Michigan basketball has added Purdue transfer and defensive star Nojel Eastern
Eastern spent the last three seasons at Big Ten rival Purdue and is not a graduate transfer, meaning he would need to get a waiver to play during the upcoming season. Otherwise, he would sit out 2020-21 and play his last season of college eligibility in 2021-22.
Purdue announced just two days ago that Eastern had entered the transfer portal. He committed to Michigan at 12:31 p.m. Thursday via Twitter.
Eastern played in several big games against Michigan, including the 2018 Big Ten Tournament championship game, when the Wolverines knocked off the Boilermakers at Madison Square Garden.
He was just a freshmen at the time, but Eastern played in 37 games off the bench and helped Purdue reach the Sweet 16.
As a starter, Eastern was a critical component of Purdue’s Elite Eight run in 2019. Eventual champion Virginia needed a miracle to come back and beat Purdue, which would have advanced to the Final Four.
Eastern averaged 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a sophomore, but his modest offensive output plummeted last season.
In 31 games, Eastern averaged just 4.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 42% from the field and 48.5% from the free-throw line.
Eastern is a decent rebounder and one of the best defensive players in the conference. The 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward was named to the Big Ten’s All-Defensive Team the last two seasons.