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Michigan basketball lands Purdue transfer Nojel Eastern

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Michigan picks up a big commitment from a fellow Big Ten program.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines have landed a big name on the transfer market. Purdue’s Nojel Eastern, who entered the portal on Tuesday, has committed to the program, according to his Twitter page.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound guard averaged 4.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists last year for the Boilermakers. He was a two-year starter at Purdue, starting 27-of-31 games last season. He’s a strong defensive player but is a limited shooter, making just three triples in his college career, all during his freshman season.

Unless a transfer waiver is obtained, Eastern likely will have to sit out next season and be ready to go for 2021-22. Michigan now has one scholarship spot remaining in the 2020-21 cycle.

He was the No. 69 player in the country coming out of high school. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

On Wednesday, Purdue coach Matt Painter appeared on Dan Dakich’s radio show and questioned both the loyalty and work ethic of Eastern and fellow Boilermaker transfer Matt Haarms.

“We’ve got a lot of great things going on at Purdue, and it’s (Eastern’s) loss,” Painter told Dakich. “When you walk out the door and you turn your back, you’re not thinking clearly about the big picture and what Purdue can do for you.”

Eastern has not yet earned his degree.

“I don’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings, because I like the guys who have left my program,” Painter said. “I like both of them. But transfers don’t get drafted, pretty much. It’s a very, very small percentage. What I look at more than anything is embrace problems and embrace adversity and fight it. Don’t run from it. When you run from it and your work ethic isn’t at a high, high level like a Carsen Edwards or a Caleb Swanigan … that’s the one thing that’s not gonna change.”

He also said that Haarms, who has since transferred to BYU, is not a Boilermaker even though he earned his degree, because he left the program at the end.

You can read our further reaction and analysis of the decision here.