Recruiting Roundup: DJ Wilson shines at Tournament of Champions

Dylan Burkhardt

DJ Wilson traveled to the Midwest over the Holiday to participate in the State Farm Tournament of Champions in Peoria, Illinois. The tournament provided a great opportunity for Wilson to display his improved skillset on a big stage for the first time after committing to Michigan. He didn’t disappoint.

Wilson led Capital Christian and three wins in Illinois, topping Champaign Central, Fort Zumwalt North (MO) and Springfield over the holiday weekend.

Wilson had a game-high 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocks in a 58-45 win over Champaign Central and tallied 10 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks in a 63-49 win over Fort Zumwalt North.

Iowa Elites was on hand and impressed with Wilson’s play, tweeting that “Wilson has been dunking all over the place today – dude plays above the rim” and “Wilson with the swat on one end followed by massive dunk his 3rd of first half kid is crazy.” Chicago Hoops’ Scott Burgess also was impressed, “Michigan commit DJ Wilson is a big time athlete! Two monster dunks early”

Wilson didn’t put up big numbers during his junior season but missed significant time due to injury. Michigan’s coaching staff became enamored with his game this July, when the 6-foot-8 forward was finally healthy again.

Jalen Brunson excels in early games

Jalen Brunson has also started his junior season with a bang. The Illinois point guard had a big game in front of Tom Izzo earlier this season, tallying 20 points, eight rebounds, three assist and three steals, and continued his strong play over Thanksgiving.

Brunson earned MVP honors at the Bison Classic, helping Stevenson to a 4-0 record. He scored 26 points in the tournament final as Stevenson cruised by Buffalo Grove, 67-44.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Jalen Brunson scored 26 points, and all-tournament selection Connor Cashaw added 19 as the Patriots repeated as tournament champion, finishing with a 4-0 record after beating Buffalo Grove 67-44.

“(Jalen’s) got a second or third sense of where his teammates are, what we need, and how the game is being called,” Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said of Brunson’s ability to find open teammates and control the game. “He has a unique ability. The game goes slow for him. We see it every day in practice. He plays at a higher level.”

“We knew they were going to be physical,” Brunson said. “We had some good rotations and played good team defense.”

Here’s recent footage of Brunson in action from early season play.

Jalen Coleman solid at TOC

Jalen Coleman also had a solid showing at the TOC, leading La Lumiere to a 2-1 record at the event.

Coleman had 16 points and six rebounds in a 51-43 win over St. Louis Christian, 13 points and five rebounds in a 71-62 win over St. Louis CBC, and 15 point sand six assists in a 68-45 loss to Sunrise Christian and 2013 Michigan State commitment Lourawls Nairn.

Ricky Doyle filling stat sheet

Michigan commitment Ricky Doyle has also gotten off to a strong start. He scored 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting with 10 rebounds and 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting and nine rebounds in early season wins over East Lee County and South Fort Myers.

We posted video of Doyle in early season action here

Nate Fowler off to strong start

Class of 2015 big man Nate Fowler has been on the Michigan radar for a while after playing his AAU basketball with 2015 priority Luke Kennard. Fowler’s game continues to develop and he’s off to a strong start in his junior year.

Fowler had 22 points and 13 rebounds in an early season win over Chaminade Julienne. Here’s some recent footage of Fowler in action:

  • Kam

    who was the guy who said wilson was an Evan shot clone? lol

    • sane1

      MattD most likely. Said Wilson is un-athletic, not impressed. Each to his own, I guess.

      • mattD

        I did say, and still stick to it, that I have concerns about his lateral movement, strength, and rebounding. Nothing in that video changed my mind. A 6’9 catching an oop, a few dump-off passes for a dunk, and a catch and shoot jumpshot does nothing to alter my opinion. Those are all things a 6’9 player SHOULD be able to do with ease at the high school level.

        • Northern Blue

          I understand why you might think hes not completely athletic because he is not crazy athletic. I see him being atleast an average athlete in the big 10 though however. Strength and conditioning is going to be big for him. Guys like him and Caris are late bloomers who might even still be growing when they are in their first year of college. They are also both young for their class. A guy like Wilson isn’t going to max out his athletic potential until he is a senior in college (like Caris also) where as a guy like GR3 probably is almost at his peak athleticism or close to it. He is still growing in to his body and he may not be an instant impact guy, and may not ever be a star, but he certainly looks to me like a guy who will be able to have a role and make Michigan fans proud. His length will be a great asset and his rebounding numbers are nice.

    • mattD

      I was “the guy” you’re referring to. And I didn’t say he would be an Evan clone, clearly he has more jumping ability, my concerns were lack of lateral movement, strength, and rebounding – in other words I had concerns about Wilson on defense in the same mold of Evan’s problems on defense..

      • geoffclarke

        I understand your concern, but it’s clear he has length, the ability to block shots, and potentially get steals (which he showed in a previous video). Strength and rebounding are probably a concern now…hopefully he puts a lot of time in the weight room this year. I’d like to see him develop BEFORE he gets to UM.

  • Mattski

    John Beilein and co. . . recruiters nonpareil.

  • sane1

    Doyle and Wilson both have really nice looking shooting strokes. Doyle will be a load once he gets into the weight room with Sanders.

  • geoffclarke

    Would be really nice to get Brunson and Coleman in ’15. Love this video of Brunson. I’ve been on record as saying PG is not our biggest need in that class, but he’d be a great addition. Like the way his coach describes his game.

  • All about stacks

    I like his game … he compliment Kameron Chatman quite well. He can use some extra weight but the skill set is there. His rebounding numbers were very solid and so was his defense . I like his versatility. I trust in our coaches and other coaches from Gonzaga, Usc, Colorado , Columbia and others who offered him not some internet character.

  • Colby

    Any word on who our coaches have been watching on the recruiting trail? Not much recruiting news recently, really curious who they have been following for 2015.

  • Wayman Britt

    Jalen Brunson is a most get for 2015, if UM wants to be a top fifteen team.

    • Chezaroo

      We’ve got just as good or better point guard right here in our back yard. His name is Eric Davis. IMO, no one is a must get, Still wonder if we will get seriously involved with Perry Dozier in the near future?

      • Wouldn’t say Jalen Brunson is a *must* get but he’s a great PG obviously.

        Eric Davis.. He’s a combo guard at best, two guard’s game but can flat out score it.

        There’s mutual interest with Dozier but need to try to get him on campus.

        • Chezaroo

          Thanks for the insight Dylan! I have personally seen Davis play at least five times, and have become truly enamored with his abilities. He is a relentless attacker whose ball skills IMO, are vastly underrated. At this time it appears that JB has him farther down the list than the others.