June 15 was supposed to be a special day for 2015 LaPorte (Ind.) La Lumiere four-star shooting guard, Jalen Coleman. The Michigan basketball staff made their interest in the 6-foot-4, 185-pound scorer well known from the beginning of his recruitment, and the Wolverines were all set to offer him a full scholarship Saturday.
But it didn’t happen.
Instead, Coleman was out in Las Vegas, Nev. competing in the Adidas Nations camp, preventing college coaches from contacting him directly until he left, per NCAA rules.
“It went really well,” Coleman told GoBlueWolverine of the camp. “Going to Adidas Nations is always a good learning process because you’re learning from different elite players that played in the NBA and played for a long period of time.
“I learned a lot of drills that’ll enhance my different abilities in my game as far as ball handling and shooting.”
After running through rigorous drill work and scrimmages at camp, Coleman arrived back home in Indianapolis to receive some very good news, and news that he’d been waiting for from the Michigan Wolverines.
“Actually the day before they offered me when they talked to my dad,” said Coleman. “The whole coaching staff talked to him.
“But today, coach Beilein called me himself and talked to me a little bit saying he wanted to offer me a scholarship and that he was excited, and so was I. Being a high profile, national program that just went all the way to the national championship, it’s just an honor and I’m very thankful to have them as an option for me to go to school.”
Also hearing from Michigan State, UCLA, Indiana, Illinois, among others, as well as receiving a new scholarship offer from Sean Miller and Arizona, Coleman said his conversation with coach Beilein was brief but the 35-year coaching veteran utilized other forms of technology to promote the Maize & Blue.
“He texted me more than we talked on the phone,” Coleman said. “Just saying how excited he was and excited for me to have the option of going there and trying to get me there to play with those guys, seeing the campus more, and learn more about the school.”
Michigan’s memorable NCAA tournament run resonates with Coleman, but the way the Wolverines were able to make it possible, developing guards like Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., and even Spike Albrecht in recent years is definitely a feather in the cap for the Wolverines, as Coleman continues to make his own game more versatile.
“The first thing I thought was, could I see myself going there?” said Coleman. “And I could. Being I got to see them gradually win each game and for them to talk to me before they had the success they had at the end of the year, it was more like me watching them grow as a program.
“It showed me, I got to see a lot of how they improve, not only their starting five, but also their bench players and the program in general. Them making it, not winning it, is still really big.”
Looking to come up with a visit schedule for the summer, Coleman does plan on seeing several campuses before school resumes in the fall, including a return trip to Ann Arbor.
“I’m trying to get something worked out with my dad and college coaches,” he said. “Michigan especially, after they just recently offered.”
Not looking to rush his decision, Coleman has no timeframe or plan for narrowing his list down to a few select schools just yet. What Coleman has been keeping tabs of is how each school fits the criteria he’s looking for in his eventual college destination, jotting down notes and information after every conversation or interaction.
“Having a school that has good academics and as far as how they improve their players (is most important),” Coleman said. “Just based off of history, as far as who they had in the past, improving by numbers or statistics shows that they’re improving as players.
“And off the court, having a coaching staff that even if you don’t necessarily make it to the league, to have a school and alumni (base) that helps out their own -- just something bigger than basketball.”
Coleman will be with his AAU team, Indiana Elite, at the Adidas Invitational in July, and GoBlueWolverine will be on hand.