Juwan Howard’s 2019-20 Michigan Wolverines took to the court for the first time this season on Tuesday as they opened the campaign with their first practice of the season under the new coaching staff. The day was recapped in a video posted to the team’s social media accounts with comments from Howard, forward Isaiah Livers, point guard Zavier Simpson and more.
We do not know what this team will look like or what the gameplan will be, but the first nuggets of what the new regime will focus on seem to be coming together early on.
“Defense is going to be our thing,” Livers said. “We showed it the last two years with the previous staff and previous players that were top in the country on defense. (Howard) wants to continue that.”
Simpson also doubled down on what his teammate had to say, revealing that defense and rebounding are two major focuses early on for this group.
“In order for us to win games, it’s going to come down to defense and rebounding,” Simpson said. “That’s what he stressed before and that’s what we did today, which is good.”
Also of note is that sophomore big man Colin Castleton has added 23 pounds of weight to his frame and added over three inches to his vertical. With a head coach that specializes in developing forwards and centers, he may be an early player to watch this year, along with Brandon Johns and Jon Teske.
We will hear more from Howard, Simpson, Livers and Teske next week during Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. Maize n Brew will be on site with coverage there.