The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2018 THE WOLVERINE 41   2018 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE double digits down at halftime for a big win over the state's No. 1 team. "That was for sure one of the high- lights of our season," DeJulius said. "A lot of people had us losing that game, so for us to be down 17 at half- time and rally like that was remark- able." D e J u l i u s c a r - ried East English to a win with 42 points, doubling up Loyer 's 21. He hit triple after triple in the fourth quarter while scoring 17 points in the first five minutes of the stanza, including 11 straight points and three straight treys. He nailed a pull-up jumper with East English down 71-70 to put his team in front for good and served notice that he was a serious Mr. Bas- ketball candidate. "I knew that was kind of just a now or never type of thing," DeJulius said. "I knew the stakes were high for that game, them being ranked No. 1 in the state, Foster going to MSU … now or never. "We decided to turn it on, and I think it gave me and my teammates confidence." The Detroit News Dream Team se- lection scored a career- high 49 two weeks later, making nine triples in a win over defending Il- linois state champion Chicago Orr in prov- ing it was no fluke. He earned the reputation as a coachable kid who always listened, learned how to read defenses a n d b e c a m e o n e t o watch even heading into his last season. "He has a presence out there on the floor," Brian Neubert, a writer for the Purdue Rivals. com site, said after see- ing him play last sum- mer. "He's a leader. You notice him out there on the court." Especially when he gets into a groove. He p l a y s w i t h n o f e a r, wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line and has a knack for making the right play at the right time, one of the reasons many believe he'll see the floor as a true freshman. He'll have to earn his time, of course. Junior Zavier Simpson led the Wolverines to a Big Ten Tourna- ment title and the national champi- onship game with some elite defense this year, and his offensive game con- tinues to improve. Sophomore Eli Brooks will also be in the mix, and he figures to be much better after a year in the system. But DeJulius has already begun working out with his future team- mates in Ann Arbor, playing some pickup ball and training with them. He's working toward earning min- utes alongside them this winter. "Coach Beilein is really a 'no prom- ises' type of guy," DeJulius said. "The best five players are going to start and so forth, and the best fit is going to be out there on the floor. "If I play defense like I can, shoot like I can, try to lead the guys and be a vocal leader, I think I can be on the floor with them." Beilein has proven he'll play his best players regardless of class or — at times — regardless of position, De- Julius noted. If the best five includes two point guards, he'll play two point guards. "For sure, it's a goal of mine to be in the rotation, play heavy minutes and just do the best I can," he said. "All I can do is give 100 percent and leave the rest up to Coach. "I'm pretty sure if we give our all, the rest will fall into place." The way it did this year for the Wol- verines, who started slowly before making a run to the NCAA title game after winning the Big Ten Tourna- ment. DeJulius was on hand for the regional games in Los Angeles, a pres- ent from his father, and also in San Antonio with future teammate Johns, watching his future teammates shock the college basketball world with their run to the final game of the season. "I knew the fan base was great. I actually did not know it was that good," he admitted. "Los Angeles was like a home game for us, prob- ably 70 percent Michi- gan fans, 30 percent for the other three teams. "I got a chance to min- gle with some fans from Florida and others from all over the country. It was great, just extra moti- vation to know I'm going to be part of something like this, to keep the leg- acy going and try to get back there … and win it." He continues to put long hours in at the gym in preparation, six days a week of going as hard as he can with one day of rest. "We all talk," he said of the five-man incom- i n g f re s h m a n c l a s s . "We're going to be ready to go." Judging by how far as he's come already, no- body should doubt it. ❏ DeJulius averaged 26.3 points, 8.1 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game as a senior while shooting 42.0 percent from three-point range. PHOTO BY BRANDEN HUNTER DeJulius on John Beilein aiding his improvement as a player "He gave me a few tips and shot pointers, and it really motivated me knowing the Michigan coach wanted to give me tips he wanted to see in my game. I implemented them, and it affected my shot dramatically."

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