A four-star recruit visited Michigan earlier this week, as 2023 point guard Jeremy Fears Jr. recently narrowed his list down to five schools.
Michigan offered him a scholarship back in October. Fears has visited the school twice now, as he visited for the football team’s game in September against Western Michigan.
Illinois is believed to be the favorite to land him at this point, being he has visited there four times, but Michigan, Michigan State, Kansas and UConn remain in the running to land to land the talented recruit.
Fears Jr. is listed at 6-foot-1 and 165 pounds, ranking as the seventh-best point guard in his class and the best point guard in the state of Indiana. He is from La Porte and plays at La Lumiere School, a college preparatory boarding and day school.
The young guard spent some time with USA Basketball earlier this year, averaging 8.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, including an 18-point outing against Canada in the semifinals.
He doesn’t possess a ton of length at the position, but Fears is built like a running back, diving to the basket with a solid combination of speed and strength.
You can see that quickness on display at the 1:55 mark of the clip above. He uses a quick first step and a crossover to get his opponent on his hip in milliseconds. Despite some physical defense, Fears was able to finish in traffic at the rim in what should have probably been an and-one.
To go with that solid finishing ability, he’s a great facilitator who has a knack for finding cutting teammates and making highlight passes. He also plays with a lot of confidence, which is something important for young guards.
His jump shot is good enough to keep defenses honest, but it’s far from his biggest strengths. Like many high school guards, Fears has a real low release point, but that’s something that could be corrected once he gets to Ann Arbor.
Right now, it seems like he plays a lot like Frankie Collins, as both players are guys who can use their speed to get to the rim and defend on the ball well with their quick-twitch, but could also improve their outside shots. I could see him playing well with a better shooter next to him in the backcourt like Kobe Bufkin, as the duo could play off each other well and utilize Fears as a slasher.
A pick-and-roll with Fears and 2022 recruit Tarris Reed Jr. could be lethal, as the point guard’s ability to get to the rim and his talents as a passer could maximize the big man’s offensive value.
Recruiting experts expect Fears to play at Illinois, but Michigan fans may want to familiarize themselves with his game whether he’s playing for a conference rival or donning the Maize and Blue in a few years.