The Wolverine

February 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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64 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2018   BASKETBALL RECRUITING Brazdeikis notched 41 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Napa Val- ley (Calif.) Prolific Prep Jan. 6, and posted 30 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Phoenix Hillcrest Prep Jan. 7. "Michigan is getting an absolute star in Ignas Brazdeikis," Whistle 2 Whistle Sports Blog wrote on Twitter. "I've yet to see a defense faze him. Strong with the ball and one of the best finishers through contact I've seen this year. "Bold Prediction … [he] is a fu- ture Big Ten Player of the Year. I've seen him in action in 4 games this season, all against tough opponents. The Michigan commit scores in many ways, makes the smart play, rebounds well. He's been un-guardable." Zak Irvin (2013), now back in the United States after leaving his Euro- pean team, and Glenn Robinson III (2012), currently with the Indiana Pacers, were Beilein's other two five- star prospects. Center Mitch McGary (2012) was the nation's No. 3 pros- pect and a five-star at one point be- fore landing at No. 30 in the final 2012 rankings. As a five-star, Brazdeikis would be among the top 28 players in the coun- try if he played in the United States. In other commitment ranking news, Johns, among the favorites for Michigan's Mr. Basketball award, dropped one spot to No. 65. Daytona Beach (Fla.) Father Lopez signee Colin Castleton (6-11), who has a pair of 43-point games this season for Father Lopez team, fell from No. 121 to No. 127 but remains a four-star prospect. Father Lopez beat Port Orange (Fla.) Spruce Creek 71-53 Jan. 5, and Castleton finished with 23 points (with four triples), 12 rebounds and five assists. Castleton scored 30 points to lead Father Lopez past Mount Dora (Fla.) Christian 61-50 Jan. 13, and added 28 (including a pair of triples) and 22 rebounds to improve Father Lopez to 12-5 with a 57-33 win over Deltona (Fla.) Pine Ridge Jan. 18. Castleton was averaging 22.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Finally, Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More's Adrien Nunez remains a three-star prospect outside the top 150. The elite shooter has averaged 12.1 points per game and continues to get better. "He improves every time he's on the court for us," St. Thomas More head coach Jere Quinn said. "He's only been playing basketball since he was 14 years old." Nunez scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds in an 89-76 win over Durham (N.C.) Mount Zion Christian Academy Jan. 10. He also notched 10 points and seven rebounds to lead an 88-62 win over Cheshire (Conn.) Academy Jan. 13. U-M currently stand eighth nation- ally in the class of 2018 team rankings, second in the Big Ten to Michigan State (No. 5). CLASS OF 2019 OFFEREE ROMEO WEEMS SEES U-M HANDLE MSU Michigan State has been rumored to lead for New Haven (Mich.) High standout wing Romeo Weems (6-5), a five-star prospect who is ranked No. 26 in the country by However, Weems is also very high on Michigan. He was front and cen- ter in East Lansing, Mich., to see the Wolverines take down the Spartans 82-72 Jan. 13. Weems notched 23 points, 12 re- bounds and 10 assists to go along with five steals in a win over War- ren (Mich.) Cousino Jan. 15, and then notched his second triple-double in two days by recording 23 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in an 83-38 win over Eastpointe (Mich.) High Jan. 16. He finished with 28 points, 11 re- bounds, 10 blocks, four assists and four steals in a 81-58 win over War- ren (Mich.) Fitzgerald Jan. 9. Weems was averaging 28.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game as of Jan. 19. Another top 2019 target, Mark "Rocket" Watts (6-2, No. 64 prospect nationally), notched 37 points, seven assists and six re- bounds to lead Detroit Old Redford to a 94-65 win over Southfield (Mich.) Bradford Academy Jan. 12. He finished with 41 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the win over Detroit Cornerstone Health and Technology Jan. 9. He was averaging 33.3 points per game as of Jan. 19. ❏ On The Web For regular reports on Michigan basketball recruiting plus videos of U-M commitments and targets visit Rivals rates Weems — a 6-5 wing at New Haven (Mich.) High — as a five-star tal- ent and the No. 26 overall prospect in the class of 2019. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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