Purdue transfer guard Nojel Eastern committed to Michigan but will need to sit out one year before suiting up for the Wolverines.
Eastern is the second high-profile transfer to leave the Boilermakers this offseason. Center Matt Haarms left for BYU, also via the transfer portal, earlier in the spring.
Eastern averaged 4.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 25.5 minutes per game last season. He was on the floor less than he was the year before, when he produced 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 28.2 minutes per game.
Head coach Matt Painter dropped his gloves in an interview with Dan Patrick this week, saying both players left because they lost out in direct competitions for playing time -- and, in his view, they bailed rather than responding to adversity.
"I don't mean to hurt anybody's feelings, because I like the guys who have left my program. I like both of them. But transfers don't get drafted very much. It's a very, very small percentage," Painter said. "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 going to change.
"We tried to play Trevion Williams and (Haarms) together, and it didn't work. In reality, Trevion Williams beat him out. That's it."
Painter didn't stop with his side of the argument. He said leaving the program makes it highly unlikely either Eastern or Haarms will play in the NBA.
"You might've got your degree from Purdue, but you're not a Boilermaker if you walk out the door at the end and say, 'Hey, I want to make the league,'" Painter said. "Well, guys who make the league work hard, like Carsen Edwards and Caleb Swanigan. I didn't see that from (Haarms). Did he work hard in practice? Sure. Did he work hard in games? Sure. Was he a good player for us? Yes. But if you take him and rank him against those guys I just mentioned, where would you rank him? So Trevion Williams beat him out, and if he wants to move on, then that's his choice.
"When you look at the people that have been here when Nojel's been here ... all those guys improved, and then you didn't improve. He made a really good jump, Nojel, from his freshman to his sophomore year, and then he took a step back this year. ... Now you become the outlier. The other guys got better. The other guys improved."
Haarms started 15 games last season and averaged 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 0.9 assists per game.
--Field Level Media