ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head men's basketball coach John Beilein announced today (Friday, July 1) the additions of Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews and walk-on Fred Wright-Jones to the Wolverines' roster for the upcoming 2016-17 season.
"Charles has terrific potential at Michigan," said Beilein. "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."
"Fred has been such a tireless worker for us as both as a manager and as a late roster addition last season," added Beilein. "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."
"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," said Matthews. "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."
"I'm just so thankful that I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Michigan basketball tradition," said Wright-Jones. "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."
Matthews, who will sit out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules, comes to Ann Arbor after helping the Wildcats to a 27-9 record, a share of the SEC regular-season title, the SEC Tournament crown and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Playing 10.4 minutes per game, he saw action in all 36 games, averaging 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
He highlighted his freshman season with a career-high 11-point performance vs. South Florida on Nov. 27 in the Hoophall Miami Invitational and a seven-point, five-rebound effort in the home victory over Georgia on Feb. 9. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Matthews prepped at St. Rita. As a senior, he averaged 21.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and was the No. 12 shooting guard in the 2015 class by ESPN, 15th by 247Sports and the 20th-rated shooter by Scout.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Wright-Jones began last season as a team manager, before he was elevated to a full-time practice player following injuries to seniors Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht. Beilein officially dressed Wright-Jones for the home finale against Iowa on March 4, however, he did not see any action.
The additions of Matthews and Wright-Jones, as well as U-M's four-person freshman class -- Austin Davis, Xavier Simpson, Jon Teske and Ibi Watson -- puts the Wolverines at 16 players.
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