The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 61 of 75

62 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2019   BASKETBALL RECRUITING "Vanderbilt and Michigan also re- main serious players here. [Vander- bilt head coach] Bryce Drew and John Beilein have done great work in connecting with him so far." An offer from Duke and increased interest from North Carolina have made it more interesting, though Ri- vals analysts insisted it shouldn't be considered a foregone conclusion he would pick one of them. "Like it is with many recruits who get offers from bluebloods, the in- terest is definitely mutual," Rivals noted. "It wouldn't be a huge sur- prise to see both get official visits before the end of his junior year. "Georgia is still in this race, too, given his family ties to the school." Kessler will likely take his last two visits at some point in the upcoming months and begin to narrow his list, but he's still open to all schools. Michigan also recently offered an- other 2020 standout. Benton Harbor (Mich.) High four-star wing Scooby Johnson became the fifth player ten- dered in the junior class in late Janu- ary. The 6-5, 200-pounder, ranked as's No. 112 junior nation- ally, is averaging 26 points and 13 rebounds per game, and had a great team camp this summer at U-M. SIGNEES CONTINUE TO PLAY WELL Michigan signed just a two-man 2019 class, but both recruits continue to shine. Cole Bajema (6-7, 175, Ri-'s No. 99 senior nationally) and Wilson (6-8, 210, No. 36 in the class both had big games to start the new year. Bajema is averaging around 21.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game for Lynden (Wash.) Christian, having been challenged by his coach to be more aggressive offensively. He responded with back-to-back 30-point games in wins over Snohomish (Wash.) Glacier Peak and Tacoma (Wash.) Wil- son in early January. Bajema scored 20 points, but was held to 5-of-19 shooting in a 64-50 win over Port Angeles (Wash.) High Jan. 5 that improved Lynden Chris- tian to 12-0. Lynden Christian beat Bellingham (Wash.) High 81-67 Jan. 8 behind Bajema's 27 points. Bajema still needs to put on good weight, and he has reportedly gained 10 pounds since summer and is working hard in the weight room. Meanwhile, Wilson has continued his strong play for Denton Guyer High. He was averaging around 19.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for Guyer as of Jan. 18. Wilson scored 21 points in the Wildcats' 69-46 win over Fort Worth (Texas) Haslet Eaton Jan. 4. He was held to five points in a 72-59 vic- tory over Trophy Club (Texas) Nel- son Jan. 8, scored 10 in an 80-46 win over Fort Worth (Texas) Fossil Ridge Jan. 11 and then led the team with 24 points in a 90-64 victory over Keller (Texas) Central Jan. 15. Wilson was recently named a McDonald's All-America nominee, along with one of his teammates. Guyer is No. 5 in Texas Class 6A, 21-4 overall and 6-0 in District 5-6A. "We're proud of them for all the work they put in," Guyer head coach Grant Long told The Denton Record- Chronicle. "They put in the work it takes on a daily basis to reach a goal like that. They're still putting in extra work in the gym beyond what we do in practice, and from an early age that's what it takes to have that type of success. "We're just proud of them for achieving that." ELITE CLASS OF 2021 GREW UP A MICHIGAN FAN Michigan has already started work- ing on sophomore targets, and one of the best in the country grew up a fan of the Wolverines. Evansville (Ind.) F.J. Reitz point guard Khristian Lander (6-0,'s No. 30 sophomore nationally) already holds offers from Kansas, Purdue, Ohio State, Iowa, In- diana, Illinois and IUPUI, and he's visited Ohio State, Indiana, Iowa, Pur- due, Michigan, Louisville and Kansas. Michigan, however, is the school he grew up following. "Khristian has been a Michigan fan since he first saw their helmets," his father, Keith, said. "He was intrigued by them. He saw Delaware playing football on television once. They have the same exact helmets, and he thought they were Michigan. They he saw the Fab Five video later, and that really sealed it. "He has always looked up to [for- mer Michigan All-American] Trey Burke. He went to his first basketball camp. His bedroom is done in com- plete Michigan." There are no guarantees, however, that U-M will land him. "He is starting to realize that it is bigger than going to your dream school. He has to find what fits for him," Keith Lander said. "He has to go to a place where he feels comfort- able. Khristian goes to these schools and says, 'These other places are re- ally nice.'" As of Jan. 18, Lander was averag- ing 25 points per game during his sophomore campaign. "He just has an unbelievable confi- dence, and I think he should. He's an unbelievable athlete, and he's really skilled," F.J. Reitz head coach Michael Adams told "With all the attention, I think he's just true to who he is. It's something that means a lot to him. "He's put in a lot of individual time in, and he knows for this to happen, he's going to have to continue to prog- ress and continue to get better." ❏ On The Web For regular reports on Michigan basketball recruiting plus videos of U-M commitments and targets visit Rivals rates Evansville (Ind.) F.J. Reitz point guard Khristian Lander as the nation's No. 30 overall prospect in the class of 2021. PHOTO BY BRIAN NEUBERT/GOLDANDBLACK

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - February 2019