Michigan Wolverines: Carlton Brundidge

Carlton Brundidge has a new home -- and it is one he is very comfortable with.

The former Michigan guard decided to transfer to the University of Detroit, where he will be eligible for the 2013-14 season and have three years left to play.

Part of the reason for his decision is the familiarity he had with the coaching staff and the Titans’ best player, point guard Ray McCallum Jr.

“As soon as I got out of school, little Ray started calling me,” Brundidge said late Thursday night. “He’s been on me about it and I said I’d give them a look and I just loved it. Me and my dad and my mom and my godfather all said it was a good fit.”

In addition to the McCallums, Brundidge has known Detroit assistant Carlos Briggs since he was in seventh grade. So the combination of knowing he would be playing for a staff he trusts, combined with the familiarity with the school and coaches, made it an easy fit.

Plus, Brundidge said, Detroit’s style of play fits what he has been looking for. That is something the elder McCallum stressed to him.

“Basically do what I did in high school; that’s what he told me,” Brundidge said. “Playing myself, doing what I want to do. I’m 6-2 but I play like I’m 6-6. That’s what he said he loved about me, that I’m fearless. Playing the one and the two.”

The No. 75 player in the Class of 2011, Brundidge averaged 0.4 points and 0.5 rebounds in 2.9 minutes a game last season off the bench for Michigan.

Brundidge said Valparaiso, Oakland, Central Michigan and Bowling Green also expressed interest, but he felt happiest at the school that ended up being close to his Southfield, Mich., home.

“I’m happier, actually,” Brundidge said. “Really happy. It is a relief also. I finally picked a school. I’m also really happy that I’m going to a school that is one that would work for me.”

Brundidge joins Evan Smotrycz, who transferred to Maryland, and Colton Christian, who transferred to Florida International, as players who found new homes after leaving Michigan following the 2011-12 season.
The Michigan theme of recruiting basketball players who are fast risers in the rankings has continued.

Last season, the Wolverines had no players in the Super 60 for the Class of 2013. Now, with the ESPN 100 released Thursday, three of Michigan’s four verbal commits have made the rankings, along with a fourth player the school is targeting.

The Michigan portion of the list is headlined by point guard Derrick Walton (Detroit/Chandler Park Academy), who went from unrated in the Super 60 to the No. 39 player in the nation in the initial ESPN 100.

Basketball banquet roundup 

April, 10, 2012
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After a season in which the Michigan basketball team won a share of the Big Ten title, the Wolverines' end-of-season banquet entitled a "celebration" seemed just that. It was jovial and lighthearted, jokes were made and shots were taken at teammates.

Even Michigan basketball coach John Beilein got in on the action.

While introducing each class he picked on juniors Matt Vogrich and Blake McLimans, telling the crowd both needed to get a hair cut. Later, he looked over at Vogrich and asked, "Have I really never started you? I must not know what I'm doing."

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Of the three players transferring from Michigan, only one showed up at Tuesday night’s Michigan basketball banquet -- forward Colton Christian.

After the banquet, he said he isn’t sure what his next stop is, but he has a working list of around 10 schools he did not want to disclose.

“Most are East Coast schools, a couple Midwest schools and down south because of where I played prep school,” Christian said. “Mostly high mid-major.”

Christian said there were no hard feelings between him and Michigan -- evidenced by his appearance at the banquet and that he was brought up on stage with the rest of his teammates. The other players to transfer, Carlton Brundidge and Evan Smotrycz, did not show, but Christian said they all were invited.

As for his reason to leave, he cited that he wasn’t playing much at Michigan.

“Just get more playing time,” Christian said. “Just go somewhere that I really can make an impact on the court. I felt I helped the team a lot here in practice and all that. Just take the next step and play somewhere else.”

Christian played 47 games in his two seasons at Michigan, averaging 4.3 minutes, 0.6 points and 1 rebound a game. After sitting out the 2012-13 season, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- As Evan Smotrycz, Colton Christian and Carlton Brundidge all search for new schools after deciding to transfer from Michigan, their former head coach, John Beilein, said he wasn’t surprised about their departures.

Then again, he said, he doesn’t get surprised by much.

[+] EnlargeEvan Smotrycz
AP Photo/Carlos OsorioThe production of forward Evan Smotrycz will be missed.
“It’s like coaching a game,” Beilein said in his first public availability since the transfers. “That guy hit a buzzer shot, maybe you’re surprised. I don’t think so. You just know that’s part of the game and part of my job as a coach is to try and be ready for everything.

“It’s changing now more than ever.”

Beilein said at a meeting of coaches at the Final Four, it was discussed how many players at BCS conference schools either transfer or turn pro by the end of their sophomore years.

So it has taken a bit of continual planning, but nothing that is all that surprising to him anymore.

As for this year’s group -- when asked if he tried to convince any of them to stay, he didn’t say one way or the other.

“We meet with every player at the end of the year,” Beilein said. “We meet with them and if transfers are going to happen, we don’t want them to happen in June or July or August when we can’t get anyone in their place.

“We have heart-to-heart talks with them, want everyone to stay, but we expect everyone is going to leave for different reasons and that’s part of the game.”

Already, Michigan has worked on replacements. The Wolverines received a verbal commitment Friday from point guard Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon) and are expected to have guard Amedeo Della Valle (Las Vegas/Findlay Prep) visit this weekend.

And of course, the Wolverines also retained their starting point guard, Trey Burke, who announced Monday he will come back to Michigan for his sophomore season.

Michigan roundtable 

March, 22, 2012
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Denard Robinson/Devin GardnerAP Photo/Carlos OsorioDevin Gardner could find himself on the receiving end from Denard Robinson this season.
Michigan men's basketball is over but spring football is just heating up -- along with the spring weather.

Also, Michigan is almost two-thirds of the way to picking up its full load for the Class of 2013 in football -- something fairly remarkable.

All that considered, Chantel Jennings, Michael Rothstein and Tom VanHaaren discuss issues surrounding the Wolverines.

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Where Michigan hoops goes now 

March, 21, 2012
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The Michigan basketball roster had a major overhaul Wednesday afternoon when sophomores Evan Smotrycz and Colton Christian along with freshman Carlton Brundidge decided to transfer.

This is a big shift for a program that had been trending upward the past few seasons. It loses a former starter in Smotrycz and someone who was looked at as a likely backup point guard to Trey Burke in Brundidge.

It also leaves Michigan with more holes to fill than it had 24 hours ago. Here's the immediate aftermath:

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Michigan sophomore forward Jon Horford is officially done for the season.

John Beilein, the fifth-year Michigan men's basketball coach, said Horford will continue to work out and rehabilitate the stress fracture suffered in his right foot in December, but he will not play in a game again this season.

"We're working him hard in the halfcourt, thinking about the future," Beilein said. "I don't think it makes much sense (to play him). I don't think it's fair to him."

This will preserve a potential medical redshirt for Horford -- and also goes along with the Grand Ledge, Mich. native's wishes. Horford told WolverineNation four weeks ago he did not plan to play again this season unless the coaches approached him and asked him to.

He felt he had missed too much time and wanted to save the year -- combined with the fact that he still wasn't completely healthy.

Meanwhile, freshman guard Carlton Brundidge seems closer to being available. He practiced fully Thursday for the first time in almost a month and expects him to be able to play Saturday against Purdue.

"He was sick before our last trip, had an upper respiratory infection before our last trip so we didn't take him," Beilein said. "But he practiced well yesterday."

Brundidge was initially sidelined with asthma-related issues.

Quick hits from Beilein presser

February, 17, 2012
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Michigan basketball coach John Beilein just finished up his press availability before the No. 19 Wolverines face No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday night at 9 p.m. on ESPN, part of the College GameDay coming to Ann Arbor, Mich. this weekend.

The highlights, as always, are in easy to read bullet form:

(Read full post)

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein, senior guard Stu Douglass and redshirt sophomore Jordan Morgan met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the 25th-ranked Wolverines' game with Nebraska on Wednesday.

Beilein:

  • ON VISITING NEBRASKA FOR THE FIRST TIME: Beilein said he has never been to the state, hasn't faced Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, nor has he seen any of the Nebraska players play AAU. "When you play Michigan State, you have to be careful -- you know all their players, you know their coaches, you have to be careful you don't take things for granted," Beilein said. "This one's fresh. … There's no comfort in that."
  • ON SOPHOMORE GUARD TIM HARDAWAY JR.'S PREPARATION: Beilein said they watch film and talk about everything from body language to his stat line. Beilein said Hardaway Jr. has been very receptive. "He has to continue to work at, 'What is the right play at the right time,' and let the game come to him a bit more," Beilein said. "I hate to see him turn down an open shot."

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Michigan coach John Beilein and Nebraska coach Doc Sadler called in to the Big Ten teleconference on Monday. Here are some of the points they touched on in bullet-point form.



Beilein:

  • ON IN-CONFERENCE BYE WEEKS: The Wolverines will have a bye week after their matchup with Illinois on Sunday. Beilein has voiced his unhappiness with bye weeks before. "I don’t know if we should have any byes now that we have 12 teams," Beilein said. "Let's just play every Wednesday, Saturday or whatever it is." He said he doesn't like clusters when the team plays every three days, for a few weeks, but he also said he thinks the conference shouldn’t start until January. This season the Wolverines' Big Ten play started Dec. 29.
  • ON THE LAST SIX GAMES: The Wolverines went 3-3 while playing four games away from Crisler Arena. Two of their wins were against ranked opponents and two of their losses came against ranked opponents. "It could've been better, but it could've been worse too," Beilein said. "We were very fortunate to win some away games. The challenge as they come up, winning on the road in this league with anybody, let alone the top teams in this league is very difficult."

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3-pointers: Michigan 68, Indiana 56 F 

February, 1, 2012
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- This was a game that Michigan would not have won last season. Blowing a 20-point lead against a talented team at home and needing to make free throws down the stretch, Michigan would have lost.

This season, however, the Wolverines are much more capable of being able to deal with an opponent’s elongated run and then come back to finish off the game, like No. 22 Michigan did on Wednesday in a 68-56 win over No. 20 Indiana.

“I don’t know,” senior guard Stu Douglass said. “If we would have missed our free throws, yeah, we would have lost this game. But right about now, we started to make our turnaround and started to get tougher mentally, but if we would have missed those free throws, yeah, it would have been a lot tougher.”

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Update on Horford and Akunne

January, 27, 2012
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After two-and-a-half seasons where Michigan has been mostly healthy save for a lingering hamstring issue for Manny Harris and nicks and bruises to other players, the Wolverines are starting to be hit with injuries.

And just as Michigan looks like it might get one player -- Jon Horford -- back from a stress fracture in his right foot, another -- Eso Akunne -- went down with an injury to his left foot.

Michigan coach John Beilein said Friday he would have Horford, a sophomore forward who has missed the past six-plus weeks with the stress fracture, go full-go in practice Friday.

"We may give him a breather here or there but we all found out that playing in practice and being in a water tank running is very different," Beilein said. "He’s got to feel comfortable and have to play at a really high level in practice for us to say ‘Hey, let’s burn this medical redshirt.’"

Beilein wouldn't commit to playing Horford on Sunday against Ohio State -- and from the way he made it sound, it will be a game-by-game decision the rest of the season until the Wolverines actually put him in a game.

Meanwhile, Akunne was scheduled to have surgery on his left foot Friday after injuring it during the first half against Purdue. While the junior guard only played sparingly, he had been inching his way into the rotation.

"Eso had really been playing well in practice, that’s why that was so disappointing," Beilein said. "He had been making in-roads. I had put him in in the first half. So now it is Matt Vogrich and Carlton (Brundidge), unfortunately there is a perimeter guard who is out for most of the season if not all of it.

"As a result, those two, they have more opportunities now."

Beilein said Vogrich has been working on handling the ball more, but he has played sparingly this season after being one of Michigan's top 3-point threats a season ago. This year, he has made just 7 of 31 3-pointers -- and only three 3-pointers in Big Ten play.

3-pointers: Michigan 66, Purdue 64 

January, 24, 2012
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Watching Michigan games this season is a lesson in patience, stomach-churning and understanding that a game essentially is going to come down to the final shot.

In a game No. 22 Michigan needed, however, the Wolverines picked up its first true road win of the season Tuesday, knocking off Purdue, 66-64, after a 35-foot heave at the buzzer missed badly.


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Brundidge gaining more minutes 

December, 20, 2011
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It is different than Carlton Brundidge expected, harder than he thought it would be actually. When the freshman guard arrived in Ann Arbor, Mich., from nearby Southfield, he thought he'd have a chance to play.

What he didn't anticipate was how difficult the transition would be.

School was more difficult. So was the speed of the college game. There was also another transition he expected, but still takes getting used to.

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