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Player Profile: Adrien Nunez is making the most of where he is

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No shame in going pro in something other than sports.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Florida State at Michigan Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

There is absolutely no shade in this post. Adrien Nunez’s profile page is far more decorated than most of his peers across the country, as well as many of his predecessors. A Big Ten Championship, a pair of Sweet 16s, multiple Academic All-Big Ten honors, and pacing his teammates in Name, Image, and Likeness benefits is not a bad legacy at all.

The story so far

Nunez was ranked 305th by the 247 Composite, the 62nd-best shooting guard in the 2018 class. He was the under-the-radar recruit with Ignas Brazdeikis, Brandon Johns, David DeJulius, and Colin Castleton all coming to Ann Arbor as four stars, and playing time was always going to be tough to come by given the rest of Michigan’s roster.

On the court, the numbers are pretty modest. Nunez has appeared in 52 games over the past three seasons. His best chance to make his mark was in 2019-20, when he opened the year with four straight starts, but he really struggled, scoring just 21 total points on 34.8 percent shooting, including 5-of-20 from deep. He would not start another game after that.

The three-star out of Brooklyn received offers from Penn State, Boston College, and also multiple Ivies, but he came to play more than school. Nunez is famous for his large Tiktok and Instagram followings and seems to have embraced his role on the team. Overall, he is a well-liked player and was always a longshot to be a steady contributor.

Outlook for 2021-22

Even with all of the talent Michigan lost over the offseason, nearly all of the roles are already accounted for heading into the new season. Eli Brooks and Caleb Houstan will take the primary wing minutes, with Kobe Bufkin, Zeb Jackson, and Terrance Williams ahead of Nunez on the depth chart despite their lack of significant experience. Juwan Howard will certainly want to give the younger players a chance to grow, and those three options will probably eat up nearly all of the reserve minutes.

Nunez never hit more than four minutes in any game last year, and that will probably be the high boundary again this season. The senior could see some time as the human victory cigar, but unless the rest of the options hit significant foul trouble, he is not likely to find himself in many competitive moments. That is completely ok; Nunez is a good player to have around the locker room and his likability means his legacy will carry on past his days in Ann Arbor.