Nojel Eastern, formerly of Purdue, surprised a lot of people last week when he announced that he would be transferring to the Michigan Wolverines just a few days after entering the portal. Outside of the tweet announcing the decision, there has been near-radio silence from all sides regarding the move.
That is, until MLive’s Andrew Kahn reached out to his mother — Tamala Reed — on Tuesday, who had nothing to offer other than a “no comment” to questions about her son’s commitment to Michigan.
I asked Nojel Eastern's mom, Tamala Reed, via phone if she or Nojel would be willing to discuss his recent tweet announcing that he had joined the Michigan basketball program.— Andrew Kahn (@AndrewKahn) May 19, 2020
"We have no comment at this time," she said.
Same answer when asked to confirm that he'd joined team.
Some context to remember: "No comment" simply means that. Eastern previously declared for the NBA draft. Michigan hasn't publicly recognized Eastern's addition but didn't announce Mike Smith's until two weeks after he announced he was coming (for various reasons).— Andrew Kahn (@AndrewKahn) May 19, 2020
Kahn is correct that these things take time, as there is paperwork to fill out and other things to sort out, especially given how quickly the process moved for Eastern. Given that both Purdue and Michigan’s side of things have felt odd about the situation, it is worth mentioning how strange this has been from the start.
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.
We will have to wait and see what happens here, but given how strange the offseason has been for the Wolverines, we will go ahead and point out once again that nothing is official until everything is signed.