The Wolverine

December 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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DECEMBER 2020 THE WOLVERINE 63   BASKETBALL RECRUITING been more pleased with his group, both as players and people. "While we are excited for these announcements, we want to first commend these six young men and their parents for the care, class and maturity they showed while going through their recruiting processes," he said. "We are blessed that they chose the University of Michigan for not just athletics but academics. "We worked very hard at iden- tifying high-character players and the pieces that are going to help our program. We want to make sure we have quality young men from qual- ity families who can come in and represent the Block 'M' and this uni- versity with dignity and grace. To all six I say, welcome to the Michigan family." Here's a detailed look at the 2021 recruiting class: CALEB HOUSTAN 6-8 • 205 • G/F MONTVERDE (FLA.) ACADEMY OUTLET STARS NAT. RANK POS. RANK ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 11 3 (SF) ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 10 2 (SF) ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 9 2 (PF) At No. 11 overall Houstan is the high- est-rated Michigan recruit in the Rivals rankings since Glenn Robinson III (also No. 11 in 2012) and the No. 1-rated player in the state of Florida. He reclas- sified from the 2022 class and originally hails from Mississauga, Ontario. A member of the 2021 Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Boys Trophy watch list (best high school player na- tionally), he averaged 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists as a sopho- more while shooting 53.1 percent on three-pointers, helping the Eagles to a perfect 25-0 record and the No. 1 prep ranking. Montverde was declared the prep national champions before the season was canceled due to COVID-19. In Houstan's words: "Early on in the process, I knew there was something different about Michigan and the coaching team there. I am excited to play for Coach Howard and to be part of the culture that he is creating — it is something that I knew I wanted to be part of. " The entire coaching and develop- ment team and the players have all reached out and welcomed me to the Michigan family. I know Michigan is go- ing to help me immensely both on and off the court, and I can't wait to get down to Ann Arbor and get to work with my guys." From Howard: "Caleb has continued to challenge himself since an early age, and you can see that blossoming. He has so many different and valuable ex- periences playing against some of the strongest competition internationally and at Montverde. "He is so even-keeled, naturally gifted and just has a feel for the game, which allows him to be a leader and succeed in anything he puts his mind to. His parents, Andrea and David, are tremen- dous and caring people, and you can see that in everything Caleb does." MOUSSA DIABATE 6-10 • 220 • F BRADENTON (FLA.) IMG ACADEMY OUTLET STARS NAT. RANK POS. RANK ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 29 6 (PF) ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 7 5 (PF) ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 20 5 (PF) An elite defensive player with a 7-3 wing span, Diabate enters the 2021 season on Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Boys Trophy watch list (nation's top player). The native of Paris, France, transferred to IMG Academy as a junior and aver- aged 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in helping the Ascenders to a 19-7 record before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The slender for ward played with Nightrydas Elite in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit last summer, averaging 18.0 points, 18.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per contest. In Diabate's words: "I am so apprecia- tive for the opportunity Coach Howard and the coaching staff are giving me at the University of Michigan — in basket- ball and with my education. "There is such a comfort for me with Coach and the other players, especially the incoming guys, that it made my de- cision easy. There are big things ahead, and I cannot wait to be part of it." From Howard: "We are looking for- ward to working with someone who is high-energy on court and high-char- acter off the court. Moussa has an in- credible work ethic and is one of those young men who is 'all-in' and puts forth the effort to really make success easy. We were drawn to his competitive na- ture and his willingness to do what it takes to find ways to win. "Having so many life and playing ex- periences in the U.S. and France has really allowed Moussa to grow into an amazing young man. Michigan fans are going to enjoy him." KOBE BUFKIN 6-4 • 185 • G GRAND RAPIDS (MICH.) CHRISTIAN OUTLET STARS NAT. RANK POS. RANK ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 60 14 (SG) ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 63 15 (SG) ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 88 20 (SG) A lefty with great range and high bas- ketball IQ, Bufkin continues to improve dramatically. He made the Associated Press Division 2 All-State first team as a junior after earning second-team hon- ors the previous year, and was a mem- ber of both the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News Division 2 All-State first team last season. Bufkin averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 re- bounds and 4.0 assists per game while leading the Eagles to a 20-2 record, a runner-up finish in the Ottawa-Kent Conference-Gold and the champion- ship game of the Michigan Division 2 District 44 playoffs before the tourna- ment was canceled due to the corona- virus pandemic. In Bufkin's words: "Signing with Michigan is a dream come true for me and my family. For so long I have Guard Kobe Bufkin of Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian was named to the Division 2 All- State first team last year by the Associated Press, Detroit Free Press and Detroit News. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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