It has been a whirlwind week for the Michigan basketball staff. The Wolverine brass flew all over the country over the last few days to see many of its top targets, and finished the jet-setting off Wednesday night in Marion, Indiana at the home of four-star shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. The talented youngster had just been in Ann Arbor the weekend prior for his official visit.
“Michigan has got an outstanding program from every standpoint,” Blackmon’s father stated. “As far as the academics, it speaks for itself and the basketball program. The coaching staff, starting from the head coach all the way down. All the guys are quality people. Our experience was really, really good.”
“We came to the first football game and then this past weekend (and) he had a good time. He went out (with the players), but when guys come back they don’t really talk about the things that they did, but I could tell that he had a really good time. We had a chance to watch their practice. The guys as far as the learning process, they were really in tune. The system, the way (Beilein) breaks the defense down when he has his offensive sets… it is hard (to stop). It is a fun type of system, but being able at the same time going to compete. You can see your team getting better when guys out there are enthusiastic about the drills. As far as their shots, they were able to get good shots up. James walked away thinking, ‘this is something I can enjoy and I can fit into. That’s a good thing.’”
Too good to pass up? That was certainly the speculation last night after Blackmon Jr. tweeted “The Decision coming soon” when the Michigan coaches were en route to his house. While it was certainly another positive interaction with the Maize & Blue, he wasn’t ready to make his choice. That despite the possibility of available scholarships being gobbled up in the coming days. The same is true for some of his other suitors, but young Blackmon plans to move at his own pace.
“(The scholarship scenarios) are definitely clear to us,” stated Mr. Blackmon. “That’s something for the universities to convey their concerns (about). Our concern is trying to pick a situation that is comfortable for us. There are times when they have to make their decision with what is best for the university, but at the same time, we can’t make a decision based on the amount of scholarships or whatever.”
“We are planning on going to the Kentucky practice on the 17th of October. There are several schools that we’ve talked to and now I don’t really want to mention those right now. We just want to take this weekend and just concentrate on going to the Olympics. He has got the Olympic tryouts this weekend in Colorado Springs. We’re just going to try and refocus. I want him to go up there and have a good weekend. Sometimes you can have your mind thinking somewhere else and you put yourself in a real competitive situation that’s where injuries occur. I definitely want him to go there and understand exactly why he’s there.”
When recruiting returns to the forefront for the Hoosier State star, his decision will come down to a few key factors.
“Definitely him being comfortable with the coach,” explained Mr. Blackmon. “You want to be able to identify with the coach. You definitely want to understand the system. If he can be comfortable within the system, with the style of play and can relate to the coach, I think that is the best start right there for us. From an academic standpoint, that is very important that type of environment. We consider those things and where he wants to be, his comfort and being guided in the right direction. If he is comfortable with those things right there then I’m very easy to please because those are important to me.”