Michigan Wolverines basketball received very positive news this week when Coastal Carolina transfer DeVante’ Jones informed the staff that he would be joining the Maize and Blue for next season. He made his decision public Saturday afternoon. His name has been entered into the NBA Draft, and he will continue to explore that option likely until the deadline to withdraw (May 30).
The college basketball world took notice of Jones’ decision Saturday, including CBS Sports analyst Jon Rothstein, who also writes for College Hoops Today. Rothstein moved Michigan up from No. 10 to No. 7 in his early 2021-22 preseason rankings right after Jones went public with his choice.
UCLA (1), Villanova (2), Gonzaga (3), Ohio State (4), Purdue (5) and Baylor (6) are the only teams Rothstein ranked ahead of the Wolverines.
Jones, who averaged 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.8 steals per game last season, is the reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year. He shot 48.7 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
As a redshirt junior last season, Jones primarily played shooting guard for the Chanticleers. That won’t be his role for the Wolverines, with whom he’s the favorite to be the starting point guard, next to senior guard Eli Brooks — who decided to use his extra year of eligibility — in the backcourt.
In fact, that’s exactly what Rothstein has as Michigan’s starting point and shooting guards. He projects sophomore wing Franz Wagner to go pro, as is expected, with incoming freshman Caleb Houstan then being the starting small forward, joining junior Brandon Johns and freshman Hunter Dickinson in the front court.
Jones showed that he can run the point, contrary to what last season’s film and stats show. In 2019-20, he played the bulk of the minutes at point guard, and showed that he can excel in a pass-first role, averaging 5.7 assists per game and posting the 36th-best assist rate in the country (33.4), according to Kenpom.
Michigan Basketball Projected Roster Composition
Starter: DeVante’ Jones
Backups: Freshman Frankie Collins, freshman Zeb Jackson
Starter: Eli Brooks
Backups: Jackson, freshman Kobe Bufkin
Starter: Caleb Houstan
Backups: Freshman Isaiah Barnes, freshman Terrance Williams
Starter: Brandon Johns
Backups: Freshman Moussa Diabate, Williams, freshman Will Tschetter
Starter: Hunter Dickinson
Backups: Diabate, Johns, Williams
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