May was to be the month Justise Winslow narrowed his impressive list of suitors down to a handful of favored contenders, but it appears that the nation’s #1 small forward isn’t completely ready to narrow his focus. That small crack in the door was all the opening Michigan needed.
“He’s interested (in Michigan),” said Winslow’s father, Rickie told GoBlueWolverine. “He is showing an interest. I talked to (Beilein Tuesday) and I think he called Justise too. (Justise) is not going to say he’s interested if he’s not.”
The Wolverines’ memorable season obviously played a key role is raising their profile with Winslow (and a number of other prospects for that matter), but that’s not the only reason the five-star standout is giving them a look.
“Me and his mom are big on academics so he’s kind of looking at some of the schools that are good in academics as well,” Mr. Winslow explained. “Michigan is one of those schools.”
Now that Michigan has this elite prospect’s attention, the task of making up a great deal of ground favorites begins in earnest.
“Duke, Arizona, Kansas, UCLA, and Florida are the top schools… and Michigan would be a part of that,” Mr. Winslow said. Everybody isn’t going to start recruiting at the same time. People get a late look, or they’re recruiting other people, people (commit) other places… that’s the way it kind of goes I think."
“It’s all about recruiting now. He probably won’t make a decision until October or something like that… a little bit after school starts I think.”
Michigan’s viability in a race full of heavy-hitters that have been recruiting Winslow much longer will come down to how quickly a strong rapport can be established and how well he believes he’d fit on and off the floor in Ann Arbor.
“I think the coach will be a big part, the school and academics will be a big part, and the position that he’ll be playing,” Mr. Winslow said describing his son’s criteria. He is more of a two, so that’s going to be the most important thing (even though) he can play the one.”
“I think he kind of fits in Tim Hardaway’s spot, but I think he can play more of the point than Tim. I think he may handle the ball a little bit better. Hardaway may be a better shooter, but I think (Justise) gets to the basket better.”
If John Beilein & company have their way those details will be discussed more in depth in the coming weeks and months… and not just over the phone.
“I think they’ll be coming down to do an in-home visit,” said Mr. Winslow.