Michigan Basketball: Juwan Howard earns pledge from 2021 wing Isaiah Barnes

Michigan basketball added it’s first commit to the 2021 class in Isaiah Barnes, a four-star wing and an efficient scorer from the Chicago area.

It’s difficult to find a Michigan basketball team without at least one member that’s NBA bound at some point. The Wolverines might not grab the kids in the top ten and sometimes not even the ones in the top 30, but they still manage to send off quality candidates to the pros. That streak won’t end under the Juwan Howard era as he’s already brought in a respectable class in 2020 and he’s making progress with several recruits from 2021 and beyond.

One of those prospects that Juwan was targeting is Isaiah Barnes and today, he committed to the Wolverines.

Here’s a look at Michigan’s newest commit, Isaiah Barnes:

Isaiah Barnes

-247 sports composite: 4 stars, 9532 rating, 106 NATL, 26 SF, 5 IL
-247 sports internal: 4 stars, 92 rating, 85 NATL, 20 SF, 5 IL
– Rivals: 112 NATL, 28 SF
-River Forrest High School, Oak Park, IL

Averaging 20.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.2 steals while shooting 48% from the field and 45% from deep during his junior year at River Forrest, Barnes established himself as one of the most powerful offensive weapons in the Chicago area. He’s also a force to be reckoned with on defense.

Here’s his scouting report from Dylan Burkhardt from UMHoops:

Barnes is a long and athletic wing who projects to be able to play multiple perimeter positions — primarily the three and two — at the next level. He’s known for having a streaky jump shot, and his consistency is critiqued fairly regularly, but his ability to rise and shoot over smaller defenders makes him a valuable offensive weapon. At the college level, he projects as a wing who can serve in a three-and-D role and slide into a secondary creator role. He isn’t afraid to get downhill and attack the rim off of a couple of strong dribbles, or in transition, but his offensive game is predicated on his pull-up jump shot.

Playing at 16 and 17U levels in the Under Armour Association with Illinois Wolves last summer, Barnes was almost exclusively a spot-up wing who would catch-and-shoot and finish in transition. He rarely had the ball in his hands as a creator despite his length and shotmaking ability. That changed this season in high school where he created more offense off the bounce. He likely won’t get much of a chance to show off that improvement this summer, given the lack of shoe company events, but his development as a playmaker is critical to track during his senior year at Simeon.

Brian Snow from 247 sports also published his scouting report:

The first thing when watching tape of Barnes that jumps off the page is his combination of size and athleticism. A wing who can handle the ball and at times plays on the ball, Barnes is a tremendous athlete with talent and upside. He is asked to do a little bit of everything for his high school, and Barnes did it all this past year.

Don’t be surprised if Barnes gets a solid bump in the rankings before he arrives in Ann Arbor. He’s currently in the process of transferring high schools and the new environment could be all Barnes needs to reach elite status, somewhere in the top 50 or 60or higher for his cycle.

Other 2021 targets

Barnes might be the first, but he won’t be the last to join Michigan basketball next season. Other top targets include Harrison Ingram, a five star from Texas that could stick around to get his degree, Trevor Keels, an honor roll student that’s ranked one spot behind Ingram at No. 16 nationally, the combo guard Jalen Warley, Michigan natives Kobe Bufkin and Jaden Adkins, and many more.