Notebook: Class of 2017 priorities, Beilein tracking Anthony Gaines

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 Jackson, spoke 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

  • Michigan hosted a quartet of in-state 2018 prospects in Brandon Johns (offer), Bryce Washington, Dave DeJulius and Duane Washington for an unofficial visit on Saturday.
  • In-state 2019 prospects Romeo Weems and Mark Watts will visit Michigan this weekend.
  • Beilein visited Montverde Academy in Florida, reportedly to watch 2017 guard Marcus Carr. Carr is a 6-foot-2 guard drawing interest from Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Villanova. Michigan is also heavily recruiting Andrew Nembhard, a class of 2019 guard at Montverde.
  • John Beilein swung through several open gyms in Central Ohio this week, checking in on a number of Wolverine targets. Beilein watched class of 2018 wing Jerome Hunter alongside coaches from Penn State, West Virginia and Cincinnati. He also watched Class of 2019 guard Jeremiah Keene, 2019 center Taylor Currie and 2019 point guard Jeremiah Francis.
  • Beilein was in to watch 2018 offer Robby Carmody this morning and Arizona is also expected in soon.
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