Michigan and Malik

Stories and speculation have been flying lately regarding the <b>Malik Hairston</b> recruitment. Is Michigan really out of it? No one on the hoops scene knows Malik better than PrepSpotlight's <b>Vince Baldwin</b> -- and Vince just gave GBW a few definitive words on Michigan's status. We also chime in with a bit of new info as well.

The Malik Hairston saga has confused fans and pundits alike for quite a while now. It's safe to say that at this point, no one really knows what the Detroit Renaissance start is going to do. Based on recent comments from he and his dad, some have even thought (incorrectly) that Michigan was pretty much eliminated from consideration. Before we address that, however, lets take a look at what has come out of the Hairston camp over the past few days.

When I interviewed him at the Jordan Capital Classic last weekend, a few quotes raised the eyebrows of Michigan fans. In response to whether he was still considering the Maize and Blue Hairston said, "Michigan is still somewhat in the recruitment." And in response to what the benefits were to Ohio State as a choice he said, "I guess that might be my best opportunity closest to home. It is a possibility that I would be THAT guy. I would be a great part of the team and I think that I could be that piece of the puzzle that they need to put them over the top." (For those that missed both of the GBW interviews with Malik, click the following links: Malik Speaks at Classic, Part 1, Part 2).

Then, on Tuesday Malik's dad Roger did an interview with theinsiders.com's Ohio State affiliate, Bucknuts, and said, "I think Malik would have been content to just get this over with. He was pretty content choosing from the three schools, which were Ohio State, UCLA, and Kansas. Well, and I guess Michigan too."

Finally, ESPN's Andy Katz, who covered the Capital Classic as well, wrote the following after the game. "As for Michigan or Michigan State, Hairston said ‘they're not a fit for me.'" The Detroit Free Press later repeated that story.

In order to find out where things really stand we contacted the man that has been following Hairston longer and more closely than anyone on the beat ... PrepSpotlight's Vince Baldwin. There isn't any question that he talks to the young wing more frequently (and not always about basketball) than all other reporters combined. So, if anyone can sort through the rather confusing 'maize' that has been woven, it's him.

Baldwin made short work of the Katz report, dismissing it as false. "Well, I'm positive that they're still on the list because their name comes up in conversation every time we talk," Baldwin said. "One of the things he said recently is, ‘If I decide to stay close to home, then I'm going to Michigan.' I don't know if that's (staying close to home) going to be the deciding factor." And in reference to the Ohio State being the best opportunity close to home Baldwin said, "That was in reference to playing time."

"He has talked to me and said, ‘I think about the benefits of staying home and what it would mean to be a Michigan Man after my career is through'," Baldwin said. "So Michigan is still on his list. Anybody that says he doesn't is probably wrong. Now I'm not saying that they're strong on the list, but he's still thinking about the benefits of playing for Michigan."

Backing up what Vince said, various sources have informed GBW (and the Detroit News also just confirmed) that Hairston contacted the Wolverines the Monday after the Capital Classic and that there still was no discussion of them being out of the equation. He'll be taking one-day visits to Oregon and Oklahoma over the next two weekends and then make a decision afterwards.

GBW will continue to follow this situation as closely as humanly possible.

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