The Wolverine

December 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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62 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2017   BASKETBALL RECRUITING past year, and I feel really comfort- able with them. I'm really excited to see them play. I saw one game last year, now I want to see some more. It's exciting to know that the fan base and everyone at Michigan is great. "Coach Beilein is a great person off the court. That's what really got me and my family. It wasn't just all about basketball with him. Off the court, he does everything right. We feel really comfortable with that and just happy he's going to be my coach." East Lansing (Mich.) High's Bran- don Johns,'s No. 65 over- all player nationally, is starting his fourth season on the East Lansing Varsity. He's led the Trojans to 24-1 and 23-1 seasons the last two years and to two straight undefeated Capi- tal Area Blue Conference titles. They reached the regional final of the Class A state tournament in 2017. As a junior, Johns averaged 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks and was named the Associated Press Class A Player of the Year. He received back-to-back Class A first-team all- state honors from the AP and The De- troit Free Press, while The Detroit News selected him to the Dream Team in 2017 after first-team honors in 2016. "We are thrilled to be signing such a talented and versatile player as Brandon," Beilein said. "He is a humble kid, even with all the expec- tations he has carried over the years as a top prospect in Michigan and on the national level. "Brandon is an explosive athlete that also has a high skill level. He checks a lot of the boxes we look for in our student-athletes, and we are excited to be a part of his continued development as a student-athlete." He signed during a Nov. 10 assem- bly at his school. "It's been a nerve-racking day," Johns said. "I've been waiting for this mo- ment to get it over with. It feels great. I'm really happy with my choice." Last after a recent visit to U-M, he was walking to Meijer with his mom for groceries, when he turned to her and said, "Mom, I know where I want to go." Johns made his commitment to the Wolverines June 29. "There's a quote that when you know where you want to go, you want to shoot that shot — you don't want to waste that opportunity," he explained. "I had that gut feeling. I just needed to go with it." Johns will play the power forward position at U-M, which is what he he's played most of his life. He feels comfortable with the role and thinks Beilein's system will be a great fit for his style of play. "I knew he was perfect for Michi- gan," East Lansing High School bas- ketball coach Steve Finamore said. "I've known John Beilein for a long time, and he gets his players better and lets them play their game. "Brandon is a three-point shooter, he's a slasher, he's a guy that brings the ball up the floor, and at the Uni- versity of Michigan, you're allowed to do those things." Johns wants to continue to work on his body and on different parts of his game so he's ready to go in Ann Arbor. This year, he's grown half an inch and is now 6-8½. "I think they should expect a hard- working player that's going to bring a lot of fun to the game," Johns said. Finamore noted Johns has im- proved every year, and he's hoping to work with him on scoring more in the post and being more vocal on defense. He said Johns has good footwork but doesn't show it off often enough. Finamore compares him to former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Ben Sim- mons, who was drafted by the Phila- delphia 76ers after a season at LSU. "He's a right-handed Ben Sim- mons," Finamore said. "He grabs the ball off the glass, he pushes it up and he looks for teammates. He's not one of these guys that grabs the ball off the glass and pushes it up and tries to score. Every time I see Simmons play, I say, 'That's him.'" A third signee, point guard Da- vid DeJulius, transferred to Detroit East English Village after starting his career at Detroit Edison and had a breakout season last year, averag- ing 25.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds while knocking down 76 three-pointers. He earned Associated Press Class A first-team all-state hon- ors, second-team all-state accolades from The Detroit News and third-team recognition from The Detroit Free Press. "David is a highly talented point guard that plays with poise and per- sonality," Beilein said. "His abilities to score and be a playmaker fit well in our style of play. "Any time we can get one of the top in-state prospects, it's great for our program. He's a leader, has high character and is a hard working kid who values academics and the total Michigan experience. "We love it when guys come run- ning through the door to be a part of the Wolverine family." East Lansing (Mich.) High head coach Steve Finamore called 6-8½ forward Brandon Johns "a right-handed Ben Simmons." PHOTO BY JON LOPEZ/RIVALS.COM Detroit East English Village point guard David DeJulius is one of the frontrunners for Michigan's Mr. Basketball award this year and has been nominated for the McDonald's All-America team. PHOTO BY JORDAN WELLS

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