Recruiting Notebook: DJ Wilson, Kameron Chatman star at Max Preps Holiday Classic

Dylan Burkhardt

bildeDJ Wilson had something of a national coming out party at the Max Preps Holiday Classic, leading Capital Christian to the Championship Game where they’ll face Jackson (WA) tonight.

Wilson made good on the rare opportunity to play with his high school team in front of national scouts. Capital Christian knocked off Orangewood by 42 points, Beverly Hills by 13 points, Etiwanda by six points and Westchester by 4 points. Wilson had 15 points in the win over Orangewoo and 23 points and seven rebounds against Beverly Hills.

The win over Etiwanda, ranked No. 5 nationally by USA Today, was perhaps most impressive. Capital Christian won the game 48-42 and Wilson had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. Wilson followed that performance up with nine points in a 47-43 win over Westchester in the semifinal. Despite an enrollment of only 400 students, Capital Christian has picked up some big wins this season against strong competition.

National scouts in attendance were impressed with Wilson’s play. Rivals on opening night: didn’t focus as much on Wilson, even though the plan originally called for watching much more of his game. A 6-foot-8 combo forward who ranks No. 135 nationally, Wilson is finally completely healthy and is showing a level of athleticism to which he has never come close in the past. He sprinted the floor for dunks and was blocking shots and grabbing rebounds above the rim.

Scout added more thoughts after watching Wilson on the second day.

Wilson’s physical development is notable. He was just 6-foot-5 in the spring of 2012, now he every bit of 6-8, and maybe 6-9. He has good length and has a frame that will fill out quite well in college. Wilson’s shooting also stood out. He has good-looking form and is a confident shooter from both mid-range and three. Wilson’s hands are good, as is his touch around the basket.

Local scouts in attendance also tweeted about Wilson’s play.

Here are full game highlights of Capital Christian’s wins over Westchester and Etiwanda.

Chatman also impresses

Kameron Chatman was playing at the same event as Wilson and drew plenty of headlines as well. Chatman tallied 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists in an overtime victory over De La Salle on the opening night. Chatman hit a game winning three and also was pivotal in forcing overtime. Video highlights here.

Chatman also had 21 points, six rebounds, four steals and three blocks in a win over Open Door and 28 points and 16 rebounds against Wenonah.

Rivals was impressed with Chatman’s performance:

One of the most cerebral players in the country, he showed off all of his high-end hoops IQ and skill level while scoring 28 points in a hard-fought, low-scoring affair. By the way, he was responsible for two game-winning plays in the process.

A dangerous player in the mid range. Chatman is money with the turnaround 15-footers and pull-up jumpers, and his passing 12 to 17 feet from the hoop is exquisite. That passing was evident at the end of regulation with his team trailing by one; he could have forced a contested 18-footer but instead zipped a pass through traffic to an open teammate under the hoop. His teammate couldn’t convert the bunny but did get fouled with 0.7 seconds left and made one of two to send the game to overtime. In OT, Chatman calmly sank a 22-footer from the right wing with less than two seconds to go to give his team the win.

Players make plays, that’s a given. But what was so impressive about Chatman’s two game-winning plays was the level of maturity he showed and how he was patient enough to make the right plays in critical situations. Not a lot of high schoolers have that, and it should help ease the transition to college ball. He isn’t a mega athlete, but his smarts, skill and a body to work with in the weight room should allow him to be an impact player in Ann Arbor.

And echoed similar sentiments.

For his size, Chatman has tremendous ball skills, an impressive feel for the game and is a very good facilitator. Of Chatman’s 11 field goals, four were mid-range pull-ups. He’s comfortable shooting off the dribble and also has confidence in his post turnaround jumper. In all, Chatman finished 11-for-17 from the field and scored 28 points.

2015 Offers

Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson had 23 points in a win over Morton and 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in a win over New Trier. The class of 2015 point guard has a big match-up with Glynn Watson in the Proviso West Holiday Tournament today.

Brunson wants to “know where he’s going before the season next year” and might cut down his list after AAU season. He visited Michigan STate, Michigan, Villanova and Temple this fall. He updated his recruitment with Chicago Hoops in the embedded media player below.

Luke Kennard

Kennard tallied 45 points in a win at the Beach Ball Classic over Mullins on Friday. He scored 30 points in the first 20 minutes of the game. Kennard also tallied 41 points and 18 rebounds in a 89-51 win over Eaton.

The 6-foot-5 junior is on a ridiculous scoring rate this season, averaging over 40 points per game.

“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime player for our whole area, not just our school,” Franklin coach Brian Bales said. “This is a guy who, I think it’s safe to say, he’s going to be playing at the highest level at college and he’s got a legitimate chance to be in the NBA.”

The plan for Kennard is still to commit before the end of this school year.

It’s a tossup if Kennard will verbally commit to Ohio State, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina or any other college power of his choosing. He has said he’ll pick sometime early in 2014. He also is uncommitted on playing football as a senior.

“We plan to (commit) the end of this year,” Kennard explained this past fall. “Plans can always change, too. Anytime between now and the end of my junior year. It’s going to be a tough choice and I haven’t really thought about that yet.”

While John Beilein was recently down to watch Kennard play, the Kennard recruitment is an up-hill battle given his mutual interest with Kentucky.

Jalen Coleman

Jalen Coleman had a game-high 17 points in a 65-51 win over West Oaks and Coleman also had 20 points, 13 in the first half, in a 84-51 win over Mitchell in the Mike Miller Classic in South Dakota.

  • Dr_ZC

    Wilson’s numbers on paper are impressive. However, watching the attached videos, I got the impression that the other teams scored at will on him down low, and he missed quite a few easy boards. It is always hard to judge from videos like the ones posted, as the level of the competition is not college quality, with players rarely above 6’3.

    • There’s no question that he needs to add strength. On video one of the things I’ve noticed the most is that he gets pushed around down low a bit and also has the ball slapped out of his hands often.

      However, you can also see a lot of the positives… He has great length, a good stroke, moves well and usually throws one or two highlight passes. He’s a great fit at the four here.

      • Dr_ZC

        Dylan, I am sure it is too early to tell, but it looks like we would have a logjam at the 4 next year with Mitch returning (highly probable), Donnal, Wilson and Max. And we do not know what GR3 will do (it will depend on him showing he is NBA material). My take is that Donnal and Max will sub for Mitch at the 4, and that can shift the entire focus of JB offense. He will have the bodies and skill to go with 2 bigs down low. As for the 3, the possibilities similar, with Nik, Caris, Irvin and Chatman. Though I would like to see Irvin take it to the hoop a bit more as a slasher, rather that being a stationary 3-point shooter.
        One thing is for sure. This team will be scary good next year, and perhaps this is the only silver lining to Mitch’s setback.

        • Cory

          I think it’s more likely you’ll see Mitch at the 5 next year with Horford backing him up. Just looking at the roster it makes the most sense to me.

        • sane1

          If Mitch is still a first round pick after rehab, he’s gone. If he’s back, he’ll play 5. Playing the 4 is a waste of his strengths. Mitch and Horford at 5. Maybe Donnal at 4. I’ll be very surprised if GRIII comes back.

          • I think @sane1 pretty much hits the nail on the head.

          • Dr_ZC

            I would tend to agree but there are some reservations. Right now Mitch is an NBA liability. His potential is based on 6 games in the NCAA run, which is a pretty low sample, given the uncertainty of his lower back condition. If I am an NBA owner, I would not gamble in taking Mitch in the first round. I would wait a year to see the results of his rehab and ability to handle the NBA rigors. In addition, given the fact that Mitch is an NBA four, I am sure he would like to showcase his skill set in the position he expects to be drafted.

          • JVS

            I think that this is the prevailing logic and very reasonable, but it only takes 1 or 2 teams to view the “gamble” at pick 30 (a team like the heat/thunder who don’t NEED a rotation player), as a great risk if they check him out and see top 12 talent falling that late. Look at how many bust late 20s/early 30s picks get cut. In short – it only takes 1 team willing to gamble and think at pick 25-30 a team like OKC (smart/value oriented) would raise their hand. It is a gamble for Mitch to assume this plays out though

          • Dr_ZC

            Agreed. It is a high stakes gamble for NBA GMs. I still remember the relief in Dumars’ face when Darko was left as the #2 pick. Not that Darko had any injury but he was evaluated as a high energy player with huge potential. Also I am thinking of Greg Olden, who was deemed a high risk player due to the injuries he incurred in college. And yet, GM’s jumped on them, like you point out. Now, the downside is that history has taught many NBA GMs valuable lessons. If you consider that Mitch is not an 18-19 year old power forward with a 6 NCAA game upside, and with a lower back condition, even a team willing to take the riskier of risks will not touch him with a 10 foot pole, unless they see that they are not getting damaged goods. That is the name of the game.

          • guestavo

            There is a committee that will let Mitch know that he isn’t first round material this year. He’d have to really want to get out of Ann Arbor to leave imo. This draft is just too deep.

          • JVS

            Final words on this topic: If his health slots him 25-35, 1) he’ll be 23 at the 2015 draft [zero value given to potential upside = may not slot much better], 2) it takes 1 GM to “think different” [Sam Presti], and examples above are top 2 players, not #30 rolls of the dice, but I hope you are very right and I am very wrong.

          • swinawer

            Unless Beilein is going to revamp the offense, I can’t see how playing McGary at the 4 prepares him better for his future NBA position than playing him at the 5. Even from the defensive standpoint, a lot of his matchups at the 5 will be more like NBA 4s than 5s.

          • mazs

            Also agree on Mitch. If his health report is decent, he will still be 1st round material. His injury may well increase the likelihood he leaves–not wanting to risk another one. If he’s back, he has to play the 5 with the team that returns. Horford isn’t a 20+ minute player. Also, skeptical that Donnal will be the starter at the 4–pretty clear that he has a ways to go.

        • guestavo

          Chatman is our future at the stretch 4.

          • Webbdog

            Uhh No!! How about the Future at the PG position? What part of his recruitment did you miss?? Jalen Rose 2.0 was referenced often and I believe he and his Father were told he would indeed be afforded the chance to play the position.

          • guestavo

            You do realize you can bring the ball up court and initiate the offense from the 4 spot?

          • Webbdog

            One could. But again, Think Jalen Rose and Kyle Anderson of UCLA. Both College Point guards. Thats the position I think Chatman will play here at Michigan

          • Dr_ZC

            If Jalen was a true point guard, or if Travis Best had picked Michigan instead of Gatech, the fab 5 would have had at least one championship ring. The words of several college bball experts.

          • polisci

            If Webber had just driven that ball to the hole instead of the corner, we’d have one championship.

          • Dr_ZC

            And that compounds the issue of the point guard. It was not Webber’s job to go coast to coast and call a TO. A true point guard would have gone to him to get the ball (rather than stay near the sideline with open arms to receive the ball) and set the final play. And did anybody mention Bob Hurley?

  • gobluemd16

    I want us to pick up Brunson real bad

  • GregGoBlue

    Wilson just looks like a big puppy out there. The athleticism and the will are there, and when he fills out and develops a bit I think many will laud Beilein for another great find.

    • Dr_ZC

      What I noticed from the videos is that he is passive, and as Dylan noted below, he is pushed around. I think this is an attitude issue (sulking) which he can correct to be more assertive, and play angry, as he did at the end of the second video.
      Oh, and he needs to lose the afro. He does not need it to be noticed. He already looks like a man playing against boys.

      • guestavo

        Yeah that fro has to go LOL

        • Webbdog

          What does a Hair style have to do with anything?

          • guestavo

            Nothing it’s just us being silly.

  • Chris De Sana

    DJ Wilson boxed more in these highlight clips than I have seen from any Michigan player so far this season. And he goes to the offensive glass hard, trying to get the ball above the rim is also nice to see.

  • Indiana_Matt

    I wonder sometimes why it is brought up that high school players need to put on weight and get stronger. Seems like a given. There are only maybe 10 college freshmen each year who don’t fit that category. Look what a full year with our strength and conditioning coaches did for this year’s sophomores.

    I would much rather hear about a guy’s IQ and shooting stroke than hear he seems to have a mature body for a 17 or 18 year old.

  • Kam

    Chad Ford on McGary:

    He’s in a very tough position. If he had gone to the NBA last year, would’ve been a late lottery pick. Now? He’s going to slide. Not only do back injuries scare teams off (it’s why Jared Sullinger slid so far in the draft) but McGary turns 22 in June. If he waits another year, he’d be 23 entering the draft. While that sounds young to most, for NBA scouts, it’s like saying you’re 50.

    • guestavo

      Chad Ford is the last person someone should quote. Furthermore, the 2015 draft is weak and strength of draft is more important than some cliche. Heck, the fact that Sullinger is playing well does more to help McGary than to scare teams. Let’s not forget the amount of older Euro prospects who get drafted in the late first well into their late 20s.

      • Kam

        CHAD FORD talks to GMs.. Even if he isn’t always right he knows what GMS and scouts think

        • guestavo

          I don’t think GMs tell him as much as you think. How do you explain his inaccurate mock drafts versus what actually happens? How does NBAdraftnet predict better and Draftexpress scout better?

      • chazer

        I agree GAVO….I’m sick of Ford trying to persuade kids to leave when they aren’t ready. Ask DMO and Manny if it was worth it. Mitch wanted to play with his best friend and take another shot at a title. Some things in life are priceless!!
        My guess is MM will have a great shot at the NBA, 6-10 great motor …..I wonder where he had THJ slated in last years draft? Every GM whiffed on THJ and he’s in the top five….tough to work on fundamental skills in the D League…

  • WTHef?

    Somewhat OT: Any word on what’s going on with Austin Hatch? Looks like his team is undefeated and one of the best in the country but he hasn’t played yet. Is it an injury, ongoing recovery, transfer related? I’m hoping to go see him play – would love to be at his first game but can’t tell what’s going on with him.

  • Chris De Sana

    Anyone else notice this on

    PF NR D.J. Wilson (Capital Christian School) Sacramento, CA
    Verbal Yes Committed to Michigan

    C NR Ricky Doyle
    (Bishop Verot HS) Fort Myers, FL
    Verbal Yes Committed to Michigan

    Please tell me that Doyle is not that short?

  • UM_ball

    whats going on with coleman ?

    • UM_ball

      as in favs or decision date