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Thoughts, quotes on George Washington III’s return to Michigan basketball

Michigan basketball has another player for sure on its roster for the 2024-25 season as George Washington III has withdrawn from the transfer portal.



Michigan basketball
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan basketball added another player to its roster for the 2024-25 season on Thursday. Actually, it just added one back as George Washington III took his name out of the transfer portal.

The freshman guard didn’t have a huge impact last season. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t make an impact in the future. The 6-foot-2 guard from Dayton, Ohio was ranked as a top-100 prospect coming out of high school (95th overall).

Washington averaged just 1.2 points per game but played just six minutes a game last season. He made 14 3-pointers even though he shot just 22 percent. It’s hard to get a rhythm when you play so little or when most of your minutes come in garbage time.

George Washington III talks return to Wolverines

After getting recruited by Juwan Howard, it made sense for Washington III to test the transfer portal. But after Dusty May was introduced as Michigan basketball head coach, the freshman said he was open to a return. Here’s what he said to 247 Sports about withdrawing his name from the portal:

“He was being straight up when we spoke,” he said. “I met with him (Dusty May) two or three times and we sat down to discuss what both of us were looking for, what our options were and where we both stood. Every single time we talked I saw he was someone that wasn’t going to feed me something that’s not true. He sat there and gave me the full honest truth. Everything he’s looking for lined up with what I’m looking for and what I’m trying to do. It all fell together really nicely.”

Washington also talked about how he would fit in Dusty May’s system.

“He talked about the way guards play in his offense. He described fast pace, free, and a lot of threes. I know it’s a play style that fits my skill set without even having that much familiarity with it. Once I really get into it and we get used to each other we can do a lot of damage.”

A good fit for Michigan basketball and Washington III

May wants guards who can shoot the ball, handle, and create shots for others. I’d say Washington has to prove himself in all those areas, but May will have certainly scouted him last season and in high school.

The key is all about development. Players generally take a big leap from year one to year two. It’s hard to put too much stock into Washington’s freshman season. A young player, on one of the worst teams in college basketball, getting a few minutes a game, mostly in garbage time, makes for a tough evaluation.

Washington III scored 10 points against Purdue and made two triples. He also made 12-of-14 free throw attempts this season (85 percent) so he’s not a bad shooter. In the right system, with some development, Washington is exactly the kind of player Michigan wants to develop into a multi-season contributor.

Yes, there are some talented players in the portal. They aren’t a sure thing though and many transfers are only going to be 1-2 year players. That’s all well and good for next season. But Michigan needs guys who are going to be around for multiple years and Washington still has the chance to be a solid player in the Big Ten.

This is a win for both sides and now, Dusty May has eight open scholarships. Hopefully, he fills one or two this weekend with Vlad Goldin, Danny Wolf, and Connor Essegian all expected to visit.

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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.