Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines have been busy on the 2023 recruiting trail this spring. They’ve extended offers to a number of talented players, including Marvel Allen, Aden Holloway and Zayden High.
A top big man from the class will be visiting Michigan in a few months. According to Chris Balas at TheWolverine.com, Papa Kante is visiting June 14, right around the same time 2023 four-star forward Gavin Griffiths is coming to Ann Arbor.
A four-star center out of Connecticut, Kante is 95th overall (per the 247Sport composite), but his stock is bound to rise as the summer goes along. He’s also the 10th ranked center in his class, and the third-ranked recruit out of Connecticut.
Kante has racked up a number of solid D1 offers, with Michigan, Kansas, Syracuse, Georgetown and Iowa being some the schools that have shown interest. He’s also taken unofficial visits to UConn, Rutgers and Providence.
There’s a lot to like about Kante. He plays with a high motor and dominates in the paint on both ends, showing he can finish through contact on offense while also doing a great job of tracking the ball and collecting blocks without fouling.
Productive two-way outing from 2023 Papa Kante |@papaamadoukante| of NY Rens @NYRhoops on Friday evening.— Endless Motor Sports (@endless_motor) April 23, 2022
Strong finishing + flashes of switchability on the perimeter.
Good length + solid agility here. pic.twitter.com/c8Pc4YlMKZ
Papa Kante is developing into the ideal modern day big but remains a throwback w/ an ELITE work ethic! @papaamadoukante put his strong hands, ever-improving stroke, 7’5”wingspan & relentless heart on display in @SouthKentHoops win over Bridgton at the NE Hoops League tip-off… pic.twitter.com/7O4OMymAV1— Mike Yagmin (@MikeYagmin) January 23, 2022
Kante is an excellent dunker, but he doesn’t solely live around the rim. He can finish from mid-range with a pretty jumper that has a high release point. In these clips from Sept. 2021, he looks fairly comfortable firing up threes, which is not something you can say about every 6-foot-10 recruit.
He asp has patience in the post. He takes what the defense gives him and looks extremely smooth facing up and making defenders respect his jump shot after a nice baseline jumper (around the 41-second mark in the clip above). He’s also got a quick hook shot (25-second mark) that’s pretty unguardable with the space he creates for himself.
I’d be excited to see how Kante develops if he chooses to come to Ann Arbor. Going against a talented big man like Hunter Dickinson in practice, should he still be in school for the 2023-24, could do wonders for Kante’s development.
We’ll check back in on Kante after he officially visits Michigan this summer. One thing is for certain — he definitely has the coolest name out of anyone in the 2023 class.