As Michigan continues to zero in on putting the finishing touches on their 2014 recruiting class prior to the early signing period this fall, another name has popped back-up on the radar in recent weeks in senior shooting guard/small forward Javon Bess out of Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln high school.
“Coach Bacari (Alexander) talked to my dad,” Bess told GoBlueWolverine. “He said he was going to try to get Coach Beilein here this week and Beilein came.”
Michigan coach John Beilein was in Bess’ school Monday to check out an open gym. Afterward, Bess and his parents received some very positive feedback from the 35-year coaching veteran.
“And if I go on a visit then they’ll have a scholarship for me if I go up there.”
No date has been mentioned or confirmed regarding Bess’ impending visit to Ann Arbor at this point.
When Bess and his parents do make it to Michigan, the group will have the opportunity to see some familiar faces, all of whom migrated north from Ohio.
“I went to school with Caris LeVert my freshman and sophomore year and with Taco (Charlton) from the football team.
“And I worked out with Trey this summer so, I’m kind of familiar with some of the people up there.”
Asked how familiar he is with Michigan’s style of play, Bess pinpointed a very popular and effective play used last season, especially in the Wolverines late game rally and overtime triumph of Kanas in the NCAA tournament.
“I know I watched them a lot last year and they did a lot of pick and rolls with Trey (Burke),” Bess said.
“(Michigan) likes my versatility and they said I don’t have a designed position. I can play the one, two or three.”
Even though it’s already the middle of September of his senior year, Bess wants to make it clear that the Wolverines are going to receive a fair shake from he and his family.
“They (my parents) like it,” Bess said. “And we’re not going to like, just because, and we talked to Coach Beilein, just because they’re coming late, we’re not going to just overlook them cause they’re coming late. We’re still going to take a look.”
Bess, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard, has a visit setup with Kansas State on Oct. 12 and says other schools there with Michigan are Dayton, Texas Tech, Iowa, and Wisconsin -- the Badgers are another school recently starting to show interest.
As the early signing period approaches quickly, Bess said he’d like to make his decision and sign a letter-of-intent this fall but also added “I’m going to take my time and make sure that I’m going to the best situation for me.”
Iowa, Michigan (twice), Kansas State, Texas Tech, Wisconsin, and Dayton have all been by to watch Bess over the last two weeks.
FOXSportsNEXT Analyst Brian Snow evaluates Bess’ game:
“Javon is a very solid wing. He doesn't do anything great but does a lot of things well. He is a very smart wing who is at his best off the dribble where he can be a playmaker for others or a scorer himself.”
Bess is currently rated a three-star prospect.
Michigan looking at 2016 teammate
With recruiting it is always about who’s next and Lincoln is home to a developing 2016 big man Matt Moyer, another player the Wolverines had their eye on at the open gym. Bess says his sophomore teammate has very high upside.
“I think he’s going to be good,” Bess said. “In a couple years, I know he’s going to be good actually. I put in a lot of work with him and I know he’s going to be good in a couple years -- people are going to be really saying he’s good.
“He’s real versatile. He’s like 6-6, 6-7 with a long wingspan and he can put it on the ground for his height, he can shoot the ball, he can get to the basket and finish above the rim. He’s real good.”