Brunson Sees PG Freedom at U-M

Des Plaines (Ill.) Stevenson PG Jalen Brunson became the third player in the 2015 class to pick up a Michigan offer last weekend. GoBlueWolverine recently caught with the rising floor general to get his thoughts on his first visit to Ann Arbor, the Michigan coaching staff, John Beilein's system, and more.

Sam Webb: Michigan offered you during your visit Saturday. Did you kind of know that was coming, or did it catch you by surprise?

Jalen Brunson: “I kind of knew it was coming, but you know, it was even more surprising when they actually said it. I was really happy, and just excited that a program like Michigan even thought about offering me, so it’s a great honor.”

Sam Webb: Have you picked up any other offers since the Spiece tournament last month?

Jalen Brunson:Cincinnati, I think, U-Conn, Virginia, Temple, and Tulsa. I think that’s the most recent since May.”

Sam Webb: Who all made it to Ann Arbor with you on the visit, family-wise?

Jalen Brunson: “It was my father and my little cousin.”

Sam Webb: Take me through the visit process. What all did they have you do while you were on campus?

Jalen Brunson: “I visited the Big House, I visited Crisler Arena, and the practice facilities. Also I learned about the academics at Michigan.  It’s a very good academic school… just learning about all the things they have to offer, and how the process works, you know, just to graduate; so I went through that, and then also the – we just took a mini tour of campus, saw a lot of the dorms where I would stay as a freshman, and also just seeing the academic buildings where classes are. It’s a pretty small campus; I was pretty surprised by that. Smaller than I thought it would be.”

Sam Webb: Did they squeeze in any opportunity for you to talk to any of the current players or recruits?

Jalen Brunson: “Some of the incoming freshmen were getting ready to move into their dorms, but I didn’t really get to talk to them, but I did get to meet all the coaches, all the coaching staff. I didn’t meet any of the players.”

Sam Webb: I know Coach Jordan is your recruiter for Michigan.  What’s the connection or the vibe like with him so far?

Jalen Brunson: “I think he’s a good coach. He has told me some of my weaknesses as a player when we’ve talked, so I really take that into consideration, just trying to work on my game, so that’s a good connection that we’ve had.”

Sam Webb: What about Coach Beilein? Now that you’ve met with him face to face, what are  your thoughts on him?

Jalen Brunson: “I really like Coach Beilein. I really like his system.  From a point guard stand point I didn’t know how much freedom I could have had if I went to Michigan, but his system really works, and surrounding the point guard shooters is really key too.”

Sam Webb: You went up to Michigan State too, right? What was that like?

Jalen Brunson: “We had team camp at Michigan State with my high school team. I got to meet with Coach Izzo again, and some of the assistants.  I got to talk to Coach Izzo about how he was interested in me and wants to continue to recruit me, so I’m really honored.”

Sam Webb: Has Michigan State offered you a scholarship yet?

Jalen Brunson: “They have not.”

Sam Webb: Did they talk about where they are in that process?

Jalen Brunson: “I mean, they said if I was interested they would keep recruiting me, but they don’t really want to offer somebody who doesn’t even want to consider Michigan State.  So they just want to know if I’m considering it or not, so I kind of told them that I’m considering a lot of schools right now, but Michigan State is obviously a good program, and I do really want them to continue to recruit me.”

Sam Webb: Now that you’ve been a few places and you have a few offers, have any schools started to stick out with you yet?

Jalen Brunson: “Not really. The most that have stuck out is the recent offers that I’ve gotten, but really I’m just trying to stay open so I can really focus on basketball, try to help my team win the EYBL championship, and also help my high school win a state championship.”

Sam Webb: Obviously I spoke a great deal with your dad in Fort Wayne.  He said you’re picking coaches more than necessarily picking schools.  What were his impressions of the coaching staff at Michigan when you talked to them?

Jalen Brunson: “They look like a great coaching staff.  They had some great success last year, so their coaching staff I thought was really a fit for any good point guard who want to go to Michigan. I would consider it a point guard school, based on the success they had with their past point guards.  The coaching staff really makes you feel at home, and they want to have a good relationship.”

Sam Webb: I guess this is what I’m trying to flesh out a little bit. It’s clear that your dad gets after it. He said that’s something he is looking at. His coach at Temple, John Cheney, he got after it. Is that something that you’re kind of looking for in a coach?

Jalen Brunson: “Yeah, I am looking for that. I think (the Michigan coaches) would get after it, also their success, but also based on how they’re really trying to improve the facilities, and improve the atmosphere or players to just have that mentality just to work hard every day. I really think they’re improving in that.”

Sam Webb: So what’s next for you? Are you going to take any more visits this summer, and what camps are you going to be going to?

Jalen Brunson: “I’ll be attending the Lebron camp for sure. I think that’s all I know for now. I don’t really think – I’m not planning on taking any visits as of today.”

Sam Webb: Are you going to be waiting until your senior year to make a decision?

Jalen Brunson: “Yeah.”

Sam Webb: Back to Michigan for the last question.  At this point what do you like most about Michigan at this point, and what do you still have questions about?

Jalen Brunson: “I really like their coaching staff. I also like the knack that they have for their academics. They really want you to graduate more than anything. I don’t really question a lot of things about Michigan, because of what I’ve seen.  As of now, I don’t have anything to ask or even wonder about. As time goes on, maybe I’ll think of something, but right now I have nothing to ask.”

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