Stefan Jankovic Talks Recruiting, Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt

The Michigan coaching staff has turned their sights on 2012 face-up power forward Stefan Jankovic. The 6-foot-10 Canadian has had a strong spring on the AAU circuit, most recently at the Pangos Invitational. Jankovic’s recruitment with Michigan has also heated up. He took the time to chat about his relationship with John Beilein, a potential visit to Ann Arbor as well as his relationship with 2012 commitment Nick Stauskas among other things.

On his game and style of play:: If I were to put it in one word I’d say versatile. I’m about 6-foot-10 wing forward that can go down low. I can shoot the ball, handle it a little bit and just use mismatches to my advantage. If I have bigger stronger guy take him out or take a smaller weaker guy in the paint. I’m working on my defense but can guard out on the wing. Versatility is my biggest thing. Rebounding, blocking shots, all of that.

On the schools recruiting him: My top list of schools is West Virginia, Syracuse, Georgetown, Wake Forest and Michigan. I have more schools after that like offers from Florida State, Miami, Seton Hall, Northwestern and schools like that. I have interest from Duke, who called me about two weeks ago, North Carolina and Kansas.

On where his recruitment stands right now: I took my (unofficial) visit to Wake Forest about a month or two months ago. They were always my favorite and had recruited me the longest. I really enjoyed my visit and was close to committing but I talked to coaches and parents and backed up, deciding it was better to wait. Now I have a list, of course Michigan’s in there. I’m just letting AAU play out and then waiting until the fall, early fall. Take some visits and decide from there with a pretty early fall commitment.

On his discussions with Michigan: I was contacted by Coach Vall Jordan a couple months ago, maybe one or two months ago. Also by Coach Alexander but Coach Jordan was the primary assistant. They both started talking to me a bit and then coach Beilein came to see me and Sim, one of my teammates, play and they liked what they saw. One of my really good friends also [Nick Stauskas] committed there. Last week coach Beilein gave me a call and I had a really good talk with him about everything. A scholarship opened up and that’s why he was back on recruiting me.

On his relationship with 2012 commit Nick Stauskas: We’re close close, really close. We played on the same AAU team before and have known each other for a long time.

On a visit to Michigan: I have not visited Michigan yet but I’m definitely planning on it. Whether it’s an unofficial in the near future, maybe month or two because it’s close to home or later in the fall for an official. I’ll definitely be making an official there.

On other visits in the future: In terms of unofficials this summer I’m going to try to visit Florida, Florida State, to and then Syracuse, Georgetown and then perhaps Boston College. Those are just a couple of unofficials I might do in the next couple months.

On what he’s seen of Michigan and his fit in the offense: I’ve seen them play a couple times and I’ve played against Evan Smotrycz who went there. I’ve seen them play and almost everyone tells me that Michigan is a perfect fit and system for me. Whether it’s me being able to shoot as a taller player, I definitely think I could fit in the system.

On the main criteria for a decision: I’m looking at primarily my relationship with the coaches. Whether it is close to home or not, it would help but I’m just looking at places that are close. Also the academics, which most schools have really solid academics, and then the history in basketball and the program.

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  • Paul

    Hopefully he commits to Michigan.

  • Detroitbry2

    Kid has some swagger that is for sure.

  • Grandchamp21

    Seems like a perfect fit but I think that scholarship will be filled if he is gonna wait until early Fall to commit. 

    • YpsiTuckyBoy

      Doubtful. Only if they take a 2011 kid, which doesn’t look likely. Early fall for a 2012 player isn’t a late commitment.

    • Anonymous

      who do you see filling it?  I guess I could see us getting a couple early commits for 2013, but they could still take him Jankovic and then see what happens down the road with attrition and fifth years.  Plus the Big Ten allows you to oversign by one player I believe.  I am pretty sure that there are no 2011 players that they are looking at and the only 2012 guys I could see them taking a commit from prior to jankovic would be harris or McGary, neither of which are likely (the other 2012 recruits all seem to be wing players (Hawkins, Dorsey-Walker) and we already have two wings committed for 2012). 

      Its always possible someone else pops up on the radar, but the way the coaches are going after Jankovic, I gotta think he is the top choice right now. 

  • Anonymous

    A class of Robinson, Stauskas, and Jankovic would likely rank in the Top 10 and keep Beilein’s streak going of putting together better and better classes each year (when will it stop???). Great to hear that he’s close with Nick.

  • Mattias

    i love this kids game!!

    • Bluebufoon

       I love Jankovic but don’t see how he fits on the U-M roster, especially if we lock-up Donnal before the end of the month. Donnal plus Bielfeldt, along with the veterans make it tough to bring and additional Big in 2012 or 2013, but I hope I’m wrong. Jankovic would be perfect in Beilein’s system.

      • DoubES

        I actually think Jankovic would fit perfectly on the roster.  In my ideal world, you would have all 5 positions covered within two adjacent classes.  This would mean, theoretically, you could always have a starting lineup of upperclassmen.  Even if you can recruit this way, it’s not likely to play out in this fashion based on things like transfers and sophomore PGs blowing up, but it seems like ideal roster balance to me.  

        So, assuming Biefeldt is a 5, Jankovic would give us the 4 that this class would need to get the aforementioned balance.

        2011: 1 (Burke) 2 (Brundidge) 5 (Biefeldt)
        2012: 2 (Stauskas) 3 (GRIII) 4 (Steff J)
        2013: 1 (TBD) 5 (TBD)*

        *This assumes a spot opening up due to transfer, no fifth year for a player, or Timmy going as a lottery pick after his junior year (fingers crossed).  I’d give someone pretty good odds that at least one of these scenarios will play out, and wouldn’t be surprised if more than one did.

  • I like Stefan’s game.  He would definitely be a good match for Coach Beilein’s offense.  Stefan only problem is physical stature. I’d have him put on 20 – 25 lbs.  Scout has him at #84 overall,  4 star, and #18 best center.  I’d take him at power forward and put Max at the 5.  I’d use the last 2012 scholarship on Stefan Jankovic.  He’s got Game!

  • Anonymous

    We can all agree that it’s a great problem to have if we are in the mix on several top 100 guys and aren’t sure where the playing time is going to come from.

  • I hate that Duke getting in on his recruitment. This kid is too good to stay under the radar I guess. he reminds me of a young Dirk Nowitzki just slower release. He definitely would bring some swagg to Michigan. Yes please!!!!

  • DFord

    Boy got game…

  • Wettin 3’s

    I really like this kid. I think he brings that flash, and seems like he can cause mismatches. The other day I was looking at another PF, and was wondering where his recruiting was. His name is Jordan Hare, he’s from Michigan, and seems like a very good 2012 prospect. Did we stop recruiting him or something? Does anyone know or have any information about this kid..?

  • Mattski

    Reminds me a little bit of when I first saw Robert Horry play in Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa–great posture to go with his length. Believe it or not Latrell Sprewell was on the same team, and when I predicted they’d both be NBA players my friends thought I was nuts. Not going out on that kind of a limb with a HS junior, but you can see there’s still a coltish quality of “Huh, I can really do that? Maybe I should try this!” about the kid that suggests his upside is, potentially, quite large. 

  • Brian

    Love what I have seen and heard from Jankovic.  He would be a perfect prospect to slot behind Smotrycz.  

    JB is really bringing the talent here to a level he has never approached before.  

    • Justin Sedlecky

      I think it’s pretty clear that we could’ve passed on Bielfeldt and been more than fine…

  • Asdfa

    If you’ve seen him play, you will know that he doesn’t like contact and wants to be a 3