FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Ending his AAU season at the beginning of August in 2012, Jalen Coleman earned the opportunity to play the final tournament of the year playing with and against guys two years older than him, and holding his own. After a strong season at Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral, Coleman is back down on the 16’s level this spring, leaving Spiece Indy Heat to join Indiana Elite alongside Hyron Edwards and Chandler White.
As can be expected, learning to play with new teammates and adjusting on the fly isn’t a dish prepared quickly and painlessly.
“It’s been enjoyable,” Coleman told GoBlueWolverine. “Playing with new teammates, we’re getting it together the more games we play. And better chemistry that we’ll improve on.”
Already known for his raw ability to score the basketball in a variety of ways, Coleman is looking to take the next step. Still two full high school seasons from moving on to college basketball, Coleman isn’t waiting around to further develop his game. Instead he’s prepping and expanding it to include more ball handling duties, sliding between point guard and shooting guard.
“That’s one thing the coaches at the next level talk to me about as far as my height,” said Coleman. “Me being dominant, being able to shoot the ball and dribble, and using my height and my length. With me trying to get bigger right now as far as lifting and being more physical (too).”
Michigan is one school approving of and preaching this message to Coleman, envisioning multiple roles in the Wolverines wide open, perimeter and guard oriented offense.
Guard play was on full display during Michigan’s NCAA tournament run to the national championship game, catching the eye of Coleman, a hard worker that embraces the skill development the coaching staff provides for their players.
“It showed me as a coaching staff, how they want their team to play,” said Coleman. “We got them that far and as far as skill development, not only Trey Burke and Hardaway, but even their bench. The white dude that came in, Spike, that shows that they work out not only their starting five but their whole program, as far as their bench.
“As long as I’m on the court, coach Jordan said one (or) two. They usually have a lot of size as far as having big guards.”
Though recruiting rules currently limit the amount of contact coaches are allowed to have with recruits, the relationship Coleman has built with Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan has kept the Wolverines in the race for his services, a key component of Coleman’s decision making process.
“That’s one thing that’s beneficial as far as being recruited early,” said Coleman. “You get to know the coaching staff a lot more, you get to see them a lot more, you get to see their personalities, and I get to analyze how each coach coaches.”
Coleman says he plans to be up in Ann Arbor for an unofficial visit and for Michigan’s elite camp on June 1st, also taking the time to make it over to East Lansing and Michigan State on the trip. With June 15th just two weeks after that camp, Coleman appears to be in line for a scholarship offer from the Wolverines.
“It’ll be a blessing,” said Coleman if the offer comes. “It‘s always a great option, especially it being academic wise and basketball wise.”
To watch the full video interview with Coleman from Spiece Run-N-Slam, press play below.