UM's Matthews, Poole among SI's top 2019 draft prospects
With the 2018 NBA Draft in the rearview mirror, it's never too early for the next cycle of projections to begin.
On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated unveiled its top 60 prospects for the 2019 draft and two Wolverines made the list: redshirt junior wing Charles Matthews and sophomore guard Jordan Poole.
Matthews, who shined for Michigan throughout the NCAA Tournament and is expected to lead the Wolverines in 2018-19, checked in at No. 39.
"Though he’s very much on the NBA radar following Michigan’s run to the title game, Matthews made a wise decision to remain at Michigan for another season and is in the early mix for next year’s draft," SI's Jeremy Woo writes. "It’s not a sure thing, but his fluid athleticism and strong, wiry frame are promising on the wing, and he’s shown some ability to handle in the pick-and-roll.
"Becoming a more consistent shooter and all-around player will be paramount next season, and there will be plenty of opportunity to go around in the Wolverines’ rotation."
Not far behind Matthews was Poole, who was slotted at No. 48 and figures to play a much larger role next season as the starting two guard.
"Poole earned some national notoriety after his game-winner against Houston in the NCAA Tournament, and had already caught the eyes of NBA teams despite functioning in a minor role for Michigan most of the season, logging just 28.9 percent of available minutes," Woo writes. "He’ll have an opportunity to score a lot more and show off his athletic tools this season.
"Poole has some combo-guard skills, a potent three-point shot and the body control to make tough shots off the bounce — next year will be about displaying his entire skill set, and it could pay off in the draft conversation if all goes well."
In addition to Matthews and Poole, the Big Ten was represented by Indiana freshman guard Romeo Langford (No. 6), Maryland sophomore center Bruno Fernando (No. 17), Purdue junior guard Carsen Edwards (No. 22), Maryland freshman center Jalen Smith (No. 27), Nebraska junior forward Isaiah Roby (No. 43) and Iowa junior forward Tyler Cook (No. 54).
Duke freshmen R.J. Barrett and Cameron Reddish topped the list.