James on Michigan: "I Loved It!"

Heading into his visit Sunday, Chicago (IL) Hope Elem Community Academy PG Jalen James already had a very strong interest in the Maize & Blue. Now that the c/o 2013 standout has finally seen it for himself, that interest has grown even stronger.

Jalen James Profile

"It was great," said James of his time at Michigan.  "I loved it!  I talked to Coach Beilein and the rest of the coaching staff.  They're all cool.  They're real close.  They asked me a couple of personal questions to get to know me better.  It was cool.  We sat down and had lunch and then they took me around campus.  It was raining so we drove around the campus.  We went to the football stadium, the practice facilities… everything.  Went also over the offense and broke down the point guard position."

The up-close look at the offense proved to be an eye-opening experience for a youngster that listed the up-tempo offenses of Xavier, Kentucky, and Florida as examples of the style that he fancies most.  His trip to Ann Arbor helped him realize that the Wolverines have a great deal of what he is looking for also.

"I think (the Michigan offense) offers a lot of freedom," stated James.  "(Beilein) gives his point guards a lot of freedom.  He said after every rebound miss or make get it out and run.  Like I said, I want an up-tempo team to play for, so that's a plus for Michigan.  Pick and rolls, spread out, open lane for the point guard to do what he is doing, and make the decisions for his team."

As impressed as the Windy City floor-general was with what Michigan has to offer on the court, there was one aspect of his time on campus that stood out even more.

 "I would say how Coach B is stuck on books," said James of which part of the visit resonated most.  "He is real strict on books.  All his players graduate and he makes sure they graduate.  They have three study halls a day.  That is going to help me out a lot in the long run."

All told, Michigan helped itself tremendously in this youngster's recruitment. Their standing could be further enhanced in the coming weeks if a scholarship is extended.

Said James, "(Beilein) said that they don't offer young players like eighth graders, freshmen, or sophomores.  They said after my sophomore year is over with (an offer could come).  I'm done in two weeks and we'll talk soon."

"(Michigan) is right up there in the mix.  I don't have no favorite.  I'm just going through the process.  Michigan is a real nice school, but I haven't made any decisions yet."

Should the Wolverines offer, they'll join Baylor and Cleveland State on James' early scholarship list.  Depending on how a few upcoming visits go, a number of others might join as well.

"I'll visit Missouri probably in the next two weeks, Xavier and Illinois in early, June and then Indiana mid June," James reported.  I'll also be at Michigan's (elite) camp."


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