Charles Matthews returning to intriguing Michigan team

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Michigan received some big news on Wednesday afternoon as the school announced the return of redshirt junior guard Charles Matthews.

The 6-foot-6 Matthews is opting to pull his name out of the 2018 NBA Draft as he was a key two-way wing for the Wolverines last season. A strong postseason from Matthews helped lead Michigan to the national championship game. In his first college season as a starter after transferring from Kentucky, Matthews put up 13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Matthews also shot 49 percent from the field, 31 percent from the three-point line and 55 percent from the free-throw line.

“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,” Matthews said in the release. “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.”

The return of Matthews is huge for Michigan, as he’ll be a major contender to make the All-Big Ten team after his strong play in March. With the loss of Moe Wagner to the 2018 NBA Draft, as well as seniors like Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson exhausting eligibility, Matthews should be counted on to be the go-to scorer for the Wolverines next season.

That new role could also help to potentially enhance Matthews’ pro stock if he chooses to leave after next season — especially if he shows added consistency and a better perimeter jumper.

Michigan is also set to return point guard Zavier Simpson, forward Isaiah Livers and some solid role players like Jordan Poole and Jon Teske from last season’s team. With the Wolverines also bringing in a strong freshman class, led by five-star forward Ignas Brazdeikis, and they should once again be among the Big Ten’s best teams.