Leaf Still High on Michigan

Michigan was in the Golden State this past week checking out 2016 El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian power forward T.J. Leaf. After the visit the five-star prospect’s father made it clear that Michigan remains on very strong footing.

Five star status has been attached to T.J. Leaf for some time now, but ask any scout that has seen him lately and they’ll tell you that he’s even better now than we he first received that ranking. Michigan had its chance to see that improvement last Friday when John Beilein and lavall jordan were among the throng of college coaches that attended his workout.

“It was very relaxed and we had an open gym,” Leaf’s father Brad said. “It got them to see T.J. again by showing the growth that he’s been making (strides) in his game, which was good. Just a very good, very great visit, and it could potentially be a good fit.”

That doesn’t mean Michigan is the favorite for the talented youngster, but it does mean that the Maize & Blue have already made very favorable impressions on and off the court.

“That offense is so versatile,” said Mr. Leaf. “I think the continued growth in his perimeter game expands his options in an offense like (Michigan’s).”

“Coach Jordan and T.J., there is a definite relationship there… a really strong relationship between those two. Coach Beilein obviously is building that relationship with T.J. now. It is really cool.”

Leaf’s connection with Michigan has been aided significantly by his two visits to Ann Arbor the last few years. He plans to make his way back to the Great Lake state again before his recruitment concludes.

“He wants to be done with process before spring club on April 10,” Mr. Leaf reported.

“We don’t know (if T.J. will take all five official visits). I just know Michigan is going to be one of them. We’re going to take a couple of more unofficials in the month of October, and then we’ll be done with the process of seeing the schools that are in his top ten. The one that is first is Florida on October 10th, then to Arizona and then Duke for three consecutive weekends.”

Since his prior visits to Michigan came during a summer and for a fall football game, Leaf’s official visit will likely come during a basketball weekend so Leaf can taste of the hardwood atmosphere and experience.

“Coach Beilein talked about getting a game together,” Mr. Leaf said. “Coach Jordan gave us some games in January/February, so we’re trying to nail down dates.”

“We haven’t even talked to anybody else about an official visit except Michigan. This has been the plan for a long time and the plan is still the same. There is a fit for TJ and Michigan is a good fit, so we want to just continue with the process.”

Concluding that process will come down to figuring out which school stacks up best to some key criteria.

“Obviously the main one is going to be style of play and how you’re going to fit in that style,” Mr. Leaf stated. “I just think that is so so crucial. That and opportunity. We don’t need any promises. We just need to know there is an opportunity there. Also academics. What’s going to happen there?”

“We want to feel it, experience it, and make sure when we say we’re going to go somewhere, we’re going. We’re not going to be decommitting and all that stuff.”


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