Eso Akunne to Walk On at U-M

Dylan Burkhardt

6 foot 3 Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard guard Eso Akunne plans to walk on at Michigan next year. Eso is a very solid player but is a little undersized for his style of play at 6-foot-3. Eso is a thick kid at around 220 pounds and seems to like to get in the lane and find a way to put the ball in the hoop — at times it appears by the awy he plays that he is almost more of a post player. He’s a versatile player who has offers from Oakland, Buffalo and others. Eso also isn’t really a three point specialist but while he doesn’t fit the general mold for a Beilein guard he is certainly an intriguing prospect.

The idea of Eso walking on at Michigan has been talked about for a while so this isn’t shocking news. However it’s a good get for Beilein and comes at little cost because it’s just a preferred walk-on spot. I like that Beilein has brought in walk-ons in consecutive classes (Corey Person last year) that are both good students and also solid prospects. This is just one of the little things that plays a part in building a successful program (i.e. Austin Thornton at MSU).

Here is a Detroit News article from today with mentions of Jordan Morgan, Eso Akunne, Josh Herbeck and others.


  • Sorry this post was a little late guys.

  • This has been talked about for a while though.. This article dated Oct 31st has Eso headed to U-M.

  • AG2

    If anything, it shows that guys would rather walk on at Michigan than take scholarships at Oakland. While this decision should be a no-brainer the fact that it hasn’t been in the past shows just how badly Brian Ellerbe and Tommy Amaker mismanaged the program.

  • matt

    I think this is a great grab for the fact we were able to keep local talent at home. Hopefully he will be able to develop into a valuable member of the Michigan B-Ball Team.

  • BBall

    One thing I noticed at the scrimmage last saturday is how much quality depth affects the efficacy of practicing and scrimmaging. If your top 7 guys are playing against division 2 or 3 level competition in practice everyday, they don’t get the pressure and competitive resistance necessary to really hone their skills and push themselves to get better in something closer to big ten quality competition.

    Beilein adding quality depth to the team, if for nothing more than increasingly competitive practice sessions, is going to be a huge bonus in the future performance of the team in pressure situations.

  • Voice of Reason

    Dylan Question: Eso Akunne, does he get an academic scholarship as a preferred walk on? I know he should be qualified for one. Does preferred walk-ons get a special financial package of some sort?


  • I believe there are rules about giving a kid a academic scholarship to sneak him onto the basketball team. But I know Corey Person received the Kalamazoo Promise (google it) but that’s not a University thing. I would expect that Eso could receive some financial aid as long as he qualifies for it like every other student.

  • MooN

    He is reminds me (not playing style) of kids like Jonathan Jones, who plays at Oakland. JJ was supposedly not good enough to get an U-M offer and now he’s a stud. Eso could end up like that. Just because he doesn’t have the measurables doesn’t mean much to me. He could develop into a solid player. After all, he’s working with a lot more than Merrit is and look what JB did for him.

  • Voice of Reason

    Moon, to continue with that line of thinking, if you remember Charles Barkley, “The Round Mound of Rebound,” his measurables were not consistant with his game. However, he turned out to be a fantastic NBA and Olympic player. It would be great if this kid turned out to be such a suprise.

  • MooN

    I am not expecting Barkley numbers, but I think he will contribute. haha

  • Matt

    I played against Eso in HS on the team that is shown early in the movie. Although good I would not call Eso anything special. Many of the teams hes playing do not have D1/D2 players on them which makes playing bball a lot easier. Maybe hes gotten a ton better but from what I remember he’s just a thicker guy who can get to the basket against undersized players but to say he can play D1 seems like a stretch.

  • Aaron Myler

    Eso Akunne not a three point specialist? He doesnt do it in games, but he can hit them with the best of shooters.

  • Aaron Myler

    I went to that school, and Ive seen him practice, and hes dropped all his fat. He is all muscle, and I said he doesnt shoot threes in games because he doesnt have to. Ive seen him hit 20 threes in a row over the course of 30 minutes in practice with double coverage.

  • Nice, his performance against OLSM was impressive. I’m really curious to see how far they can go in D2 this year.

  • GR Student

    I go to Gabriel Richard and State Champs did a special on AAGR which had film of him doing a 360 and a windmill dunk. A guy that is 6″3 230 and can do that… I think that helps to show he can play with anyone even with his lack of size.

    Oh, and Matt I was at the game Greenhills vs. AAGR and I recall GR winning by about 35 and the bleachers we empty after half time. When your winning by that much i’m pretty sure Eso probably put it in low gear to cost to a “cupcake” win. Watch the game against OLSM and see if you have the same opinion, where he got a tripple double (23pts 16rb 10ast) against the “supposed” Memphis bound Dion Sims.

  • Eso is AMAZING!!! He is such a great player and is very versatile. He has great ball handling skills, while at the same time, he can be a post down low. Watching him at practice is unbelieveable. I know he will go far in his career! We love you Eso!

  • BFCHS Student

    I go to Bishop Foley and Eso is the best player in our league besides this one kid on Loyala but anyways hope Eso goes far. Good luck (AAGR JV sucks)


    AAGR JV sucks? They killed Bishop Foleys JV 3 times so what does that say about your JV LOL!

  • Fan

    Listen, Eso is legit. He is the real deal and he turns heads. Eso’s size and skills are a serious threat to all schools. Think about matching up with him. Here is a guy 6’3 not the tallest but weighs 230ish. First off the guy’s got some body to him. He can throw his weight around, rebound like a mad man, and has the best body control with the ability to alter his shot and throw down. So what your going to throw a bigger body on him such as a 3 or 4? That’ll be tough seeing as Eso can dribble. Listen this kids handles are easily above average and no doubt will he take anyone off the trouble finishing with a pull up or pounding it in and sending him to the line. He is a walking mismatch. To find someone who can guard him in the post and on the perimiter good luck. He is a shorter but reminds of someone who was from east lansing and decided to stay there. He isnt magic, but in the next four years you can count on this kid to do so remarkable things with the improving Wolverines behind a solid coach in Bielin. The kid is legit and Michigan is lucky that they found him. As for the Mr. Basketball voting, I know these voters don’t truly watch these highschool games, Deion Simms is nothing compared to Eso, and I’ve seen them both many times. Akunne is legit, watchout Big 10.