Ahead of Michigan’s game against Iowa, head coach Juwan Howard spoke with the media and touched on a number of topics.
Howard was first asked about preparing for Iowa’s Keegan Murray. Murray is one of the top players in the Big Ten and a possible lottery pick, averaging 23.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game for the Hawkeyes this season.
“First, you start with confidence. His confidence level has definitely risen from last season,” Howard said. “This year, a lot of the offensive load is on his shoulders, and he’s accepted that responsibility by putting in the work — you can see that in games, he just looks so comfortable out there and he’s been able to score on the outside as well as on the inside and then give him credit, he’s comfortable putting the ball on the floor creating his own shot.”
Howard also addressed Michigan’s issues with bench scoring. In a lot of Michigan’s losses this season, with the Ohio State game being the latest example, the second unit has struggled to provide a spark for the Wolverines.
“We have plenty of guys learning in tune, (we are trying) to give them everything they can to help play winning basketball to put us in position to be competitive,” Howard said.
Howard was also asked about the development of true freshman Will Tschetter. He has been redshirted this season, but Howard believes the lanky forward has a bright future with the Wolverines and could grow into a leadership role over the next few seasons.
“You never have to worry about Will not coming in and getting in extra work,” Howard said. “When his time comes, I expect for him to be ready to come out and compete. I trust that he’s going to give it his all. I could see Will becoming a captain for the University of Michigan because his entire makeup is built on a Michigan man.”
One of the last things Howard touched on was Austin Davis’ new role with the team. The former player has been helping out with legendary strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson to try and keep this year’s players in great shape down the stretch.
“He’s been great helping with all the strength & conditioning part of it,” Howard said. “From what I’ve seen from times when I’m in a weight room and seeing how active he is helping correctives as well as strength conditioning — it’s been phenomenal, him stepping in with stretching and plyometrics. And teaching that aspect of it as well. I kind of joke with Austin a little bit this year about ‘you know, you could have came back actually,’ he’s always enjoyed that laughter as well.”