The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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14 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2018   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS JAARON SIMMONS SIGNS PRO DEAL WITH PROFESSIONAL SWISS TEAM On June 25, former Michigan point guard Jaaron Simmons signed a one-year deal with the professional basketball team Union Neuchâtel of Switzerland. The European club went just 13-9 last season, but won the Swiss Basketball Cup in 2013 and finished as the runner-up in 2015. The daily Le Matin newspaper published in Lausanne, Switzerland, called Simmons' addition "a nice coup on the transfer market," and wrote that he "will have ample means to illustrate himself on the Swiss scene." The Ohio native transferred to Ann Arbor prior to the 2017-18 season, after previous collegiate stops at Houston (2013-14) and Ohio (2014-17). Simmons proved to be a standout player during his two seasons with the Bobcats, averaging 15.5 points, 7.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game in 2015-16, before tallying 15.9 points, 6.5 dimes and 3.5 boards per contest the following year. His outstanding play resulted in him becoming one of the most highly coveted prospects on the graduate transfer market in 2017. He ultimately settled on U-M with hopes of becoming the team's starting point guard for the 2017-18 season. Then-sophomore Zavier Simpson manned the job for the majority of the year, though, and Simmons was relegated to just 8.0 minutes and 1.5 points per game. He went un- selected in the NBA Draft June 21. MICHIGAN BASKETBALL ADDS PREFERRED WALK-ON On June 29, Michigan head coach John Beilein announced a new addition to his basketball team. Jaron Faulds — a 6-10 center — joined the club as a preferred walk-on after spending one season at Columbia University, and will sit out the upcoming 2018-19 campaign per NCAA transfer rules. "We are pleased to announce the addition of Jaron to our roster for this upcoming season," Beilein said. "He has a lot of potential and brings collegiate experience to this young team. With a lot of hard work, he will play an important role in our team's development and future success in the years to come." A native of Holt, Mich., Faulds competed in 26 games (with one start) last year for Columbia, averaging 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest. During his prep days, he led his Holt Rams to two district titles and the CAAC Blue league championship in 2014. As a senior in 2017, Faulds was named first-team all-state after he tallied 17 points, 11.5 boards and 4.0 blocks per game, and holds the school's record for both blocks and rebounds in a career, with 261 and 782, respectively. The Wolverines have only filled 12 of their allotted 13 scholarships, so it's possible that Faulds could earn one in the future. TWO U-M BASEBALL ROOKIES RECEIVE IMPRESSIVE ACCOLADES On July 5, Michigan freshman out- fielder Jesse Franklin and fellow fresh- man pitcher Ben Dragani were both pegged to the D1 Baseball Freshman All-America second team after com- piling outstanding 2018 rookie cam- paigns. In fact, the Big Ten only saw two other players — pitchers Patrick Fred- erickson and Max Meyer of Minnesota — receive the honor. Dragani began his Ann Arbor tenure as a relief pitcher before eventually breaking into the team's starting ro- tation in mid-March. The left-hander compiled 16 appearances and 11 starts, finishing the campaign with six wins and a 2.76 ERA that was the team's best among pitchers with at least 33 innings pitched. On top of that, the youngster also struck out 54 batters in 75 innings and was named third-team All-Big Ten as a result. Franklin, meanwhile, led the Maize and Blue in both home runs (10) and RBI (47). He also posted a .327 batting average, a .379 on-base percentage and a team-best .588 slugging percentage. Additionally, he ended up second on the squad with 54 hits and garnered a unanimous selection to the Big Ten All-Freshman club. — Austin Fox Simmons averaged 8.0 minutes and 1.5 points per game last year at Michigan. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL MAIZE AND BLUE NOTEBOOK

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