Michigan Takes Aim at a Big One

The Michigan Wolverines have been casting a wide recruiting net in the class of 2009 talent pool. The biggest fish in their waters just might be Racine, WI five-star power forward Jamil Wilson. This jack of all trades prospect can do it all on the basketball floor and Beilein and company among those trying to reel him in.

One look at Jamil Wilson’s game and it’s extremely obvious that the Horlick High (Racine, WS) standout has outstanding potential. When GoBlueWolverine first witnessed his exploits at the Spiece Run N’ Slam All Star Classic last summer, he left little doubt about his status as one of the Elite players in his class. That sentiment was relayed in a May 7th GBW report

“Then there was the Wisconsin Playground’s Jamil Wilson. This youngster just might have been the most impressive player of the entire weekend. At 6-7 this young man handles like a guard, is a downright excellent passer, and is explosive to boot. He has all of the tools…and he is only 16 years old. His crossover dribble from top of the key before ripping the pass down low to an open teammate for a lay-up was only one of the demonstrations of his high skill level and basketball IQ. Expect him to be ranked among the top players in the country by every service that gets the opportunity to see him first hand.”

Early scuttlebutt had the Michigan State Spartans as the program with the early leg up for the 6-7, 200-pounder based on the early attention they showed him and Wilson’s relationship with future Spartan point guard Korie Lucious. Currently, though, Wilson insists his recruitment is in its infancy and a long way from having much focus.

Tom Izzo has watched me play a couple of times in AAU tournaments and I do know Korie,” Wilson said. “I don’t know the whole team, but I’ve watched them play a couple of times on TV and they’re pretty good. I could probably fit their type of play. “

“We (i.e. Wilson and Lucious) do joke and kid around about playing together sometimes,” he continued. “He is always messing with me. I know when we went out to USA camp together we joked around a lot about it… me, him, and Delvon Roe. But I really haven’t looked into any school hardcore yet. Really, any school is appealing to me until after my basketball season when I start looking into it.”

At this point Wilson is concentrating more on his academics and his high school season than his recruitment. However, when he does find the time to think about his collegiate future, rather than focusing on any particular school, he thinks about the traits he covets most in a program. One of those traits is a favorable depth chart at his position.

“I was talking to my dad about that before,” said Wilson. “That’s something that if I go to a school, I’m looking at that majorly. Who is in front of me at my position and will I be able to play, or am I going to have to sit two years behind people just to wait my turn? I’m probably looking at schools where I’m starting my freshman year or at least coming off the bench early. I’m trying to go in and get my feet wet right away.”

For John Beilein and the Michigan Wolverines, playing time is one commodity they that they can offer in abundance. The Maize & Blue has made it a point to jump into the fray with Wilson, and the youngster has taken notice.

“Toward the end of the summer I started getting Michigan mail,” he recalled. “Then once school started, a couple more pieces showed up here and there at school. Then once basketball season started I started getting more and more. I talked to an assistant coach earlier this week. I was supposed to talk to the head coach, Coach Beilein, but I didn’t get a chance to call him from school but I had to go. I’m going to talk to him soon.”

While Wilson has yet to get to know Beilein, he already knows a little something about Michigan.

“I’ve watched them play a couple of times,” he reported. “I’m very familiar with Michigan. My uncle lives in Michigan and he is a big Michigan fan. He said, ‘if you ever come to Michigan you can stay with me.’ He always talks about the Fab Five. He was saying, 'Jamil, you can be a part of that.’ “

What Wilson would be a part of is the rebuilding effort that Beilein is currently undertaking. That kind scenario is often one that high profile prospects are reluctant to partake in. Wilson, though, isn’t totally opposed to the idea.

“It’s always tough to turn a program all of the way around,” he admitted. “It’s not easy. I wouldn’t mind it being (somewhat) established, or me and a couple of other guys going in, blowing the place up, and putting it on that map. But really, I don’t have a problem playing where it is established or where it isn’t established as long as it’s a great group of guys, a great coach, and as long as I can go get my education and play ball. If I have those things I’m fine.”

Figuring out which programs best fit his criteria is a process that Wilson plans to be patient with. With nearly a year to go before he wants pulls the trigger for one lucky school, he is in no hurry narrow his focus.

“I’ll probably start (whittling down the list) at the end of the school year because right now I need to focus on school and make sure my GPA is up and all that,” Wilson explained. “But when school lets out I’ll start pulling out the mail from all of the schools and start rating them with my dad. I’ll probably start trying to get out to some of the schools this summer, then next fall I’ll try to get out with my dad my sisters and let them come see it. Sometime next (school) year, before my senior basketball season I’ll probably commit. That’s what I’m looking for right about now.”


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