July 1, 2016
ANN ARBOR – Nearly two weeks after it was originally reported, Charles Matthews is officially joining the Michigan basketball team.
Matthews, a guard who transferred from Kentucky after his freshman season, was added to the Michigan roster, the program announced in a press release Friday morning. The transfer was first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman on June 20 and Matthews will have to sit out the 2016-17 season, per NCAA rules, before playing his final three seasons.
“Charles has terrific potential at Michigan,” Michigan coach John Beilein said in the release. “He has great length, athleticism, scoring ability and a desire to play defense. He has the versatility to play small forward or guard and defend any of those positions. With this redshirt year, Charles will be working a great deal on skill development as well as gaining weight and building his strength. Charles has a very bright future, and we are excited to work with him.”
Matthews, 6-foot-6 and 189 pounds, averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game as a freshman at Kentucky. He attended St. Rita in Chicago and was the No. 16 shooting guard and No. 59 player overall in the 2015 class, according to 247 Sports Composite rankings.
“Michigan is a great opportunity for me to get a quality education, but Coach Beilein and the program has become well-known for developing guards,” Matthews said in the release. “I really bonded with the coaching staff during our phone calls and especially on my visit here. Having this next year to develop not only my game but my overall strength is something I want to take full advantage of. I want to learn the offense and should be a seasoned vet so when it is my time to step on the floor, I will be ready.”
Michigan on Friday also announced the addition of walk-on Fred Wright-Jones to the roster. Wright-Jones, a 5-11, 170-pound sophomore guard from East English Village Prep in Detroit, started last season as a team manager before becoming a full-time practice player following injuries to seniors Spike Albrecht and Caris LeVert.
“Fred has been such a tireless worker for us as both as a manager and as a late roster addition last season,” Beilein said in the release. “When we needed him to re-establish his role Fred didn’t hesitate. He has become a great teammate and a valuable addition to our team. Fred will help make us a better team every day in practice.”
Wright-Jones dressed for Michigan’s home finale last season against Iowa on March 4 but didn’t play.
“I’m just so thankful that I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Michigan basketball tradition,” Wright-Jones said in the release. “I knew that my hard work would payoff eventually. Now, I’m just ready to contribute to the team in any way that I can.”
Michigan now has 16 players on its roster. Freshmen Austin Davis, Xavier Simpson, Jon Teske and Ibi Watson arrived on campus last weekend.