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Daily Brews: Michigan finishes third in 2020-21 Directors’ Cup

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This is Michigan’s fifth top-five finish since 2015-16.

2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Gymnastics Championship Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Michigan finished third in the 2020-21 Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup final standings, a measurement of overall athletic department success. The scoring system grants points to schools based on final rankings in each sport.

Each institution’s top 19 sports are counted, with men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and volleyball all required to factor in. The Wolverines scored Directors’ Cup points in 18 sports, including 10 top-10 national finishes. That list was highlighted by a national championship in women’s gymnastics — the first in program history. Texas won the Directors’ Cup, as Stanford, Michigan, North Carolina and Florida rounded out the top five.

Michigan finished first among Big Ten schools, as only Ohio State (No. 9) joined the Wolverines in the top 10. No other school in the conference ranked in the top 25, but Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Penn State all cracked the top 40. The SEC had the most top-25 athletic departments with eight.

Michigan’s third-place finish marks the Wolverines’ fifth top-five finish since 2015-16. Under Warde Manuel, Michigan’s athletic department has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best.

Michigan misses Jalen Duren’s list cut

Five-star center Jalen Duren, the No. 1 overall basketball recruit in the 2022 class, eliminated Michigan from consideration on Friday. He announced a top five of Memphis, Kentucky, Miami, the G League and Australia’s NBL.

After recently unseating Emoni Bates as the top 2022 prospect, Duren began taking official visits to college campuses this summer. His current 247Sports crystal ball favors the pro route. Duren didn’t make his way to Ann Arbor, signaling the end of the Wolverines’ chances in this race. It’s considered unlikely Hunter Dickinson will be in Ann Arbor beyond this upcoming season, making the center position a major priority for Juwan Howard’s 2022 recruiting class.

As of now, 2022 centers Donovan Clingan, Tarris Reed and Dereck Lively sit atop the Wolverines’ recruiting board. The latter two have already officially visited campus, though Clingan has since received a 247Sports crystal ball prediction in favor of UConn.

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