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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New U-M hoops assistant will help Wolverines recruit Detroit

One of the biggest criticisms of the Michigan men's basketball program under John Beilein is his tenuous (at best) relationships with coaches in the Detroit PSL.

On Saturday, Beilein made a move that should shore up his contact list in Southeast Michigan, adding former University of Detroit Mercy player and Detroit Southeastern grad Bacari Alexander to his coaching staff as an assistant. The 33-year-old joins fellow U-D grad Mike Jackson — one of his former coaches with the Titans — on the staff, giving Beilein two key Detroit recruiters.

"He (Alexander) has strong roots in Michigan and significant recruiting experience both here and in neighboring states," Beilein said in a release. "He is a passionate teacher with strong communication skills. Bacari is a former post player and has a proven ability in the development of big men at the college level. With our young front court, that was an important factor in my final selection. I look forward to Bacari's immediate and very positive impact on the growth of our program."

Alexander spent the last two seasons at Western Michigan (where he helped the Broncos load up on Detroit-area players) after starting his coaching career under Perry Watson at U-D, with a one-year stop at Ohio University sandwiched in between. He even had a stint as a Globetrotter.

His biggest value for the Wolverines, aside from recruiting, will be working with the big men, one of the Wolverines' true weaknesses over the last few years. With DeShawn Sims and Zack Gibson graduating, U-M will have only redshirt freshmen Blake McLimans and Jordan Morgan, and true freshmen Jon Horford and Evan Smotrycz in the post next season, making Alexander's job all that much harder.

“I’m a grass-roots guy. I’ve done very well in recruiting the national urban areas of the United States, let alone Detroit,” Alexander told's Michael Rothstein. “I’m a PSL product and a lot of times it helps with regards to recruiting because people tend to embrace their own. So that can be, that has been an advantage."

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