Is Michigan back in the mix for KU target Jalen Wilson?


Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Although many recruiting analysts have called the race to land Class of 2019 prospect Jalen Wilson a battle between Kansas and North Carolina, a third program has found its way into the mix.

And it's the very school that the 6-foot-8 Wilson committed to in the first place.

Wednesday afternoon, multiple reports indicated that Michigan had hired former Wolverine and longtime NBA forward Juwan Howard as its next head coach. Howard will replace John Beilein, who recently left Michigan to join the Cleveland Cavaliers, sparking Wilson's desire to reopen his commitment.

Wilson, who hails from Denton, Texas, did receive his release from his letter of intent with Michigan. And the 4-star forward who is best friends with KU target R.J. Hampton, has scheduled visits with KU (May 30-June 1) and North Carolina (June 3-5).

But according to quotes reported by's Jeff Borzello, Michigan may very well be back in the mix now that Howard has been hired.

"He's alumni and has NBA knowledge so that's always great to have in a coach," said Wilson, according to a Tweet from Borzello. "They have always stayed in mix, but with the timing and not knowing who it would be, I had to go out and explore options."

In his most recent column touching on the topic, analyst Corey Evans was asked if Howard's hiring made Michigan the leader for Wilson's services.

Evans' answer?

"I doubt it," he wrote. "

Evans continued: "Kansas is the strong leader for former Michigan recruit Jalen Wilson and if he were to not commit to either the Jayhawks or North Carolina, it would come as a giant surprise. Wilson will definitely keep Michigan atop of his list and if it is Juwan Howard, who boasts plenty of NBA background, the interest level would be there. ... Now, if Howard were to keep select members from the former staff in Ann Arbor, it could help in the relationship building process with Wilson."

With that said, Evans seems to believe that Wilson has gone deep enough into the process of exploring his options at KU and Carolina that it would be difficult to go back now.

"He is intrigued by the small forward opening at Kansas which is why he swiftly set a visit up to see the Big 12 program for May 30," Evans wrote. "North Carolina (also has) visit date, but Michigan is playing catch-up now and will do as such the longer the coaching search continues in Ann Arbor."

Now that Michigan's search is over, — ending with the Wolverines hiring a freakin' member of the famed Fab Five, no less — the fun can begin.

KU still appears to be in good shape here, and Bill Self and company will get their shot to sell Wilson on campus next week. That can't be overlooked. And even though Wilson has tried to downplay the importance of the chance to play with Hampton, it no doubt will remain a factor at least in some small way.

Given the way KU's recruiting has played out during the past 6 months or so, doesn't it seem fitting that there's a little added drama and difficulty with yet another prospect?

Hang in there, KU fans.

Beyond the quotes he gave Borzello, here's a quick look at a little more Wilson reaction to the Juwan Howard hire.

None by jwill


Glen Miller 4 months, 3 weeks ago

So in other words..... he's not coming here. Every recruit we've been in a good position on has went elsewhere. Watch.... Dotson will stay in the draft, Hampton will go to Tech, Wilson will recommit to Michigan and Grimes will be the only one coming back. Worst case scenario here. I guess we will see what happens, but I have little optimism at this time when it comes to recruiting for this year.

Ryan Mullen 4 months, 3 weeks ago

That is the most positive post you have ever written. You must have got a raise today.

Glen Miller 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm not sure you've seen many of my posts then. I'm positive a lot more often than not. Just not this season. Sorry keeping it real and not having rose colored glasses is a problem for some.

David Robinett 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Glen, you haven’t been paying attention. We’ve gotten lotta great recruits late including Wiggins.

Glen Miller 4 months, 3 weeks ago

If you'd read the very last sentence again, you'd see I'm talking in terms of this season..... not years past.

Gerry Butler 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Other statement made by Jalen coming from their board: Juwan Howard is exciting I still got the same business. It's not gonna change everything. It is a new Coach so he's gonna have to recruit and do all the business all over again. like everybody else , really.

Another statement made said Jalen Wilson's interest is piqued. Told earlier today - - Juwan Howards hiring put Michigan back in the mix.

One other thing Jalen had to say was: said at the time - - - That he expects Juwan Howard if he is in fact U-M's next Coach - - -for him to reach out , visit Jalen's house & lay out his vison. - Jalen saying keeping any or all of the current Assistants would go a long way for Wilson , as he has got to know them well during his recruitment - - -one side note here on this Yaklich a Michigan ass't was Jalen's lead recruiter - -it sounds like quite possibly Yaklich might very well might be headed to Texas - I think he is hot he didn't got the job. - -If that indeed turns out to be the case - then for Jalen the Coach you committed to come play for is gone - -the lead recruiter that recruited you is most likely gone - could play a big role in his decision as well as him and RJ being best friends - -we shall see

Marius Rowlanski 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Juwan Howards will be a big-time draw, as Penny is in Memphis, who will need to have an experienced coaching staff.

Whatever works.

Michael Terry 4 months, 3 weeks ago

No way, I called it several days ago when it was first announced Juwan Howard was the front-runner. Jalen it too enamoured with the Fab 5 legacy. With Juwan now as coach it will only be a matter of time before he recommits Michigan. Don't get me wrong, it's a bad move, especially to commit to a coach with limited coaching experience. I'd much rather come to KU where I know I'm going to win and be on national television for almost every game. I guess we will see how it all plays out. I hope I'm wrong.

Jim Stauffer 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I realize there has been much drama this year in recruiting. But the KU BB fans are a fragile lot. They cannot remember the 14 straight. How many BB fans of any team have enjoyed the consistency we have since '84. That's something like 36 years of consistently high level performance. Even the other blue bloods cannot make such claims. Why doesn't everyone remember Bill Self is in charge. He will produce a top quality team. I hope Hampton and Wilson decide to be a part of that, but if not, we go on without them. We will be fine. Maybe they will too. But they don't have 36 years of consistent success to count on anywhere else.

Jay Scott 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Some of the Chicken Littles are especially bird brained this year.

HCBS was in a position where every player from the preseason #1 team except Vick was eligible to return and not in any mock drafts. Potentially loaded. In Chicken Little simple terms, he had no spots for potential recruits and effectively no scholarships. He had Braun and McBride signed. 11 potential returnees. 13 Scholarships. No room to move until players announced their intentions.

Even now, the most likely scenario is that Dotson returns along with Dok, Mac, Mitch, Agbaji, Garrett, McBride, Enaruna and Braun. Compare that to the Championship game team from 2012.

Grimes, Hampton, Wilson and De Sousa as well as a couple of grad transfers are still in play. Adding only one or two and the team is stacked.

Marius Rowlanski 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Another miss in what supposedly is the upswing in Kansas recruiting.

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