After a 17-0 start to the season, expectations became sky-high for the Michigan Wolverines‘ basketball team. Unfortunately, they were unable to live up to those expectations as they failed to win the Big Ten and were ousted in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament despite being a No. 2 seed.
But what about next season?
Well, that really depends on which players from the current roster decide to come back for another year and which ones decide to take their talents to the NBA
The players in question are Ignas Brazdeikis, Jordan Poole, and Charles Matthews.
Of the three, Matthews is the only lock to leave for the NBA. In fact, even Wolverines head coach John Beilein has said he believes Matthews has played his final game for Michigan.
“We’re very sad that his college career is ending,” Beilein said. “But he will work his tail off to have a successful career going forward, and he’ll have a big imprint on Michigan forever.”
Matthews has not yet made an official announcement as he said he will discuss his options with his family and the Michigan coaching staff.
“It’s hard to even think about that right now,” said Matthews, who could return for his final season of eligibility or pursue a professional career.
“Honestly, after being around these guys for so long it sucks to end the season. I’ve got to go back to the drawing board and discuss with my family and the coaching staff about what lies ahead.”
Prediction: Charles Matthews leaves for the NBA and is selected in the 2nd round.
Chance of returning to Michigan: <5%
Jordan Poole has so much talent but he also has so much to work on when it comes to his game. There are times he can absolutely light it up and other times where he takes some of the worst shots you have seen.
This past season was the first for Poole as a regular starter with Michigan and he was certainly one of the Wolverines best players throughout the season.
If Poole decides to move on from Michigan, I believe he would be a late first-round pick. If he stays for another season, under the tutelage of John Beilein, Poole could improve his stock up into the lottery range.
“I’m just trying to be supportive for the guys around me right now,” Poole said when asked about his future. “Guys like Charles and (Zavier Simpson) and our leaders, everyone.
“I’m just trying to stay in the moment. That’s about it right now.”
Prediction: Jordan Poole will go through the draft process without hiring an agent and he will eventually decide to return to Michigan.
Chance of returning to Michigan: 75%
Of the three, Ignas Brazdeikis clearly has the biggest upside in terms of the NBA.
Iggy burst onto the scene this past season and led the Wolverines in scoring as a freshman. He clearly loves the competition and he seems to give his all 100% of the time.
That being said, Brazdeikis still has plenty to work on both offensively and defensively and he would benefit by returning to Michigan for another season.
When asked about potentially leaving for the NBA, Iggy was not even thinking about it.
“I’m not thinking about that stuff right now,” Brazdeikis said.
Prediction: Like Poole, Iggy will test the waters and go through the NBA draft process but I believe he will make the decision to come back to the Wolverines for one more season.
Chance of returning to Michigan: 51%
The deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the draft is April 21st. They then have until May 29th to remove their name from consideration and return to school.