Cole Bajema, one of the 2019 class’ hottest prospects, shows off impressive skills in Las Vegas. Michigan watched him all July.
Matthew Bain, Sports writer
The Michigan basketball team officially added two new players in the class of 2019 on Wednesday when Denton (Texas) Guyer forward Jalen Wilson and Lynden (Wash.) Christian wing Cole Bajema signed with Michigan on the first day of the early signing period.
Wilson, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound prospect ranked No. 43 in the nation by the 247Sports Composite, is the sixth-highest rated player John Beilein has signed in his tenure at Michigan.
Wilson, who was named after Fab Five star Jalen Rose, projects as a playmaking wing who could play multiple positions.
“He’s pretty complete,” Guyer High School coach Grant Long said. “I’ve had him run the point guard when our point guard’s been out. We’ll post him up some. He’s actually a 6-foot-8 wing who can shoot. But really any position we put him at, he can score and can make plays happen.”
His commitment to Michigan on May 30 capped a brief recruitment that saw Beilein visit Wilson’s school before Wilson took an unofficial visit to Michigan on May 13.
“I was always very interested in them,” Wilson told the Free Press on May 31. “As soon as I saw the support the coaches gave me, I knew that was the place to be.”
Bajema joined Michigan’s 2019 class later in the summer. He announced his commitment on August 4.
The 6-foot-7, 175-pound wing participated in Michigan’s summer camp in June, impressing the coaching staff, before playing well on the AAU circuit during the July evaluation period. Bajema, who had previously been unranked, now sits at No. 121 overall in the 247Sports Composite. 247Sports’ own scouts think even higher of him and have ranked him No. 56 overall in the nation.
Like Wilson, Bajema could play any number of positions in college and is known for his offensive skill. He could play shooting guard or small forward for Michigan and has advanced ball-handling and playmaking skills for his size.
“He’s great in ball-screen situations, which he’ll have a chance to do in that system,” said Donald Brady, Bajema’s AAU coach. “I think he projects as a play-making combo guard. He’s fantastic ball-handler in the half-court. He can shoot it on his own, he’s got great vision and he’s got the length to see over the defense. He can actually capitalize on (his vision), he can make all the passes that he needs to make.”
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