The Michigan Wolverines’ 2018 class was one of the highest rated classes in John Beilein’s career in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines garnered four 4-star recruits including Ignas Brazdeikis, Brandon Johns, David DeJulius and Colin Castleton. The class was ranked 12th in the nation, the second highest class in the last 10 seasons.
However, the Wolverines have struggled to replicate the talent they received from the 2018 class. There is some good, some bad, and some ugly when it comes to the upcoming class.
One is the No. 46 recruit in the country, Jalen Wilson. Wilson attends Guyer High School in Denton, Texas. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound small forward has a crisp shot, impressive athletic ability and can be a difference maker right off the bat. Wilson exceeds at getting the ball to the rim and finishing with either hand. He compliments that with a consistently clean shot. Wilson committed to Michigan last May and has not faltered in his decision.
Watch his highlight tape from last summer:
The second commit in the 2019 class is 6-foot-7 small forward Cole Bajema. He doesn’t quite have the same college-ready build as Wilson, sitting at only 175 pounds. He was a little-known recruit who seemingly came out of nowhere when he committed to Michigan in August. At the time, Bajema was not on many big boards across the country. However, he spiked into the top 125 after his quiet commitment to Michigan.
Bajema has the talent to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court. The game just seems to come easy to this kid. His shooting mechanics and fundamentals easily make him an ideal candidate in Beilein’s offensive system. He will have to get bigger before he sees the court, but give him some time and he could become a quality leader on Michigan’s roster.
Here is a clip of Bajema’s play:
These two commitments have given the Wolverines the fifth best class in the Big Ten and the 40th ranked class in the country according to 247Sports. This is around average for the Wolverines over Beilein’s career.
The Wolverines have yet to earn a commit from their home state for next season. They lost out on the No. 1 prospect from the state in New Haven’s Romeo Weems, who is the No. 50 recruit in the country according to 247Sports.
He considered offers from both Michigan and Michigan State, but elected to commit to Depaul University. He will have a chance to play immediately at Depaul, something he more than likely would not have had if he committed to Michigan. Losing out on Weems significantly hurt the Wolverines’ class.
The most painful moment of the 2019 class came when Michigan lost 4-star point guard DJ Carton to the Ohio State Buckeyes. 247Sports’ crystal ball had him going to Michigan for much of his recruitment, but the Buckeyes made a late surge and earned the commit of the No. 28 ranked player in the country.
Carton has been praised by scouts for his basketball IQ and his athleticism for being just 6-foot-1. He also has a decent shot and a great ability to facilitate an offense. He was known as one of the best point guards in the class.
With his commitment, Ohio State officially emerged with a recruiting class placed in the top 10. The Buckeyes have commitments from three of the nation’s top 50 players, and they hold the No. 1 class in the Big Ten.
To make matters worse, Michigan State also gained a commit from a member of Michigan’s watchlist in 4-star guard Rocket Watts. Outside of having the coolest name in the upcoming class, Watts is one of the best pure scorers in the class. Watts can shoot from deep, drive to the hole and hit jumpers from mid-range with consistency.
Michigan State earned his commit along with 4-star power forward Malik Hill, giving the Spartans the No. 3 class in the Big Ten and the No. 34 class in the country.
The Wolverines had a real opportunity to create a strong class if a few of these swing names would have changed hands, but their 2019 class lies consistent with much of the recruiting classes Beilein has had in the past. As one of the top teachers and coaches in the country, Beilein will surely put out a roster that won’t disappoint come next season.