The 2018 NBA Draft has just passed with Michigan’s Moritz Wagner being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 25th overall pick.
One week later, Sports Illustrated’s basketball page, the Crossover, released their top 60 prospects for the 2019 draft, and two members of the 2018-19 team found their way onto the back end of that list.
Coming in at No. 39 is Michigan guard/forward Charles Matthews. Matthews was a stud in the NCAA tournament, which led him to garner interest from NBA scouts. However, Matthews decided he would take another year to develop and hopefully raise his draft stock.
The 6-foot-6 senior from Chicago averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds per game in the tournament, and received NCAA tournament honors making the NCAA West Region All-Tournament Team and earning the NCAA West Region Most Outstanding Player.
Matthews displayed great athleticism throughout the year and was a difference-maker with his energy and charisma as a leader of the Wolverines’ squad.
According to the Crossover’s article, in order for Matthews to become a more well-rounded prospect, he must develop a better shot from the mid-range and from deep, and establish himself in the pick-in-roll. If these things come into fruition, Matthews could find his name being called in the first round.
At No. 48 is another guard who created a name for himself in the tournament — Jordan Poole.
Poole made a name for himself after hitting the legendary shot that catapulted Michigan into making a run at the National Championship. What many had not known before is the consistent bench option Poole had become.
The true freshman from Milwaukee was John Beilein’s go-to option if the team was struggling to shoot the three ball. Poole averaged the second-most minutes among freshmen for the Wolverines, trailing only Isaiah Livers.
The young guard was a dependable 3-point shooter, hitting 37 percent of the shots he took from behind the arc. He is also a capable defender with decent height standing at 6-foot-4.
In order for his name to rise on this list, Poole must bulk up and add some muscle. He must also be able to play the way he did over longer periods of time, as he will likely be a starter for the Wolverines come November.
If Poole can rack up more points and continue to shoot the way he did last season, the discussion of him heading to the draft will be much more prominent.