The Michigan basketball program received a second dose of good news Friday when Wake Forest transfer Chaundee Brown received a waiver for immediate eligibility this season, Michigan announced Friday. Brown was a three-year starter for the Demon Deacons and figures to play a key role for the Wolverines this season after averaging 12.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in the ACC last season.
News of Brown's waiver came just hours after second-year coach Juwan Howard landed a commitment from five-star prospect Caleb Houstan, a power forward and the No. 8 overall player in the class of 2021 according to the 247Sports Composite.
"First and foremost, whew! I am so thankful and truly blessed for the NCAA, the Big Ten, Michigan and Coach (Juwan) Howard for giving me this opportunity," Brown said in a statement. "I also want to thank Wake Forest, Coach (Danny) Manning and all the administrators and fans in Winston-Salem (N.C.) for giving me three unforgettable years. While it took some time, and while I was prepared for any outcome, you cannot believe the smile and how grateful I am.
"Since my arrival in Ann Arbor, I have been welcomed with open arms. I was ready to do whatever I could to help us succeed either on or off the court. All I know is I cannot wait to put that maize-and-blue jersey on and play with this group of guys."
Howard was due for a break after a disappointing offseason that included longtime class of 2020 commitment Isaiah Todd choosing to sign with the G League Pathway Program instead of the Wolverines. Michigan also lost out on longtime five-star target Joshua Christopher, who surprised many in college basketball when he committed to Arizona State instead of Michigan.
"We are indebted to everyone involved in this process,"Howard said. "From Warde (Manuel) to Elizabeth (Heinrich) and to everyone at Wake Forest, we are appreciative. We are certainly in unprecedented times; however, having a player with Chaundee's experiences, skill set and leadership only adds to our versatility and depth this season."
Brown also considered Gonzaga and Illinois after deciding to transfer from Wake Forest. Though his 6-foot-5 frame and official listing as a guard suggest otherwise, Brown's top attribute may be his ability as a rebounder, which should make him valuable in Michigan's rotation. The Wolverines lost last year's top rebounder, Jon Teske, to graduation and weren't a great rebounding team as they posted a 19-12 (10-10 Big Ten) record in Howard's first season. Brown finished second on the team in rebounding at Wake Forest last season.