2017 three-star point guard and Michigan signee Eli Brooks is a mere handful of months away from departing his home state of Pennsylvania to attend Michigan as a freshman.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound guard was the leader of his high school team (Spring Grove HS, Pa.) and says, considering how much the team lost from a season ago, exceeded expectations before ultimately falling short of the goal that he wanted.
"I think we accomplished a lot more than what people gave us from the start," Brooks said. "Honestly, I wanted to win another county championship but we fell two games short. I think we accomplished more than what people gave us from the beginning based off what we lost from last year. I know from my aspect I missed out on winning
Brooks enters a position where a long line of successful point guards have come and gone from the program with the latest being Derrick Walton Jr., who blossomed into a playmaker for the Wolverines down the stretch this season. For Brooks, he will be looking to play a similar role when his number is called.
He says that he is impressed with the way the U-M coaching staff develops players and feels like he is an excellent fit in the system.
"I think [Beilein] lets his players play but it's within a system for sure," Brooks said. "Just the way that Derrick improved his skills from freshman year to senior year and just the confidence that he gained, just the player development Coach Beilein has with all of his players. Where they start from and where they finish is amazing...You need a high IQ to play in Beilein's system so I think I have a high IQ being
Brooks enters a situation where the starting point guard position is certainly up for grabs. He will be in the midst of a fierce battle for minutes against sophomore-to-be Xavier Simpson.
While there are no guarantees in life, Brooks will be entering campus with the mindset that he will be going for the starting role.
"You kind of have to have that mindset [to aim for the starting role]," Brooks said. "Even if you don't get the starting position you just have to push the people that are in front of you. I think that's a good mindset to have for any freshman but I think I can make a push for a starting spot. If I don't, I will be pushing [Xavier Simpson] even harder."
The coaches have similar plans for Brooks as well. Not only do they want him to push Xavier Simpson with competition, they want Brooks to enter U-M with the mindset that he will be in serious competition for the starting spot.
"Just look to start," Brooks said. "Try to get stronger right now and tighten up the handles a little bit."