After this season, the Michigan basketball program will lose
just one player — fifth-year senior J.C. Mathis — but
it announced today that it will add at least three more.

“We are very excited to have three quality youngsters come
and join our program,” Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said.
“They are going to add to what we’ve tried to build
here. They are going to bring athleticism, more length to the court
for us, added depth.”

In the early signing period, Michigan inked 6-foot-8 forward
Kendric Price from Boston, 6-foot-5 wing Jevohn Shepherd from
Toronto, and Jerret Smith, a 6-foot-3 guard from Romulus and a high
school teammate of current freshman Ron Coleman.

“We’re real cool,” said Coleman about his
relationship with Smith. “He’s my former teammate and
we talk a lot. He brings another point guard threat. He’s a
pass-first, shoot-later point guard. He’s always looking for
a pass, and can create off the dribble to find the open

Smith is a candidate for the 2005 Mr. Basketball Award, given
annually to Michigan’s top high school basketball player. He
has averaged 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists over a
three-year span in high school. Smith transferred to Romulus High
School after his sophomore year at Westland John Glenn.

Though Coleman and Smith played together at Romulus, Coleman
said he had no role in luring Smith to Michigan.

“It was basically his own decision,” Coleman said.
“I committed and then he committed. I didn’t have much
to say to him. I was happy that he made the decision but I
didn’t motivate him to come here.”

Ranked as the No. 27 power forward prospect by, Price
averaged 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, three blocks and two assists
per game as a junior at Buckingham Brown and Nichols School in
Boston. Sims — who attended nearby Noble & Greenough
School in Dedham, Mass. — played against Price in the
Independent School League.

Sims compared Price’s game to that of current NBA
superstar Tracy McGrady.

“(Price’s) game sort of resembles (McGrady’s)
type of game,” Sims said. “He is real smooth, and
he’s so laid back. I mean, once he comes over (to Michigan),
he is going to have to get more fiery and get more physical and
stuff because (Amaker) is going to demand that out of him. Once he
does that, the sky’s the limit for him.”

“(Price) is long and athletic. He needs to get stronger,
but certainly has the wingspan and can cover the floor very
well,” Amaker said. “He runs extremely well, and can
finish in transition.”

Price, a talented jazz pianist, toured Eastern Europe during the
summer to sing in a choir instead of attending an NBA Players
Association camp.

Michigan’s final signee, Shephard, attended West Hill
Collegiate in Toronto. He averaged 28.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.5
assists and 1.5 blocks as a junior.

“He is a wing player that brings a lot of different skills
to the court,” Amaker said. “(He adds) a little
versatility in that regard. I think he is going to be a really good

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