Sanders and Bacon are both playing for the Showtime Ballers this AAU season, and both are making an impact. Their bond is so tight that most schools recruiting them are going after the two Florida natives as a package.
“We’ve got a good relationship, that’s my best friend. I been going against him since fourth grade and we’ve been playing together ever since,” Sanders said of his relationship with Bacon. “We have built a really good bond over the years. We know how each other plays. I play off him, he plays off me and we just build each other up.”
Marquette and Memphis have already offered both Bacon and Sanders as a pair, and that list is growing. Michigan is one of the schools recruiting the pair together.
To Sanders, playing with Bacon in college is preferred, but not essential.
“That’s big because that’s someone who I can trust and go away with, who can go on the road with me. We don’t have to play together but that’s even better,” Sanders said. “When we play together we play better. When things go wrong, that’s all we really know: to play together. If we go to the same school I think that’d be great.”
Sanders holds offers from Memphis, Marquette, Murray State, Georgia Southern and James Madison. Of the schools showing interest in him but who haven’t yet extended an offer, Sanders listed Michigan, Louisville, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Florida, Xavier and Georgia.
According to Sanders, schools are attracted to his scoring ability from the point guard position — the Lakeland, FL native likened himself to Michigan’s recently-departed point guard, Trey Burke.
“Some say I’m a scoring point guard, like a Trey Burke type, the evolution of the point guard, stuff like that. That’s what I hear,” Sanders said. “I’m in the gym trying to work on my handles and my shot selection. Trying to get my IQ better. I know that will separate me from other point guards.”
Sanders has had regular contact with Michigan’s coaching staff, specifically assistant coach Bacari Alexander, and the Wolverines made it clear that they’ll be tracking him and Bacon in the July evaluation period.
“Coach Bacari. I call him like every two weeks,” Sanders said. “We’ll talk about how I did in the Friday game and what I need to work on and things like that.
“I love Michigan’s coaching staff. They’re nice, they work with me,” Sanders said. “When we talk, it’s usually like business, how everything will work out, the school, the system, all the players who were there before me — especially with the point guard position how Trey Burke was there. Looking at his game compared to mine and things like that.”
Sanders reported that neither he nor Bacon will be able to attend Michigan’s College Practice Camp this weekend because they’ll be participating in a Reebok Showcase Camp, an obligation due to their AAU team’s sponsorship. However, Sanders did say he would like to plan a visit for the near future.
“Hopefully we can schedule something like a meeting so we can go up there and meet the coaching staff,” Sanders said. “They always talk about getting us on campus.”
For Sanders, Michigan offers a two-pronged advantage: good coaching and good academics.
“I like the coaching staff and the program, because I know what they’re willing to do to develop their players,” Sanders said. “That’s what my main focus is, being a good college player and going to school. They have good academics, which is also something I focus on.”