The Wolverine

September 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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BASKETBALL RECRUITING Class Of 2014 Target Keita Bates-Diop Is Now A National Recruit M BY CHRIS BALAS better of some of their foes on the re- cruiting trail with an old, tried-and- true formula — identifying talent early, often based on potential, offer- ing a scholarship before most of their competitors and recruiting to the bell when their commitments turn out to be elite prospects. That's not to slight the ability of the ichigan head coach John Beilein and his staff have gotten the pledges. Incoming freshman wing Glenn Robinson III, for example, had great potential and had shown flashes before Beilein offered — ditto for frosh shooting guard Nik Staus- kas, who is now considered one of the best shooters in the 2012 class. They've since taken their games to new heights, Robinson as a five-star, class of 2012 pledge and Stauskas as a rising four-star. One of U-M's primary targets in can do that like he can. Bates-Diop is a good three-point shooter, a terrific ball handler and a very good athlete, one who's becoming so much more aggressive and violent around the rim." He's also got a knack for game- to be the frontrunners in Bates-Di- op's recruitment, with Illinois on their heels. He has reportedly visited Florida, however, and will take more visits this fall. "I notice who is there," he said of winning plays and "an almost too- good-to-be-true combination of abil- ity and intelligence." Michigan and Purdue are thought the 2014 class has followed a remark- ably similar path. Michigan and Pur- due were among the first to identify Normal (Ill.) University High small forward Keita Bates-Diop (6-7, 190) over a year ago — with the Wolver- ines offering on June 15, the first day they extend to rising juniors. Now's No. 49 junior nation- ally, the lanky Bates-Diop has a very high ceiling and most recently posted a title for the Illinois Wolves AAU squad at the 16U Gym Rats Basket- ball Association Nationals at Spiece Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne, Ind. Bates-Diop scored a game-high 24 points for the Wolves in a 51-42 victory over Meanstreets in the title game in front of coaches from U-M, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Butler, Valparaiso, Ball State and others. Since then, Ohio State has offered, while Duke, Kentucky, Florida, Kansas and Michi- gan State — just to name a few — have reportedly made serious inqui- ries about the talented wing. "If I were to rate him as far as Bates-Diop, a 6-7, 190-pound small forward at Normal (Ill.) University High, has found himself ranked among the top 50 players in the class of 2014 by every prominent ser- vice, including, which lists him at No. 49. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM now and he knows that," said Bob Fitzgerald, Bates-Diop's coach at University High. "For him, it's not going to be about his skill set. He has a tremendous skill set. It's going to be about tenacity. That's what we're working on. "He's still young, but we want him scout Brian Neubert of- fered this after seeing him play: "The versatile 6-foot-7 Bates-Diop blew up this summer and seems to only be scratching the surface still, because he will get more physical in the years to come, for one thing. "Right now, Bates-Diop is vaguely to be more of a dominating — not dominant, because he's already dom- inant — player on both ends of the floor. He thinks well on the floor, but at times he probably thinks a little too much instead of just playing by feel. But he'll grow into that along with the tenacity side of things." Purdue site Goldand- where he can be — as far as his abil- ity, he's already a 10 — but for what he can be, he's probably a seven right 80 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2012 coaches at AAU events. "Michigan, Illinois and Purdue are always there. At least one of the coaches are there all of the time, which means I'm a top priority for them." In recent weeks and months, Bates- Diop's found himself ranked among the top 50 players in the class of 2014 by every prominent service — in- cluding No. 30 by "It's just beginning for him, but he has some people who were there in the beginning who are very, very close and have made very good im- pressions with his mom, his dad and with Keita," said Mike Mullins, who runs the Illinois Wolves summer pro- gram. "He's going to be a national recruit. "When we were out in Philadel- phia, the East Coast schools fell in love with him; when we were in Dal- las, the Southwest schools fell in love with him. That will continue." "He's a really intelligent and ma- ture kid who comes from a good, solid family that places a high em- phasis on education," Fitzgerald added. "It's not going to be a rash decision, and I think the academic part of things will be just as impor- tant as the basketball side." [NBA star Kevin] Durant-ish in his ability to pull up off the dribble and shoot jumpers. You don't see many guys his height and of his length who The 6-5 Booker, now's No. 27 player in the 2014 class, re- Devin Booker, SG, Moss Point, Miss.: UPDATES ON OTHER CLASS OF 2014 OFFERS

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