Juwan Howard just reeled in the No. 8 recruiting class in 2020 and had the Michigan Wolverines at a 19-12 record in his first season in Ann Arbor. For a first time head coach, I would say that he has done a phenomenal job in his first calendar year as the head coach of the Michigan basketball program, and I’m sure I don’t stand alone in that sentiment.
In fact, former Fab Five member and current NBA Analyst on the four-letter network Jalen Rose had some pretty high praise for his former teammate in an interview with Kevin Flaherty from 247sports:
“For him to not only skyrocket out of the blocks, but be able to navigate the ship, with what happened through the season, especially in the Big Ten in the best conference college basketball, was going to have 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament, was impressive, and he still had a level of responsibility and dignity and maturity, and he continued to nurture the team through the season.”
While Howard may be in his first season as a head coach, Rose had an inkling that Howard had the qualities to be a top of the line coach someday.
“He’s a fun-loving guy. Yeah, he’s always been the adult in the room amongst us. And I’ve joked — and it might have taken the coronavirus to change this — that I’ve never seen him without a crease in his pants and a haircut. He had a full goatee in high school; even at the same age, he carried himself with more maturity and discipline.”
Howard’s inaugural recruiting class had a couple of major hiccups towards the end, but let’s continue to look at the positives here. This is still the No. 8 class in the country even without five star Josh Christopher nor five star Isaiah Todd. Rose was encouraged by the fact that the Wolverines were in on some of the top recruits in the country after years of searching for journeymen players with John Beilein:
“Juwan seems to be taking the recruiting approach of other [blue bloods] who land top McD’s players, Duke and Kentucky, and Penny Hardaway was getting in for those guys too,” Rose said. “It was refreshing to see him in the living room and in contention for those guys. You lose players all the time; it’s going to happen, whether it’s to other schools or to the NBA. But to be in those conversations makes me think that we’re going to be getting our first [McDonald’s All-American] soon. We haven’t had one since 1998.”
While it hasn’t quite been that long (Michigan landed Daniel Horton in 2002). It has still been 18 years since the Wolverines have had a McDonald’s All-American on their squad. Howard and Michigan missed out on this season, and currently have offers nine five stars in the 2021 circle where they could hold up to as many as seven open scholarship for 2021-22 season. Howard has a lot of potential to build a super team in college basketball if he can put the puzzle pieces together.
Members of Michigan athletics say “thank you’ to first responders
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Michigan Athletics joins the chorus of thanks to our medical professionals, essential workers & all others who put their safety at risk for our benefit.— Michigan Athletics (@UMichAthletics) April 16, 2020
Thank you.#GoBlue #HailToTheFrontLine pic.twitter.com/3EoUvDQ1n7
Michigan Football sends offers to three recruits
Jim Harbaugh and his staff keep busy amid the coronavirus outbreak as they have offered three more recruits on Thursday after four offers yesterday.
The biggest name on the list is Class of 2021 four star linebacker Clayton Smith out of Texas. He compositely ranks as the No. 104 player and No. 8 linebacker in the country according to 247sports. There are two Crystal Balls already in for the stud both with him headed to the Texas Longhorns.
Then, the Wolverines targeted another 2021 prospect, three star safety Jaden Slocum. While he is only ranked as the No. 476 prospect in the country, Slocum has some big-time offers from Florida, Florida State, and Alabama.
Last but not least, Harbaugh reached out to a huge tight end target in the 6’7”, Class of 2022 Marlin Klein. Out of Georgia, Klein holds two offers from the Wolverines and the Arizona State Sun Devils. He is currently unranked in the 2022 circuit.
- Walterfootball.com is the first to put out a 2021 NFL Mock Draft as we are now less than a week away from the 2020 NFL Draft. Their projections have Michigan offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield as the No. 15 overall pick heading to the Los Angeles Chargers.
- Thursday was the 20th anniversary of the New England Patriots drafting stud Michigan quarterback Tom Brady in the 2000 draft with the 199th overall selection. He was the seventh quarterback off the board.
- Los Angles Rams center Brian Allen and Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller became the first two players in the NFL to test positive for the coronavirus.
- USC quarterback JT Daniels has entered the draft portal. Michigan was in his final list out of high school and there are rumors that they could be targeting the former five star.
- Jaguars runningback Leonard Fournette is pushing the franchise to pursue free agent quarterback Cam Newton as they try to assemble the NFL’s most fragile backfield.