Things have changed in so many ways for Michigan basketball since the abrupt ending of the rollercoaster ride in March to the current events of today’s status.
He’s presumably done that and remains in wait mode to see what the decision of Isaiah Livers turns out to be. Nojel Eastern is the other lone transfer that is still in a precarious predicament as of the moment.
Since committing to Michigan, some believe that Eastern won’t be coming to Ann Arbor after all. His mother had “no comment at this time” on the matter, leading many left to wonder what is happening behind the scenes of that situation. Eastern would provide an always welcome presence on defense. He also has the ball skills of a point guard at 6-foot-7, but never put it all together at Purdue.
Chaundee Brown, on the other hand, could arguably start if he doesn’t have to sit out a year amid the ever-changing NCAA rules. Brown can potentially fill the hole at shooting guard while improving his game yearly at Wake Forest. He’s not a serious outside threat, but former Michigan player Anthony Wright compared him to a Marcus Smart type with a boatload of physicality.
Of course little to none of this had to happen if Josh Christopher committed and Isaiah Todd had not gone pro. Those two, along with David DeJulius had everyone dreaming of a national title run that went awry in the blink of an eye. In defense of that, anything can occur in the snap of a finger and Howard will unquestionably do everything in his power to put his best team out there that he can possibly compete with.
Yet, there are still things up in the air. Whenever the NBA decides to return with their plans is when we’ll all learn of the intentions of what Isaiah Livers will announce. The same might be said for Eastern, who seems to be in a curious state to try to stay within the Big Ten. Purdue’s coach Matt Painter made his sentiments very bluntly about the whole timeline on a recent Dan Dakich podcast.
One factor, that is a likely certainty, pertains to Mike Smith all but being locked in as a starter based on the present developments. Eli Brooks, Franz Wagner, Brandon Johns/Livers, and Austin Davis/Hunter Dickinson are his presumed running mates when the season hopefully tips in November. Whether or not they can suit up immediately, Brown and Eastern make Howard’s second club a probable bet to become an upper-echelon Big Ten contender.