Michigan’s interest in 2015 Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral high school shooting guard Jalen Coleman has been serious for quite some time now. Just a few weeks away from June 15th -- the first day John Beilein will extend official offers to prospects that have just completed their sophomore year of high school -- the Wolverines interest could potentially ascend to new heights in the form of a scholarship being handed out to the 6-4, 185-pound, four-star combo guard.
But Coleman and his family refuse to set themselves up for any disappointment if, for some reason, the offer doesn’t come.
“The notion is really leaning towards that but we’re kind of like -- we don’t jump the gun when it comes to offers and things like that because there’s some talented players out there and different programs have different kids in mind on who they want to offer,” Coleman’s father Piankhi Lands told GoBlueWolverine.
“It’s kind of hard to tell when you presume if something is going to happen or not so we try not to presume until it’s actually on the table because you don’t want to get your hopes up and then it doesn’t happen when you thought it was. I would hate for my son to feel or go through that.”
Michigan assistant LaVall jordan has lead the charge from start to finish in Coleman’s recruitment, impressing both father and son along the way.
“He’s a real good dude,” said Lands. “Just a real humble, knowledgeable guy. He’s really intact with what he does, he loves basketball, loves the kids, and is a really good encourager as far as positive words that speak to me as a parent and speak to Jalen as far as him going into his junior year and him wanting to pursue a higher level of basketball. He’s very good with that -- a classy guy.”
Coleman is spending this AAU season expanding on what is already a very versatile skillset. Given his size, Coleman will see time at both point guard and shooting guard in college and the Wolverines stand out as a program that could get the best out of the talented scorer.
“That’s essential to player development to go to the next level and be productive on the court,” said Lands. “Trey Burke, Hardaway Jr., those dudes are professionals at what they do and if coach Jordan is the one that was in tune with them as far as helping with that, he’s done a wonderful job and is one of the best in the country.”
Michigan’s program has enjoyed success over the past six seasons under John Beilein, but took a major leap forward in 2012-13. Finding the right mix of focus and fun, the Wolverines caught fire en route to an NCAA tournament run for the ages.
“That made a powerful statement,” said Lands. “For Michigan to be recruiting my son and to make it that far in the NCAA tournament, that’s one of the greater challenges, if not the great challenge, in playing division one basketball is being able to make it to the final game -- there’s only two teams standing at the very end.
“That says a whole lot about the program, about the coaching -- that’s tremendous and we were very much encouraged by that and inspired by that.”
Whether or not Coleman ends up in the Maize & Blue, the case can be made that Ann Arbor was destined to be his ultimate landing spot all along. His father, a bonafide basketball junkie, recalls his reasoning behind calling his first born, Jalen.
“I told coach Jordan this a long time ago -- I named him after Jalen Rose,” said Lands. “I know that’s kind of crazy but that was my favorite player of all time and just, his personality, Jalen Rose’s personality off the court too as far as the way he speaks and his basketball know how, and him playing for the Pacers for a while -- I’ve grown to really be attached to his character, even on the court.”
Still a ways away from making a commitment, Coleman’s father insists he won’t be in the business of forcing a decision on his son.
“Ultimately it’s Jalen’s decision,” said Lands. “Like I said, Michigan, that’s top of the line and I know he knows how I feel about that. But at the same time, and don’t get me wrong he’s highly interested, it’s not going to be a minor thing.
“But at the same time there’s other variables in the recruiting process so we try to keep all of that in perspective and to not go on impulses, but to actually look at everything that’s in place to see what’s the best fit for him. But, that would make our whole year, buddy (if Michigan were to offer).”
Coleman plans to compete in Michigan’s College Practice Camp on June 1st.