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Thoughts on new assistant coach for Michigan basketball, plus transfer guards to visit

Michigan basketball has hired another assistant coach, plus two transfer portal guards are going to visit the Wolverines.



Michigan basketball
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan baskeball head coach Dusty May isn’t afraid to hire outside of his coaching tree and did so once again on Wednesday night with the reported hire of Justin Joyner from Saint Mary’s.

According to Josh Henschke of Rivals, the hire is confirmed and Joyner will be joining Michigan basketball as the third on-floor coach. He’ll join Mike Boynton, the former Oklahoma State head coach, as well as former Georgia assistant Akeem Miskdeen.

Joyner is another exciting hire for May. He was the assistant head coach for Saint Mary’s which has been to the NCAA tournament and earned a five seed three straight times. The Gaels are a strong development program and Joyner played a huge role in that. He also helped land some essential recruits both internationally and in the 2024 class.

Whether it’s recruiting or player development, Joyner is a win. He’s a guy that’s been labeled a future head coach. Miskdeen has had the same thing said about him and Boynton has been a head coach and taken a team to the NCAA tournament.

May hasn’t added any former FAU staffers to his Michigan basketball coaching staff and maybe he won’t. That’s not a bad thing. This was about building the best staff possible and May did that. Color me impressed.

More transfer portal targets to visit Michigan basketball

Rodney Gayle is a transfer we talked about last week when he entered the portal from Ohio State. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 13 points a game for the Buckeyes as well as 3.1 assists. He shot 44 percent overall from the field and shot well at the free throw line (83 percent) but struggled from deep (28 percent).

If that percentage could improve a few points though, Michigan basketball would have something in Gayle and his free throw shooting gives credence to the idea that it was a one-off. He did shoot 42.9 percent from 3-point range in 2022-23 but it was on 53 fewer attempts. Gayle still has 50 triples in his career and if Michigan basketball can add a proven double-digit scorer who can get to the bucket, that’s a win any day of the week.

Jon Rothstein reported that Gayle is in the process of setting up visits to Michigan and Georgia. Clemson, Gonzaga, Oregon, Creighton, Duke, Alabama, and Syracuse are in the mix too.

Another visitor from the transfer portal will be Auburn guard Tre Donaldson. That’s according to Davis Moseley of 247 Sports who reports that Michigan basketball is “in deep” with Donaldson.

Donaldson has been a backup point guard for Auburn the past two seasons but started 10 games in 2023-24. He averaged 6.7 points per game this season, but his assist numbers at 3.2 per game stand out. His assist-to-turnover ratio was among the best in the SEC at 2.29 and he shot 41 percent from 3-point range.

The 6-foot-3 guard played just 18 minutes a game, which makes his assist numbers even more promising. If the shooting numbers can translate to a higher volume, even with a slight dip in percentage, he could easily be Michigan basketball’s starting point guard or a valuable reserve off the bench.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided where he has covered the Michigan Wolverines since 2016. With family ties to Detroit, Chris has been a Wolverines diehard since the day he was born and attacks every blog with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Chris is also a Heisman Trophy voter.