The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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42 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2018   2018 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY JOHN BORTON B randon Johns loved every minute of Michigan's ram- page to the national title game this year. He sees no reason to let off the gas. Given those returning and a top- 10 recruiting class heading to Ann Arbor, Johns quickly picked up on John Beilein's mantra throughout the NCAA Tournament: Why not us? "It was a lot of motivation for me, personally," the 6-8, 205-pound for- ward noted. "Next year, with the in- coming freshmen and the team that's already going to be there, we could possibly do the same thing, get to that same spot and maybe have a different outcome." Johns already decided upon a dif- ferent outcome than many in his hometown of East Lansing dreamed about. Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo recruited the lanky forward since his seventh-grade season, and for good reason. Beilein, Izzo and a host of other top- flight coaches saw Johns developing into a player capable of averaging 28.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 2.4 assists per game as a senior at East Lansing (Mich.) High. Johns led the Trojans to a 22-4 record and the quarterfinals of the Class A state tournament. A four-year varsity starter, Johns averaged 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks for a 24-1 squad as a junior en route to being named the Associated Press Class A Player of the Year. He averaged 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in a 23-1 sophomore season, and 16.0 and 10.0 as a freshman. He made USA Today's 2017-18 All- USA first team for Michigan, while earning Associated Press All-State honors three years in a row. The De- troit Free Press named Johns to its All- State first team three straight seasons, while The Detroit News included him on its Dream Team (all classifications) in 2017 and 2018, after naming him first-team All-State in 2016. listed Johns as the No. 14 power forward and No. 58 overall player in the nation. Beyond the num- bers, Lansing radio personality Tom Crawford — who has watched Johns perform for years — noted the Wol- verines are getting someone special. "Brandon is a kid who I would con- sider a quick learner," Crawford said. "He's got a great basketball mind. He studies the game. He works extremely hard. He's always working on his game, improving. HIS OWN MAN Brandon Johns Fast Breaks From East Lansing To Ann Arbor rates Johns as the No. 14 power forward and No. 58 overall player in the class of 2018. PHOTO COURTESY HAVILAH JOHNS

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