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November 05, 2019 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019 // TIPOFF 2019

No. 23 Purdue
Boilermakers? Really? I’ve just never
understood it. Nobody mansplain it to
me in the comments. I don’t care that
Frankly, they’re probably going to
be pretty good. KenPom puts them
at No.7 overall. They’ve been a pretty
consistent force in Big Ten basketball
over the past few years. They busted
up my junior-year homecoming date’s
bracket pretty good a few years back
when a team he told me was overrated
made it to the Sweet Sixteen instead
of losing in the first round, and they
got to the Elite Eight last year before
falling to eventual champion Virginia.
Purdue’s roster is talented enough
to make up for the loss of Carsen
Edwards, with players like junior
guard Nojel Eastern and junior center
Matt Haarms poised to step in and
lead the team.
Honestly, that’s about it. This team
is definitely going to be good. They
might even be great. They’re certainly
heading in that direction.
Sophomore guard Cam Mack has
high hopes for this Cornhusker team.

“This year, this team – we can get
to the Sweet Sixteen,” he said at Big
Ten Media Day. “We can win a couple
games in the tournament. We’re
gonna shock a lot of people.”
But I’m going to be straight up with
you here: Nebraska’s probably going to
be a bit of a pushover this year. They’ve
got just two returning players, only one
of whom has even played a minute of
Big Ten basketball. The Cornhuskers
have 14 new faces, and two transfers
sitting out. It’s a rebuilding year.
But they’ve got a really exciting new
head coach in Fred Hoiberg, usually
remembered for his unsuccessful
tenure with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls
rather than his imposing offense at
Iowa State. Hoiberg used transfers
and his recruiting talents to turn his
alma mater into a serious tournament
contender, and his excitement about
Nebraska and the program he wants
to build there is palpable. It’s hard to
find a reason Hoiberg can’t work the
same magic in Lincoln.
This year, the Cornhuskers are
probably going to be a bit of an also-
ran. But with the energy around this
program, I don’t think it’s going to be
that way for long.
I wanted to write “nerds” and
leave it at that, but my editors said
I had to write more than that. But
honestly, things aren’t looking great

this year for Northwestern. The
Wildcats made their first trip to the
NCAA Tournament in 2017, and
even got a first-round win over their
fellow nerds, Vanderbilt. It looked the
Wildcats might have finally gotten
their heads in the game.
I don’t know what happened to
that program, but it sure as hell hasn’t
showed up since then. Northwestern
went 15-17 in 2018 and 13-19 last year.
This year doesn’t look like it’ll be
much different. They graduated much
of last year’s already-tepid offensive
production. And while newcomers
like freshman forward Robbie Beran,
a four-star prospect, and freshman
point guard Boo Buie show some
potential, it’s probably unreasonable
to expect them to contribute much
right away.
Stick to studying, Wildcats.
Last year’s basketball beat wants
me to reiterate their firm conviction
that Rutgers will make the National
Invitation Tournament this year.
Other than that, there’s no way I can
follow up Ethan Sears on Steve Pikiell
and this program, so I’ll let him do the
So there you have it: a hopefully-
not-too-painless preview of this year’s
conference field.
Now let’s play some basketball.

From Page 7B

“The off the court stuff also.
How to dress, how to carry yourself
and be mannered. He didn’t only
try to make you a better basketball
player, he tried to make you a better
identity Howard
team since his
announcement as
head coach has
been family. He
is a family man
through and through as evidenced
not only with the way talks about
and deals with his team but through
small acts such as bringing his kids
to the facilities when he was in
appreciation for the game. In fact,
Howard’s eldest, Juwan Howard Jr.
was even on a Heat practice squad in
2016. The younger Howard blended
right in, befriending the players,
even playing video games with

During this time, Howard didn’t
treat his son any different — mixing
honesty and family, telling his son
what he needed to work on, the
lessons of his playing and coaching
days coming into full effect.
It is these qualities that will
perhaps aid Howard in the biggest
adjustment to the college basketball
coaching lifestyle: recruiting.
now tasked with
and Michigan as a
premier temple of
college basketball
development. Ask
those who knew
him as a coach,
and it’s not hard to
see what that pitch might sound like.
“I think the No. 1 thing that
will stick out for him is that he’s a
people person, and he’s about kids,”
Adebayo said. “Like he doesn’t want
anything from us. Like he’ll give you
the shirt off his back, that’s the type
of person he is.”
This is a man who embodies
commitment. A man who cried
when he was introduced as the head
coach of the men’s basketball team.
This is a man who would give you
the shirt off his back, they say. And
maybe, if you hang around long
enough, the tooth from his mouth.

The Michigan basketball team lost all three games against Michigan State last season, putting a dour on an otherwise successful season that ended against Texas Tech in the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA

From Page 4B

...he’s a people
person, and he’s
about kids.

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