The Wolverine

August 2022*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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50 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2022 BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan coach Juwan Howard and his staff continue to extend offers in the 2023 class, and they're making up ground with some of their earlier offer- ees. While they're still looking for their first rising senior pledge, they appear to be the leader for a big man who rose dra- matically in the rankings this summer. South Kent (Conn.) School's Papa Kante (6-10,'s No. 34 player nationally) went from fringe top-100 player to high four-star in a matter of months. Kante was one of the top players at the June Pangos All-America camp in Las Vegas,'s Gerry Hamilton reported. "He was one of the more impressive prospects at the event," Hamilton wrote. "The near 6-10 center with long arms, broad shoulders and big hands impressed in a variety of ways. He was physical in the paint on both ends of the court. He fought for position on defense and re- bounding. He played with an impressive motor. "He switches in the ball screen game and showed the feet to not give up straight line drives. And he can knock down the catch and shoot clean looks from three." Kante has visited Rutgers, Maryland and Pitt in addition to Michigan, and those are his most likely suitors. He'll travel back to Senegal after the July 18-24 Nike EYBL (Elite Youth Bas- ketball League) Peach Jam, at which point he's expected to make a decision with his family. "Michigan has been recruiting me since November," Kante said earlier this year. "They have been in contact with me constantly. Coach [Juwan] Howard has been talking to me. He has been coming to see me personally; he's been to my high school two times. South Kent is very tough to get to, so that means a lot. "He has developed a lot of big guys. He played in the pros himself and he says he will help me get to the next level." Those close to it believe Michigan is still the team to beat. However, one of his teammates' fathers is an assistant at Pitt, and the Panthers have made an impres- sion. They'll be "one to watch" — so, we won't call this one for the Wolverines just yet. Kante was once thought to be a poten- tial package deal with fellow Connecti- cut standout Gavin Griffiths (6-7, No. 26 player nationally) of West Hartford Kingswood-Oxford School. Griffiths was supposed to visit Michigan with his friend in mid-June but pledged to Rut- gers days before the planned trip. One of Michigan's newer offers, El- marko Jackson (6-3, No. 60 2023 recruit nationally) recently an- nounced he'd transfer to South Kent from Richland (N.J.) St. Augustine Prep. That means he'll be playing with Kante, and that could be an advantage for Mich- igan. However, the Wolverines were late to offer, and now that he's blown up, it's go- ing to be "a battle" to land him, accord- ing to's Jamie Shaw. Kansas, Villanova and others have all offered. Jackson is Marlin Jackson's nephew (a former Michigan All-American at de- fensive back), and he grew up a U-M fan. He made it clear to the reporters at the recent NBPA Top 100 camp, though, that he's "wide open." "When assessing the big guards at the camp with the most impressive combi- nation of quickness and speed, Jackson is in the top three …" Hamilton reported. "There is one difference between [him and the others] — Jackson has high- end physicality to go with the explosive movement skills. "Jackson is built like a college safety at 6-foot-3, and nearly 205 pounds. He ini- tiates contact and plays through contact at a high level for a point guard. "Defenders seemingly bounce off him. He went through the body of defenders multiple times over the three-day period to finish strong at and above the rim. His speed in transition is that of a difference maker." Jackson is expected to visit Michigan this fall, but others have surged for the player who calls himself a "physical lead guard." "I can do a little bit of everything to impact a game, creating shots for my teammates and myself, and I defend," he said. He's picked up 15 new scholarship of- fers since June. "I've built a really good relationship with Miami's head coach, Jim Larranaga, and Coach [Kevin] Willard at Mary- land," Jackson said. "I don't have any official visit dates set yet. I won't look at that until the fall. I recently added of- fers from Villanova, Nebraska, Virginia, Kansas, Indiana and Michigan. It's really been a lot over the last couple of weeks. "I'm going to be looking at how I fit in with each of them. How I could earn Marietta, Ga., point guard Isaiah Collier, On3's No. 10 player in the senior class, is expected to visit Michigan at the end of July. PHOTO COURTESY MADE HOOPS   BASKETBALL RECRUITING 2023 Hoops Recruiting Is Shaping Up

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