The Wolverine

February 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2021   BASKETBALL RECRUITING hoop in the playroom, and I used to just shoot all day. Non-stop. Run up and down the stairs telling my par- ents I was doing workouts and stuff." From there, he developed a love for the game watching Kobe Bry- ant, Tracy McGrady and — later — LeBron James when his dad got to Miami. "On game day, you would be so excited sitting in that seat watching the game. You were never one of those kids who ever took your eye off the court," Juwan Howard said in a recorded FaceTime call with his son. "When I was playing for the Miami Heat you used to always come to the game and play on the practice court. "You never skipped a day when you did not work out and play. Your range kept increasing as you got bet- ter at shooting … you started mov- ing your range back and challenging yourself." Howard sees his son with the po- tential to develop a back-to-the-bas- ket game in addition to shooting and handling the ball. "Your footwork is pretty elite level," the coach said. The younger Howard, though, also wants to be a great defensive player. "Defense is important to me, be- cause if I lock up one of the best play- ers on the team and they have five points and my teammate has 15, then I did my job," he said. "I don't want to have to score every time. I just want to do the right thing every time. I just want to do the right thing and make the right play." He learned that from his famous father, but so much more. "He's like my best friend, pretty much. I can talk to him about any- thing, and if I have a question, he is the first person I'd call," he said. "The biggest takeaway is to just be a good person. No one is better than the next person, just to approach ev- erybody and be kind. Just to be a hard worker and persevere through things even when it hurts. When you want to give up, just keep going. "I want to be better in everything … endurance, speed. A better team- mate, passer, all that stuff. I want my legacy to be a facilitator, a good shooter and a good teammate … an all-around player, pretty much." A year from now, he hopes to be a national champion at IMG and fig- ure out where his recruitment is go- ing to go. Florida and Michigan have emerged as the teams to beat — most believe he'll end up in Ann Arbor — but he's listening to everyone right now. No matter where he brings his skills, he knows he'll have support. "At the end of the day I know my brother and dad will be there for me no matter what path I choose, because they love me," he said of his dad and Michigan freshman Jace Howard. CLASS OF 2022 NOTES • Diminutive 2022 point guard Dug McDaniel (5-10, 155,'s No. 67 junior nationally) gets anywhere he wants to on the floor and is an in- credible playmaker. The Fairfax ( Va.) Paul VI standout notched eight points and nine assists in a loss to Sunrise Christian, and 15 points and nine as- sists in a loss to Houston High during the weekend of Jan. 15-17. McDaniel told repor ters Florida, Georgetown, LSU, Michigan and VCU are the five schools that seem to be prioritizing him the most, but he seems highest on the Wolverines. • Five-star Michigan 2022 target Ja- race Walker (6-6, 220,'s No. 11 overall player in the country) scored 14 points and grabbed nine re- bounds in Bradenton (Fla.) IMG's loss to Montverde (Fla.) Academy Jan. 17. He's an outstanding scorer, and while U-M isn't the favorite here, head coach Juwan Howard is putting in the work. Walker told reporters Auburn, Michigan and North Carolina as the three teams recruiting him hardest. • Several analysts predicted 2022 point guard Jaden Bradley (6-3, 170, No. 7 ju- nior in the land per of IMG Academy would end up at Kentucky after he received an offer from the Wild- cats in December, but his father, Nate Bradley, insisted that was premature. "No commitment in the near future," he said. "He has remained in touch with the staff at Michigan." He said in November his son had de- veloped a "crazy good" relationship with U-M head coach Juwan Howard. ❏ On The Web For regular reports on Michigan basketball recruiting plus videos of U-M commitments and targets visit Florida and Michigan have emerged as the teams to beat for Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy Jett Howard,'s No. 65 junior nationally, but he is expected to end up in Ann Arbor with his father, Juwan. PHOTO BY GARRETT ELLWOOD / COURTESY USA BASKETBALL

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