The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 61   COMMITMENT PROFILE Michigan class of 2018 basketball target David DeJulius of Detroit East English Village Prep received his U‑M offer after an incredible Decem‑ ber showing in front of head coach John Beilein. Days later he was a Wolverine, knowing Michigan was his perfect fit.'s Branden Hunter rated the 6‑1 DeJulius the No. 3 player at the Horatio Wil‑ liams Tip‑Off Classic the weekend of Dec. 10, at which point he predicted a future rise in the national rankings. He was right — DeJulius moved from No. 148 to No. 126, and his ceiling is even higher. "There was a lot of hype around DeJulius pairing with [guard] Greg Elliott at East English Village Prep, and they showed us why. The two combined for 76 points, with 31 of those coming from DeJulius," Hunter wrote. "Always known as a driver, DeJulius did that well. He's 6‑1 now and built like a tank. You won't stop him from getting anywhere on the court that he wants. "His jump shot has also improved. For a stretch against Flint Beecher, when Elliott wasn't scoring, DeJulius took over, hitting several long‑range shots, keeping the defense honest." DePaul had been his only offer before Michigan stepped up, and the Wolverines' tender was a game changer. He picked it up after scoring 46 points, including nine three‑point‑ ers, in front of Beilein when East Eng‑ lish village beat a good Macomb Da‑ kota team 79‑63 at 'The Battle of the Best' holiday basketball tournament in mid‑December. DeJulius went 13 of 17 from the field, including 9 of 11 from beyond the arc. "Coach Beilein texted me after the game, and told me to give him about an hour when he got home," DeJulius said. "So, I called him about 10:30. He was just saying how I was a perfect fit for Michigan, how he wanted to be the one coaching me on the floor and how he wanted me to be the one running his offense. Then he offered me a scholarship" It caught him, and many others, off guard. DeJulius had played well at the Michigan camp this sum‑ mer and has continued to improve since, but he wasn't expecting an offer this soon. Michigan State and Texas were among the others show‑ ing interest. "I was overwhelmed. I was speech‑ less. Just to be offered by such a great coach and such a great university is such a blessing," he said. "To have an offer from a university 45 minutes from my home is a great feeling. "I feel like I fit very well in their system. They are a point guard‑ori‑ ented system, and Coach Beilein is known for being a point guard coach. They let their point guards control the game, so I feel like it would be a good environment for me to be in. "[Michigan senior point guard] Derrick Walton was a monster in high school. He had multiple triple‑ doubles. I think we both were lead‑ ers. This year I'm sharing the ball better, and our ability to see the floor and find our teammates is similar." DeJulius can also score, averag‑ ing 32.5 points per game through six games as of Jan. 12. The Michigan coaches celebrated with him after his pledge, he noted. "They were all yelling and cheer‑ ing on the phone," DeJulius said. "Coach Beilein told me my commit‑ ment was a great Christmas present … I am happy to end it early. Now I can focus on a high school state title and a Peach Jam [AAU] title." Prep head coach Juan Rickman compared DeJulius to Michigan walk‑on Fred Wright‑Jones, another East English Village Prep product, in terms of work ethic. "He and Fred Wright‑Jones are the same kid," Rickman said. "Dave is just more talented. He has a great work ethic, and he is a phenomenal kid. He works out so much. His work ethic is unmatched. "He was never a selfish kid, but now he has started to incorporate others into his game, and his shot has gotten better. "Michigan is a getting a great kid. He's a potential All‑Big Ten player, and he works hard. He is low‑main‑ tenance, and he can just flat‑out play. "I knew that Michigan was his dream school, and I wanted him to take his time and make a smart deci‑ sion because when Dave is stuck on something, he's stuck. But I think he made a great decision, and Michigan is getting a great player and great person." — Chris Balas Detroit Point Guard David DeJulius Is John Beilein's First Junior Pledge rates DeJulius as a three-star prospect and the No. 126 player in the nation. PHOTO BY BRANDEN HUNTER

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