leggoooooooooooooooooooooooooo [Bryan Fuller]
The pieces are in place. Michigan announced this afternoon that Charles Matthews is withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft and will return to school for his redshirt junior season:
"I am thankful for the assistance Coach Beilein and the staff have given me in order to gain as much information as possible before making this decision. They showed great confidence and patience with me while I sorted this all out," said Matthews. "After much prayer and discussions with my family and the staff, I am excited to be returning to Michigan next year. I learned a lot throughout this process, but my main focus will now be completing my education at Michigan and leading my teammates to more success next season."
"This process allows young men to gather so much valuable information and make the most informed decision they can," said U-M's David and Meredith Kaplan head men's basketball coach John Beilein. "Charles has an incredible personality and confidence. His work habits and desire to reach his potential are terrific. He is more focused than ever to improve in all areas of his game. Like others before him, Charles will be a great senior leader for us and we are excited to have this opportunity to coach him again next season."
Matthews has the opportunity to be Michigan's go-to scorer (a role Jordan Poole is eyeing, too) now that Moe Wagner has gone to the NBA, and his return cements the Wolverines as one of the Big Ten favorites for 2018-19, especially in conjunction with the news that Maryland's Kevin Huerter is hiring an agent. Not only does Matthews give the team another NBA talent, he allows a talented freshman class of wings to work their way into big roles at a more reasonable pace.
It seems likely Matthews will follow the Wagner route—testing the waters, returning, then leaving after improving a couple key areas—and if he does, Michigan should be a very good team once again. His slashing, rebounding, and defense will be major assets, and if his shot develops this season like his footwork did last season, he'll be an all-conference player.
I'll have a post soon to give a full overview of the returning and departing talent in the conference and its outlook now that we have a better handle on the rosters. Meanwhile, top-50 2019 TX forward Jalen Wilson is announcing his decision at 6 pm ET from a group of six that includes the favored Wolverines.