Michigan Basketball: Top target Papa Kante updates his recruitment

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /

Michigan basketball was aiming to get a commitment from four-star big man Papa Kante but it still has work to do it seems. 

Papa Kante is one of Michigan basketball’s most important targets in the 2023 recruiting class. But the recruitment of the 6-foot-10 power forward/center has been a tough one to read and it hasn’t gotten any easier.

Following his official visit to Ann Arbor over the summer, Michigan basketball seemed to be in the lead. Yet, Rutgers, which has a commitment from Gavin Griffiths, a close friend of Kante’s, has made a strong push and so has Pitt.

Memphis also just recently hired an old coach of Kante’s to be an assistant and the Tigers could become a new threat too. Kante is ranked 32nd overall according to On3’s ranking, but according to the On3 consensus, which includes other services, he is ranked 86th overall.

Rutgers is the favorite with a 29-percent chance to win his commitment, followed by Maryland, Pitt, and then Michigan.

However, it’s pretty much been that way all summer. There also haven’t been any expert projections for Kante who said he doesn’t have a top four and that his recruitment is still open.

That doesn’t sound like a good thing for Michigan basketball. Here’s what he told Jamie Shaw of On3.com: 

"“I don’t have a top four schools yet,” Kante said. “Any school can still jump in at any time because I’m looking for a place to help me get better and reach my goals. I will be looking for a family where I can call home because I’m an international student. I’ll look at where they can develop me and help me to get better on and off the court. The relationship with the coaching staff will be big. The style of play will matter too. I can guard all five positions and want to do that at the highest levels. In the school I choose, I want to be able to develop my skill set, outside and inside.”"

What it means for Michigan basketball

Kante said that he has a great relationship with Juwan Howard but that playing time will be a big factor and that might not be as readily available at Michigan as some other places.

The Wolverines could really use a guy like Kante though. He’s a talented shot blocker and it sounds like he knows how important developing a jump shot will be to reach the next level.

There was hope that Kante would be making a decision after the Peach Jam, but if he’s pondering more visits, official or unofficial, that’s likely to extend things out.

Next. The all-time Michigan basketball team. dark

Michigan might still be the leader, or at least among the leaders, but it doesn’t seem like it is poised to land Kante’s commitment. At least not yet.