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Michigan basketball breaks 29 year trend on draft night

Last night, Michigan basketball broke a draft trend that lasted nearly three decades.



Michigan basketball, NBA Draft, Jett Howard, Kobe Bufkin
Mar 9, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Jett Howard (13) reacts after scoring against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, two Michigan basketball stars from the 2022-23 season were selected in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft. Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard, both standouts under Juwan Howard last winter, were chosen with the No. 11 and No. 15 picks in last night’s draft. This makes them the first duo from the University of Michigan to be selected within the top 20 in nearly three decades. The last occurrence of this was in 1994.

Michigan basketball breaks impressive NBA Draft trend

Last night, two former Michigan basketball standouts — Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard — were picked among the top 15 in this year’s NBA Draft. This was a notable development for the Wolverines, who consistently produce pro-level talent but failed to make the NCAA tournament last season.

Kobe Bufkin was a standout for Michigan basketball last season, and despite occasional issues with consistency, he proved to be one of the better talents in this draft. The NBA clearly took note, as Bufkin was selected with the No. 15 pick in this year’s draft. Now, the former Wolverine is poised for his first year with the Atlanta Hawks in the 2023-24 season.

In addition to Bufkin, Jett Howard — the son of Michigan basketball head coach Juwan Howard — was chosen with the No. 11 overall pick and will now join the Orlando Magic. Howard, who was a true freshman last year, showcased incredible talent and potential throughout the season. He joins three other former Wolverines on his new team: Mo Wagner, Franz Wagner, and Caleb Houstan.

This NBA Draft breakthrough demonstrates that the Wolverines are capable of producing elite-caliber talent. Now, Michigan basketball needs to translate that success onto the court and return to the program’s regular standard, competing for Big Ten and national titles.

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