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Michigan Basketball in ‘upper tier’ of two schools for five-star 2021 forward

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Could it be a two-horse race for one of Michigan’s top remaining targets?

City Of Palms Classic Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines have been searching for that elusive first five-star recruit under head coach Juwan Howard and they find themselves in the mix once again for an elite talent. Forward Caleb Houstan has them in his final four schools, but as of now it appears it could potentially be a two-horse race.

According to 247’s Eric Bossi, the recruitment for Houstan as of now looks like it could be between Alabama and Michigan with Duke and Virginia playing catchup. He revealed this in a mailbag post this week.

“I don’t feel near confident enough to make a Crystal Ball prediction on Houstan just yet, but if I had to bet I’d I would say that Alabama and Michigan make up the upper tier while Duke and Virginia may still have a little ground to make up. This one is likely coming down to the wire,” he said.”

Houstan, who reclassified from the 2022 class, is a five-star prospect and the nation’s No. 8 overall player per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He currently plays at Montverde Academy, which is where incoming freshman Zeb Jackson played last season. 247’s Jerry Meyer recently compared him to Marcus Morris:

Has good size as a combo forward with shooting range. Not overly athletic, but plays with strength and has body control. Dangerous three-point shooter. Finishes well inside the arc. Is composed with the basketball. Solid handler and passer. Strong rebounder. Comes up with points off the glass. Positional defender with versatility defensively.

The Wolverines have been in to the end on several five-star prospect since Howard took the job in the spring of 2019, but have finished as the runners up each time. It remains to be seen what their chances will be before this recruitment is all said and done, but he is one of the top prospects left on the board.

Michigan currently has four commitments in a 2021 recruiting class that ranks No. 6 in the nation and No. 2 in the Big Ten behind Michigan State. Those players include a trio in four-stars point guard Frankie Collins (No. 60 overall player), wings Kobe Bufkin (No. 65) and Isaiah Barnes (No. 121) and three-star forward Will Tschetter (No. 154).