The Wolverine

June-July 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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26 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2020 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 A t the turn of the year, Michi- gan head basketball coach Juwan Howard's potential problem seemed to turn into a very realistic scenario — too many players, not enough scholarships. The Wolverines had already received a letter of intent from Montverde (Fla.) Academy guard Zeb Jackson, pledges from four-star standouts Hunter Dickinson and Terrance Wil- liams, and on Jan. 20 added a com- mitment from Hollywood (Fla.) University three-star guard/forward Jace Howard. At that point, Michigan was also the perceived leader for five-star Josh Christopher and still had a ver- bal commitment from five-star for- ward Isaiah Todd of Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God, who would later opt to forego college to begin his pro career in the NBA's G League. So shortly after his pledge, Jace Howard — Juwan's son — ap- proached his father with an incred- ibly selfless gesture. "Back in late January I told them if you need me to take a walk-on spot, that's cool with me," he recalled. "I was thinking about it — we could be really good if we get everybody back. He said, 'Okay, I appreciate you for that.' "He and the staff were very grate- ful for that, but honestly it didn't matter to me. If you're at Michigan, you're at Michigan. I know people look at walk-ons differently, but I didn't want to get in the way of us being great." By April, of course, things had changed dramatically. In addition to the five-stars, U-M lost center Colin Castleton and guards Cole Bajema and David DeJulius to transfers. Just like that, the Wolverines had schol- arships to spare. One morning, Jace got a text from his father that he was back on scholarship — no fanfare, just a matter-of-fact, "here we go" type declaration after which they went on with their days. In his son, Juwan Howard is get- ting a player who is like him in a number of ways but very different in others. Jace is 6-7, a few inches shorter than his dad, and he's more a perimeter guy than his Fab Five father, who lived in the paint at U-M. Jace averaged 10.8 points, 6.3 re- TEAM PLAYER Jace Howard — Juwan's Son — Was Rewarded With A Scholarship After Offering To Walk On Howard has never played for his dad before, but is looking forward to the opportunity. He called Michigan the best situation of all possible college paths, which included other Division I programs and Ivy League schools. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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