Michigan can scratch Bryce Aiken off its list of possible point guard replacements.
The Harvard graduate transfer announced on Thursday he’ll be returning closer to home and using his final season of eligibility at Seton Hall.
Aiken, a native of Randolph, New Jersey, picked the Pirates over Iowa State, Maryland and Michigan.
“Going into this decision, it was just where my heart lied,” Aiken told The New York Post. “From the first conversation I had with Coach (Kevin) Willard, I knew where I belonged. He has the ultimate confidence in me as a player and really his belief in me is evident more than anything, he knows that I can help them sustain the level they’ve been accustomed to."
Aiken added his familiarity with Seton Hall's program and coaching staff played a "paramount" role in his commitment.
Despite playing only one full season in his four years at Harvard, Aiken was productive when healthy. He averaged 22.2 points in 18 games as a junior after recovering from knee surgery and 16.7 points in seven games last season before suffering a foot injury. He also shot 34.7% from 3-point range during his career with the Crimson.
Aiken, who played at New Jersey powerhouse The Patrick School, was recruited by former coach John Beilein and his staff coming out of high school. However, Aiken couldn’t visit Ann Arbor or any of his other finalists during his recent round of recruitment due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Aiken would’ve provided coach Juwan Howard with an experienced and dynamic scoring option at the point guard spot following Zavier Simpson’s graduation and sophomore David DeJulius’ decision to enter the transfer portal.
Even without Aiken, the Wolverines still have several possible replacements on the roster in senior-to-be Eli Brooks, incoming freshman Zeb Jackson and walk-on Brandon Wade, a Duquesne transfer who could be eligible to play by the fall semester.
Michigan's attention now shifts to Columbia grad transfer Mike Smith, another Ivy League point guard, and five-star guard Joshua Christopher. Smith is ranked No. 11 by ESPN and No. 14 by Stadium among immediately eligible transfers, and Christopher is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the 2020 class.