Q&A: Jalen Brunson "honored" by Michigan offer


74797451[1]Jalen Brunson, the top point guard prospect in the class of 2015, has emerged as one of the top priorities for the Michigan coaching staff, receiving an offer on Saturday during an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor. The Illinois native is receiving attention from all over, including UConn, Illinois, Ohio State and others, and was at Michigan State’s team camp over the weekend as well. We caught up with Brunson to discuss his most recent offer, how he compares with Trey Burke and much more.

Take me through the visit on Saturday. What did you do?

“We toured campus. We saw all the academic buildings, we saw the dorms. I liked seeing the Big House. My cousin, he’s a big football addict, so seeing that with him was pretty special, and also seeing the Crisler Center. And we also saw the renovations and the practice facility, those are new. The campus is pretty beautiful.”

What did you think of the facilities?

“They were pretty nice. They’re state-of-the-art. They really caught my eye, I really liked them.”

What was the conversation with the coaching staff like?

“He just said how he’s really been watching me. He really had a good taste for me and the way that I played. He said he saw the same thing in Trey Burke in a lot of the things I did. That was a really nice compliment. He said, ‘My staff, we really believe you would be a great fit for Michigan.’ So they offered me a scholarship.”

Who was present for that conversation?

“The whole staff was involved with it, and so was my dad and my cousin.”

How did it feel to get the offer?

“I feel honored just to be mentioned with the people who have gone to Michigan. It’s just a really big honor. Just knowing that one of the top schools in the country offered me, that’s pretty special.”

Do you have a timeframe for when you would like to commit to a school?

“Like, a month before my senior season starts, just to commit then.”

Which schools have offered you to this point?

“Michigan, Virginia, Creighton, Tulsa, Illinois, DePaul, Temple, UConn, Purdue, Xavier and SMU.”

What are you looking for in a school?

“Just the relationship with all the coaches is key, especially with the head coach. That’s the more particular reason I’d want to go to a school, just to have a relationship with the coach and just know that he can be like a second father to me.”

What excited you about the point guard position at Michigan, watching Trey Burke last season?

“He gives his point guard a lot of freedom, and I like that. He said, ‘We’re going to surround you with shooters,’ and I saw how Trey got, you know, when people collapsed on him he could kick out to Nik Stauskas or Tim Hardaway Jr. and all the shooters that they have.”

You also visited Michigan State this weekend for team camp?

“Yeah, I was there. I was there for team camp. I talked to coach Izzo for a little bit, but it wasn’t really a visit. I saw the facilities around the basketball building, but I didn’t see any of the academic stuff.”

How did team camp go?

“It went pretty well. I nicked my hip, my IT band, but I was back on the court today, so it wasn’t a big deal.”

Which schools are recruiting you the hardest right now?

“Most recently, probably Michigan, Virginia and Illinois. The schools who have most recently offered me would be recruiting me the hardest.”

Are there other schools who haven’t offered but are still showing interest?

“I would say there’s a lot of interest from Michigan State, they haven’t offered. I’m waiting for an offer from whoever thinks I fit in their system. Just waiting to hear if I’m a good fit for the point guard position. Talking about Ohio State, they’ve been recruiting me pretty hard. I’ve been talking to coach Paulus, just pretty much waiting.”

What do you like about Michigan?

“When I visited, their hospitality. Also, they were coming in with the new freshmen so I got to meet them and see who they were. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the players, I really wish I could have done that. What I really liked was how coach Beilein told me how he wanted to keep a good relationship, have good chemistry on the court. So the relationship was key. That’s what I really enjoyed about it.”

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  • Wayman Britt

    Wow the quality of highlight tapes you have been posting versus four and five years ago is amazing. Beilein has got some serious ballers looking at UM.

    • ajerome33

      And even better….although we are on the radar and pursuing higher level talent now, the character level of the players we are recruiting seems to be just as good as the players Beilein has recruited since coming here. These kids all seem to be well equipped on the court and off.

  • section13row15

    Where are all the people that said Beilein couldn’t recruit?

    • DingoBlue

      While I agree, I’d rather wait to see a 5 star PG or Big commit after the national title game run before making that claim myself.

      • Daniel My Brother

        Yeah? Apparently Mitch McGary’s commitment as the then #2 player in the country before our national title game run wasn’t good enough for you?

        • DingoBlue

          That is why I clarified after the national championship game. McGary was a great get and good head to head recruiting win for Beilein. However he had GRIII in his ear the whole time. A prospect like Brunson or Zimmerman to commit to UM without a GRIII type character, and brought in on the success of McGary and Trey would be a very different case. I think the staff can do it but I don’t want to jump the gun and say Beilein is a master recruiter.

          • ScottGoBlue

            What we really need to wait for is to see if Beilein can recruit five 5-stars after winning a national championship, with his left arm taped behind his back and a bag over his head. I mean, until then, we just don’t know … /s

          • Daniel My Brother

            Then my apologies. However, without the success of McGary we would not even be in a position, post NC game, to recruit these guys because we would not have been in the NC game at all. Additionally, Beilein needed an epic tourney run to entice the talent. As one of the posts from earlier this week on this blog stated (and I’m paraphrasing) UM has been getting cold calls from high level recruits which speaks more to UMs recent on-court success then anything else. Lastly, Beileins player development is also something that has been referred to several times by elite recruits. McGary’s progression through last season and the exponential talent jumps from frosh-soph years by Morris and Burke are all directly attributed to Beilein and his staff. Without Belien, UM is nowhere. Beilein established the program to the point where elite talent wants to be here which is all I need to consider him an excellent if not masterful recruiter.

  • WTHef?

    I hope he’s prepared to move his timeline up a bit – for a wing, maybe Michigan (or other top programs) could wait that long, but for a PG that seems really late. They need a top PG in this class (and obviously only 1) so I don’t know how many Hyron Edwards and Sed Barefields they can let go elsewhere while they wait for him. It’s also nice when a PG commits early and is a leader in recruiting other players.

  • Mr_Sledge

    I know this is based on limited footage, but I find it a bit concerning that Brunson doesn’t use his right hand to finish. I remember watching the D.Walton videos and being impressed at how seemlessly he could finish with either hand – not seeing that with Brunson, but he does have 2 years to work on it.