Michigan basketball commit Carlton Brundidge makes his game by driving to the hoop
DETROIT - When Carlton Brundidge was 13 years old, he spent an entire game in a corner on offense, hoping and waiting for the ball to come his way.
Back then, he longed to shoot three-pointers. Except in that one game, the ball never came. He never got open. His team lost.Â And in that moment, he realized he needed to become more than just a shooter.
Brundidge diversified his game over time and ended up with a scholarship to Michigan for the Southfield High School junior, which begins in 2011. The offer came based on his current strength, driving the ball.
“I love to attack. I love contact,” Brundidge said. “I just feed off my teammates, feed off the energy.
“That’s my biggest strength, going to the hoop.”
The 6-foot guard did that against Warren De La Salle on Tuesday in the MHSAA quarterfinals, leading his team with 17 points, many of which he got by driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line.
One play in particular stood out early in the first half. Brundidge took the ball on a fast break and put a spin move on his defender to blow right by him.
He was particularly good in all facets of transition offense, hitting a teammate perfectly on a two-on-one to isolate the De La Salle defender, then hitting a teammate in stride on a long pass to finish off another fast break.
“He can shoot, he’s a ballhandler,” Southfield coach Gary Teasley said. “For this team, we require him to, we give him the green light, actually, to do whatever he needs to do as far as leadership.
“Sometimes, it unfolds in different ways.”
It is that leadership quality - along with his speed, court vision and defensive awareness - that Brundidge said makes him a good fit at Michigan. Even as a freshman over a year from now, he thinks he can come in and make an immediate difference.
Not that the four-star Rivals.com recruit wants to wait. Seeing the Wolverines struggle to a 15-17 record this season pained him.
“It kind of hurt,” Brundidge said. “I just wished I could throw on a jersey now and play with them, actually.”
He has a while until that happens - with his next game Friday against Huron High School in the state semifinals. When informed Huron was his opponent Tuesday, Brundidge was asked if there was something to his team’s first state semifinal appearance in 28 years being against an Ann Arbor school. Soon enough, he’ll be spending four years in the town.
So he smiled.
“Yeah,” Brundidge said. “I find a little humor in that.”