The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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44 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2018   2018 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY CHRIS BALAS B y age 14, many young bas- ketball players are already considered veterans on the AAU circuit. Some programs take kids in fifth grade (or before), allowing them to get a taste of real competition before they even reach puberty. Adrien Nunez was not one of those youngsters. In fact, the 6-5, 205-pound Michigan signee, a Ri- three-star prospect, didn't even start playing organized basket- ball until he was 14 years old, and he only averaged 4.0 points per game as a senior at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Bishop Loughlin before deciding to prep at Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More. He got that opportunity by shoot- ing lights out on the AAU circuit last summer, including one game in which he made nine triples in about 20 minutes. He averaged 14.0 points per game this year in one of the na- tion's top prep conferences, and he'll soon become Michigan head coach John Beilein's latest project. "I was pretty happy with my sea- son," Nunez said. "It was a big jump in basketball when you go to prep school, to that level of competition. "Your game elevates. You have to bring it every night, because you're playing teams with three Division I guys almost every night. It's a much better level of competition, but I felt like I really improved my defense. My shooting got better, too, but it's the little things I really improved on." Many of them were "nuance of the game" type things that only come with experience. Nunez had huge shooting games, including a 24-point outburst in a loss to Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy and 27 in a win over Newport (R.I.) Naval Academy Prep, but head coach Jere Quinn was just as proud of the games in which Nunez defended well or led the team in rebounding. "He's had games where he's been outstanding, and he's played through growing pains in other games," Quinn said this winter. "At this level, there's never a night off when you're not playing against a high-major person. "He's been our leading rebounder a few times, is a big, strong kid who has got to learn to do a bunch of things. Like all young kids, he'll go back to what he's good at [shooting Nunez went from averaging 4.0 points per game during his senior campaign at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Bishop Loughlin to posting 14.0 per contest last year at Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More. PHOTO COURTESY ST. THOMAS MORE SCHOOL Late Bloomer A Relative Newcomer To Basketball, Adrien Nunez Continues To Improve

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