Hoops Recruiting: Latest on 10 recruits, more
Michigan target Isaiah Sykes [6-5 three-star prospect] of Detroit Denby took a recent visit to Central Florida, while Atlanta Westlake forward Marcus Thornton tripped to Alabama and is still considering U-M. As of now, these are the only two senior recruits we know of still considering Michigan.
"UCF found out about him in the last few weeks," Denby coach Chuck Albright said last week prior to the trip. "His AAU coach knows [UCF assistant] Brett Nelson. We'll find out what UCF is all about. I know they have a new arena, it's in Orlando and they play in Conference USA."
Sykes reported that he enjoyed the trip and the area. He could take other visits before deciding on a school.
"Isaiah is just looking to see where he feels comfortable and what he likes," Albright said. "He's just going to sit back and check everybody's personnel out. He just wants to see what's best for him."
Sykes averaged 19.7 points, 4.3 assists and 5.9 rebounds for Denby.
Thornton [6-8, three-star prospect], meanwhile, might seem like a long shot considering every other school he's considering is in the south, but his coach reported last week that he liked Michigan head coach John Beilein's presentation and was considering a visit. He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he loved his weekend visit to Alabama, will visit Texas within the next week is likely to take recruiting trips to Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Georgia over the next few weeks.
Thornton reportedly still likes Clemson, where he initially signed before being released from his letter of intent following head coach Oliver Purnell's departure, and still has U-M as No. 7 on his list - at least for now. The AJC reported May 3 that he is still discussing Michigan with his family and "will decide something in the near future."
Finally, a note on '12 guard D.J. Balentine (Kokomo, Ind.) …
Michigan has been one of Balentine's more diligent pursuers, and he showed off his shooting ability at Spiece. He notched 18 points (making three of four triples) in one of his Eric Gordon Elite team's games - though he's not exceptionally quick and needs to improve several facets of his game at 6-1, he is emerging as one to watch.
U-M, for one, has paid close attention, visiting his Kokomo (Ind.) school three times during the April evaluation period, according to the Indianapolis Star.
"Michigan is a big one that's been around a lot," Balentine said. "Butler, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, LSU and Ball State have also shown some interest."
Balentine reportedly averaged 17 points last year in leading his team to a 16-6 record and runner-up finish in the state Class 4A sectional. He shot 38 percent from long range.
"That's always kind of been my thing," he told the Star. "Ever since I was little, I could shoot pretty well. I'm working on attacking the basket more and drawing fouls."
Watch TheWolverine.com for more basketball recruiting in the days to come ...