2012 G Valentine has U-M's Full Attention

The Michigan basketball staff has been keeping an eye on the class of 2012. And now it appears that they have now upped the ante considerably with Lansing (MI) Sexton G Denzel Valentine. The versatile youngster recently picked up a U-M offer and is one of the Wolverines' top targets.

Coach John Beilein has been watching Denzel Valentine play a lot through the years, and the interest in the class of 2012 prospect has been building fast.

It has grown so fast that just last week Coach Beilein did something he rarely does to a recruit during the process. "Coach Beilein called my dad to offer me a scholarship to Michigan," Valentime told GoBlueWolverine. "He wants me to come on campus to hang out with the players and see the school."

Valentine being offered over the phone is quite different than the usual way Michigan offers kids. Previously, recruits and their parents were invited up to campus to talk with coaches and see the facilities, and then at the end of the visit were offered ... so that Valentine was offered before said visit holds special significance.

Denzel feels like he knows why Coach Beilein offered him the opportunity to play for Michigan.

"I feel like I am a smart basketball player," he said, "and Coach Beilein recruits those type of players. Overall I have an all-around basketball game: I am not super quick, super fast, or very athletic, but I use my basketball IQ to make plays."

Denzel is right in saying he is not the fastest guy on the floor or the most athletic but that the kid makes plays -- he just has a very good feel for the game. Early in his career as a freshman he had a lot of 'spicy' to his game and guys had to adjust to playing with him. Now that he is playing with more talented players, his teammates are ready for the no-look passes and the rest of his his skill set to be able to play with him.

"Coach Beilein has seen me since my freshman year, and he said I had a lot of mustard on the hot dog," Valentine laughed. "But he does like the way I am playing within myself."

Valentine has offers from Michigan, Oakland, Drake and Utah, and heavy interest from Georgetown, Xavier, Wisconsin, USC, and Stanford.

He also has a school close to home that is suddenly showing increased interest in his services. "Coach Mark Montgomery from Michigan State called. He wants us to meet with him when we get back from Vegas."

Denzel is looking to get back to his regular playing style prior to a knee injury his freshmen year.

"This summer I am trying to get my rhythm back like I had it during my freshman year. I feel like I am getting back to that. I just want to keep playing hard and working on my game."

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