Michigan Basketball: 5 Biggest Questions About Wolverines' 2014 Recruiting Plans

Zach DirlamSenior Analyst IISeptember 3, 2013

Michigan Basketball: 5 Biggest Questions About Wolverines' 2014 Recruiting Plans

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    College basketball's early signing period is just over two months away, so the Michigan basketball program will have a chance to host some of the nation's top prospects. The class of 2014 should begin to take shape after several recruits take official visits this fall.

    Head coach John Beilein and the Wolverines still have plenty of options. The recruiting board has not changed a whole lot since the beginning of August, which means most of the names in this slideshow will be familiar to the Maize and Blue faithful.

    Still, even with a solid group of targets, there are plenty of questions about how this current recruiting haul will round out. The only thing known for sure at this point is that Ricky Doyle and Austin Hatch will be Wolverines.

Will James Blackmon Jr. Take an Official Visit to Michigan?

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    One of the targets rising up the Michigan Wolverines' recruiting board is shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. The 4-star prospect decommitted from Indiana on Aug. 8, which came as quite a shock given the fact he pledged back in September of 2010. The question now is whether or not Michigan is a serious contender to land Blackmon. 

    After an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor last weekend, things appear to be looking up for the Maize and Blue's chances. Judging from Blackmon's comments to Joe Stapleton of UMHoops, the trip went well. 

    John Beilein and the coaching staff offered the Marion High School star during the visit, so expect things to heat up over the next several weeks. 

    "(The offer) is great for me to have and that’s a place that I can see myself at," Blackmon told Stapleton. Like the coaches said, I think I fit the system well because I can shoot the three, and that’s what they do...I really don’t have a list, and I really haven’t made a decision, but I like (Michigan) a lot.”

    Kentucky appears to be the leader right now. Other teams in the hunt are Michigan State, Florida, Louisville, UCLA and Indiana.
    Things are wide open for Blackmon in terms of official visits. Hopefully, Michigan will make the cut and remain in the mix for him until the very end.

Will Kameron Chatman's Official Visit Be Enough to Seal the Deal?

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    While the upcoming night football game at the Big House will serve as an important recruiting weekend for the football team, Michigan's basketball program is going to have a top target in town, too. Kameron Chatman will attend the gridiron showdown as part of his official visit this weekend.

    The best chance the Wolverines have at landing the 4-star small forward is during, or shortly after this Saturday. Otherwise, the luster of the trip will wear off, and it will become increasingly difficult to pull Chatman off of the West Coast.

    Kyle Bogenschutz of Fox Sports believes it will be "hard to rip him from Arizona."

    Oregon, UConn and USC are the only other programs still in the hunt for Chatman. If he is not a member of the Wolverines' 2014 class within the next couple of weeks, it is doubtful he signs with Michigan. 

     

Which Combo Forward(s) Will the Wolverines Land?

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    It has become increasingly clear the Michigan coaching staff wants to sign at least one combo forward for the 2014 class. There are plenty of targets at the position, and the Wolverines have to feel good about their chances with most of them.

    The three names to pay attention to are 3-stars Donte Grantham and D.J. Wilson along with Aussie Jonah Bolden. 

    Grantham will be visiting Michigan this weekend for the Notre Dame football game. A trip to Ann Arbor on Oct. 4 will conclude a trio of visits for Wilson. The Californian will see Columbia and Gonzaga in September prior to arriving in the Great Lakes State. Neither seem to be in a rush to make a commitment, which is good news for the Wolverines.

    Meanwhile, Bolden is high on Michigan and may be the most talented of the three prospects.

    Upcoming visits will likely determine the outcome of these recruiting battles.  

Will Jaylen Johnson Receive a Michigan Offer?

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    An intriguing prospect still in a position to receive a Michigan offer is 4-star power forward Jaylen Johnson. The Ypsilanti, Mich. big man has been working to improve academically, which appears to be the only thing keeping him from receiving one. 

    The nation's No. 62 overall prospect recently took a visit to Michigan, so things are trending upward. 

    Johnson appears to be more of a rebounder than a scorer, but the Wolverines will have plenty of shooters to pile up points. Winning the battle on the glass is something Michigan will need to do quite often to continue contending for Big Ten Conference titles. Johnson can help the Maize and Blue in that regard.

    Whether or not the 6'9", 210-pounder gets an offer from the Wolverines will continue to be a topic of conversation for quite a while.

    An intriguing prospect still in a position to receive a Michigan offer is 4-star power forward Jaylen Johnson. The Ypsilanti, Mich. big man has been working to improve academically, which appears to be the only thing keeping him from receiving one. 

    The nation's No. 62 overall prospect recently took a visit to Michigan, so things are trending upward. 

    Johnson appears to be more of a rebounder than a scorer, but the Wolverines will have plenty of shooters to pile up points. Winning the battle on the glass is something Michigan will need to do quite often to continue contending for Big Ten Conference titles. Johnson can help the Maize and Blue in that regard.

    Whether or not the 6'9", 210-pounder gets an offer from the Wolverines will continue to be a topic of conversation for quite a while.

Where Will Devin Booker Wind Up?

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    No prospect has been able to supplant 5-star shooting guard Devin Booker atop the Michigan Wolverines' recruiting board. John Beilein has been recruiting Booker since he was an eighth grader, so it would be a shame to see all the hard work go to waste. 

    Things will be wrapping up fairly quickly for the nation's No. 16 overall prospect. Booker intends to make a decision during the early signing period, which begins on Nov. 13. 

    Official visits are the only thing remaining on Booker's agenda. The Moss Point, Miss. product will head to Michigan State on Sept. 6, Michigan on Oct. 5, Kentucky on Oct. 18 and Missouri on Oct. 19. Florida is going to get a chance to host Booker as well.

    According to Chris Balas of TheWolverine, Michigan "is still right there." Kentucky and Michigan State are serious threats, too, because both could land point guard Tyler Ulis. Booker has been considering what it would be like to team up with Ulis. 

    Do not expect Booker to commit while on a visit, but the Maize and Blue faithful will know where he is going by mid-November at the latest.