The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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AUGUST 2018 THE WOLVERINE 21 The Wolverine: Some have said the 6-11 Castleton,'s No. 89 player nationally in the 2018 class, is comparable to Moe Wagner. Is that un- fair or are there similarities? Beilein: "He may be even more de- veloped at his age. That's a big maybe, but he can really shoot from three and he's a shot blocker, which Moe was just starting to do a little bit. "He's got a chance to do a lot of the things Moe could do. He's more devel- oped with his back to the basket, but he is still a high-post player. "He's not a driver like Moe, but his jump shot is pretty clean. He's 220 pounds and skinny where Moe was maybe 215, but he's got the right man down the hall in [strength coach] Jon Sanderson to take care of that. "He's got a chance. That comparison is real." The Wolverine: You finished with Rivals' No. 10 recruiting class nation- ally. What are your thoughts on the rest of this group, starting with the guards? Beilein: "I am thrilled. I love the upside of all five of them. "David DeJulius [Rivals' No. 97 re- cruit nationally, out of Detroit East English Village] was here at camp two years ago, and I watched him. He had leadership, was passing the ball well, but I didn't like the look of his shot. "I pulled him aside and said, 'You've got to put more arch on your shot; you've got to have better spin on your shot. Here's how you do it.' It was part of the camp, so I could do it. "Then I went and watched him play. I'm one of the only guys in the gym, sitting at half court. He had six threes. "Like most kids, his game has to become more versatile. He's not going to get those three pointers he got in high school. You've got to be able to get into the lane. "In high school and AAU, they all give help, and there's an open three- point shooter. When they don't give help and you've got to score one on one, some people struggle with that. Most guys have. "Adrien Nunez [Rivals' No. 44 small forward nationally, out of Oakville (Conn.) St. Thomas More] has a jump shot he not only makes, but he can get on his own because of his height. "A 6-2 kid like that does not get that scholarship, but at 6-5, 6-6, a kid with a jump shot that is Tim Hardaway Jr.-like with a release that's way up here does. "He is a brilliant student and just was a perfect fit for a niche we were trying to get. Because of Duncan Rob- inson, so much of what we ran was [dependent on] where he was on the floor. We'd run action where defenses couldn't help. "Adrien will be in those same situ- ations for a bit. He hasn't been in a lot of ball screens, but here comes the process. At 6-6, if we can get him in ball screens and he sees over the top of it, he'll be really good." The Wolverine: Canadian Ignas Brazdeikis is a five-star prospect at 6-8 and Brandon Johns was a four- star ranked as Rivals' No. 60 prospect nationally out of East Lansing (Mich.) High. What do they bring to the table? Beilein: "Iggy is versatile. We think he can play really at three positions. We'll see who best fits the two-guard position, but that's a very real pos- sibility to have a left-handed two guard. He can also play the three and the four. We will mix it up. "The way we're playing right now, we have been changing our offense on the fly to fit what we want to do. We changed it last year, and it really helped us. "We'll continue to change and we still have a lot of stuff we can run, but we run it with more flow. It's more position-less basketball than ever right now. "I've seen Iggy shoot really well in practice. It's a matter of time where I think his shooting will be hope- fully just as good as his driving. He's strong. "Brandon is certainly a guy who can play both forward positions, but we can also play small ball with him because he can really shoot. He rebounds the ball. He's got a great chance. There's a very high ceiling there, and his jumper is clean. "Every one of these guys coming in can shoot it. I've got a video of Iggy making 60 out of 70 from three that he sent me. I can't wait to coach these guys up." ❏ With junior Moritz Wagner's first-round selection in late June, Beilein has developed nine NBA Draft picks during his U-M tenure. Only two of those nine were tabbed as top-70 recruits by coming out of high school. PHOTO BY SAMUEL MOUSIGIAN Beilein "This decade of Michigan basketball has been pretty good. I want to finish this decade and beyond having a program that is always in the hunt for a Big Ten championship."

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