The Wolverine

June-July 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2020 THE WOLVERINE 19 2 0 2 0 B A S K E T B A L L R E C R U I T I N G I S S U E BY CHRIS BALAS F or most of winter and spring, Juwan Howard's 2020 re- cruiting class stood as the No. 1 group in the Big Ten. It remained there even after five- star forward Isaiah Todd of Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy re- neged on his fall pledge to pursue a career in the NBA G League, thanks to a four-man class filled with prom- ise and high expectations. However, after the final Rivals. com rankings update and Indiana convinced a five-star 2021 recruit to reclassify to 2020, Michigan's group technically slipped to third in the Big Ten, sliding in at No. 15 nation- ally, behind the No. 10 Hoosiers and No. 14 Illinois. None of that makes Michigan's group any less impressive, Rivals na- tional recruiting analyst Corey Evans noted after his site released its final rankings. "Juwan Howard's first go-around leading a college program must have him thinking, 'Is this how it is going to be every year?' Juwan, I promise you, your past 12 months is one of the more unique recruiting rides that I have seen a first-year head coach endure," he quipped. Initially, Evans admitted, he had concerns about the Wolverines' re- vamped recruiting mindset upon Howard's hiring, specifically, shoot- ing for the (five) stars. The Wolver- ines couldn't close on some elite targets, lost Todd, missed out on five- star shooting guard Josh Christopher late when the California standout stunned everyone and picked Ari- zona State over U-M, leaving a hole at shooting guard. At the same time, Howard had cast a wide enough net that the four prep players he did land — Hyatts- ville (Md.) DeMatha four-star cen- ter Hunter Dickinson, Montverde (Fla.) Academy four-star shooting guard Zeb Jackson, Hollywood (Fla.) University School three-star small forward Jace Howard and Washing- A Fantastic First Effort Juwan Howard Impresses With His Initial Recruiting Class Howard's class was ranked as the best in the Big Ten for much of the cycle by, but after losing five-star commit Isaiah Todd, it settled at No. 3 in the league and No. 15 nationally — still a more than respectable debut for the first-time head coach. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL MICHIGAN IN THE NATIONAL TEAM RECRUITING RANKINGS Outlet National Rk. Big Ten Rk. Rivals 15 3 247Sports 18 3 ESPN 9 1

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