The Wolverine

April 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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APRIL 2019 THE WOLVERINE 61   BASKETBALL RECRUITING your life, you're' deciding what to do … it's kind of cool, though." In Georgia, College Park Wood- ward Academy's Walker Kessler, a five-star, scored 26 points (four tri- ples) and grabbed 10 rebounds, but his team lost to Carver in the Class AAAA Final Four. He is's No. 19 2020 prospect nationally, but he could reclassify to 2019 and Michi- gan would be one of his finalists if he did. "Kessler has become a really popu- lar name in recruiting circles lately," analyst Dan McDon- ald wrote. "Offers from Duke and North Carolina have come within the past few months. Those offers, combined with interest from other top programs, have created a buzz around him. There is also the ques- tion of whether he comes out in 2019 or stays in the 2020 class. "Now that his junior season is over, I expect some decisions to come out soon regarding his future. I expect by the end of the month he will make a decision on which class he will be a part of, although that decision may not become public right away." Handicapping his recruitment is a little harder to do without knowing which class he will be in, McDonald continued. "If he graduates and comes out early in the 2019 class, I would expect he chooses between Duke, Michigan, Virginia and Vanderbilt," McDonald said. "I know he and people around him view Michigan as a perfect fit from a basketball and academic standpoint, but I think it will be tough for him to go that far away from home for school. "If he comes out in 2019, my per- sonal prediction would be Duke signs him." U-M might be lagging behind sev- eral others if he chooses to stay in 2020, McDonald added. CLASS OF 2020 LIST IS EXPANDING Several of Michigan's junior targets have become national recruits in the last few months. One, Butler (Pa.) Area Senior standout Ethan Morton (6-5, 180,'s No. 44 junior nation- ally) scored 32 points in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Ath- letic League (WPIAL) Class 6A quar- terfinals against Pittsburgh Upper St. Clair, and then led a 70-68 upset of No. 1 Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine-Richland in the semifinals March 6. Morton's 40 points tied the third- most ever scored in a WPIAL playoff game in the largest classification. Indiana Hoosiers head coach Ar- chie Miller was sitting in the front row. Per The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Morton got to the basket at will and made 13 of 22 shots. He also finished 14 of 18 from the free throw line. Morton notched 20 points, nine re- bounds and nine assists in a 56-54 win over Chambersburg (Pa.) High in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class 6A first-round matchup March 8. He and his team suffered a 77-72 loss to Coatesville (Pa.) High to end the year March 13, despite Morton's 36 points. Morton said Northwestern, Mar- quette, Stanford, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Penn State, Iowa and Michigan were the schools recruiting him hardest. Benton Harbor (Mich.) High and U-M target Carlos "Scooby" John- son, meanwhile, have been elimi- nated from the postseason and will not defend their Michigan Class B state crown. Johnson (6-5, 200,'s No. 100 junior in the country) notched 25 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks to lead Benton Har- bor to a 54-43 victory over the host Stevensville (Mich.) Lakeshore in the Division 2 district final March 1. He scored Benton Harbor's final 10 points in a 63-59 victory over previ- ously unbeaten Otsego (Mich.) High in a Division 2 boys basketball re- gional semifinal March 5, and fin- ished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. "He's got such a good skill set," Otsego head coach Matt Dennis told "He's tough to handle, inside and outside both. He caused a lot of mismatch problems. "I think we did as best as we could trying to stop him, and he hit the free throws down the stretch they needed to put it away." Johnson scored 21 points in the next game, a regional final loss to Hudsonville (Mich.) Unity Christian that ended the season. "I thought we did it as a team," Christian coach Scott Soodsma said of defending Johnson. "We were switching on him all night long. It wasn't one man's responsibility, and that was the key. "They were coming off the screens, and we had another kid waiting for him. We didn't assign one kid to him; all five of us were going to get a crack." Finally, center Hunter Dickinson (7-1, 260,'s No. 27 junior nationally) of Hyattsville (Md.) De- Matha High could make a visit this spring. "The schools that I hear from the most are Notre Dame, Purdue, Mich- igan, Duke, Kentucky, Pitt, Virginia, Oregon, Ohio State, Louisville and Kansas," Dickinson said. "There are others, but that is the list that comes to me off the top of my head. "There are no favorites or anything yet since it is so early. … There will be more visits, but I am not sure of the schedule right now." reported Purdue and Notre Dame had already hosted him, and that Louisville and Michigan could be next. ❑ On The Web For regular reports on Michigan basketball recruiting plus videos of U-M commitments and targets visit Benton Harbor (Mich.) High four-star Carlos "Scooby " Johnson — a 6-5, 200-pound guard who is listed as the No. 100 overall prospect in the 2020 class by — has emerged as a Michigan target. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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