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Why I have hope for Michigan basketball under Juwan Howard

After a crushing loss to Indiana on Saturday, it may seem as if all hope if lost for the Wolverines. Still, I remain hopeful for UM hoops.




On Saturday, the Michigan basketball team suffered its 11th loss of the season — a one-point heart-breaking loss at the hands of the 18th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers. While the loss was ugly, the play felt sloppy, and this team seems disappointing, I remain hopeful for the Michigan basketball program. Here is why.

Michigan basketball still has a chance in 2022-23

I know this season feels like an utter disappointment; frankly, it has been. I do not deny that, nor am I saying that I think anything will be worked out throughout the season’s final stages. Still, with that being said, the Wolverines are not finished just yet.

Throughout my years of watching college basketball, I have seen crazier things happen than this year’s team making the NCAA tournament. One example would be last year’s Michigan basketball team making the Sweet 16 with a victory over Tennessee. Yesterday’s loss was ugly; however, if the Wolverines can string together some massive wins the rest of the way, Michigan has a fighting chance.

The way I see it, there are two ways this year’s team will make the NCAA tournament:

  1. Michigan basketball wins out the rest of the regular season.
  2. The Wolverines win the Big Ten tournament and earn the automatic bid.

As things stand right now, the Wolverines have a single-bye in the conference tournament and will face either Minnesota or Penn State for their first game. It may not seem likely, but the Wolverines still have time to turn this season around; that said, it would take a miracle seeing as the margin for error is nonexistent.

This season is not the end-all, be-all

I have been watching college sports for nearly all my life, and I know that things can seem dark now. It feels as if this season is all that matters and is indicative of the years to come. While this is sometimes the case, we have not seen the last of the good years under Juwan Howard. I remain hopeful that Michigan basketball will return to its usual form in the years to come.

Juwan Howard is an excellent recruiter, and I do not doubt that Michigan basketball will have the talent on its roster to compete nationally year in and year out. Additionally, even though we have not seen it with this year’s team, I believe Howard has the potential to be a great developmental coach, though his in-game coaching needs some work.

Still, fans need to put the Juwan Howard era into perspective. In year one, Howard rebuilt the Michigan basketball team to a solid season with massive wins. In year two, a mere two seasons ago, Howard led Michigan to an outright Big Ten title and an Elite 8 berth. The year after, the Wolverines appeared in the Sweet 16 for the 5th tournament in a row.

Things may seem gloomy right now, but not all hope is lost for this year’s team, and even if that is the case, Juwan Howard’s time at Michigan has not ended just yet. Even if this year’s team is NIT bound, there is still hope for the Wolverines.

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