Phay said, “he’s probably as good as anyone out there.”

Offensively he obviously has room to grow. He averaged 7 points and 7 rebounds to go with three blocks per game this season. However, Phay said he’s made significant strides in the five years he’s been playing the game.

Michel said he didn’t start playing basketball until he was 16, and spent three years in France playing before coming to North Idaho.

“I couldn’t do anything then,” he said. “But I think in five years, seriously, I developed myself as a basketball player. I’m not the best ever, but I think I’ve improved.”

Said Phay: “He’s come a long way. He still needs to develop his footwork a llittle bit better. The progress he’s made in as short an amount of time as he has is as much as anybody. I think the biggest thing this year is he got a lot more aggressive. He kind of understood everything he needed to do to get better.”

Michel’s signing would put Indiana at it’s scholarship limit for the 2010 class. The Hoosiers were scheduled to host Minneapolis forward Kevin Noreen on a visit this weekend, however.

73 comments

  1. Not quite sure how I feel about this. While it’ll be great to have a guy with his size playing in the interior (which should help our overall team defense significantly), he’s another 2 year project, and isn’t much of an offensive threat. While I love the size and that wingspan (apparently, IU staff measured him at 7’8.5 acc to Hutch) is absolutely sick, I’m not too excited about having little to no offensive production out of a starting 5.

    We’ll see how this works out, but in the meantime, welcome, Guy, to IU!

  2. Humiliating. We are becoming a joke. We will take anybody who says yes. Welcome Jobe III.

  3. Welp,

    This ensures that we’ll have yet another extremely intriguing/interesting/unconventional season in 2010-2011.

    At least there’s that.

    Welcome Guy. Hopefully he’s a pleasant surprise.

  4. Competing with Boise State and Ohio for recruits. Pathetic. Crean is quickly become a laughingstock.

  5. “As far as blocking shots and rebounding,” Phay said, “he’s probably as good as anyone out there.”

    What?? Why did he only average 7 rebonds and 3 blocks then?

    What a joke.

  6. While he certainly is no offensive threat, the defense should make up for it. We also might be able to move Pritch (if he stays)and Capo to their more natural position which might increase offensive production. We might also be able to move Watford to his more natural 3 position which also might help his offensive output. Here’s to hoping and optimism! Welcome to IU, Guy! Glad to have you!

  7. This guy already has himself penciled in as our starting 5. Mindboggling. On a positive note, we can actually beat out Boise State for a recruit. This is why i wanted Fife over McClain.

  8. After going back and reading the scouting report provided on ITH, there are things about him that make this seem like it could turn out to be a decent pickup. He’s apparently got a strong defensive presence, moves fluidly up and down the court, takes charge in the paint on the defensive end, and actually has a decent post game.

    Apparently, it’s not his finishing ability on offense that hurts him, as much as it’s his timid nature. According to the report, he seems shy. Hopefully the coaching staff can break him out of that shyness. Could end up being a solid signing.

    Colleges pick up JUCO transfers all the time. Stemler, Ellis, Mike White and Deandre Thomas were all JUCO transfers.

    Just because we take a JUCO player doesn’t make the program “a joke.” Lighten up people. Give the guy a chance. Don’t base your whole opinion on one minute of YouTube footage.

  9. You guys are morons, Crean isn’t going to get top players until he starts winning. Crean is a good coach and I hope the administration doesn’t listen to guys like you and will give him a chance to show he can coach. If Crean can stay long enough he will have us back to where we need to be. Back off and give the guy a chance.

  10. ihoosieru,

    Don’t worry — The administration is not paying attention to the rants of 4guards and his alleged “major donor” friend.

    Some people don’t realize that restoring IU’s tradition is a process, and that for top-flight recruits, the simple guarantee of playing time isn’t enough. They want to play for a tournament team. We have to overachieve first.

  11. If this guy is our starting 5, then we will not be a much improved team next year.
    Since Gonzaga backed away from him, was Boise State the only other school to offer?

  12. I sure hope this Juco transfer is nothing like the ones mentioned in Casey’s post. I hope he’s more like the juco’s from the 87 team, Smart and Garrett. While I personally believe this is a bad pickup and he will be a 2 year project that will just have another body to sit on the bench and probably jeopardizes Noreen becoming a Hoosier, I will continue to support IU and its coach and team. Now that we got him, let’s support him. I just hope he proves me wrong. And let’s face it. If he can score 2 points a game and get 2 boards a game, he will be more productive than Tijan.

  13. Relax kids.When you get out in the real world YOU will learn not to panic at every turn. There are all kinds of twists and turns on the river of life.Stop thinking you know more than Tom Crean because you DO NOT. GROW UP Crean will get the job done before you figure out how to balance a check book without mom and dads help.

  14. That’s right! The last big JUCO’s we got in Smart & Garrett led us to the national championship! Here we go again 🙂

  15. I’m optimistic here, IU has scorers. Now the team has someone that can be an defense threat in the middle. Time will tell.
    Welcome to Indiana Guy-Marc.

  16. Maybe it’s just me, but it would seem like a person would have to be blind, unimaginative, and downright dumb to think that next year is going to be a simple repeat of last year’s 11-game losing streak.

    I keep picking up this attitude of “I don’t see how things are going to be different” from posters in year that is flabbergasting. More often than not, good young players improve from year to year – what you see in year 1 is not what you see in year 3. Next year, almost our entire nucleus will be made up of players with at least one solid year of experience at IU, and we’ll be getting 15 ppg from Creek provided the knee continues to heal properly.

    With the added experience and confidence, a healthy team is an NIT lock, in my book. Why would you guess otherwise? It’s a mystery to me. “Hope Springs Eternal” is a motto that most fan bases have no problem buying into.

    Teams built with solid young talent tend to grow and improve. The Devil Rays in baseball, the Thunder in the NBA, and Baylor in the NCAA are three examples of teams that started out looking really ugly, but are now enjoying success.

    Stop whining and acting like the success of the entire program hinges upon whether we have a good recruiting class for this year or next year.

  17. Anyone else think 4guards is just an idiot? Dude has no life cause he spends all of his time bashing on any news of IU basketball, no matter what the news is.

    On another note, no one has seen him play so we’ll see. Though most people think that this class isn’t going to be a good one, espn.com rates Oladipo and Sheehey 90 and 89. Besides, how many highly rated players did Crean get at Marquette and how many good players came out of there?

  18. Hey JB let me second ihoosieru…you guys are indeed morons of the finest quality. CTC has basically had one year at the helm since he signed in april of his first year and had to put a freakin high school team on the floor to compete in the big ten. Give him a few years we will be fine.

  19. Vive la France!! Start practicing IU pep band!!

    GO HOOSIERS!!

    For what it’s worth: I like the kid…Boards…Boards….and more BOARDS! I think he has good basketball instincts……a Guy that doesn’t look like a confused condor with no command of his wings from the frightening scared of bouncing ball echoing on hardwood. And what’s not to love? Michel has a nice smile and Jordan Hulls calls out plays in French.

  20. I know you want to spoil my fun..his name is pronounced Gee. Hulls still gets to do his Tony Parker play calling.

  21. Watching his clips…. not sure if I want to laugh or cry.
    Terry Cummings, I wouldn’t get too excited for his boards. He only got 7 of them a game at JUCO going against 6’8 kids out in Idaho.

  22. Hey JB, why don’t you get behind the team and stop being so negative. The problem isn’t Crean, this juco transfer or McClain. It was signing an admitted cheater. There’s obviously no trust in the Indiana program now. As far as how long its going to take, I believe that maybe in the next couple of years. This last season would have turned out better if we hadn’t lost Maurice and Matt, a lot better. Go hoosiers

  23. GFDave,
    Did you even take time to notice that the Gonzaga blog link you so kindly provided us, is 17 MONTHS OLD? Don’t you think perhaps the guy has improved with another season and a half under his belt? How about welcoming the guy, instead of focusing on his negatives? Huh?

  24. Sure hasn’t taken McClain long to make an impact. I have to believe with his credentials and coaching success that he has seen enough of this player to know he is farther advanced than the limited info reveals to us. At 7’1″ with a 7’8″ wing span and is fluid on his feet the defensive end of the floor will be a stark contrast from the last two seasons.

  25. Coaching success? Decisions like this are what got him fired from Wyoming and passed over at CO.

  26. Not at all impressed with the video. I guess the Crean rule is to have two big guys sitting at the end of the bench each year. Maybe he was soo shocked a recruit actually said yes he just took him!

    Going to be another long long year. 7 points and 7 boards in Idaho JC!!!!!

  27. That’s what I like coachreportertalentevaluatorfortunetellerlonelytroll4disreguards spewing his brilliance upon himself once again. McClain is stepping up in competition, MW to B12 now the B10 while the Diviner of Albuquerque (the Ken doll to the cheerleaders) has to retreat to the lower echelon MW. He should have been a male model. Enjoy being the only poster with no credibility and never with any support.

  28. Rob, Do you have more or less info now that you followed the link and read its content?

  29. For those dissing 7 points, 7 boards, and 3 blocks a game as a juco, and in the same breath saying he’s the new Tijan, let’s not forget that Tijan averaged like 2 points, one board, and no blocks at his JC, right? That was an obvious warning sign, and the player those numbers represented was basically what we got. So it’s not like any big body with no talent can get the numbers Guy had last year. The outdated blog may have been more info, but it was also misleading info, but as long as people realize it was after like 3 months playing college ball in the US. Crean’s not an idiot. Anyone could tell at the end of last season, he’s absolutely tired of losing, and he knows enough basketball to see what his team needs, and whether people can help. I fail to see how this is a bad thing, except perhaps on the scholarship front, but even there, if a great player wants to come, it’ll happen.

    This coaching staff isn’t dumb. It’s not like they live in a fantasy world where losing is okay. Crean was plenty tired of Tijan laying out teammates and, I’m sure the stats back this up, the worst +/- in college basketball. He doesn’t want to repeat that any more than we want to see it.

    I’m not saying Guy will be great, or good, or bad, or terrible, just that there’s no reason to be anything other than ready for a new season with some new players. Seriously, it can only get better.

  30. One thing that I just can’t seem to reconcile. Given his height, if this kid is as good of a defensive presence and as athletic as some of you are hoping/saying…then how in the world us he still available this late in the game.

    Non project big men are hard to find yet nobody in notices this kid? Scouts saw their team but didn’t pick up on his potential? Everyone but crean and mcclain are dummies? What is it?

    IMHO, if he had the game that a lot of you are saying he has someone would have scooped him up long ago.

  31. Gonzaga was after this kid pretty strong but filled that position soon after his Freshman year. Also the JUCO conference that NIC plays in is one of the strongest in the nation. This player is nothing in the mold of Jobe such as when he arrived in Bloomington. Even if he is only a light scoring option on offense his presence on D will give the other four players relief from offenses at will attacking our post area.

  32. Any kid this size who can only average 7 rebounds a game in JUCO is a complete waste.
    I think this recruiting class is worse than 2008.

  33. You’re right ihoosieru Crean is a basketball God. Every decision is made perfectly. He is like the Bobby Fisher of NCAA athletics. What is this Russia? Anybody that dares disagree with something Czar Crean does should be ridiculed or told to “get in line”. You have no objectivity whatsoever. Sorry I can’t get excited about Jobe’s little brothers Bawa and Marc-Michel. But maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll knock one of our own guys out again.

  34. IU used to have a size problem. Now we have two 7′ players and four 6′9 players plus a gym full of 6′5 guys! I like both Bawa and Michel, but you have to put them IN THE GAME! No more excuses, win 20! Go IU! Who is the IU Basketball “Big Man Coach”??? We have talent. We need to develop that talent!!

  35. JB- The issue is not that people think Crean is a basketball genius and everything he does is perfect. The issue is your short-sightedness and simple-mindedness.

    Luckily, most people in here are level-headed and understand that rebuilding a program from scratch means that you aren’t going to be pulling recruits left and right when you’ve won 16 out of your first 60 games.

    You are like a Wal Mart shopper on crack – you want everything now, now, now, at the lowest possible price, without the slightest clue that good products take time and labor to craft.

  36. You are just used to mediocrity. That doesn’t work around these parts.
    THIS IS INDIANA!

  37. You are a dingbat, 4tards. The IU program has never been decimated before, so you have no precedent of how fast it takes to rebuild a team from scratch.

    Therefore, what you call “having standards,” i.e., wanting your Ferrari without having to earn it, comes of sounding like a petulant fat kid wanting more cookies.

  38. Now for 2 or 3 years we can hear Crean talk about how Guy is the most improving player he has ever seen as he sets the bench just like Jobe. This is not a bad pick up if you have 3 or 4 scholarships opening up, But wouldnt it make more since to bank them? Were gona suck next year any way. Why not bank them and try to hit a homerun in 2012. Thank God we have Butler, They’ll be tough even with there main man going pro. I’m really starting to wonder about Crean and his decisions. Patience Tom Patience.

  39. doug- “Starting to wonder?” You’ve been wondering ever since you have been on here.

  40. The Indiana Basketball program was destroyed by Sampson and the idiot IU president who wanted him hired.It will take SEVERAL YEARS to rebuild.Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.For all of you armchair coaches who think you have a clue you might as well join 4skin flip some burgers down at Burger King until things improve.

  41. The link to your name doesn’t work…

    Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, problems with links don’t upset us, all we ask is that you let us…

  42. In order for Coach Crean to be successful at recruiting “Bigs” he is going to need to create a reputation of developing “Bigs”…much like the reputation he has of developing guards. That reputation was helped tremendously by Dwyane Wade’s success in the NBA as well as Marquette.

    In order to accomplish this goal he is going to need to develop someone like Guy…not someone who was a 5 * and was already developed. It is a good move for IU, as it at least sets the table for Coach to accomplish this goal.

  43. Wouldn’t Tijan and Bawa be examples of Crean “developing” bigs? Also I’m really not sure how much developing D Wade needed.

  44. Crean has proven he is not capable of developing bigs. Were Jobe and Muniru not enough?
    Pritchard has actually become a worse basketball player the more time Crean has with him.

  45. The Indy Star-Hutch, did report that Michel would be given the opportunity to earn the starting 5-spot, and not be a 10 min/game guy. I feel that Bawa deserves the same opportunity. IU is now a very talented and very deep team! Creek will be tremendous; Watford and Elston will be very good; Jones keeps getting better each year; Hulls was very solid as a freshman and you KNOW that he will get better every year; Roth can shoot and knows what the coaches want to do; Sheehey and Oladipo are the best athletes on the squad; Rivers really improved his free throw shooting the last 6-7 games and will be motivated to show in his last year that he can be a difference maker on the court; both Capo and Pritchard are big and strong and have some experience; now we have two talented 7′ players; if Offutt comes to play, he and Danny Moore give us two excellent walk-ons. We need a “Big Man” coach to really develop what we have now. Let’s win 20! Go IU!

  46. “Crean has proven he is not capable of developing bigs.”

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could spend a thousand Sundays with Jobe and his sky hook would still end up in the 10th row of seats while the flailing left arm shatters an innocent bystander’s nose.

    Michel appears to have some decent basketball skills, better than average jumping ability, and actually looks composed enough on the hardwood to move without his eyeballs popping out of their sockets. That’s a hell of a lot better starting point than Jobe. At least Bawa and Pritchard will have a legitimate tower to practice against.

    I wonder if the McClain hire was influenced by the prospect of landing the under the radar JUCO. As the poster “thinking” mentioned, Guy can help us immediately and still not damage our shot at landing a top big man in the following year or two.

  47. Anyone can offer criticism but only those with a hidden agenda do so constantly.There are people on this blog who are not Indiana fans. They are full of hate and venom and they need to crawl back under the rock they came from.Get behind the players and THE COACHES like a true Indiana Basketball FAN or take your trash elsewhere.

  48. Oops…The poster named “thinking” was on the other thread.

    Here are the cut-and-paste comments I found agreement:

    • thinking |May 8th, 2010 at 5:39 pm |

    4guards,

    Do you think that offering a JUCO like Michel rather than continuing to pursue Noreen is a result of the scholarship logjam everyone has been worried about the past few weeks?

    Given those constraints and perhap a love for Zeller (or Hammons, etc.) coming down the pipe, which you seem to share, might this decision not seem rational (especially if physically the JUCO is more able to help us immediately, and if we get a Zeller or Hammons we don’t need that help in the middle down the road)?

    I’m not always 100% sold on Crean, but I also don’t subscribe to the notion that he has no plan/doesn’t understand basketball after years of coaching (and learning from the likes of Tom Izzo, etc.).

  49. Responding to JB…Understanding where Coach Crean was when he recruited Tijan (basically only 1 player returning) and acknowledging the extremely dire position the IU Basketball program was in at that time would be a basic requirement to an objective post on this subject. In addition recognizing that Bawa has had only 1 year to be developed…while I think you would reasonably need to grade the finished product (still 3 years from completion) would also add credability to your post…however, you obviously biased remarks negates any supposition of objectivity and thus eliminates your voice as being one worthy of hearing.

    Regarding 4guards comment…being objective on this subject would actually an impossibility for your…after reading many of your comments regarding IU Basketball indicates a biased and negative mindset. Myself, like I believe most other readers of this forum, realize your thoughts are not formed in reality as much as a desire to arouse and stimulate the readers to react to your spew…I am sorry your input is totally meaningless to readers of this forum.

  50. That’s how good Calipari money is. I wonder how much he paid Crean to take this guy.

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