Former Purdue basketball transfer Nojel Eastern reopens transfer search after being denied admission at Michigan

Former Purdue basketball transfer Nojel Eastern announced Wednesday that he was reopening his recruitment after not being admitted to Michigan, where he committed last month.

Eastern committed to the Wolverines on May 14, just two days after leaving Purdue and entering the transfer portal.

"I want to start off by thanking Coach [Juwan] Howard for the opportunity he would have given me by attending the University of Michigan," Eastern tweeted. "I was extremely excited and grateful for him taking a chance on me. But, I was not admitted to the University because of many credits that weren't transferable because of my Major. That is the only reason why I was not accepted.

"I say this to say that I will be reopening my recruitment process as a transfer. I want [to] thank Michigan and the entire staff and organization for trying to do everything in [their] power to come to the University of Michigan. More to come ..."

Eastern, a 6-foot-7 junior guard, was a staple in Purdue's rotation during his three-year career in West Lafayette. He started 62 games the past two seasons after appearing in 37 games off the bench as a freshman. His best season came as a sophomore in 2018-19, when he averaged 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as Purdue advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to Virginia.

He took a step back last season, averaging 4.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Eastern was the second surprising departure from Purdue this spring, following center Matt Haarms, who ended up at BYU. Purdue coach Matt Painter addressed the two transfers on "The Dan Dakich Show" last month.

"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 gonna change.

"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," Painter added. "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."