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Wolverines add key piece with transfer PG Jones

Coastal Carolina transfer DeVante’ Jones, the Sun Belt Player of the Year and one of the best available point guards in the portal, committed to Michigan on Saturday.

Jones chose the Wolverines from a final list that also included Texas Tech, Texas and Memphis.

“I had a great relationship with coach [Juwan] Howard,” Jones told ESPN. “He was just understanding in my whole thought process, and during the Zoom call, he told me how I would fit on the team and showed me their style of play. The Michigan fan base showed a lot of love, and the Michigan players were showing love as well.”

The 6-foot-1 Jones was one of the best players in the Sun Belt Conference the past three seasons and one of the most productive mid-major players in the country. He averaged 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.8 steals last season, while shooting 36.8% from 3-point range. As a sophomore, Jones earned second-team All-Sun Belt honors; he was Freshman of the Year in 2018-19.

With Jones in the fold, Howard now has a point guard to replace Mike Smith, who spent one season with the Wolverines after transferring from Columbia. Michigan loses several key pieces from its Big Ten title-winning group that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but the Wolverines bring in the top-ranked recruiting class in the country.

Five-star forwards Caleb Houstan (No. 6 in the ESPN 100) and Moussa Diabate (No. 11) could push for starting roles immediately, while senior starter Eli Brooks has announced he is returning for his extra year of eligibility. Star freshman Hunter Dickinson could also return to Michigan.

The Wolverines were No. 11 in ESPN’s most recent Way-Too-Early Top 25 but could move into the top 10 after Jones’ commitment.

“Just being that leader,” Jones said about his potential impact in Ann Arbor. “We’ve got a talented group of guys. We can make each other better in practice every day.”

Jones is No. 22 in ESPN’s transfer rankings.

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