Q&A: 2013 PG Jalen James Talks Michigan Visit

Dylan Burkhardt

jalenjames050311[1]2013 Chicago point guard Jalen James made the trip from Chicago up to Ann Arbor on Sunday afternoon for an unofficial visit. James is a prototypical pass first point guard with good size and one of the fastest risers on the AAU circuit this spring, after playing at a smaller underexposed Chicago charter school.

We posted video of James at the Spiece Run ‘n Slam Classic which you can see here, but here are some quotes from Jalen after his unofficial visit this afternoon:

On the Michigan visit: The whole coaching staff was there and when we came in we sat down to watch a power point about the school. Me and Coach B went over to the practice facility and then the players study hall (Ross Academic Center) to talk about school and stuff. My brother and I went out to lunch and then came back and met up with the coaches. They took us to the stadium, football practice facility and stuff like that. Then we watched some film and he (Beilein) broke down the point guard position for me.

On what stood out about the Michigan visit: Really how he (Beilein) cares about the school situation. He really, when I first got there we talked about basketball for a minute, but he really struck home books. That’s a plus for me. He makes sure that all of his players graduate and have a good education. And to play for him you have to have a good education.

On a Michigan offer: They said they don’t offer young players so fast but he said after I finish my sophomore year, then we can probably get something working.

On other visits: I’ve only been to Michigan for now. I’m planning to go to Illinois and Xavier at beginning of June and I’ll be visiting Indiana mid-June. That’s all I have scheduled right now.

On elite camps: I’m planning to go to elite camps at Illinois and Michigan, and Northwestern and Missouri have both invited me. June is my free month, so I’ll be a lot of places in June.

On the main schools involved in his recruitment: Baylor and Cleveland State have offered. Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee, DePaul, Dayton, Providence, Florida State and Indiana are the main schools recruiting me.

On whether any schools stand out: Nah, I’m just beginning the process. I don’t have a favorite right now and am just taking it all in.

On the main criteria going into his college decision: Distance really doesn’t matter. I want a close relationship with the coach and my teammates. I want to play up and down tempo without a lot of sets, but pick-and-rolls are alright.

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  • Dnd

     He looks talented…. but how many more point guards do we need?…. but how many more point guards do we need?

    • Michigan is almost guaranteed to take a point guard in 2013. There are numerous candidates including Derrick Walton, Demetrius Jackson, Monte Morris and, as you just read above, Jalen James. 

  • Mac

    Who is the best for 2013 

  • Mattkop

     Am curious about his reasoning–“not a lot of structured sets.” Seems bright, and wants the education, so it’s not because he’s lazy. Just likes the up and down game, transition, etc? What was your sense, Dylan? 

    • Seemed like he just wanted an offense that was up and down and allowed you to play. Didn’t really seem to mean much by it, I wouldn’t read into it one way or another.

      • Anonymous

        Still, we definitely play structured sets (and pick-and-roll), not as much up-and-down (except after def. rebounds).  Coach B will have to change JJ’s mind if he wants to land him.

        • Anonymous

          Where can he go that doesn’t use sets?  Nobody always scores off fast breaks.  Coach Beilein’s offense actually uses more flow than sets, like say MSU with there 150 set plays. 

  • Anonymous

    Mitch McGary article, still mentions that he’s getting interest from Michigan…


    • Anonymous

      “McGary is listed in the rankings anywhere from the 60-80 range but most analysts believe he’ll be a top-30ish kid by the end of the summer.”

      Sounds like we should give chase.

    • MaizeNBlueJ

      Wow, if he’s still open to us, it definitely wouldn’t be a bad pickup. He played really well in the game I saw at AMC this weekend, including a couple of monster blocks. I didn’t realize we were still in the picture. 

  • Kenny

     good that now we have two scholarships to hand out. The talent pool of 2013 seems to be good and many are interested in Michigan and are ready to make early decision.

  • Trane

     James on Michigan: “I Loved It!”

    That’s Scout’s headline. . .$ required.