Mac Irvin Fire has been one of the top performing teams on the AAU circuit over the first month plus of the season, and while stars Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander have garnered much of the credit and attention, 2015 PG, Jalen Brunson has emerged as major catalyst in his own right. His deft shooting touch and impressive court vision have caused a number of coaches to move him on and/or up their respective target lists.
“(Recruiting) is blowing up, but I’ve just really got to stay patient,” said Brunson. “I just got an offer from Tulsa. I have been hearing a lot from Virginia… which just offered me, which is great. (I’ve also been hearing from) Purdue (offer), Illinois (offer), and a lot of Big 10 schools.”
Michigan isn’t among those on Brunson’s offer list as of yet, but the Wolverines have definitely been hot on the talented sophomore’s trail in recent weeks.
“Coach Jordan came to my open gym about during live period,” reported Brunson. I shot pretty well. He just said (in subsequent phone conversations) that they are really looking hard at me.”
“Michigan… they want me, they are really interested in me. I haven’t had the chance to be on the phone with Coach Beilein because I am really just trying to focus on school right now since we’re coming down to the end of the year with exams. Hopefully he offers me a scholarship. I will be very thankful for that, we’ll see.”
June 15th is a significant date for John Beilein’s program every season, as it marks the point on or after which the Wolverines will of juniors be (in voluntary adherence to a National Association of Basketball Coaches guideline). There is a strong chance that Brunson could be on the receiving end of one of those calls. However, even without the offer he already holds the Maize & Blue in high regard.
“I have watched Michigan a lot because of Trey Burke, who is a fine point guard,” Brunson said. “I am not going to say I modeled my game after him. I look at the different type of thing he does. He is very skilled and very smart. For his size, he is kind of athletic. He is kind of the same height as me. I really just kind of look at the little things he does… not the fancy moves and not scoring the ball. I look at what he sees and how he runs him team.”
That’s certainly a positive for the Maize & Blue, but he is equally high on all of his other suitors.
“No favorites right now, not at all,” said Brunson. “I am really taking it patiently because I have a lot of time on my hands. I will still be only a sophomore. I think senior year before the season starts is when I will make my decision.”
“Obviously (it will come down to) the school academically. Really I am looking for a coach who can really help me be successful in life, not just basketball. Like my dad, he had Coach Chaney. He really helped him in life. He still talks to him today. I am really just looking for a coach that can really help me.”