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Cole Bajema is a name you probably don’t know yet, but it’s one you should file away.
Bajema, a Seattle-area guard, doesn’t have a profile page on 247Sports or Rivals. Verbal Commits rates him as a two-star prospect. He told UM Hoops he currently has three offers — Eastern Washington, San Francisco and Santa Clara. The fourth could potentially come from John Beilein.
“It seems to me like it could be a possibility in the near future, but I’m not sure yet,” Bajema said. “Maybe next couple weeks. I don’t know. It could just be after the (July) evaluation period. Who knows.”
This doesn’t seem to be unfounded speculation from a prospect hoping he’ll get noticed. Assistant coach DeAndre Haynes was in Washington last week to watch Bajema at the Premiere Summer Showcase in Bellevue, WA, reciprocating an unofficial visit Bajema took to Michigan in June.
This courtship started with Bajema sending Michigan his film in early June, hoping to get noticed. Though he lives in Washington now, Bajema lived Grand Haven, Michigan — about two and a half hours from Ann Arbor — for about five years. He owned Michigan gear growing up.
It wasn’t until that unofficial — when Bajema attended Michigan’s camp — that he started opening some eyes.
“I have to say I performed pretty well in front of the coaches,” Bajema said. “Probably my vision, my basketball IQ. I feel like I showed, be able to come off a pick-and-roll, what the right decision is, either to pull up or pass to the post. Just whatever it was, reading defense. Anything.”
On tape, Bajema flashes a nice shot off the catch or dribble with some ability to drive, though his wiry frame will present problems at the college level. He’s well aware of that — naming strength and physicality as areas in which he needs to improve between now and college.
Prep Hoops Washington writes that “Bajema is a 6-foot-7 combo guard who not only shoots it well but is a good athlete who gets to the rim and finishes. He can not only score in different ways but also handles the ball well enough to play at the point and create for others. He needs to get stronger but is very long and may still be growing.”
He was named the Class 1A State Player of the Year in Washington last season after he led Lynden Christian to a state championship while averaging 23 points and seven rebounds per game.
Haynes’ trip across the country to watch Bajema in Washington indicates that his performance at camp opened eyes and that Michigan’s interest is legitimate. John Beilein has been in touch as well — Bajema said most of his contact with the program has been through him.
“He asked me if I like Michigan, if I’ve always liked it, did I enjoy the visit?” Bajema said. “I said yes, yes and yes.”
After losing D.J. Carton to Ohio State, Michigan is still looking for at least one more player in its 2019 class. Rocket Watts put the Wolverines in his top-eight this weekend and Joe Girard has them in his top-six, though Syracuse seems to be trending upwards for Girard at the moment.
The Wolverines are evaluating a host of additional class of 2019 prospects as well. Some that have been on the radar for quite some time — such as five-star guard Cole Anthony and local product Harlond Beverly — and others continue to emerge this summer like Tyler Bertram, Austin Crowley and Lester Quinones among others.
There are still two evaluation weeks (Wednesday through Sunday this week and next) left in July and it looks like the Wolverine staff will be tracking Bajema’s progress closely.
If an offer comes for Bajema, Michigan could get a commitment on the spot.
“If they were to offer I’d be all in,” Bajema said. “Definitely.”