By Ryan Houlihan – June 16, 2020
Back in April, the Michigan Basketball program lost out on five stars Josh Christopher and Isaiah Todd in less than 12 hours. Christopher stunned the college basketball world by choosing Arizona State over the heavily favored Wolverines, while Todd decommitted and turned pro soon after.
Head coach Juwan Howard has rebounded nicely since then, picking up Mike Smith and former Boilermaker Nojel Eastern from the transfer market. His efforts to fill the available scholarships for next season have now been completed as former Wake Forest guard Chaundee Brown announced his decision to transfer to Michigan.
Michigan beat out the likes of Gonzaga and Illinois for the services of Brown, who told Rivals, “I just feel like Michigan was the best fit for me personally. It was really important for me to go somewhere that I can win. I feel like we can do that there. I want to win most of all, that’s my only goal. I feel after this last year they showed that they can win, and I feel they will help get me better.”
Brown was a three-year starter at Wake Forest under coach Danny Manning, who was fired in April. This past season, Brown put up averages of 12.1 ppg and 6.5 rpg, while shooting 45% from the field and 32% from deep.
A former top 40 recruit in the class of 2017, Brown is known for his physicality. He plays much bigger than his 6’5” and 220 lb frame, which allows him to fit into multiple positions. Listed as a shooting guard, Brown spent a majority of his time at the three and even spent some time at the four in some of Wake Forest’s small ball lineups last season.
Offensively, Brown is a streaky shooter from the outside (32 career 3pt %) but has a polished midrange game. Playing mostly off the ball, Brown is at his best when he is playing downhill and attacking the rim.
Brian Cook of MGoBlog described Brown’s offensive game, saying, “He’s an opportunistic offensive player who will drive to the basket off closeouts or scramble situations; he’s very good at identifying spots where he might be able to grab an OREB and regularly attempts to chase them down.”
Defensively, Brown is a solid on-ball defender who is capable of guarding multiple positions with his physicality. Brown is also very active on the glass and finished this past conference season 7th in defensive rebounding rate in the ACC.
Manning spoke with the Michigan Insider and gave his thoughts on Brown, saying, “He was a very highly-ranked high school kid. He has a tremendous body on him. Very gifted in that aspect, put together really well. Has a level of physicality he walked in the door with and that’s going to continue to improve. For us, he was a three-year starter. His scoring average increased each and every year. Defensively, he gave me the ability to do some different things. He had the defensive presence to switch on to smaller guys and bigger guys. Offensively, he can make his shot from behind the line. Goes to the offensive glass very, very well. Was a good piece to have on your team because of the different ways he could score the ball.”
The junior will have one year of eligibility left, and, though a traditional transfer, he is optimistic he can suit up next year for the Wolverines. He does have a fairly strong case for immediate eligibility due to the firing of Manning in April. There is also the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic could create a blanket waiver for all transfers.
Regardless, he will provide much needed depth and experience to Michigan’s roster. The Wolverines can now experiment with a variety of different lineups with the addition of Brown’s versatility.
With the addition of Brown, Michigan has now filled their last scholarship opening for the 2020-2021 season. The offseason is still far from over as Isaiah Livers could potentially stay in the NBA Draft and rumors about new transfer Eastern going overseas if he does not receive immediate eligibility are present.
*See the chart below for Michigan’s current scholarship situation. Note: Assuming that Nojel Eastern and Chaundee Brown are not immediately eligible*