Over the weekend, the Michigan Wolverines got some exciting news as the program learned key international prospect Lee Aaliya would be committing to the program. He is among a deep group of additions joining the team in the 2023 cycle, highlighted by a few key transfers.
NEWS: Argentinian prospect Lee Aaliya has committed to Michigan, he tells @On3sports.— Joe Tipton (@TiptonEdits) August 26, 2023
The 6-9 big man averaged 17.1 points, 9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game at the U19 World Cup. https://t.co/oCObWTx0D0 pic.twitter.com/ij6cvPeoyu
Aaliya is listed at 6-foot-9 and has drawn a substantial amount of college interest ESPN reported he received interest from more than 50 Division I programs and teams like Miami, Providence, and UConn were all heavily involved before his eventual commitment to the Wolverines. There’s little debating it was a major win for Howard and his staff to beat out interest like that and score a commitment.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to watch with Aaliya will be how he fits into Michigan’s depth chart. His natural position is probably at the four, but with Tennessee transfer Olivier Nkamhoua already filling that spot and Tarris Reed established at the five, Aaliya is going to be searching minutes, and will likely spend the entirety of next season in a backup role. He will also have to battle against Seton Hall forward Tray Jackson for minutes, which could really limit Aaliya’s short-term potential.
However, Aaliya’s long-term potential is far more promising and he could very well turn into a star player for the Wolverines down the line after playing well at the FIBA U19 World Cup this summer. He averaged 17.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game in the event. It’s also worth mentioning mentioning how much his role could grow even as early as the 2024-’25 season, given Michigan’s expected attrition.
How Aailya will perform in Ann Arbor is unknown, but Howard and fans have to be excited about what’s to come.