Jalen Wilson remains uncommitted, says Howard will ‘bring a big spark’
When 2019 four-star Jalen Wilson decommitted from Michigan last week, it continued a month-long downward spiral for the Wolverines. Jordan Poole and Ignas Brazdeikis unexpectedly left for the NBA before John Beilein shook the basketball world by following suit. Then, with Wilson’s decommitment, Michigan lost its top-ranked incoming signee.
Six days later, the Wolverines have found Beilein’s replacement, hiring Juwan Howard as their new head coach in a move Wilson said will “bring a big spark to the school.”
For now, though, Wilson, the overall 50th ranked recruit in the 2019 class according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, remains uncommitted.
“I still got the same business,” Wilson told The Daily. “It's not gonna change everything. It's a new coach so he's gonna have to recruit and do all the business all over again like everybody else, really.”
Wilson originally committed to Michigan as a junior last May before signing his letter of intent on Nov. 14. When Wilson re-opened his recruitment, the most likely destinations appeared to be Kansas and North Carolina, two schools that Wilson has official visits scheduled with in the next two weeks.
However, Wilson never ruled out Michigan, telling The Daily last week that, “I’m always considering (Michigan). I just had to do this to look at the bigger picture as a backup plan. I can’t rely on someone if I don’t know they’re gonna be there or not.”
His potential recommitment could hinge on whether the Wolverines retain their current assistant coaches, especially Luke Yaklich, who has been his lead recruiter. Yaklich, though, has received heavy interest from Texas for an assistant coaching vacancy.
Despite the uncertainty, the Wolverines’ assistants have remained in contact with Wilson since Beilein’s departure.
“(The communication has been) the same,” Wilson said. “Keeping the relationship good, keep it ongoing and telling me to remain calm and stuff like that. … They just told me they understood everything, why I decommitted and that they were always gonna be there for me if I ever needed to come back.”
Wilson has not been contacted by anyone at Michigan regarding Howard’s hire, as of Wednesday afternoon. However, last week, he told The Daily that he wanted to see the Wolverines hire “A coach that will come in and keep the top-tier program like it is and a coach that’s not going to change the culture of Michigan because it’s such a great school and it’s such a unique school.”
And with one of its most celebrated alumni coming back to Ann Arbor, Michigan might have done just that.
“Juwan Howard was a great player and a great face for Michigan,” Wilson said. “And now that he's the head coach, I feel like it'll really bring a big spark to the school.”