Michigan basketball fans are desperate for some good news and I am here to hopefully provide a little bit of it. Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole seem to be faring well against elite collegiate competition at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
First up is Charles Matthews.
Matthews tested the waters last season before deciding to return to Michigan. Scouts told him to improve on his free throws (55.8%) and his overall offense (13 ppg). His shooting abilities from outside the paint were also questioned as he hit only 31.8% of shots from deep.
But, the 2018-19 season didn’t quite go as planned for Matthews. He sustained an ankle injury that sidelined him for the final three regular season games at Michigan.
On top of that, his numbers were down. He scored less points (12.2), brought down less rebounds (5.0 compared to 5.5 the previous year) and averaged one less assist per game from the previous season (1.5).
The only major category where Matthews saw improvement offensively was on the free throw line where he increased his free throw percentage from 55.8% in 2017-18 to 64.8% in 2018-19.
It seems that Matthew’s offensive game simply wasn’t enough to put him in the conversation of the late-first to early-second round grade.
However things seem to be looking up for the former Michigan man:
Charles Matthews looked like arguably the best defender from the four teams in the competitive action. Has tremendous physical tools, gets in a deep stance, covers ground impressively staying in front of guards, and can put a body on bigger players. Helped himself w/out scoring.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 16, 2019
We all knew Matthews could defend very well, but it is nice to see him getting recognition as potentially the best defender in the class.
Others in attendance also took note to his offensive skills:
Nice to see Charles Matthews knocking down a couple of shots. Has a pull up and an NBA 3 here in the first half— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) May 16, 2019
Matthews has a ton of question marks as an NBA prospect, but it seems like he has showed up to show out in his home city of Chicago during the NBA Combine.
Next up is possibly the most intriguing prospect from Ann Arbor, Jordan Poole. Poole has shown unlimited range at times, and, at one point, was the best three point shooter in the country in the early stages of the 2018-19 season.
Poole went on a ten game stretch of shooting 59.6% from behind the arc while scoring 16.8 points per game in the process. During that stretch of the season he looked like an NBA talent.
Looks like Jordan Poole is currently the leader when it comes to spot up shooting at the NBA combine, No. 2 in off the dribble shooting— Orion Sang (@orion_sang) May 16, 2019
With the offensive firepower that has struck the NBA, I’m confident he will be drafted just based on the potential he has as a shooter, but he has a ton to prove before making an NBA rotation.
For both Michigan and Pistons fans, it seems that the Michigan shooting guard sat down with the NBA team down I-94:
Michigan guard Jordan Poole has met with the Detroit #Pistons at the #NBACombine. He averaged 12.8 points on 36.9 percent shooting from the 3-point line in his sophomore season with the Wolverines. pic.twitter.com/MyGgabLnHN— Palace Pistons (@PalaceOfPistons) May 16, 2019
Last but certainly not least is Ignas Brazdeikis. Not much has come out of Chicago about how well he has performed, instead, everyone seems to focused on him officially committing to the NBA:
Ignas Brazdeikis on Beilein's departure relating to his returning to #Michigan: "It definitely does play a role (in me coming back) for sure. Coach Beilein was the main reason I came to Michigan, so it’s definitely going to play a part in my decision." https://t.co/RpUyK8YKGH— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) May 16, 2019
Ignas Brazdeikis says he’ll make a final decision soon after the NBA Combine. John Beilein’s departure affected his decision.— Orion Sang (@orion_sang) May 16, 2019
He also said that he came into this process with the intention of staying in the draft — so that seems likely to happen.
Michigan’s small forward was the most consistent player on the roster this season. He scored 14.8 points and rebounded 5.4 shots per contest. He was an efficient 46.2 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from deep.
Who will be drafted first?
This poll is closed