Michigan basketball could pick up its first commitment in 2021 soon from top-100 wing Isaiah Barnes, who is being projected to the Wolverines by multiple experts.
Michigan basketball head coach Juwan Howard and the Wolverines have been really busy in the 2021 recruiting class and even during this dead period, they have been very active.
One player that received an offer not long ago from the Michigan basketball staff was Isaiah Barnes, who was unranked at the time in the 247 sports rankings for 2021. Barnes is a fast-rising prospect who went from unrated to 86th overall in the 247 sports specific rankings, as well as 106th overall in the 247 composite.
The boost in ranking will be nice for Michigan fans because it’s starting to look like Barnes will be the first commitment for the Wolverines in the 2021 class. Josh Henschke of The Michigan Insider ($) was the first to place a crystal ball pick for Barnes, who did so after talking to “well-placed sources.”
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That was earlier Wednesday and literally, less than 30 minutes later, Barnes had three other experts ($), Brian Snow, Sam Webb and Josh Gershon all picking the four-star forward to U-M. And each did so with a high rate of confidence, as all of them went with an eight on a scale of 1-10.
Henschke also used very strong wording in his post, that was very emphatic that Barnes would be the first member of the 2021 class to commit to the Wolverines, which is a really big win for Juwan and company.
The Chicago, Illinois product got a number of Big Ten offers right around the time Michigan basketball offered and those included Illinois, Iowa and Maryland. Kansas also offered Barnes, who is ranked as the No. 20 small forward in the 2021 class and the fifth-ranked player in Illinois.
It’s also a win for Howard in Illinois, if he does end up committing. Juwan is from Chicago and it was expected that he would do well recruiting in that area. Landing Barnes, who could continue to rise up the rankings as a 6-foot-6 wing, could be a sign of things to come.
Here’s part of what Dylan Burkhardt of UMHoops.com ($) wrote about Barnes following his offer:
“Barnes is a hidden gem in the state of Illinois who has started to garner high-major interest after a breakout junior campaign. He is a long wing with great athleticism and a smooth jump shot and would address U-M’s need for wing talent and shot making.”
If the expert picks wind up being true and usually when they start trending as quickly as they did with Barnes, they are, you have to really like this pickup for Michigan as a guy who has big upside, but could be a 2-3 year contributor in the Big Ten conference.