Ignas Brazdeikis knew it all along, just as most people who cover prep basketball recruiting knew it …
He was a perfect fit for Michigan and head coach John Beilein.
The four-star Canadian — he’d be a top 40 prospect if he played in the United States, Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi said — just needed a little time to pull the trigger.
When he did, committing to the Wolverines Sept. 22, he felt a wave of emotion.
“I’m super happy,” he said.
“It was the perfect fit. Even before Michigan ever recruited me, I always thought it would be a perfect fit watching them play on TV. It is a dream school, and being committed now is unreal. The connection I built with the coaches and players was very strong, and I felt like home when I visited.”
Pictures of him with U-M pledges David DeJulius, a four-star point guard out of Detroit, and East Lansing (Mich.) four-star forward Brandon Johns surfaced after his visit, one that went so well a few weeks ago that he said he had to ‘soak it in.’
It seemed like a pledge was inevitable, but Vanderbilt, for one, put up a fight. Coach Bryce Drew sent his whole staff on an in-home visit, and it gave him something to think about. Florida was also on his list.
Michigan, though, had too much going for it. Brazdeikis is friends with Nik Stauskas, a former Wolverine now with the Philadelphia 76ers, and saw what Beilein did for his game. It’s close enough to home that his family can drive to see him play, and the education, of course, is top notch.
Stauskas has predicted Brazdeikis will be a pro … it’s only a matter of time. Bossi foresees some great games ahead in maize and blue first.
“It sure seems like a perfect fit in terms of what he and Michigan do well,” Bossi said. “I think he’s skilled, can score and all that, but I think how tough and how competitive he is has really been kind of undersold and understated at this point.”
Much the way Stauskas’ was after he arrived at Michigan.
Brazdeikis put up a handful of 50-point games this summer and averaged 22.4 points for AAU CIA Bounce. He is a lefty shooter with great range, and though he only made 30 percent of his triples this summer, he’s an outstanding shooter.
“A lot of that is shot selection,” Bossi said. “Also, he’s a scorer. One of those guys that’s going to keep shooting on days that are not going so well for him.
“He’s a very good athlete, knows how to play, and I think he’s a great pick-up.”
Brazdeikis agreed, thrilled to have found his college basketball home.
“Every box that I had was checked, and it is the perfect place for me,” he said.
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