Rising Michigan Wolverines sophomore Isaiah Barnes came in with the star-studded 2021 freshmen class. Though he took a redshirt, he appeared in two games and dealt with an injury during the regular season.
Speaking recently on the Defend the Block podcast, he admitted his freshman year wasn’t exactly how he expected, but he had faith in head coach Juwan Howard and his staff.
“They kept telling me to keep doing what I’m doing, stay patient and my time will come eventually,” Barnes said, “There’s no timestamp on it but I just know that time is coming.”
Barnes spent a lot of time putting in work with fellow redshirt freshman Will Tschetter. The two forged a relationship over the course of their extra time together in the weight room and sitting side by side on Michigan’s sideline during games. When asked about his relationship with Tschetter, Barnes said, “It felt great to have somebody next to me as we were going through that. I feel like being in the trenches together and grinding together really made us even closer.”
While Barnes’ first year at Michigan wasn’t completely what he expected, he did learn a lot from the experience.
“Honestly, watching from the sideline is kind of like watching film,” he said. “You’re sitting by all the guys and they see certain things going on and they point out what you’re not supposed to do.”
With his name likely being called, Barnes shared what he hoped to bring to the table.
“Really, becoming a huge two-way player and just being an athlete,” he said, “Bringing a dog to the wing, I feel like that will really help us.”
Llewellyn hopes to make the most out of his year with Michigan
Michigan’s newest addition, transfer point guard Jaelin Llewellyn, arrived in Ann Arbor about a week ago, already getting some work outs in. He averaged 15.7 points per game last season at Princeton, helping the Tigers to a regular season title.
Part of the draw to Michigan, after announcing his intent to transfer in April, was Michigan’s recent tournament history. Like the two other grad transfers before him, both Mike Smith and DeVante’ Jones never reached the NCAA Tournament. With Michigan’s resounding five Sweet 16 appearances in the last five tournaments, it was too sweet a deal to pass up.
“It’s a great program and there’s an opportunity for me to come in and make an impact as a grad transfer,” Llewellyn recently told Andrew Kahn from MLive. “I want to win basketball games and this is a winning program.”
The Canadian native will also be closer to home, allowing family and friends to make the much shorter four-hour drive to Ann Arbor. “It’s a good spot for a one-year deal,” he admitted.
Llewellyn remains hopeful in Howard’s track record with grad transfers.
“I’m just gonna trust the process here and see how it goes,” Llewellyn said. “But I’m not worried or anything. I just can’t wait to get started.”