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Juwan Howard and Eli Brooks provide updates on Michigan Basketball

The Wolverines are currently in Orlando preparing to play UCF on December 30th

NCAA Basketball: Southern Utah at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been awhile since the Michigan Wolverines took the floor, as their last game was a home win on Dec. 18 against Southern Utah. The Wolverines were supposed to play Purdue Fort Wayne on the 21st, but the game was cancelled due to covid concerns with Fort Wayne. Juwan Howard took his Wolverines down to Orlando for their upcoming game against UCF a few days early and says he has liked what he has seen in practice, and the team is getting valuable bonding time as well.

“Unfortunately, we all are dealing with covid and this new variant,” Howard told the media on Wednesday. “It has put a pause, and delayed us from playing, it cancelled our last game, but the most important thing is everyone being healthy and safe during these tough times. Overall, these two weeks, we’ve dealt with it before last year, and knowing that this is a different team from last years team, I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far in practice. We’re doing our best to navigate during these tough times.”

Howard went on to add that, as of now, there are no Michigan players dealing with covid.

Michigan takes on the UCF Knights on Thursday night, and the biggest threat for Michigan to stop is Darin Green, who is averaging 14.8 PPG so far for the Knights, leading the team.

“He’s been playing very well, shooting the ball extremely well from the outside,” Howard said. “Also been able to go downhill, getting into the paint and finishing over people. He’s playing with loads of confidence, he’s been a challenge for every opponent they’ve faced. I expect the same for us, we’re going to try to do everything we can to try to make his catches tough, try to get a hand ball contest every time he shoots it and live with the results.”

After Michigan plays UCF, it’s back to Big Ten play, where everything matters most. Michigan has shown some weaknesses so far that need to be cleaned up before the Big Ten schedule is back.

“Turnovers, and we need to do a better job of rebounding, on both sides,” Eli Brooks said when asked about what needs to be cleaned up before Big Ten play. “We need to get more possessions with offensive rebounds. More stops, and less second chance points. Like I said, turnovers. Turnovers are wasted possessions, we don’t get anything out of them. Making sure we clean up those areas and we’ll be good.”

Michigan at UCF tips off on Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN 2.