It was all but a done deal for New Jersey native Eli Brooks, or so we thought. The soon to be Spring Grove High School senior looked like he was all but ready to sign his scholarship offer with the Villanova Wildcats. Late Tuesday night Wolverines fans found out that was no longer the case, as they were about to add their second prospect to their 2017 class.
Brooks has been one of the top risers on the recruiting scene of late. While he is not ranked by many of the national recruiting services (247Sports has him as a four-star recruit), his rising stock is exemplified by his offers from big schools such as Villanova, Ohio State and North Carolina State. The 6'1" guard is one of the most sought after players to come out of his school and is Spring Grove's All-Time points leader with 1,525 points in his still young tenure. In his junior season Brooks was named to the PIAA Class AAAA First Team after averaging 25 points per game and leading the league with 79 three pointers.
Brooks is widely regarded as a leader. Playing point guard at the high school and AAU levels, Brooks is known for his ability to run a team. His tape also shows his ability to score, with his jump shot developing into a weapon. Defensively he lacks some foot work and can often get blown by. While he is not a liability guarding the perimeter, his lateral quickness is lacking.
The skill set of Brooks profiles to fit well with the role he will have to play at Michigan. With a large back-court turnover coming after the 2016 season, Brooks will likely back up at the point for Xaiver Simpson. Brooks becomes valuable because his shooting and leadership abilities should help fill some of the void left by the departure of Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr. He will fit into the back court rotation of Simpson, Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahman, Charles Matthews, Ibi Watson and Jordan Poole.
Eli Brooks joins Jordan Poole as the second player to join the 2017 class. The Wolverines now have two scholarships left for next season. After their first two were spent on guards, the focus will likely shift to recruiting combo forwards and players for the wing. In BT Powerhouse's mid-July recruiting update, the Wolverines were said to be recruiting players for their back court who will likely no longer be on their radar.