'Selfless' Eli Brooks etching his name all over Michigan men's basketball record book

JAMES HAWKINS
The Detroit News (TNS)
Michigan guard Eli Brooks (55) drives to the basket against Ohio State guard Jamari Wheeler (55) and forward Kyle Young (25) on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Brooks scored 17 points in the game to pass the 1,000-point milestone for his career.

Eli Brooks continues to etch his name all over the Michigan men’s basketball record book.

The Spring Grove High School graduate, a fifth-year senior for the Wolverines, recently became the program’s all-time leader in games played. He’s now up to 148 games, passing the previous mark of 146 set by Zavier Simpson.

Brooks, who took advantage of the NCAA's extra year of eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will likely add significantly to that total in the coming weeks.

Since the 2019-20 season, Brooks has started in 80 of Michigan's 82 games, missing one contest with a broken nose and another with a foot injury.

Earlier this season, Brooks became the program's all-time winningest player when he picked up his 109th win on Nov. 24 against Tarleton State, topping the previous mark set by Jon Teske and Simpson. Brooks is now sitting at 118 career wins, a total that likely won't be broken anytime soon.

Saturday, in a loss to Ohio State, Brooks scored 17 points to pass the 1,000-point mark for his career. He became the 56th Michigan player to reach that milestone. He now has 1,006 points for his career.

"He's selfless in so many ways," coach Juwan Howard said Tuesday after a win at Penn State, when Brooks scored 16 points. "He's smart, he's a competitor and his teammates can trust them. He's one of the best leaders that I've been around, and I've been around sports for a very long time.

"Whenever he leaves Michigan, he has a chance to play on the next level. The next level could be professionally in the NBA as well as in Europe because a coach is going to see all the intangibles that he brings that results to winning basketball."

Brooks also recently became the 15th Michigan player to make at least 150 3-pointers. He now has 153.

He's also eight starts away from reaching 100 in his career. Given that Michigan is scheduled to play at least eight more games this season — seven regular-season contests and one Big Ten Tournament game — it's a safe bet that Brooks, who is averaging a career-high 12.3 points per game, will check off that achievement.

Brooks has been especially effective over his last five games, when he’s averaging 16 points per game.

The 6-foot, 1-inch guard is also averaging 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He’s shooting 41% from 3-point range and 89% from the foul line. He’s helped Michigan to a 13-10 overall record and a 7-6 mark in the Big Ten.

"Him coming back for his fifth year, everything is the first of the last for him," assistant coach Saddi Washington said on Monday's "Inside Michigan Basketball" radio show. "I think Eli has done a great job embracing this long walk toward the end. Hopefully we can extend that as long as possible for him and for our other seniors."