The Wolverine

January 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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34 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2020 BY JOHN BORTON J uwan Howard's first-ever Michigan team enjoyed a warm Thanksgiving in the Bahamas — and became red hot in the process. A three-game sweep in the Battle 4 Atlantis — against Iowa State, then- No. 6 North Carolina and then-No. 8 Gonzaga — propelled an unranked crew of Wolverines to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll. The meteoric rise signaled that Howard isn't will- ing to accept all the growing pains as a first-year head coach that many deemed inevitable. He can learn, win and have fun with his team all at the same time, that team declared by its perfor- mance. An indelible moment arrived early. After wrapping up the holiday tour- nament championship, Howard strode over to the Wolverines on the Imperial Ballroom court at Paradise Island. He was in paradise, moving in a joyous dance before his players. They responded in kind, swaying, laugh- ing, whooping it up and luxuriating in the realization that the future is now. Howard high-fived them, follow- BRIGHT BEGINNING Michigan's Hot Start Excites Basketball Followers

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