Notebook: Class of 2017 priorities, Beilein tracking Anthony Gaines

Dylan Burkhardt

The start of the fall recruiting period has been a busy one for John Beilein and his staff. The Wolverines have been on the road checking in on 2017 commitments and even new prospects along with staying in touch with underclassmen across the country.

Class of 2017 priorities

Michigan recruiting target Jamal Cain pledged to Marquette over the weekend while on an official visit.

Cain had picked up a Michigan offer in the spring, but the Wolverines had been prioritizing other targets for their lone remaining scholarship after Kalamazoo forward Isaiah Livers pledged in August.

Now the 2017 recruiting board sits with two priority targets in Mo Bamba and Brian Bowen.

Bamba continues to keep things close to the vest, but had an enjoyable official visit to Ann Arbor by all accounts. Michigan commitments on their visits the same week have all spoken highly about the trip to multiple sources. Kentucky is still a strong player and appears to have the momentum according to national pundits while Duke, Harvard, Syracuse and others remain involved.

Bowen, who plays on the same prep team as Michigan commitment Jordan Poole and Michigan State commitment Jaren Jacksonspoke with MLive’s Brendan Quinn about his recruitment and plans to eventually trim his list and take some visits.

“I’m interested in (Michigan),” Bowen told MLive. “Coach Beilein has been there for awhile and they’ve put a lot of guys in the league. They are not out of the hunt. As of right now, I’m still talking to them.”

Conventional wisdom is that Bowen’s connections to Michigan State will eventually win out in Bowen’s recruitment although he told MLive that he’s “not 100 percent to a school”.

But while Michigan recruits the big fish left on the board, it has also been doing some evaluation of other new class of 2017 targets. Last week John Beilein opened the evaluation period watching William Douglas, a 6-foot-5 guard from Memphis, and last week he checked in on New Hampton wing Anthony Gaines.

Beilein checks in on Anthony Gaines

John Beilein made the trip out to New Hampton to watch class of 2017 wing Anthony Gaines last week.

Gaines previously listed Michigan in his top six, but hasn’t visited Ann Arbor yet. He took an official visit to Butler last week and started an official visit at Dayton on Sunday. He’s also scheduled to take an official visit to Northwestern on September 23rd.

Gaines is a bit of a tweener as he’s known for his high-motor, rebounding ability and athleticism despite his 6-foot-4 frame. He was very productive on the Nike EYBL circuit, averaging 15.7 points, nine rebounds and 3 assists per game.

Here’s some fresh footage of Gaines in action at the Nike EYBL stop in Hampton, VA.

Other notes

  • bobohle

    Thanks for the update Dylan.

  • Wayman Britt

    Not trying to be negative, but we are in competition for Gaines with Dayton, Northwestern and Butler, not really top ten national programs. Seems like a big drop off from Cain, Bamba and Bowen. I understand having secondary options, but seems like a big drop off. Of course everything could be cured with a commitment from Bamba.

    • I think Gaines is more likely a guy that they’d hope could maybe wait until the spring and track him throughout the year. I think the top focus is on adding a Bamba or Bowen, and if not then figuring out the next steps.

      To be fair, Dayton, Northwestern and Butler isn’t a list much different than Marquette, Xavier and Georgia.

  • kevsmden21

    can the guy shoot and play defense? great highlight reel but all of it was dunks, some drives and thats really it. Hoping for Bamba of course but wouldn’t be surprised if Michigan lands this guy in the end.