Former Michigan wing Cole Bajema’s decision to transfer didn’t come as a surprise to one former Wolverine in particular nor did his final destination.
In the latest episode of The Michigan Basketball Insider with Tim McCormick, former Wolverine Tim McCormick was asked to give his thoughts on Bajema’s departure and what it means for the Wolverines. He saw an awkward fit during his true freshman season and the writing was certainly on the wall.
“I was not surprised even going back to the first couple times I saw him play,” McCormick said. “He’s not a Big Ten athlete. You could see where John Beilein would be intrigued. Same with Colin Castleton. John Beilein loves shooters.
“Cole Bajema has potential and I think that Washington is a good fit for him, it’s closer to home. He is known as a shooter, it seemed like every practice that I watched him, he just wasn’t making shots. If you’re a shooter, you have to knock it down. I was never really locked in on his shooting ability so I’m sure the Michigan coaches probably saw the same thing. They thought you know what, we need to upgrade. Adrien Nunez might be a little bit better player and they’re somewhat similar, big guards. I think Adrien Nunez probably impressed the coaches more than Cole Bajema, that’s why Cole is in the Pacific Northwest as we speak.”
The world of recruiting doesn’t stop for college coaches once players sign their letters of intent. Now more than ever, programs have to recruit their current roster in hopes to keep key players from transferring.
While you’ve seen some shock transfers across the conference, it’s all about a matter of feel. McCormick says it’s a matter of putting forth the effort to making the player feel wanted. If you took a chance on a player and he doesn’t pan out, he’ll see the writing on the wall.
In Bajema’s case, it might not have been about feeling wanted, but a road to the starting lineup might be more difficult than others.
“It’s going to be an interesting phenomenon,” McCormick said. “It’s like recruiting your players but there’s also some anti-recruiting, too… If there’s a guy you desperately want to keep in your program and his role is somewhat diminished, you’ve got to keep him engaged and let him know how valuable he is and how important he is for the future. I would imagine that maybe Cole Bajema was not feeling that love during the season. I bet Brandon Johns was. Brandon might not be playing as much but he’s got great value and he’s got a future, so you spend extra time talking about their role and working hard with them. Make them feel super engaged.
“If a guy does not quite fit, then he’s not going to get that same love.”
Read More: Tim McCormick reacts to Cole Bajema’s decision to transfer 2020-05-21 21:01:48