The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 57   BASKETBALL RECRUITING ketball and a strict curfew, and it's served him well. He's now the No. 6 player nationally in the 2022 class per and has a chance to move even higher in the rankings. "He's been blessed to be one of the top point guards in the country, but he's worked for it," his dad contin- ued. "He's tough-nosed on defense, and he always tries to make his team- mates better. He's a great open-court player, fast in the open court, knocks down open shots. "He's not a high-maintenance player. A lot of guards might take 20 shots, 15 to get their points, but he's been fortunate that the system he's in, he's played with kids who made shots. He's just been super-efficient [with his]." While there's been a bit of home- sickness the last few months, Bradley has settled in nicely at IMG, where other players have gravitated to him. His body is already changing, Nate Bradley reported after seeing him this fall, and he has great chemistry with the other IMG players. "He loves it," Nate Bradley said. "We wanted to make sure he was around kids with the same mindset, and he is." And, of course, he's being re- cruited by some of the nation's top programs. North Carolina has been strong, while Kentucky, Kansas and too many others to count have also offered. He was excited, too, to receive one from Howard and Michigan, and that relationship has blossomed. "They're building a crazy good re- lationship," Bradley said. "Juwan is down to earth. He's not only preach- ing that family talk, but he's walking that walk. You see it with Jett. "There's also the accountabil- ity factor. He's not trying to be his friend, his 'home boy' … he's try- ing to be his coach. We've had three Zoom calls with them, and he'll hold his hand over the fire in those, go over some of the X's and O's and say, 'What do you see here?' He'll pause and say, 'Let me know what you see.' He wants his input, and if he doesn't agree, he'll say, 'I don't see that … I see this. "I think a lot of people don't know how to toe that line." Others do, however, and that's one of the reasons Jaden remains recep- tive heading into the fall season. "He's open," Nate Bradley said. "Jaden is going to make his deci- sion based on a number of factors. He really wants to go somewhere where he'll play right away, mak- ing sure there is some level of men- torship there … maybe where there are upperclassman who have done it before, can tell him what to expect, what it should look like." A decision will likely come next summer, he added, but it won't be a huge production. If and when he narrows his list, the right people will know. "We try to be tangible. We're so grateful for the position we're in," he said. "His older brother [Nate Jr.] used to beat up on him and helped create who he is today, went through with no offers, went to postgrad, got a couple offers. Seeing that and feeling what his older brother went through and knowing a lot of friends that don't have multiples offers or no offers … we're grateful." Soon enough, one program will be grateful to land his signature, but there's a long way to go, and How- ard is recruiting others just as hard. As of now there's only room for two players total in 2022, but there's al- ways attrition and the coaches would likely be more than willing to take two guards from the class should things open up. Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI four-star Dug McDaniel is also among the highly touted prep junior prospects Howard and Co. are also pursuing at the posi- tion. At 5-10, 155 pounds, McDaniel is built differently than Bradley but is also known for his playmaking abil- ity as an unselfish passer.'s No. 46 overall player in the country has been working to improve his skills as a scorer over the offseason, with his high school team slated to tip off the season in January. "I've really worked on my scor- ing ability since last year," McDaniel said. "I have to step up into more of a scoring role, so I'm going to try to combine my passing ability with my scoring ability and just be a com- plete, overall, all-around player. "I'm more of a pass-first guard, but I can also score the ball when I want. But I like to see my teammates get more involved. I'd rather have 10 [points] and 10 [assists] than 30 and five. I'd rather have my teammate have 20 than me have 20." Like Bradley, he's all about try- ing to get that team win, no matter what it takes. His unselfish play has earned him interest from dozens of schools, but Florida, Georgetown, LSU, Michigan and VCU are the ones in which he has the most interest. Howard and the Wolverines have stayed in constant contact since Sept. 1, when coaching staffs were allowed to begin reaching out to 2022 Jaden Bradley was the Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina last year at Concord (N.C.) Cannon School, where he averaged 23.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.9 steals per game. PHOTO BY NICK LUCERO/COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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