Top basketball recruit Jalen Wilson picks Kansas over North Carolina and Michigan
Four-star wing Jalen Wilson is going to be wearing blue next season.
It’s just not going to have any maize to go with it.
Wilson, a former Michigan signee and a top-50 recruit, announced on Twitter Wednesday he is headed to Kansas.
“Rock chalk,” Wilson wrote — referencing the chant used at Kansas sporting events — in a tweet that included an illustration of him in a Jayhawks jersey.
Wilson’s announcement ends a lengthy recruitment that began last spring when the Denton (Texas) Guyer standout committed to Michigan in May 2018 and signed his letter of intent on the first day of the early signing period in November.
However, everything changed when former coach John Beilein made the jump to the NBA. Shortly after Beilein’s sudden departure to the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 13, Wilson (6-foot-8, 215 pounds) requested and was granted his release from his letter of intent.
In an Instagram Live interview last month, Wilson said he was looking “to go to a place that’s in need for a versatile wing” and his possible landing spots were all “schools that are in need of me.” After reopening his recruitment, he took official visits to Kansas and North Carolina but didn’t take a trip to Michigan.
Wilson added he was in contact with Michigan’s assistant coaches as the Wolverines searched for Beilein’s successor, but said he had to look at his options and “think about myself because when a new coach comes in, they could fire everybody.”
After Juwan Howard was hired to replace Beilein on May 22, Wilson was reportedly considering a possible return to Michigan. However, only Saddi Washington was retained as an assistant coach and how hard Howard recruited Wilson is unclear.
Wilson told 247Sports on Wednesday that he made his final decision “probably a week ago” and said he felt “really comfortable” during his official visit at Kansas at the beginning of the month.
“I just picked them because I feel like there’s a really big need for me and what I can do to help the team,” Wilson told 247Sports. “It’s going to be a great team and a national contender. Top to bottom of their roster it’s a really good team and I have a great relationship with the coaches and I’m excited.
“With my size and ability to stretch the floor, they can play big or small ball with me. I’m an all-around guy that they need, and I think it’s the best place I can play my game.”
Wilson, the nation’s No. 50 overall recruit, per 247Sports, was the top uncommitted prospect left in the 2019 class and was the final top-100 player to pick where he’ll be playing next season.
Wilson’s decision leaves Michigan with one incoming freshman in four-star combo guard Cole Bajema, who reaffirmed his commitment to the Wolverines after Howard was hired, and three open scholarships for the 2019-20 season.
It also leaves the Wolverines with one less option to help replace the production lost from Ignas Brazdeikis, Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews and address a need for perimeter scoring after missing out on grad transfers Justin Pierce and Jaevin Cumberland, who committed to North Carolina and Cincinnati, respectively.