Anyone holding out hope that four-star 2020 point guard Jaden Akins would be coming to the Michigan Wolverines was dealt a final blow on Thursday, as he officially committed to the rival Michigan State Spartans. Head coach Tom Izzo and company were long expected to be the favorite and ultimate destination for him.
Akins, a Farmington native, is the No. 70 overall player in the 2021 class and 10th-ranked point guard in the country per the 247Sports Composite.
The options on Michigan’s point guard board in the class have dwindled over the last number or so, leaving it currently at a two-horse race between four-stars Frankie Collins and Carter Whitt. They also happen to be the program’s two most recent offers at the position.
Earlier this week, we discussed how the point guard race has come down to Whitt and Collins and the type of skill-set each brings to the table, as well as an overview of where things stand.
It’s hard to say who the top target is, as it feels like the staff might be taking a bit of a deep breath here to re-adjust to what the board looks like in the wake of some major decisions. Whitt has been offered a bit longer than Collins has, but there has been a decent amount of contact between the Wolverines and Collins recently and the pursuit appears to officially be on for his services.
If Michigan expands the board from here, it likely is to lower-rated players than these two guys as opposed to expand it upward. That could be where we see someone like Tamar Bates (four-star, No. 117 overall) enter the fold, but it remains to be seen what the interest is between both parties.
Whether or not Zeb Jackson proves he can play the point at Michigan, Howard and staff cannot afford to not land a capable point in this class. John Beilein’s success at Michigan was spearheaded by his program becoming a bit of a point guard factory and Howard has not landed one of his own yet. Whoever comes in next feels likely to be one of those three-to-four year foundational guys, so expect them to continue to pursue their options here.
Michigan currently has three commitments in the 2021 class in four-star guard Isaiah Barnes and Kobe Bufkin and three-star forward Will Tschetter. The class could have anywhere from 2-4 spots still available, depending on roster attrition after next season.