The Michigan basketball staff rolled out the red carper Tuesday of the top targets on its 2012 recruiting board. Accompanied by his parents, Lansing (MI) Sexton combo guard Denzel Valentine made his way to Ann Arbor to get a better feel for what the Maize & Blue has to offer, and came away extremely impressed.
"We had a chance to see the campus Coach Beilein and all three assistants (Jeff Meyer, Bacari Alexander and Lavell Jordan) were there with us," Valentine recalled. "We walked over to see the dorms, study hall, and the academic facilities. My mom (who is a teacher) said she could tell about how serious they are about academics. The video of the new (current practice facility being built) is real nice. They'll have a showcase of former players. The coach's offices are upstairs, and also downstairs is the gym, locker-room and weight room."
Michigan's amenities were only part of what made the visit so impactful. His interaction with the coaches and players was also extremely memorable.
"Coach Alexander is real funny," Valentine said. "He had me laughing a lot. Coach Beilein and Coach Jordan was coming at me real hard about Michigan. That let me know that they really want me and I like that. I liked the way they treated us it was one of the best unofficial they were with us the whole time I had a chance to know Michigan and meet some of the players. I talked with Carlton Brundidge (who came to campus to add his recruiting touch) about why he committed to Michigan. I also spoke with Darius Morris and Zach Novak and they told me what they like about Michigan and why they committed there as well."
Those endorsements certainly carry a lot of weight, but for Valentine to feel totally comfort he needs to see a fit off and on the court. That oncourt fit was a huge point of emphasis for Beilein.
"Me and Coach Beilein spent a lot of time talking," remembered Valentine. "Wherever we were that is what we talked about. I like their offense. It is real open. It is structured, but it is open and you are in attack mode in that system they run."
It's an appealing concept for a player that that is so skilled offensively. It'd be even more so if there was great talent around him. That's why the Wolverines had another of their prime 2012 targets on campus as well. They pitched to the talented duo the chance to be a part of the program's continued resurrection.
"Matt Costello was up there I have known Matt for a while now we really started talking at the Michigan Elite camp," Valentine reported. "We have talked about going to school together but just briefly."
Both youngsters have offers from Michigan and Michigan State, and both Wolverines have the in-state programs high on their lists. For Valentine's part, they couldn't be any higher.
"Michigan and Michigan State are my top two schoolRight now I like Michigan because of how serious they are with me and they were my first high major offer. Michigan State is a top five program nationally and it is 20 minutes down the road."
Will offers from his two clear favorites in his pocket, Valentine doesn't plan to take long to decide which of the programs is the better option..
"I will be making a decision this fall," he stated. "I am 100% sure of that. Both schools said that wanted to know soon. I respect that they need to know so they can recruit other players. Besides, I don't like playing games."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Valentine in the coming days and weeks.