The Wolverine

March 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2021 THE WOLVERINE 81   BASKETBALL RECRUITING and goes and lifts. He's earned all the accolades he's getting. I'm really privileged to get to coach such a spe- cial talent." Tschetter scored 29 points to lead then-unbeaten Stewartville (6-0) over Cannon Falls 59-36 Feb. 2, and dropped 48 on Kasson Mantorville in a 93-73 victory Feb. 9. "There are three kinds of high school athletes, I think," Girtman said. "There are the ones with the gifts who don't work at it, the ones without the physical gifts that work really hard and then the special ones like Will that come around and you've got the kid that has both. He has the physical gifts and puts in a ton of time." In Nevada, point guard Frankie Collins (6-1, 175, No. 67) continues to prove he might be one of the more underrated players in his class. He enjoyed another excellent weekend Jan. 30 at the MADE Hoops West Showcase playing for the Air Nado club squad (his Henderson [Nev.] Coronado school season was shut down due to COVID-19 concerns). "Collins continues to make strides this season with his feel for the game and ability to run an offense as a lead guard," reported. "A natural scorer, Collins has the ability to generate space off the bounce or carve up defenses as a slasher. He's a big-time finisher who can get downhill in a hurry and poster unsuspecting defenders. "Looking forward, he'll continue refining his point guard skills in the Michigan program. With Collins, we're looking at a scoring guard who will likely make an immediate im- pact and could work his way into the first-round pick conversation down the line." Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, with Michigan signee Moussa Dia- bate (6-9, 190, No. 26), meanwhile, continues to thrive thanks to his defense. He helped hold Holmgren in check by protecting the rim with his great length in IMG's 73-53 win over Minnehaha Feb. 6; Holmgren finished with only 13 points, while U-M 2022 target Jaden Bradley (6-3, 170,'s No. 7 junior na- tionally), reportedly heavily leaning toward Kentucky, finished with 21 to lead IMG. Diabate is still raw offensively, but his ability to guard a number of posi- tions caught Cassidy's eye at the St. James NIBC Invitational in northern Virginia in January. "I've long been impressed with the motor and defensive prowess of [Di- abate]," he said. "That said, the dis- play he put on during his IMG Acad- emy team's showing at the St. James NIBC Invitational still managed to blow me away. "We've long known the big was a rim protector that changes shots underneath and defends the high post, but at the St. James Event, he consistently stayed in front of five- star guard Kennedy Chandler (Sun- rise Christian) when he was forced to switch on to him. Diabate may not be the single most dominant defen- sive player in the class, but he's the most versatile." Finally, signee Isaiah Barnes (6-6, 180, No. 102) of Chicago Simeon has seen his season shut down, but fu- ture teammate Kobe Bufkin (6-4, 175, No. 49) finally got his season going Feb. 9. Bufkin and his Grand Rap- ids (Mich.) Christian squad handled Greenville (Mich.) High in the CO- VID-delayed opener, the lanky shoot- ing guard posting 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists. "It felt really good to get back out there," Bufkin said. "Obviously, we've been down for about nine months, so it was good to get back and play with my guys." Bufkin did plenty of scoring before sitting in the fourth quarter, but he was most proud of how he shared the basketball. "Getting my team involved, not forcing shots up, allowing my team- mates to get in the game, which made the game easier for me," Bufkin said when asked what he did best. "It's important, just because when I get to the University of Michigan, I've got to learn to play with other guys and not force my shot. "Just being able to find my shot in the offense was really good for me." Bufkin believes he can make an im- mediate impact on defense next year for the Wolverines, but the Michi- gan coaches — especially head coach Juwan Howard and assistant Saddi Washington — have told him to en- joy himself during his senior season. "Just stay focused on this season and have fun," Bufkin said of the message. "Obviously, with COVID, we've seen that it can be stripped away from us at any time, so just enjoy every moment of it and look forward to playing next season." CLASS OF 2021 NOTES Michigan currently has no room to add another 2021 scholarship player, but that could change if sophomore Franz Wagner and/or freshman cen- ter Hunter Dickinson opt for the NBA Draft. Some believe Wagner is lean- ing that way, and while most expect Dickinson to stay at least another year at U-M, his outstanding play in the conference has put him on the map. U-M would likely look to add another big man should Dickinson depart, and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy's Charles Bediako could be his immediate replacement. The 6-10, 220-pounder,'s No. 29 senior nationally, is reportedly looking most seriously at Michigan, Texas and Ohio State after Alabama — the one-time favorite — suddenly seemed to fall off his radar. Bediako notched 14 points and 16 rebounds for the IMG post-grad team in a 93-56 win over Carmel School Feb. 5 and followed up with 15 points and 10 rebounds a night later in a victory over Bull City Prep. He notched 14 in a victory over Miami Prep Feb. 9. ❏ Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy center Charles Bediako — a 6-10, 220-pounder who is listed as the No. 29 overall player in the country by — is reportedly looking most seriously at Michigan, Texas and Ohio State. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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