The Michigan Wolverines basketball program ranks among the top teams in the country today thanks to a powerful and balanced lineup. That includes five starters with varying backgrounds and strong points. These players managed to gel and go undefeated after more than a dozen games early in their season. That has plenty of analysts and fans believing in the Wolverines’ abilities to make a deep run when the NCAA Tournament arrives in March. Here are more details about the starting five that drives this powerful team.
Freshman Ignas “Iggy” Brazdeikis is currently leading the team in scoring with a 16.4 points per game average and was highly-praised coming to the collegiate level this year. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward hails from Kauna, Lithuania and attended Orangeville Prep for his final season. His love of basketball developed from the age of six with a Fisher-Price basketball hoop, per Detroit Free Press. Brazdeikis also had the benefit of mentorship from former Wolverines standout Nik Stauskas, who now plays in the NBA. Based on his talents and hard work, Brazdeikis was ranked at No. 74 among the RSCI Top 100 prospects for 2018 and has been paying dividends for the Wolverines early on.
Also on the starting lineup is Jordan Poole, a sophomore guard who hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Poole first went to the Rufus King High School in Milwaukee until he was a junior before transferring. He’d finish his high school playing days with La Lumiere located in La Porte, Indiana. Poole received offers from the likes of Indiana, Nebraska, Memphis, and Marquette before settling on Michigan. He was considered the No. 21-ranked shooting guard for the class of 2017, giving the Wolverines yet another top quality player for their lineup.
Charles Matthews is the lone senior of the starting five. Matthews attended St. Rita High School in Illinois. Matthews grew up in Chicago and began playing basketball at a YMCA at 63rd and Stony Island. He also had love for chess, skateboarding, hocking, and trombone, but luckily for Wolverines fans, he fell in love with hoops. Matthews started his collegiate career with John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats program in 2015-16 but ultimately transferred to Michigan making this his redshirt season.
Junior Zavier Simpson is 6 feet in height and about 186 pounds and hails from Lima, Ohio. He spent his freshman and sophomore seasons of high school at Lima Central Catholic. He’d transfer to Lima Senior where his father was the head coach. While at the school, his team went undefeated until the OHSAA Division I championship game which they lost.
Simpson racked up plenty of accolades ahead of his eventual commitment to Michigan. They included honors such as 2016 Mr. Ohio Basketball and Ohio Boys Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year. He went to Michigan ranked the No. 12 point guard in the nation and was considered by some to be one of the top 25 freshmen for the 2016-17 class. He currently leads Michigan in assists and steals per game this season.
Last but not least is fellow junior Jon Teske, a seven-footer with an impressive array of skills he honed during high school. It also helps that Teske was born to parents who were both over six feet tall and both played basketball for Grace College in Indiana. He hails from Ohio and played for Medina High School out of Ohio.
When he started out with Medina on the varsity team, Teske was just a 15-year-old freshman at 6-foot-9 and 205 pounds. Two years later, he’d grown to 7-feet tall and was tipping the scales at 230 pounds. During his time with the school, he showed off impressive skills as his team looked towards success in the Greater Cleveland Conference. He also won Medina County boys’ basketball MVP honors, according to a Medina County Lifestyle report.
Teske gave his commitment to Michigan back in August of 2014 and the rest is history. Teske was ranked as the No. 17 center in the 2016 class and No. 142 player for that year nationally. The starting lineup’s center now leads the Wolverines in rebounding with 6.2 per game and blocks with 2.1 per contest. It’s no surprise that these five players have been able to go on an impressive undefeated run to start their season.
Fans of the Michigan Wolverines have been eagerly anticipating each game, whether live in person or on television so they can root on this talented team. With gear from Livnfresh.com, fans are able to show their support with some of the best Michigan apparel available today. Make sure to show your support as the Wolverines continue their push towards March and the Big Dance!