Four-stars Jalen Wilson, Cole Bajema sign with Michigan hoops

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Denton (Texas) Guyer guard Jalen Wilson signed his national letter of intent Wednesday to play basketball at Michigan.

It didn’t take long for Michigan to lock up its 2019 recruiting class.

On the first day of the early signing period, the Wolverines received a letter of intent from both of their commits on Wednesday: four-star wing Jalen Wilson (Denton Guyer, Texas) and four-star combo guard Cole Bajema (Lynden Christian, Washington).

Wilson (6-foot-8, 215 pounds) verbally committed on May 30 — the same day Charles Matthews announced his return for his redshirt junior season — and picked Michigan over Baylor, Marquette, Kansas, Oklahoma State and UCLA.

Bajema (6-7, 175) followed suit a few months later after a strong showing on the AAU summer circuit netted him offers from Virginia, Xavier, Washington and Oregon State. But when Michigan joined the fray, Bajama wasted little time pulling the trigger and making his commitment on Aug. 4.

Wilson averaged 16.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a junior last season and is lauded for his ability to finish at the rim, play multiple positions and be a “zone killer,” according to Guyer High coach Grant Long.

Wilson, who is named after Fab Five member Jalen Rose, also averaged 19.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists on the Gauntlet AAU circuit this past spring.

"We are thrilled to have player of Jalen's caliber join the program," Michigan coach John Beilein said in a statement. "He is a strong, physical wing with the ability to score in a variety of ways.

"His versatility gives him the ability to play multiple positions on offense, and his strength allows him to be able to come in and be an impact defender. He has continued to improve in many areas since we have been recruiting him. With his attitude, work ethic and skill set we cannot wait for him to arrive."

Bajema was named the Class 1A player of the year in Washington as a junior after averaging 23 points and seven rebounds per game and guiding Lynden Christian to its first Class 1A state championship since 2012. 

He has garnered attention for his pure shooting stroke and ball handling, and is viewed as a prospect who has plenty of upside and potential.

"Cole is a talented player and his passion for Michigan made him a great fit," Beilein said in a statement. "Cole showed a skill that evolved each time we watched him play. He is a versatile player that we are looking forward to developing in our system. With his willingness to work on and off the floor as well as in the classroom makes him a perfect fit." 

Both Wilson and Bajema are ranked in the top 125 in the nation and top 10 in their respective state by 247Sports, with Wilson rated No. 43 overall and No. 6 in Texas and Bajema No. 121 overall and No. 4 in Washington.

The duo also ranks in the top 30 of Michigan’s highest-rated recruits since 2000, with Wilson checking in at No. 10 and Bajema at No. 27, per 247Sports.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Michigan’s 2019 class is No. 6 in the Big Ten and No. 33 in the nation in the 247Sports Composite team rankings.

With Wilson and Bajema signing, the Wolverines are one over the allotted 13-player scholarship limit for 2019-20. However, that doesn’t take into account any possible offseason departures (i.e. NBA or transfer).

The early signing period ends Nov. 21.

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins