The Wolverine

June-July 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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22 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2020 2 0 2 0 B A S K E T B A L L R E C R U I T I N G I S S U E BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan head coach Ju‑ wan Howard and his staff landed a late addition to the 2020 recruiting class, and they are hoping he is eligible for the 2020‑21 season. Wake For‑ est transfer Chaundee Brown, a 6‑5 wing, announced his intentions to play at U‑M May 19. Brown will apply for a waiver to try to play immediately after Demon Deacons head coach Danny Man‑ ning was fired. The entire Michigan staff played a role in recruiting him, something that helped the Wolver‑ ines overcome Iowa State, Illinois, Gonzaga and LSU, his finalists as of late April. "It was really important. They came in late, but at the same time they just felt like they really needed me," Brown said. "They made me feel like family already, and that meant a lot for me." Brown provides toughness and versatility in the backcourt and has continued to blossom as an offensive player. A three‑year starter at Wake Forest, he went from 7.6 points per game as a freshman to 11.9 two years ago and 12.1 this season, while add‑ ing 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He shot 45.6 percent from the floor, 32.2 percent from long range and an im‑ pressive 83.1 percent from the free throw line in 2019‑20. The Orlando, Fla., prep standout —'s No. 38 player nationally coming out of high school in 2017 — notched two of his best career games this past season against nationally ranked Duke and Xavier, when he scored 24 and 26 points, respectively, leading to a pair of upset victories. The Michigan coaches told him they needed a player who could play multiple positions, and Brown fits the bill. "I can play the two, the three and even a little bit of the four if they need me to," he said. "I'm just go‑ ing to be playing my game, getting downhill, getting to the rim in tran‑ sition and getting to the lane … get‑ ting fouled and getting to the line, and trying to be an overall team player." More than anything, he said he wants a taste of success be‑ fore he leaves college. Wake Forest has strug‑ gled in his three years at the school, finishing with 11 victories in each of his first two years and 13 last season, never making the postseason. "I just want to do all I can to help them win," he said. "Winning is what is most important to me in all of this." NCAA rules dictate Brown sit for a year before playing his last season unless he is granted instant eligibil‑ ity, but he plans to apply for a waiver and feels good about his chances. He insisted it wouldn't make him mad if he weren't immediately eligible — but added he's "pretty much 100 percent sure" he'll get clearance to play next season. He'd be an immediate impact player if he did, national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi said. "Chaundee in high school was pretty reliant on being able to out‑ athlete and out‑tough guys, so he was kind of a tough mismatch, a problem for people because he was so much stronger than anyone else," Bossi said. "He got to college and there was a little bit of an adjustment period be‑ cause it was a lot harder to play in the ACC than it was in high school, and he was also making that transition to being more of a full‑time wing." He can play any of those three po‑ sitions on the floor, however, and that versatility is what should allow him to thrive at U‑M. "As he went along each year, he got a little bit better and became a competent jump shooter. He's not like a super dangerous three‑point shooter, but you at least have to re‑ spect him," Bossi continued. "He's embraced that sometimes his best deal may be playing as an under‑ sized four. "He's versatile in that you can move him all around, plus he's a dude coming in with three years' ex‑ perience in the ACC. Whether they were winning or not, that's high‑ level experience." Fellow national recruit‑ ing analyst Corey Evans called him a "tough‑nosed, versatile guard/ wing" and a "great locker room guy. "He has the strength that should translate well to the Big Ten, but also the ball skills and an adequate jumper that could make him a solid cog within a winning bunch at Mich‑ igan," he said. Whether that happens this year or next, Brown should be a great addi‑ tion to the Wolverines' lineup. He has a great midrange game and the ability to get to the rim and, if he's eligible right away, can help make up for the body shortage in the back‑ court following the transfer of rising juniors David DeJulius (Cincinnati) and Cole Bajema (Washington). ❏ "He has the strength that should translate well to the Big Ten, but also the ball skills and an adequate jumper that could make him a solid cog within a winning bunch at Michigan." national recruiting analyst Corey Evans Brown played in 84 games at Wake Forest (74 starts), shot 42.3 percent from the floor, and averaged 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per outing for his career. PHOTO COURTESY WAKE FOREST READY TO WIN Wake Forest Transfer Chaundee Brown Brings Experience And Versatility To Help The Bottom Line

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