Michigan guard David DeJulius enters NCAA transfer portal

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

When David DeJulius arrived in Ann Arbor, he was viewed as Michigan’s point guard of the future.

But that vision likely won’t come to fruition as the sophomore plans to enter the transfer portal, the program announced on Monday afternoon.

Michigan guard David DeJulius will enter the transfer portal, the program announced Monday.

The Detroit native played in all 31 games last season and averaged seven points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.9 minutes as a key reserve. He shot 41.7% from the field, including 36.1% on 3-pointers, and made one start.

DeJulius saw his role expand under coach Juwan Howard after he struggled to crack the rotation as a freshman and averaged 3.8 minutes in 25 appearances under former coach John Beilein, who recruited him.

While playing behind starting guards Zavier Simpson and Eli Brooks, DeJulius packed an offensive punch off the bench and impacted numerous contests with his scoring ability. He recorded at least 10 points in 11 games, highlighted by his career-high 20-point performance in the regular-season finale at Maryland.

DeJulius spent time at both guard spots but saw most of his minutes off the ball at the two. He had a couple of extended opportunities to run the offense — at Northwestern with Simpson in foul trouble and at Nebraska with Simpson serving a one-game suspension — and it yielded mixed results.

With Simpson graduating, DeJulius was a potential successor and expected to compete for the starting point guard job this offseason. But with DeJulius’ departure, the Wolverines are now left with two scholarship guards on the roster in Brooks, a senior-to-be, and incoming freshman Zeb Jackson, a four-star recruit.

Michigan is also pursuing a pair of Ivy League grad transfer point guards — Harvard’s Bryce Aiken and Columbia’s Mike Smith — and is in the mix for five-star guard Joshua Christopher.

Even though DeJulius could still return to Michigan after entering his name into the transfer portal, that seems unlikely given the team’s scholarship situation. Without DeJulius, the Wolverines are at the allotted limit of 13 scholarships for next season, with eight returning players and five incoming freshmen. Any potential additions would put Michigan back over the limit.

DeJulius starred at East English Village, finished third for the state’s Mr. Basketball award as a senior, and was the first commit in Michigan’s highly touted 2018 five-man recruiting class. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

By Monday night, DeJulius was officially in the transfer portal and other programs wasted little time reaching out. Cincinnati, Marquette, Maryland and Missouri were reportedly among the first ones to contact him, and most of those schools had a local connection.

DeJulius' former high school teammate Greg Elliott plays at Marquette. Former Michigan assistant DeAndre Haynes, who worked with DeJulius and the team's guards two seasons ago, is on Maryland's staff. And Cornell Mann, a metro Detroit native who had coaching stints at Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Oakland, is an assistant at Missouri.


Twitter: @jamesbhawkins