There will be a lot of new faces on the Michigan men’s basketball team next season, with Jaelin Llewellyn and Joey Baker coming via the transfer portal, and a talented freshman recruiting class coming in to fight for playing time. Fans should now get used to another new face, as 2022 Lebanese forward Youssef Khayat has committed to the Michigan Wolverines.
Michigan was among Khayat’s final schools of choice alongside Wake Forest, DePaul and Xavier.
Khayat isn’t the first international prospect to come to Michigan, as Nik Stauskas, Ignas Brazdeikis, Franz and Moe Wagner, Moussa Diabate and Caleb Houstan are all pros after coming through Ann Arbor.
With Khayat now firmly in the mix, the Michigan roster is at full capacity. There had been rumors the last spot could potentially go to Emoni Bates, but that ship has officially sailed now with the addition of Khayat.
The 6-foot-9 forward thrived with Limoges CSP in France’s U21 program in one of the better youth leagues in Europe, averaging 17.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He also got the chance to travel with Lebanon’s senior national team, who won the country’s first ever FIBA Arab Championship.
As Ant Wright recently pointed out, unlike many recruits, Khayat has already had plenty of practice shooting threes from the college distance. Both leagues he has played in have the collegiate level three-point line, where he has shot more than 35% on an average of five attempts per game.
With the Wolverines, I could see Khayat splitting time at the 4 with Terrance Williams and Will Tschetter. He’s a lanky forward with a nice three-point stroke, a high basketball IQ and a great ability to finish near the rim. He’s also got active hands on defense and thrives running the break in transition.
Despite losing a lot of familiar faces from last year, Juwan Howard has proven to be an excellent recruiter who can retool Michigan rather quickly. Hopefully Khayat can be the next talented international player in Ann Arbor.