Earlier this week, The Wolverine reported that top junior Lester Abram, a 6-foot-4 swingman from Pontiac Northern High School, decided he will attend Michigan after all.
Abram, who helped lead Northern to its first state title this past year, had verbally commited to the Wolverines last fall but pulled back when UM head coach Brian Ellerbe was fired and then replaced by Tommy Amaker (right). Abram averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists this past season.
Abram told reporter Tom Markowski of the Detroit News:
"I told him (Amaker) Monday night. I had gone to Ann Arbor a couple of times to talk to him one-on-one, and I still felt comfortable on the campus.
"I asked him what he was going to do with the program and he told me he was going after some of the top players, some of the top recruits in the country just like Michigan used to get.
"He told me he was going to make the team more up-tempo and would focus on defense. That's what I like; playing defense so that it would trigger the fast break."
There was some other good news for the Big Ten school. Chuck Bailey did receive a qualifying ACT score and will be eligible as a freshman.
Bailey, a 6-7, 195 pound forward from Martin Luther King High School in Detroit, is one of four preps who signed with UM this fall. The others, who as of last week still had not met the NCAA academic standards, are:
JaQuan Hart, a 6-6, 170 pound guard from Northern High School in Flint, MI
Dommanic Ingerson, a 6-3 185 pound guard from Santa Barbara (CA) High School
Kelly Whitney, a 6-8, 220 pound forward from Marshall High School on Chicago
There was one roster change following the season. Maurice Searight, a 6-2 freshman guard, was dismissed from the team for "violation of team rules." Searight averaged 2.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists off the bench this past season.
Amaker's coaching staff is in place: they are assistant coaches Chuck Swenson (Penn State), Charles E. Ramsey (California) and Billy Schmidt (Seton Hall) and director of basketball operations Kirsten Green (Seton Hall).
Photo: University of Michigan Sports Information Department