The last of our Michigan Wolverines player profiles looks at junior guard Adrien Nunez, who could wind up being a nice surprise off the bench this season on a team that could use some depth at guard.
Here’s a look at his career so far at Michigan and how he fits in this year’s lineup.
The Story So Far
Nunez, who has switched his jersey number from No. 5 to No. 0 ahead of this season, was a three-star recruit coming out of high school in the 2018 class, per the 247Sports Composite. The outlet also rated him as the No. 305 player in the country and 62nd-ranked shooting guard as one of the five members of John Beilein’s final full recruiting class at Michigan.
Nunez was never a player that projected to get a ton of run early in his college career, but he did play in 20 games his freshman season (2 minutes per game) and was part of a team that went 30-7 and went to the Sweet Sixteen in 2018-19. His sophomore season saw him start the first four games of the year with Franz Wagner dealing with a wrist injury and he played in 22 games overall prior to the season being cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though, his role would dwindle as the season went on and he averaged 7.5 minutes per game.
How he fits in 2020-21
Known as a shooter coming out of high school, Nunez has struggled to put the ball in the past as a Wolverine. He has hit only 17 of his 65 shot attempts (26.2 percent) since arriving at Michigan. The shot is far from broken and he does have a nice shooting stroke, but the ball simply has not gone through the basket consistently when he has been given a shot to get on the floor and give the team some good, quality minutes.
Some people were surprised to see him elect to return for his junior season, but there is not a ton of proven depth at guard and if someone gets into foul trouble he is going to have to be ready to play. With Mike Smith, Eli Brooks, Chaundee Brown, Zeb Jackson and Franz Wagner all players that have the ability to play the two (with Brown and Wagner also being able to play the three), the opportunities might not be aplenty for Nunez. But if he is able to bring energy defensively and knock down some shots, he could wind up being a pleasant surprise similar to how Austin Davis was last season.
Nunez came back to Michigan to compete for minutes and help the team win. In a crazy year where your number could be called at any time, he should have the chance to do that.