Written by Chris Kubala
It’s been a rough couple of months for the Wake Forest basketball team. If you want to be honest, it’s been a rough decade for the Demon Deacons, who have had just two winning seasons since the 2010-11 season. Basically, it’s been downhill since Dino Gaudio was let go after the 2009-10 season. Since that point, Wake Forest has made the NCAA Tournament just once and was knocked out in the First Four. To say that the 2019-20 season was likely the roughest season of the stretch is probably making a massive understatement.
Since the season came to a close, there has been a ton of upheaval in Winston Salem. Last month, the team fired Danny Manning after six relatively unsuccessful seasons at the helm. In his place, the Demon Deacons brought in Steve Forbes from ETSU to take over the reins after his successful run with the school in the Southern Conference, including a 30-4 mark with both the regular season and postseason tournament crowns this season. The hits kept coming for the Demon Deacons as Forbes inherits a fairly barren cupboard when it comes to the talent front. Olivier Sarr entered the transfer portal and made the decision to transfer to Kentucky after meeting with Forbes and is hoping to get a waiver to be able to play in 2020-21.
One of the other players to announce that they were transferring, even before Manning was fired, was Chaundee Brown. He finally announced where he would be taking his skills to finish his college career Tuesday via social media. Brown, who put up 12.1 points and 6.5 rebounds last season for Wake Forest, finishing third on the team in scoring and second in rebounds, is going to transfer to Michigan for his senior season. In an interview with Rivals.com, Brown gave his rationale for trading in Tobacco Road for the maize and blue:
"It was really important for me to go somewhere that I can win. I feel like we can do that there. I want to win most of all, that's my only goal. I feel after this last year they showed that they can win, and I feel they will help get me better."
Brown missed eight games last year with calf and ankle injuries. He made the choice to go to Michigan, choosing the Wolverines over potential offers from fellow Big Ten program Illinois and WCC powerhouse Gonzaga. As it stands, Brown has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft and has yet to withdraw his name from consideration. It appears that he is keeping his options open should he not receive a waiver that makes him eligible to play in the 2020-21 season. It’s going to be interesting to see how the NCAA handles that situation since the immediate transfer rule proposal has been tabled for the time being. That means that Brown will need the waiver or else he’ll have to sit out the 20-21 season before returning to action.
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the situation, not only for Brown, but for all the players that have transferred in the offseason. He would be a good fit in Michigan’s rotation, which could use a capable scoring option that isn’t afraid to crash the glass. In his career, Brown has played in 84 games, averaging 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in that span. He’s not a great shooter, having hit 42.3 percent from the floor, 32.8 percent from beyond the arc and 83.1 percent at the charity stripe. Last season, he shot a career-best 45.6 percent from the field, though he hit only 32.2 percent from downtown. Still, his veteran leadership and experience can be a boost for a Michigan team that needs that addition.
While the rest is a waiting game, at least Brown has made his decision on where he hopes to continue his career. Whether that comes to fruition or not is something that remains to be seen.