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May 17, 2001

An Interview with Lester Abram; Updates on Chris Hunter and Ricky Cornett

The Wolverine spoke on Thursday with 6-6 wing Lester Abram of Michigan Class A Champion Pontiac Northern. Abram was one of the first players in the Class of 2002 to pick a school when he committed to Michigan last August. However, when then-head coach Brian Ellerbe stepped down in March, Abram reconsidered.


"He's very hurt because he had a liking for Coach Ellerbe, and to be honest, that was one of the main reasons he was going there," Northern coach Robert Rogers said at the time. "There's still a possibility (he could go to Michigan), but this summer he's definitely going to take some trips."


Being unfamiliar with new head coach Tommy Amaker at the time he was hired, Abram maintained his wait-and-see posture. On Thursday, though, he sounded like he had seen what he needed to.


Asked whether he might be ready to pick a school soon, Abram said, "I think I'm going to make a decision real soon. I just have to talk to my coach." He said that Michigan currently leads Iowa State, Purdue, Michigan State, Illinois, and Indiana. Abram also said that meeting and getting to know Amaker has put to rest the concerns he had when Ellerbe was dismissed.


Abram is ranked No. 17 nationally by Hoop Scoop, No. 19 by Prep Spotlight, No. 23 by The Sporting News, and No. 29 by Prep Stars Recruiter's Handbook.


* * *


When The Wolverine spoke with 6-8 power forward Ricky Cornett of Homewood (Ill.) Christian on Tuesday, he gave a list of schools consisting of the 15 that had offered him a scholarship. In the time since then, though, Cornett has trimmed his list, according to Homewood Christian coach Steve Shonamon.


Shonamon told The Wolverine on Thursday that Cornett cut his list down to the following schools: Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Arizona, Southern California, Stanford, Notre Dame, Marquette, and Kansas State. Shonamon offered his opinion that Illinois and Notre Dame lead, but also had some encouraging words regarding U-M's chances.


* * *


On Sunday, The Wolverine spoke with 6-11 power forward/center Chris Hunter of Gary (Ind.) Westside. Hunter did not give a list of schools, saying merely, "I've been hearing from a lot of Big Ten schools, ACC schools."


On Thursday, Westside coach John Boyd named Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Purdue, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, and Missouri as schools that Hunter is considering. He said that thus far Hunter has visited Ohio State, Indiana, Missouri, Purdue, and Illinois.


According to Boyd, "We'll be done in August. He'll make a commitment in late July, early August." Before doing so, however, Hunter will check out a number of other schools.


"We're coming to Michigan," Boyd said. He also mentiioned plans to visit Penn State, Missouri, Illinois, DePaul, Indiana, and Georgia Tech. "The whole month of June we'll be taking visits," said Boyd.


Hunter is ranked No. 15 nationally by Prep Spotlight, No. 25 by Hoop Scoop, No. 38 by The Sporting News, and No. 40 by Prep Stars.


Hunter, like Abram and Cornett, is among the Wolverines' top recruiting targets in the rising senior class. You can read much more of what the interview subjects cited above -- as well as many others -- had to say in next month's Basketball Recruiting Wrap-Up issue of The Wolverine magazine.


Click here for a list of basketball commitments and recruiting targets.



Visit our Basketball message board for analysis and discussion of U-M basketball and recruiting or to post any questions you have.



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