The University of Michigan has remained a contender in the recruitment of prized high school small forward Jalen Wilson following Wednesday’s hiring of Juwan Howard as Wolverines head coach.
“He’s alumni and has NBA knowledge so that’s always great to have in a coach,” Wilson, a 6-foot-8 senior small forward out of Guyer High in Denton, Texas, told ESPN.com’s Jeff Borzello on Wednesday afternoon.
“They (Wolverines) have always stayed in the mix but with the timing and not knowing who it would be, I had to go out and explore options,” Wilson added.
Wilson — he asked out of his UM national letter-of-intent last week when veteran Michigan coach John Beilein accepted the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coaching job — told Borzello he hopes to speak to Howard soon.
Wilson told Andrew Kahn of the Ann Arbor News that “he expects Howard to reach out, visit his house and lay out his vision.”
Wilson has set up a campus visit to Kansas starting May 30 and is planning on visiting North Carolina starting June 3. Wilson, Rivals.com’s No. 47-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2019, also has Oklahoma State and Florida on his list of possible schools.
Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans was asked Wednesday shortly before reports surfaced that Howard would become Michigan’s coach if Michigan with Fab Five member Howard would become the “team to beat again” for Wilson. Wilson’s mom named Jalen after former Fab Five member Jalen Rose.
“I doubt it,” Evans wrote. “Kansas is the strong leader for former Michigan recruit Jalen Wilson and if he were to not commit to either the Jayhawks or North Carolina, it would come as a giant surprise. Wilson will definitely keep Michigan atop of his list and if it is Juwan Howard, who boasts plenty of NBA background, the interest level would be there. However, the timing of his hiring could put the Wolverines behind the eight ball even further.
“Now, if Howard were to keep select members from the former staff in Ann Arbor, it could help in the relationship building process with Wilson. He is intrigued by the small forward opening at Kansas which is why he swiftly set a visit up to see the Big 12 program for May 30. North Carolina might also snag a visit date, but Michigan is playing catch-up now and will do as such the longer the coaching search continues in Ann Arbor.”
Wichita’s Gradey Dick attends Under 16 trials
Wichita Collegiate High School freshman guard Gradey Dick is one of 30 basketball players attending USA Basketball Men’s Under 16 national team training camp Wednesday through May 29 at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The training camp will be used to select the 12 competitors who will represent the U.S. in the sixth FIBA Americas Under 16 championship June 3-9 in Belem, Brazil.
Finalists for the team will likely be announced on Saturday with the 12-player team revealed prior to departing for Brazil on May 30.
Players eligible for the team must be 16 or younger. Head coach of the USA Under 16 national team is Mike Jones of DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland.
Dick, who is 6-foot-5, 170 pounds, is the only player from Kansas or Missouri at the training camp.
KU at the Combine
ESPN.com’s Kevin Pelton listed former Kansas forward Dedric Lawson as somebody who is “trending down” after the recent NBA Combine in Chicago.
“Both Lawson and Williams (Grant, Tennessee) might have suffered a bit from the desire to show scouts their versatility,” writes Pelton. “Williams missed all seven shots he attempted from the longer three-point line, while Lawson spent much of the two days spotting up on the perimeter. Lawson was more successful there, knocking down four of his eight three-point tries, but he made just two shots inside the arc and did not get to the free throw line. Given a poor showing at the 2016 combine after his freshman season at Memphis, Lawson probably needed a better effort to win over doubters.”
ESPN.com’s Mike Schmitz commented on the Combine performance of KU freshmen Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson.
“Grimes, a former projected top-10 pick, impressed teams with his feel and toughness in the first game (at combine), but he finished the second game 1 of 9 from the field and appeared to revert back to his Jayhawks ways, with up-and-down confidence on the perimeter. He and Dotson —who was great in the open court and on defense, while struggling to finish in traffic and shoot — have important decisions to make about whether to return to school,” Schmitz writes.
Azubuike on Naismith list
KU senior-to-be Udoka Azubuike has been listed as one of six “early Naismith Trophy Candidates,” as reported on the NCAA March Madness Twitter account.
The other candidates for 2019-20 college basketball player of the year: Markus Howard, Marquette; Cassius Winston, Michigan State; Tre Jones, Duke; James Wiseman, Memphis and Cole Anthony, North Carolina.
Recruit’s name is ‘Malik Missouri’
KU and Missouri still have time, if they wish, to enter the recruiting sweepstakes for 6-foot-5 Baltimore (Maryland) Gilman School combo guard Malik Missouri, a player with one of the most interesting names in the Class of 2021.
The unranked sophomore has heard from St. John’s, Oklahoma State, VCU, Richmond, Princeton and others.
“The biggest thing with Missouri is where he can be once he fine tunes certain aspects of his game,” writes Rivals.com’s Evans. “Boasting over a 6-foot-10 wingspan, Missouri is a capable shot maker from all three levels and is a more than willing and proficient defender on the perimeter. He oozes potential and versatility.”