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Nimari Burnett wants to be a ‘big impact guy’ for Michigan Basketball

A look at Burnett’s first comments since joining the Wolverines.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Florida Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Nimari Burnett’s collegiate journey has been long and winding.

The former McDonald’s All-American started his career out at Texas Tech in 2020, transferred to Alabama following his freshman season, and has now transferred from Bama to Michigan.

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard missed the entire 2021-22 season after suffering a torn ACL. Burnett missed time this past season with a wrist injury, but Burnett played in 27 games (started 9) and averaged 5.6 points per game.

Burnett said he’s “going from one great school to another great school” and his reason for transferring wasn’t anything negative related to the Alabama program.

“You came into this situation to better yourself as a player and as a person,” Burnett explained. “Although I have done that, I do think I can get even better in a better situation.”

According to Burnett, there were 15 to 20 teams in the mix after he entered the portal with “a couple of really good options”. He chose Michigan because of Juwan Howard and wanting to go somewhere he could win.

“Knowing Juwan Howard, knowing the roster structure there, and knowing the type of culture that he has there,” Burnett told The Next Round.

Burnett says he wants to “be part of the come up” at Michigan after a down season where the team went 18-16 and didn’t make the cut for the NCAA Tournament.

Burnett and Alabama were in the NCAA Tournament — the Crimson Tide was a No. 1 seed and made it to the Sweet 16. Burnett’s best game in the tournament came in the first round against No. 16 Texas A&M- Corpus Christi where had 11 points and was 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

Michigan and Burnett will push to get back to the NCAA Tournament in the 2023-24 season. The Michigan roster and playoff prospects could look a lot different next March. And it all starts with players like Burnett who are committing with winning on their mind.

“I’m a winner, and I want to be a part of winning at the same time as being a big impact guy,” Burnett said. “It was a great decision, a familiar team, a familiar coach.”