Embed from Getty Images The much talked about, eagerly anticipated Juwan Howard-led Michigan basketball team took the court last night and showed off a brand new offense. Michigan wasted no time is cranking-up a much faster pace, getting out on transition while amassing quick shots.
While the Michigan Wolverines, have a much different feel on the court heading into this season, the did hit some snags. Juwan Howard’s team struggled from 3-point range and went through a prolonged offensive drought.
Much like the Michigan Wolverines football team, there is going to be an adjustment period. That is the nature of the beast when a new coach or coach’s are brought in. Sophomore forward Brandon Johns Jr. said ” We’re still getting used to the offense a little bit. Sometimes we go too fast for our own good, but that is something we really want as part of our game.”
Juwan Howard, saw room for improvement as well, “offensively we did not do a good job sharing the basketball. there were 19 possessions (in the first half) where it was one pass-shot. That is not how we play. We need more ball movement by making extra passes.”
Juwan Howard, played in the same offense he is putting in place with the current Wolverines. During his Fab 5 day, the team would push at lightning pace the pace of the game. Forcing defense’s into bad match ups.
Howard has charged senior point guard Zavier Simpson as the focal guy to push his offense up the court. In last nights exhibition against Saginaw Valley State, Simpson showed why his head coach has tabbed him.
His transition passes were spot on, also he hit players on the pick-and roll with ease. One issue that really stood out, when Zavier Simpson was not in the game, the offense looked sluggish.
Again the Michigan football team finally found it’s footing eight games into the season with new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis calling the shots. There is going to be some early season bumps while the Wolverines basketball team is learning Juwan Howard’s new offensive system.
Howard has landed three 5-star recruits since taking over the basketball program for John Beilein. While it will be rough in the beginning, there is little question Juwan Howard is up to the task.
Embed from Getty Images Michigan Wolverines basketball coach Juwan Howard did not take long to bring in his first big recruit to the Wolverines hard court program. 2020 five-star PF Isaiah Todd has committed to Michigan. Todd is 6-foot-10 and 195 pounds. He is out of Raleigh, North Carolina and is rated as the top player in the state and the 12th best player in the nation.
This commitment is huge for the Wolverines for a variety of reasons. First it is Howard’s first five-star as head coach of the Michigan basketball program. Not only that but Isaiah Todd is actually Michigan’s highest rated commitment in the 247Sports era.
Juwan Howard came from the NBA and the Miami Heat to take over for John Beilein. A tall task to be sure. Howard’d NBA background was thought to be a real bonus for the Wolverines in terms of recruiting. This is a clear case of that happening.
The announcement that Todd committed sent excitement through the Michigan campus. Students, fans and media are wondering what is next. Juwan Howard has been working on the recruiting trail for a while now.
What swung Todd’s choice from North Carolina to Michigan? “He played my position and can teach me so much about the game. He will be a great mentor for me.” Todd told the North Carolina media.
The scouting report on Isaiah Todd is, “A long and athletic forward who loves to play facing the basket. Can score off post moves but has a finesse game. Building strength and mass is a key to development. Can score at all three levels. Handles ball well but decision making is questionable at times. Is a shot blocker but needs to discipline his defense as well as his offense. Known as an upside player, but has been behind the curve on expected development.”
This should serve as a notice to the rest of the Big Ten, Juwan Howard is not afraid to use his NBA background to lure talent to Ann Arbor. Something other Big Ten schools simply can not do.
Embed from Getty Images It has been three weeks since former Fab Five member took over as the head basketball coach at the University of Michigan. Thursday, Juwan Howard made his first stop on the recruiting trail. the top 100 players gathered at the National Basketball Players Association Camp.
It was not an has not been lost on the collection of the 100 best players. When the former Michigan star turned NBA star, turned NBA assistant coach, turned Michigan Wolverines head coach. Players stopped, looked whispered and exchanged glances when Howard walked through the door.
Juwan Howard has won at every level he has played at. The current high school players know of Howards accolades. Juwan Howard was a McDonalds All-American in high school, two-time All-American at Michigan, two time NBA champion. That speaks louder to players than Howard’s voice ever could.
It is also not lost on potential recruits that Juwan played with Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. He lived with Michael Jordan for a summer. Oh and when Juwan Howard announced he was going to attend Michigan and play hoops for the school, he recruited the rest of the players that would make up the Fab Five.
It is his relationships with NBA players that gives Howard a leg up. Recently Lebron James (a HUGE Ohio State fan) son said he is seriously considering going to Michigan with his dad’s approval. Dwayne Wade’s son has said the same thing.
While it is still early in the recruiting process, Juwan Howard has already talked to and gotten verbal commitments from a few big time recruits. As soon as he was announced to be the Wolverines basketball coach, Juwan Howard had already won the recruiting battle in the Big Ten. The other schools simply can not match what Howard brings to players and recruits.
Michigan is even passing Michigan State who had a longtime leg up in recruiting. For the other schools the struggle has gotten more daunting. For Juwan Howard, he is just getting started.
Embed from Getty Images Today is a big day for Michigan as the Wolverines introduce new head coach Juwan Howard of the men’s basketball program. It is a reunion with the former Fab Five member that has sent a surge of energy through both the fans and University of Michigan. Juwan Howard, sent a message through social media.
Howard expressed his own excitement as he said his dream has come true. Juwan Howard is now looking for an assistant coache as one of John Beilein former assistants have left the Michigan basketball team. Howard is said to be zeroing in on veteran college coach Phil Martelli.
That may prove to be a good choice for the first time head coach at a large University. Martelli had been the head coach at Saint Joseph’s since Juwan Howard’s rookie year with the Washington Bullets. St. Joseph’s parted ways with Martelli at the end of last season.
But this day, this day is all about Juwan Howard coming home to the school he loves. He will be flanked by his former Fab Five teammates at the press conference. Many current Michigan players are also at the presser, and some Michigan basketball legends. Terry Mills, Loy Vaught and others, including Michigan Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh.
When Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel announced that he was standing before the media, alumni and fan base with “My choice for basketball coach.” Juwan Howard teared up.
Manuel went on to say when he interviewed Juwan Howard in Miami, it was perfect day and he made sure to sit Howard with his back to the beach to a bunch of laughter.
When it came time for the Michigan basketball legend and new head basketball coach to speak he was still emotional, “Wow. Tears of joy, I’m back.” He started off, to cheers from the Michigan faithful.
Juwan Howard says being named coach at Michigan is the second-biggest accomplishment in his life.
No. 1? Getting his degree from Michigan in 1997.