Howard being apart of the Michigan Wolverines as a player from 1991-1994 as a member of the Fab Five. Also, his experience as a player in the NBA from 1994-2013 gives him great insight into what it takes to be successful at the next level. After his playing career, he became an assistant coach for the Miami Heat from 2013-2019, building his coaching resume. The experience working for Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley will be very beneficial as he takes on the Michigan job. This made him an ideal candidate to be the next head coach at Michigan.
Howard will have a very tough job replacing with losses on the Michigan roster. The losses include Ignas Brazdeikis, Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews. He will return a solid core in Zavier Simpson, Jon Teske, Isaiah Livers and Eli Brooks. Therefore, having one of the best point guards in Simpson will be easier to implement his style of play quickly. The loss of Jalen Wilson, as a high-level recruit who has potential to be an impact player immediately, hurts their chances of immediate success. Livers must take the next step in his game and become a go-to player on the perimeter for Michigan to replace their losses. The veteran players on this team and the implementation of Howard’s style of play will determine the immediate success for Michigan.
Howard coming back to Michigan brings back the pride of the Fab Five and the impact that group had on Michigan. This can give Michigan another way to attract players to the school, allowing players to truly express themselves and be their authentic self. Also, this will allow Howard to bring his own mark on the Michigan brand, making players want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. A culture of togetherness and progressiveness will be an asset for Howard. Howard will have the opportunity to continue the success that John Beilein left by implanting his own culture and way of conducting business.
Michigan has been one of the premier teams in college basketball over the last decade. Therefore, Howard must continue to keep the standard of excellence at Michigan. He will look to continue the Michigan way of contending for BIG 10 titles and advancing deep in the NCAA tournament. Along with, looking to win Michigan’s first national championship since 1989. The pressure won’t necessarily be there for year one to win the Big Ten title, but as year two comes around the expectations to be a top 15 team nationally will return. Howard must be able to meet the standard set by Beilein to keep Michigan content.
Howard has the NBA connections and the respect of many in AAU circles. He will be able to bring in a different caliber player than Beilein could bring in. Howard could go after high-level recruits with the NBA background. In addition, Howard’s ability to change the recruiting expectations for Michigan is vital. Now, this can allow Michigan to consistently bring in high-level talent on a consistent basis. This would allow Michigan to compete year in and year out with any team in the country, however, this would lead to high roster turnover. The culture and style of Howard will lead to make Michigan an attractive destination for high-level recruits. Howard will definitely be able to relate to any recruit in the country and be a very effective recruiter.
Howard, a Michigan Man, brings a sense of pride, culture and passion back to the University of Michigan. The NBA background of Howard will allow him to go after high-level recruits. The ability to continue the consistency of Michigan basketball will be a big task for Howard. The expectations are for Michigan to be a capable team to advance deep in the NCAA tournament on a consistent level. The current core of the veterans in Simpson, Teske, Livers and Brooks will be key to the early success for Howard. John Beilein will not be easy to replace. Howard has the support of Michigan. Now, can he keep the success of Michigan basketball going?
Images Courtesy of, Detroit Free Press, Pioneer Press
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