Michigan Basketball Recruiting: Prioritizing Wolverines' Top 2015 Targets
Heading into the summer evaluation period, the Michigan Basketball program will have its eyes on a couple of key recruits (Jalen Coleman, Jalen Brunson and Prince Ali immediately come to mind) who could make the 2015 recruiting class a huge success.
Ever since John Beilein was hired as Michigan's head basketball coach, he has made his mark on the recruiting trail by eying prospects he can mold into stars.
The proof is in the pudding, as he has produced NBA talent in Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary. After another fine 2014 class (which was ranked 17th, according to Scout.com), Beilein and company should have no trouble prioritizing and then securing some top-notch commitments for 2015.
The beauty with Beilein is that he doesn't need 5-star recruits or McDonald's All-Americans (although they would certainly help) to succeed, as he gets recruits who fit his system and he turns them into studs.
These coming weeks should be a busy period for Beilein and Co., as the July open-evaluation period allows the staff to see some of its primary targets up close and personal.
With just a few scholarships to dole out this coming year, Michigan will have to be diligent in identifying who it feels it can land. Then the staff can start laying the ground work (setting up official visits) so recruits think long and hard about making Ann Arbor their home for the foreseeable future.
This slideshow is comprised of the top seven recruits, alphabetically ranked, who are legitimately considering Michigan and who Beilein should be locking in on this summer/fall.
Listed below are some secondary recruits (important recruits nonetheless) whom Michigan may have its eye on for 2015.
6'8", 210-pound power forward from Shaker Heights HS/Shaker Heights, Ohio
If the Wolverines are looking for a combo forward with the ability to bang in the paint and stretch his game out to the perimeter, then Esa Ahmad should be their man.
Ahmad is a cerebral player who makes wise decisions on the court. His athleticism and instincts should play out well at the next level. The interest should be mutual between both parties, and it will be interesting to see if Michigan is one of Ahmad's five official visits.
6'3", 180-pound shooting guard from Sagemont Upper School/Weston, Florida
Upon opening up his recruitment after decommitting to Connecticut, Prince Ali has shown strong interest in Michigan.
Ali is just dripping with athleticism and potential. He loves to attack the rim and can get into the lane with ease, as well as draw fouls. He is a lot like Hardaway Jr. in that way. Ali has a multitude of skills that should serve him well at the next level.
With Michigan being one of the four schools sticking it out with him, expect Beilein to apply the full-court pressure when recruiting Ali this summer/fall.
6'0", 165-pound point guard from Adlai E. Stevenson HS/Lincolnshire, Illinois
Jalen Brunson is a talented floor general who possesses great vision and playmaking ability, and any team recruiting him would love to secure his services.
The Wolverines may have Derrick Walton Jr. around for three more years, as well as having their eye on some excellent 2016 point guard recruits (Cassius Winston and Derryck Thornton standing out among them), so they may feel they can pass up on Brunson.
Although point guard is not a huge pressing need for the Wolverines at the moment, Brunson could force his way onto Michigan's radar with an impressive summer.
If Michigan doesn't show him the love, someone else sure will.
6'4", 185-pound shooting guard from La Lumiere School/La Porte, Indiana
You know Beilein loves him some shooters, and Coleman would be an ideal fit in Michigan's offense.
Coleman is one of the best shooters in the 2015 class and is ranked 31 in Scout.com's top-100 list. With the success guys such as Stauskas, Hardaway Jr. and Robinson III have had at Michigan, Coleman can come in and perhaps make a similar type of impact.
Coleman is down to six schools (Michigan, Illinois, Notre Dame, Indiana, UNLV and N.C. State), and considering the success that Beilein has had in coaching up shooters, the Wolverines have a legit shot at landing Coleman.
This recruitment bears close monitoring.
6'3", 161-pound shooting guard from Arthur Hill HS/Saginaw, Michigan
Another shooting guard whom Michigan reportedly is in love with is Eric Davis from nearby Saginaw, Michigan.
Davis has all the tools you want in a shooting guard, as he has off-the-charts athleticism and can drill it from deep as well. With wings, slashers and shooters a premium in Beilein's offense, Davis would fit in like a glove at Michigan.
With limited scholarships to work with, Michigan may have a choice to make between Davis and Coleman (and other wings). So, it very well could come down to who may commit first—if either of them wants to attend Michigan.
6'10", 235-pound center from Rice Lake HS/Rice Lake, Wisconsin
Henry Ellenson is a gifted big man with a variety of moves in the post and is viewed as a top-10 overall product. As you can imagine, the battle to secure Ellenson's services will prove to be tough.
However, if Beilein can convince Ellenson to commit to the Wolverines, it would be a major coup. Michigan desperately needs big men, and his overall skills can translate right away on the big stage. His presence could make Michigan a title contender once again if he decides to matriculate at Ann Arbor.
6'10", 210-pound power forward from Oak Hill Academy/Mouth Of Wilson, Virginia
Trevor Manuel is a long, lean and gifted big man who can stretch the floor with his shooting and versatility.
Basically, he's an ideal big man in Beilein's offense.
Sure, Manuel could add some muscle to his frame, but his upside is too promising to dismiss. His stock just keeps going up and up; look for the Wolverines to make him a primary target this summer/fall.
All information (height, weight, hometown and school) and rankings are courtesy of Scout.com.
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