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Wake Forest transfer Chaundee Brown commits to Michigan

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Michigan’s late push for Wake Forest transfer Chaundee Brown has paid off.

Brown announced in an Instagram post on Tuesday that he’ll be heading to Ann Arbor to finish his career with the Wolverines.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound guard added Michigan as a possible destination last week after he had previously cut his recruitment down to Gonzaga, Illinois, Iowa State and LSU. He reportedly trimmed his final list to the Bulldogs, Illini and Wolverines before making his decision.

Chaundee Brown

“I just feel like Michigan was the best fit for me personally," Brown told Rivals.com. “Juwan Howard, Coach (Saddi) Washington, Coach (Howard) Eisley and Coach (Phil) Martelli all came after me hard. I've been talking to them a lot, watching a lot of film and I see a fit and need for somebody like me."

Brown was productive during his three years at Wake Forest and averaged a career-high 12.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting a career-best 45.6% from the field last season. One of his best performances came against Duke when he recorded 24 points and nine rebounds in a double-overtime win. He played in 23 games, with 15 starts, but missed eight contests with ankle and calf injuries.

Brown, a former top-40 recruit out of Orlando, Florida, saw his offensive numbers improve year by year with the Demon Deacons. Over 84 games, he averaged 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds, shot 32.8% from 3-point range and made 73 starts for a program that went 35-58 during his career.

“It was really important for me to go somewhere that I can win," Brown told Rivals.com. "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."

Barring a waiver or NCAA rule change, Brown has one year of eligibility remaining and would have to sit out next season. He entered the transfer portal on April 15, 10 days before Wake Forest fired head coach Danny Manning.

Brown told Rivals.com he plans to file a waiver request to gain eligibility for next season but “wouldn’t be mad” if it’s not granted.

"I just have to do what I’m going to do. But I’m pretty much 100% sure that I’ll get the waiver, so I’m not too concerned,” he said.

If Brown is able to play in 2020-21, he would provide needed depth after Michigan lost guards David DeJulius and Cole Bajema to the transfer portal and missed out on five-star guard Josh Christopher. He would also step in and likely see significant minutes by playing a variety of roles at the two and three.

If Brown must sit out next season, he’ll give the Wolverines a veteran presence on a young roster that could lack starting experience in 2021-22, especially in the backcourt. Michigan will lose perimeter players Mike Smith, Eli Brooks and Isaiah Livers — if he withdraws from the NBA Draft — after the 2020-21 season. Franz Wagner could very well join that group if he decides to leave early to go pro.

Brown is the third transfer Michigan has landed this offseason. The Wolverines have already added Smith, a graduate transfer from Columbia who is immediately eligible, and Purdue wing Nojel Eastern, a sit-out transfer. However, Michigan has yet to officially recognize the addition of Eastern, who announced his commitment last week.

As it stands, Brown would be the final piece for Michigan’s 2020-21 roster and would take up the last available scholarship, barring anymore departures.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins