clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Caris LeVert Will Return to Michigan for His Senior Season

HE'S BACK! Caris LeVert will return to Michigan for his senior season.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The LEVERT ALERT will ring loud in Ann Arbor for the 2015-16 season.

Caris LeVert announced this morning (Apr. 21) that he will return to Michigan for his senior season and will not enter the 2015 NBA Draft.

"Over the past few months, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my future," said LeVert. "My family and I, along with the coaching staff, gathered as much information as possible. After considering my options, I am excited to announce I will return for my senior year. Coming back allows me to keep working towards my Michigan degree and take the next steps in my development as a player, teammate and a leader of our program. Michigan is a very special place and the college experience only comes once. The future is bright and I am blessed to be part of it."

LeVert had contemplated whether he'd remain in school or declare for the draft since he fractured his foot on the last play of Michigan's 56-54 win against Northwestern on January 17th and was ruled out for the rest of the season. Though he led Michigan in points (14.9), rebounds (4.9), assists (3.7), and steals (1.8) per game at the time of his injury, his draft stock had been slipping. As of this week, he had been projected to be a late-first round selection and would have risked falling into the second round, where he wouldn't have been guaranteed a contract for next season, if he had entered the draft.

"I don't think it really makes sense to go early and be drafted in the second round," LeVert told reporters at Michigan's annual awards banquet last week on April 15th.

LeVert's draft stock slipped for various reasons. One, he's fractured the same foot twice in the past 12 months. Two, he's still very skinny for his 6-foot-7 frame and has trouble bodying up against bigger, stronger players. Three, he wasn't as assertive on offense as NBA personnel wanted to see from him now that he was Michigan's go-to scorer rather than Nik Stauskas' sidekick. And four, his pull-up jump shot has been quite inconsistent.

What Does Michigan Get Back in Caris LeVert?

Nonetheless, LeVert still is very talented and versatile -- he will contend for All-Big Ten first-team honors -- and his return is a big boost for a Michigan program that hopes to bounce back after posting a 16-16 record in 2015. LeVert will headline a talented, deep group of guards and wings that improved and gained invaluable experience this past season. The offensive burden that was on LeVert last season should not be as heavy, and that should allow him to flourish as a playmaker. If Michigan can avoid a second straight snakebitten season and remain healthy, they should be in the tier below early Big Ten favorites Maryland and Michigan State and be a top-25 team in the preseason.

After the frustrating season Michigan just endured, this is much-needed great news.

With LeVert back, all 13 of Michigan's scholarship slots are filled for next season. If John Beilein wants to add a second 2015 recruit alongside Moritz Wagner, like five-star wing Jaylen Brown or four-star guard Kenny Williams, someone would need to transfer, not including Max Bielfeldt, or Beilein would need to put Austin Hatch on medical hardship, which means Michigan would pay for his education, he still would be able to practice with the team, but he wouldn't be able to play in a game for the rest of his career.

We should learn Beilein's plan in the coming weeks.

Until then, sound the alarm: LEVERT ALERT is back!