The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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36 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2018   2018 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY AUSTIN FOX A large reason Michigan's in- coming five-man recruiting class finished ranked No. 10 nationally was due to the in- clusion of Mono (Ontario) Orangeville Prep five-star small forward Ignas "Iggy" Brazdeikis. The 6-8 Canadian is the third five- star prospect head coach John Beilein has signed during his time at U-M (small forward Glenn Robinson III in 2012 and shooting guard Zak Irvin in 2013 are the other two), and is the headliner of a group that features four top-100 players. Brazdeikis doesn't care about re- cruiting rankings, though. In his mind, his true worth will be proven once he gets his chance on the court in maize and blue. "The ranking shows there's an ap- preciation for my game, but I won't be happy or satisfied until I'm No. 1," he insisted. "I don't look at these rank- ings, because we'll find out who the true top players are once we actually start playing college ball. I think I'll still be up there." Brazdeikis will be expected to com- pete for playing time with rising soph- omore Isaiah Livers at the four spot in U-M's system next season. During his time in Ann Arbor, the hyped Canuck expects to live up to his lofty recruiting ranking — and more. "For me personally, my expectations next year are to dominate," he said. "I have very high standards for myself, but I like having that pressure on my shoulders. "The expectations I have for my team are just as high — I want us to be a dominant team in the Big Ten and to win a national championship." The latter nearly became a reality for the Wolverines this past season. They won a school-record 33 games on their way to the national championship con- test, where their spectacular season came to an end against the Villanova Wildcats. None of it would have been possible, though, without then-freshman guard Jordan Poole's buzzer-beating three to defeat Houston in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, a shot that has quickly gone down in both March Madness and Michigan lore. "Jordan Poole's shot may have been the best moment of Michigan's run," Brazdeikis said with a laugh. "Just watching the crowd and the reactions on everyone's face was incredible. I was hanging out with a bunch of friends when he hit it, and they were all talking smack to me. "As soon as he made it, though, we all went crazy. There's just nothing like March Madness — to see the school I'll be attending go on a run like that was an amazing feeling." The 6-8 forward has been watching the Wolverines for much longer than just this past season, though. In fact, Brazdeikis is the third five-star recruit to sign with head coach John Beilein at U-M, following Glenn Robinson III in 2012 and Zak Irvin in 2013. PHOTO COURTESY NIKE HOOPS SUMMIT READY TO PROVE IT Five-Star Canadian Ignas Brazdeikis Doesn't Care About Recruiting Rankings, But Wants To Show The Hype Was Warranted

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