Why Dusty May is excited about adding former Ohio State G Roddy Gayle Jr.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Though it may not have been meant to be, Dusty May quickly made a shot across the bow of a rivalry, stealing Roddy Gayle Jr. away from Ohio State.

The former Buckeyes guard who averaged just shy of 31 minutes a game last year entered the transfer portal and went to bed one night wearing scarlet and gray before waking up wearing maize and blue.

But what made May decide to chase after a former rival? He says that Gayle adds something in terms of getting to the foul line, and that’s not something that happens organically — a player has to have that ability coming in.

“Well, I watched him play a few times randomly just throughout the season. And I liked his game,” May said. “I think he’s got the unique ability to get downhill and draw fouls.

“Guy’s backstory — and I’ve got a lot of stories. The first couple of years at FAU we couldn’t get to the free throw line, we just couldn’t get there. And I’m reaching out to the best coaches and teachers that I know and I have access to. And finally, a good friend who I lean on a lot for advice, just said, ‘Hey, you got to recruit them. That’s something you have to recruit.’ And so now that’s always kind of stuck with me. And then the guys that I’ve coached that got to the foul line, it was usually something that they had well before college and something that they did organically, I should say.”

More than that, Gayle provides a lot to the Wolverines. In 2023-24, he averaged 13.5 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, and 3 assists on 45% shooting.

May sees a lot that Gayle does well and though his 3-point shooting wasn’t as good last year as it was the year before (going down from 42.9% from deep to 28.4%) he sees a lot that indicates he could be a plus-player as a Wolverine.

“He has the ability to get downhill, offensive rebound, he runs in transition,” May said. “He plays off the pick-and-roll well, he’s very efficient, playing off the pick-and-roll as a passer. He’s efficient with his movements in his games. He doesn’t over-dribble. And like I said, I believe that his jump shot — I know he didn’t shoot a great percentage last year, but I think he’s a much better shooter than that. And, when you watch him in transition, when he had a clean look, he knocked it down a very good percentage of the time.

“So we are excited about him on a number of levels. I could probably go on for about another 30 minutes talking about it. I think he’s I think he’s a special guy.”

Certainly, Buckeye fans aren’t happy that Gayle chose to defect to the enemy, but given May’s need to fill out a decimated roster, it’s worked out well for Michigan basketball.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire