In the months leading up to the 2021-’22 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Eli Brooks of the Michigan Wolverines, who came in No. 17 in the rankings. The Wolverines are hoping to build off last year’s Big Ten title with another NCAA Tournament run this year.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - No. 17 Eli Brooks:
- Eligibility: Redshirt Senior
- Career Totals: 125 games, 2,586 minutes, 722 points, 274 rebounds, 213 assists
- 2020-’21 Averages: 31.1 MPG, 9.5 PPG, 3.1 APG, 3.1 RPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.1 SPG
- Positional Role: Shooting Guard
Wolverine fans weren’t expecting to see Brooks back in the team’s lineup this season. However, thanks to the NCAA’s decision to grant all players an extra “COVID year,” Brooks will get a fifth year in Ann Arbor. He now figures to be a starter and one of the final John Beilein carryovers in Juwan Howard’s third season.
Brooks is a known commodity at this point. He’s a consistent offensive option that can defend at a high level. He’s a quality shooter from deep (39.6 percent) and from the line (90.9 percent) who can drive the hoop as well. During last season, Brooks served as one of the “glue” players for the Wolverines, resolving many of the team’s deficits.
It’s also important to recognize Brooks’ high basketball IQ. He’s an intelligent player who avoids fouls and commits few turnovers. he ranked 31st nationally in fouls committed per 40 minutes and ranked in the top 25 in the league in turnover rate. Both of those numbers are even more impressive when you consider he played 74.5 percent of the team’s minutes.
-Areas for Improvement
For better or worse, Brooks probably doesn’t have much room to grow at this point. He’s a fifth year senior who’s played in 125 games during his career. He “is who he is” at this point in his career. That means a high floor, but probably not a high ceiling.
However, there are a few areas where Brooks can polish his game. In particular, he should be looking to improve his passing this season. DeVante’ Jones will be Michigan’s primary ball handler this season, but Brooks should be able to make a mark as well. Even another assist or two would open things up even further for Michigan’s offense.
Michigan enters this season with some lofty expectations. The Wolverines are serious Big Ten title contenders and are ranked second nationally in KenPom’s preseason rankings. This figures to be a loaded team and Brooks will be a key part of it.
Expect Brooks to make his mark again as a “glue” guy for the Wolverines, playing quality defense and hitting big shots when needed most. If all goes right, he should have a legitimate shot at some All-Big Ten honors.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-27 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
- #24 - Donta Scott (Maryland)
- #22 - Justice Sueing (Ohio State)
- #22 - Max Christie (Michigan State)
- #20 - Miller Kopp (Indiana)
- #20 - Connor McCaffery (Iowa)
- #19 - Zach Edey (Purdue)
- #18 - Tyson Walker (Michigan State)
- #17 - Eli Brooks (Michigan)
- # 16 - To Be Continued ...