John Beilein and the University of Michigan men’s basketball program got the best gift possible for the 2015-16 season, as star guard Caris LeVert announced on Tuesday morning that he will be returning to the program for his final season.
“Over the past few months, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my future,” said LeVert. “My family and I, along with the coaching staff, gathered as much information as possible. After considering my options, I am excited to announce I will return for my senior year. Coming back allows me to keep working towards my Michigan degree and take the next steps in my development as a player, teammate and a leader of our program. Michigan is a very special place and the college experience only comes once. The future is bright and I am blessed to be part of it.”
LeVert was on his way to being one of the biggest names in the Big Ten last season, being named a preseason All-Big Ten pick and team captain. However, he managed just 18 games last season, suffering a foot injury that ultimately required surgery and cost him the rest of the season.
At the time of his injury, LeVert was leading the Wolverines in scoring (14.9), rebounds (4.9), assists (3.7), steals (1.7) and minutes (35.8). He was the only player in a “Power 5” conference to lead his team in each of those categories before going down to injury.
Just how important was LeVert to any and all success the Wolverines had this past season?
Prior to him going out, Michigan was 11-7 on the season and without him, the Wolverines went 4-8 to end the regular season.
“We love coaching Caris and are excited he has decided to come back for his final season,” said head coach John Beilein. “His injury last season was unfortunate, but he never wavered in his commitment as a leader, a student or with his rehabilitation. Caris is a special person both on and off the court and we are proud of what he has accomplished. The best is yet to come for a young man like Caris LeVert.”
Michigan will have one of the most loaded backcourts in the Big Ten next season with LeVert back. Having him in the mix with players like Aubrey Dawkins, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Spike Albrecht and Andrew Dakich gives the Wolverines easily the deepest backcourt in the Big Ten.
Blending that group together is going to be the biggest challenge this offseason for Michigan, and the Wolverines could easily be a top 10 national team with LeVert officially back in the fold. Such is the level of his game and his importance to this team.