Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein announced earlier this week the final roster additions for the 2016-2017 season. As expected, University of Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews was one of the players added to the roster. Former team manager Fred Wright-Jones was also added to the roster as a walk-on athlete. The Wolverines now have 16 players on their 2016-2017 roster.
The addition of Matthews came as no surprise to anyone who follows Michigan athletics closely. Reports of Matthews transferring to Michigan have been surfacing for weeks, as fans waited for someone to confirm the rumors. Friday did exactly that. Due to NCAA rules Matthews will have to sit out the upcoming season and will not be eligible to dress until the 2017-18 season.
Matthews attended Kentucky last season, but saw little playing time on a talented Wildcats roster. While he did see action in all 36 games, Matthews averaged only 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in his 10.4 minutes of work. However, do not let his season averages scare you. Matthews was ranked the 59th best player in the nation coming out of high school by 247Sports. His play at St. Rita High School shows much more ability he is capable of than what was showcased at Kentucky.
As for the Wolverines other addition, Fred Wright-Jones began the 2015-2016 season as the teams manager. He was later promoted to a full-time practice player after injuries to Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht left the Wolverines undermanned. Coach Beilein dressed him for the final game of last season against Iowa, but he did not see any playing time.
A native of Detroit, Wright-Jones is going into his sophomore year at the University of Michigan. Wright-Jones attended Detroit East English Village Prep, where he was a three-time team captain and the 2015 defensive player of the year. As a senior he averaged 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals per game.
While neither of these players will have much impact next season, adding them seems to be the consensus correct move. Matthews should be an impact player when he gains eligibility in 2017-2018. Adding Wright-Jones does not do much for the team ability wise but it is a nice story about giving a hard working student an opportunity. Adding Wright-Jones also does not take up a future scholarship, leaving Michigan with options heading forward. While the moves may not show results now, they should pay dividends in the future.