Charles Matthews Returning For Junior Year Comment Count

Ace May 30th, 2018 at 4:17 PM

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.



May 30th, 2018 at 5:55 PM ^

and yes, the time share was 60/40 in favor of Duncan towards the end of the season, so he was effectively the starter but Duncan's departure doesn't hurt like a typical starters departure might, given the remaining pieces. 

Livers was arguably a better player last year (team efficiency margins were better with him on the floor) so even with modest improvement, the 4 spot should be better than it was last year.

So technically, M now has three returning starters (Z, Matthews and Livers) and experienced backups (likely) stepping in to replace the departed in Poole and Teske.

And given that Z and Teske (but especially Z since last years team was his in a lot of ways) are also returning upperclassmen, we should once again have very good leadership to go along with young talent.

The future looks very bright.


May 30th, 2018 at 4:34 PM ^

Glad he is back!! Was the best decision for him because this year he wouldn't have been a 1st rd pick. With improved shooting both 3pt and FT and ball skills getting better he can become a 1st rd pick without a doubt. Can't wait till Basketball season!

GoBlue in IA

May 30th, 2018 at 4:52 PM ^

Great to have Charles back for another year; this team has all the makings for another deep run in March.  

Another year under Beilein's tutelage will only improve his draft stock.

Go Blue!






May 30th, 2018 at 5:26 PM ^

An obvious and logical decision. The draft process isn't perfect, but allowing guys like Matthews to dip their toes in the water is great. 

We need some shooters to step up next year. Matthews could be one. If he were to, say, improve his 3-point shooting by 7% or so, our team is a lot better. And he starts looking like a first-rounder. 

BTW I don't see any reason why Matthews and Poole can't both be great, go-to type scorers. 


May 30th, 2018 at 5:46 PM ^

I'm sure this team would have scored without him, at an equally efficient rate. Having him back is just huge for the locking down the danger wings.
Teske and Livers are both great for bigs, X on points and Charlie for the wings. How will teams score more than this squad?

Blue in PA

May 31st, 2018 at 4:03 PM ^

If he continues to progress as he did last year..... Not only will it be great for Michigan Basketball, but he'll work his way into a great draft position.