Big Ten

Big Ten

Caris LeVert still doesn't know whether he'll be heading to the NBA Draft, and Michigan still doesn't know whether it will have it's best player back for next season.

Michigan head coach John Beilein told reporters Monday that LeVert is still in the process of deciding whether or not to make the leap to the NBA. That decision is being affected, of course, by the broken foot that knocked LeVert out for the majority of the past season. LeVert, per Beilein, is still in recovery mode from the injury, still in a walking boot and won't be able to return to the court until next month.

The NBA Draft is in June.

"I don't know that complete (information), but I know that he's beginning sometime in May, they're going to give him clearance to start running," Beilein said, his quotes published in a story by MLive.com's Brendan F. Quinn. "If you look at his situation last summer, it took a bit for him (to recover from stress fracture surgery in the same foot)."

[MORE BIG TEN: Badgers' Sam Dekker declares for NBA Draft]

LeVert missed the Wolverines' final 14 games after suffering the foot injury during a Jan. 17 win over Northwestern. He was expected to be one of the Big Ten's top players a season ago, and the NBA Draft predictions didn't seem out of line. A junior last season, LeVert averaged 14.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in his injury-shortened campaign.

 

"Gaining information is the only thing we're trying to grab right now," Beilein said. "We're trying not to make any kind of timelines or anything like that. It's how can we get the most information at the earliest time. ... With the announcements last week of more and more kids (entering the draft), it gives us more information. So that's what we're trying to put together and we'll continue to meet this week."

This wouldn't be the first time, though, that a player who missed significant time entered the draft and saw little in the way of negative impact on his draft stock. Michigan saw a similar situation just last year with big man Mitch McGary, who sat out almost the entire season while injured/suspended, only to end up the No. 21 overall pick.

[MORE BIG TEN: Five-star big man recruit Caleb Swanigan picks Spartans]

But LeVert's return to Michigan would be a huge boost for the Wolverines, who would see the return of all but one of the players from last year's team. Michigan struggled at times this past season with LeVert and fellow star Derrick Walton Jr. on the bench with season-ending injuries. But that also meant increased playing time and unexpected development from the likes of Aubrey Dawkins and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. Add that to the returns of Walton, Zak Irvin and Spike Albrecht, and the Wolverines suddenly look like one of the better teams in the conference.

Right now, though, Beilein and Michigan await LeVert's decision.