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Huge recruiting weekend coming up for Michigan basketball, & more

Chris Balasby:Chris Balas07/24/22

Balas_Wolverine

Michigan basketball recruiting targets have been playing extremely well this summer. The Wolverines are favored to get one of the top prospects on their board in the weeks to come, and they’re moving up for others.

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Power forward Papa Kante is headed home to Senegal, Africa for the first time in three years to see his family. He’s expected to sit down and make his decision with their input, and Michigan appears to be in good shape.

Michigan coach Juwan Howard and his staff watched Kante, On3.com’s No. 32 class of 2023 prospect nationally, closely at Nike Peach Jam. Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell, two Pitt assistants, and assistants from Providence and UConn also watched his games.

But it’s not over yet. A Pitt assistant is the father of one of Kante’s AAU teammates. Dylan Harper, a 2024 guard and brother of Rutgers standout Ron Harper Jr., said recently he and 2024 shooting guard Tyler Betsey talk about going to Rutgers with Kante.

In addition, Kante’s good friend, 2023 wing Gavin Griffiths, has already committed to Pikiell and the Scarlet Knights. So while Michigan and Juwan Howard have done a great job, some close to it say it’s “gotten a little cloudier recently.”

In short, there’s still work to do.

Kante played extremely well in one game in particular.

Michigan will host Zayden High, Isaiah Collier next week

Michigan coaches have focused on a handful of 2023 prospects. As previously reported, Isaiah Collier will be on campus July 28. He sat out Peach Jam due to injury, but had been dominant prior to that. He was in the top five in the Nike EYBL in scoring (19 points per game) and first in assists (6.5) before suffering a knee injury during USA Basketball tryouts. His summer hoops are over as a result.

Collier has visited Cincinnati, Alabama, UCLA and USC. He’ll be in for his final official, but he’s still considering Kentucky after the Wildcats threw a late hat in the ring.

Michigan appears to be a longer shot, and there have been rumblings he wants to play out west. But Howard has done a good job recruiting him.

“There are definitely a lot of good guards going to Michigan right now,” the five-star told On3 this spring. “I like how they play and their play style …

“Juwan Howard is an NBA guy. They are getting players and putting them into the league. That is my main goal, really.”

Collier (6-2, 190) is On3’s No. 3 senior prospect nationally.

Michigan target Zayden High (6-9, 215, No. 35), meanwhile, continues his ascent in the rankings. He’s scoring, but while he’s considered a stretch four, he’s more of a taker than a maker at this point. He shot 29 percent from long range at Spring Valley (Texas) last year and is about there in AAU play.

On3’s Jamie Shaw, however, likes him a lot. He called high is “long term play of the day” after seeing the budding Michigan priority live.

“Coming into the game, I decided to watch High through a different lens. Seeing what he is now, but looking more toward his trajectory of development in what he could become down the road” he said. “What we know about High is that he is an extremely fluid, 6-foot-10 forward who can shoot, run, and jump. He is also a player who has grown a good bit in recent years and is figuring things out.

“As day 2 of Peach Jam High showed, things are coming together nicely. He finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds in 20 minutes before fouling out. He finished at the rim, through contact, and showed a genuine toughness competing around the basket. That is the next step for him, figuring out how to best toggle between the basket and perimeter.

“While today there may be some inconsistencies in his performances, monitor one, two, three years down the line to see what High is then.”

High has visited Villanova officially, Texas unofficially. He likes Houston and Texas Tech, too, but Howard and the Michigan assistants have done a great job recruiting him, too.

The senior-to-be is averaging 13.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game on the Nike EYBL circuit.

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