Michigan Basketball Recruiting: Where Wolverines Stand with Top 2014 Targets
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Although some of the glimmer from the Michigan basketball program's recent trip to the Final Four has worn off a bit on the recruiting trail, there are six prospects still high on the Wolverines. Some are favoring the Maize and Blue more than others.
Chances are, two or three of the following recruits will wind up in the Michigan uniform. The final number will have everything to do with how much attrition the coaching staff anticipates and how many recruits they want to bring in come 2015.
A couple of prospects are showing the Wolverines more love than ever before. Conversely, Michigan's chances are getting slimmer by the second for a pair of coveted recruits. Find out what is going on with all of the remaining targets right here.
Jonah Bolden's highlight reel is starting to garner some serious attention.
Not a whole lot has changed for the Michigan Wolverines in their pursuit of combo forwards D.J. Wilson and Jonah Bolden. The Maize and Blue still appear to be the frontrunners for both of these prospects, though neither will likely make a decision anytime soon, especially Bolden.
"Michigan was down there to watch (Bolden), and the sentiment among other coaches is U-M is the team to beat," Chris Balas of TheWolverine wrote (subscription required) on Sept. 13. "Wilson has impressed in workouts, too, and he's moving up the charts. He also has Michigan on top."
Wilson has upcoming official visits to Columbia (Sept. 19) and Gonzaga (Sept. 27). One week after the trip to Spokane, the 3-star recruit will be hosted by the Wolverines. Gonzaga is a real threat here, but it will have to impress to pass Michigan.
With Bolden, plenty of big-time programs are going to challenge the Wolverines. It is easy to see why in some of the Aussie transplant's latest highlights. Louisville, Arizona and LSU have all started to show interest in Bolden.
Do not expect to hear about many changes in the recruitment of either prospect until October.
Michigan must blow away Devin Booker come October.
Decisions appear to be on the horizon for shooting guard Devin Booker and small forward Kameron Chatman. The Michigan Wolverines are still in play for both recruits, but they may be playing from behind at this point.
The two are currently in the middle of a lengthy stretch of official visits.
Booker has already seen what Michigan State and Kentucky have to offer. The Wildcats improved their chances with the Mississippian by landing coveted point guard Tyler Ulis. The two are good friends, and while they may not be a package deal, Ulis' decision bodes well for Kentucky.
Michigan is next in line to host the 5-star talent. The 6'5", 185-pounder will head to Ann Arbor on Oct. 5 before seeing his father's alma mater, Missouri, two weeks later.
Florida rounds out Booker's top five, but he has not set up a visit to Gainesville, which is a plus for everyone else still in the mix.
Meanwhile, Chatman has now taken official trips to Michigan and Oregon. The nation's No. 42 overall prospect enjoyed both visits, but there has been no indication Arizona has fallen from the top of his list.
Tours of USC and Arizona remain, though, the fact Chatman left the Great Lakes State without committing is not a great sign for the Wolverines. It appears Michigan will not be able to pull Chatman off of the West Coast. However, when it comes to recruiting, anything can happen.
James Blackmon is getting serious about Michigan.
There are some very positive things happening in the Michigan Wolverines' recruitment of shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. and combo forward Donte Grantham.
First off, Blackmon has declared himself to be "pretty open," which contradicts some claims the 4-star prospect is favoring Kentucky. A recent interview with Chris Balas of TheWolverine (membership required) also revealed exactly how big of a factor Michigan is right now.
"I really like Michigan," Blackmon said. "They fit my play style, live and die by outside shots. They have sets to get their guys off. I like their system and I like Coach [John] Beilein. He's a good coach."
This is good news for the Wolverines, but Kentucky and Indiana loom large in this battle. If Blackmon chooses to officially visit a couple of extra schools as well, it will only make things tougher for Michigan. However, if Devin Booker were to choose the Wildcats, the Maize and Blue may just move to the top of Blackmon's list.
As for Grantham, a commitment may not be too far off. The 6'7", 200-pounder took an official visit to Ann Arbor on Sept. 6 and according to TheWolverine, he was "blown away."
Cincinnati is still a legitimate contender, though. The Bearcats hosted Grantham on Sept. 13 and are right up there with Michigan.
With trips to arguably his top two schools out of the way, there is a good chance Grantham chooses to end things sooner rather than later. Wowing recruits on official visits tends to have that kind of effect.