The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Michigan Coaches Are In On Several Of The Midwest's — And The Nation's — Top Underclassmen Best In [Under] Class W ith the finishing touches already being put on the 2013 class, Michigan's coaches have had plenty BY CHRIS BALAS BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE CLASS OF 2014 of time to scour the country for top class of 2014 and 2015 targets. They've made inroads with many. Here's a look at some of the rising ju- niors they are strong with, along with capsules of a few rising sophomores to watch. Devin Booker 6-4 • 180 • SG Moss Point (Miss.) High's No. 31 rising junior nationally Michigan coaches were the first a football game and a basketball game," he reported. "I went to the Ohio State game [in basketball]. Growing up in Michigan, I know about the rivalry. The atmosphere was crazy." Booker has grown fond of the of screens for the shooters," he said. "I like that." Drake Harris 6-4 • 180 • SG Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian's No. 46 rising junior nationally Harris, a two-sport standout out to identify Booker, back when the standout was just a freshman at Grandville (Mich.) High School. Booker now resides with his father (former Missouri star Melvin Booker) in Mississippi, where he's quickly risen to become one of the better shooting guards in the 2014 class. Michigan coaches have followed of Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian, holds many offers for both football and basketball and has slowed his recruitment in recent months after reporting he might be leaning toward pledging last summer. He's since set records on the football field in be- coming one of the more coveted wide receivers in his class, adding to his options. "Right now I don't know," he said Booker's every move in the spring AAU session, and it's paid off. "That means a lot, being at all my games. … Michigan was in from the start," Booker said. "From the be- ginning, they were the first school on me. They are the one that got me started in all the college stuff. They're always going to have a place with me." Booker reported averaging 23 points, eight rebounds and four as- sists per game as a sophomore for an 18-10 team. He's a deadly shooter who can also score off the dribble, though he'll need to get stronger to finish at the rim at the next level. Outlook: Booker holds offers from when asked which sport he might play. "I might want to do both at the beginning, but right now it is kind of early. I don't know what I want to do. "I've liked basketball since I was Drake Harris is a two-sport standout in football and basketball from Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian, and he holds offers for both sports from multiple schools. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM skills and will continue to cultivate those this summer. A commitment is nowhere near imminent. "I'm not going to make my deci- little. I've been playing since the sec- ond grade, so it's always been my love. The same with football, too. I've been playing football since I was 7. They are both great sports, and I love to play them." Former Michigan receiver Tai sion until my senior year," he in- sisted. "People were just talking [be- fore] … it's too early." Outlook: Michigan, Notre Dame, Indiana, Michigan State and Florida have all offered for both football and basketball, Harris reported. He's been to U-M, MSU and Notre Dame more than once. The Wolverines and Spartans are thought to be the top two on his list, but he's giving every- one a shot. "Coach [John] Beilein's really Streets, for whom Harris' Mean- streets AAU program is named, has been there to offer advice. Streets, who played in the NFL for several years, provided some depth on the U-M basketball team. "He talks to me a little, tells me I Florida, Arkansas and Mississippi. Georgetown and North Carolina also join Michigan in showing interest, but U-M is in good position. "I've been there two times, for 28 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2012 should keep playing both sports," Harris said. "From there I'll decide what I'm going to do." Harris averaged 16.2 points per game as a sophomore, playing plenty off the ball. He also has point guard building a dynasty over there," he said of U-M. "They had a great year this year, played great the whole year before losing in the tourna- ment to a team they shouldn't have lost to [Ohio]. I thought they'd' make it a bit further, but that hap- pens sometimes." Keita Bates-Diop 6-7 • 190• SF Normal (Ill.) University High's No. 39 rising junior nationally It seems likely that the lanky Bates- Diop, now 6-7 and growing (and Michigan coaching staff. He's also high on the Wolverines' style. "They spread the floor and do a lot

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