Close to two months ago, Kam Chatman hit a game-winning three pointer against Indiana that propelled the Michigan men’s basketball team to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and the NCAA Tournament.
It appears that will be the most memorable moment of the sophomore forward’s career in Ann Arbor.
As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman and later confirmed by the athletic department, Chatman will transfer from Michigan. He becomes the third member of the 2014 recruiting class to leave, joining Ricky Doyle and Aubrey Dawkins. His decision leaves the Wolverines with two open scholarships for the 2016-17 season and a noticeable lack of depth at the forward position.
“Kam is a wonderful young man with the potential to mature into a fine college player,” said coach John Beilein in an official press release today. “We have enjoyed coaching him over the past two years and wish him nothing but the best.”
Added Chatman: “I honestly don’t think I could have had a more quality life experience than I did in Ann Arbor. I am incredibly grateful for my two years at Michigan. I would like to thank Coach Beilein and his entire staff for taking a chance on a small town kid out of Portland. I know my experience has inspired others as I will take all of my lessons learned to continue my pursuit of becoming the best man and player I can.”
Chatman came to Ann Arbor as a much-ballyhooed recruit, ranked by ESPN as the No. 38 player in his class.
He quickly earned a starting position at the beginning of his freshman year. But as the season went on, he found less and less playing time, and by the time the 2015-16 season rolled around, he had fallen behind other players in Beilein’s bench rotation.
After playing in 32 games and starting 15 while averaging 15.2 minutes per game his freshman season, Chatman played in 28 games his sophomore season but started just two of them while averaging 7.2 minutes per game, a sharp decrease from his first season.
“(Kam) spent the first two years (spending) a lot of time sitting down in the bench with us,” Beilein said in the aftermath of the Indiana game. “But he’s ‘yes sir, no sir,’ working hard every single day, trying to grow his game. And for him to be rewarded with that big shot, with that moment that he will always be remembered for, is worth it for me knowing he has done such a great job of handling all of his adversity of not playing.’’
And for better or worse, that shot that saved the Wolverines’ season will be a reminder of what Chatman’s career at Michigan could’ve been.