Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

November 05, 2019 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Only the jerseys

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 // TIPOFF 2019


hen Michigan’s sea-
son tips off tonight,
only the Wolverines’
jerseys will
remind you of
By now,
most have
grown numb
to the fact that
John Beilein
is gone. The
shock doesn’t
register nearly
as much as
it did only a
few months ago. But on Tuesday
night, it will resonate more than
ever before. The man who spent
the last decade-plus building
the Michigan men’s basketball
team into a perennial contender
walked out the door on a mid-
May morning, following in the
footsteps of three early roster
Despite coming off back-to-
back 30-win seasons for the
first time in program history,
the defining elements of Michi-
gan basketball suddenly felt
unhinged. When Juwan Howard
was hired, they went out the
And by no means is that a bad
Howard will build his pro-
gram on a completely different
bedrock than Beilein, who began
his coaching career as a junior
varsity high school coach and
worked his way up the ladder
to Ann Arbor. His successor,
however, spent the last two-
and-a-half decades playing and
coaching at the ladder’s highest
rung. Naturally, they see the job
through different lenses.
Take recruiting, for example.
Beilein never signed a McDon-
ald’s All-American, but that
didn’t stop him from coaching a
Monday night game in both April
of 2013 and 2018. In doing so, his
program became the gold stan-
dard of developing talent. That
process started at square one,
with Beilein’s teams notoriously
beginning each season with the
most basic of passing drills.
Howard, on the other hand,
has employed his NBA pedigree
in his attempt to shoot for the
stars. Following his formal intro-
duction at the end of May, he
extended 13 scholarship offers to

top-45 prospects over the sum-
mer, per the 247 Sports 2020
Composite Rankings. Among
that group was five-star power
forward Isaiah Todd, who ulti-
mately chose Michigan over
Kansas, which had been recruit-
ing him since eighth grade.
Todd’s pledge is more than
a commitment. It’s a seismic
shift in the Wolverines’ recruit-
ing, which now
appears eager to
go toe-to-toe with
the nation’s top
programs. Eight
of the aforemen-
tioned top-45
recruits have
already commit-
ted, five of which
selected Duke,
Kentucky or
North Carolina.
While adding Todd doesn’t
automatically make Michigan
a one-and-done factory, it sure
defines exactly who Howard
wants to be on the recruiting
Howard has been as aggres-

sive as any other recruiter in the
country since his hiring — an
effort that appears aligned with
the Wolverines’ anticipated tran-
sition to an NBA-like brand of
basketball. Last season, Beilein’s
offense finished 341st in the
nation in possessions per game.
In Friday’s exhibition onslaught,
Michigan’s used every transition
opportunity to attack the rim or
create uncontest-
ed jumpers, while
19 first-half pos-
sessions ended in
shots off one pass.
There’ll be grow-
ing pains, particu-
larly with shot
selection, but that
type of up-tempo
offense was previ-
ously absent in
Ann Arbor.
“If you’re open, I want our
guys to shoot it,” Howard said
on Friday. “I don’t want them to
have a second guess or think the
game and play like robots. I just
want them to read the game, read
time and possession.”

The philosophy led to 31 three-
point attempts — a figure which
Michigan eclipsed just twice all
of last season.
“Coach Beilein liked quick
shots if they were wide open,”
said junior forward Isaiah Liv-
ers. “Coach Howard likes quick
shots, but smart quick shots —
not a contested shot. He wants
to run. If we get stops, we better
reward ourselves.
“ … It’s just
the adjustment
of you get a steal
and there’s two
guys ahead of you,
you’re like, ‘Ah,
I’m gonna hold
off.’ That’s how it
used to be. Coach
Howard’s imple-
mented you get up
to that halfcourt
and you get to that free throw
line and then you make your
decision of if you’re going to
pull it out or go. ‘Just be a bas-
ketball player,’ that’s what he
tells us.”
That message is in line with

Howard’s idea of positionless
basketball. With multiple play-
ers on the roster athletic enough
to guard multiple positions,
there’s room to get creative.
Against Appalachian State,
the country will get a glimpse of
what, exactly, that entails. And
Ann Arbor will get a glimpse
of what, exactly, hiring a first-
time head coach with no college
coaching experi-
ence entails.
The transition
won’t be seam-
less, but early
returns suggest
Michigan ath-
letic director
Warde Manuel
nailed this hire
in the wake of
Beilein’s sudden
exit. It’s now
up to the ones who wear the
unchanged jerseys, not suits, to
prove it.

Dash can be reached at

dashdan@umich.edu or on

Twitter @danieldash428.


The Michigan basketball team is set to unveil its reinvented self Tuesday when it takes on Appalachian State, ushering a new era in which hardly anything is the same.

When Juwan Howard steps on the floor as Michigan’s coach, nothing will be the same as it was before

Coach Beilein
liked quick shots
if they were
wide open.

Coach Howard
likes quick
shots ... smart
quick shots.

Back to Top

© 2024 Regents of the University of Michigan