The Wolverine

August 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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64 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2021   BASKETBALL RECRUITING out and make jump shots. … [He's] more of power forward stretch." The nation's No. 15 center can also defend the paint, and he's been out- standing in that role this summer. He said recently player development is going to be one of the biggest factors in his decision — he wants to play in the NBA, and he's looking for some- one to push him and stay on him to help him get there — and perhaps nobody in the country is better pre- pared to help him than Howard. His mom is also huge on academ- ics, he added, and he's looking for a business and marketing degree. "She pushed me every day on the academics, wants the best for me," he said. "… I want to play for a place that feels like home; a place that is comfortable for me. When I get on campus there, I want to go to a place that makes me feel happy." That might well be Ann Arbor, and we'll know sooner than later. "The tradition and history speak for themselves," Suther said. "He re- ally likes the coaches and enjoyed his visit a lot. "[Howard] has done a great job. He had success immediately at Michigan, and watching from afar, I've been impressed with the style of play, how unselfish his team was. He seems to be committed to being there for the long haul, which is obviously very important [to Reed]." Adding up everything he's seek- ing, it appears the Wolverines have a great shot. FOUR-STAR JETT HOWARD IS TAKING HIS TIME Juwan Howard already has one son on his team in freshman Jace Howard, and he's working on add- ing a second this fall. Jett Howard, who now stands 6-7, is one of the faster rising prospects in the 2022 class. He is currently listed as Ri-'s No. 7 shooting guard and No. 40 overall player nationally, and is pushing to move up even more in the next several months. The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Acad- emy standout impressed at the Elite 32 tournament near Atlanta in early July with his Nightrydas Elite AAU program. He's considered one of the better shooters in his class, but he's so much more, able to play at least three positions on the floor — and, in his opinion, maybe more. "I think I could play the one, two or three — it's whatever the coach re- ally wants from me," Howard said. "I feel like I'm an under-control player. I can hit open shots, I can get my teammates involved, I can get to the cup pretty much whenever I want to. "I feel like I'm an all-around player; I'm working on it, though." His defense is one area in which his coaches still want to see him im- prove, and there's no doubt his father would require his best on that end when he arrived in Ann Arbor. He also wants to become a better ball handler so he can thrive in an up- tempo game. "I think it's important because, for one, I don't want to find my point guard every time when I can just go [after a rebound]," Howard said. "That's going to slow my team down. I can get my team in position in dif- ferent sets. If I can do that, I think we have a better chance of winning." Most would be stunned if he didn't do his winning in Ann Arbor at the next level, but he wants to be re- cruited and is going through the pro- cess. Tennessee is one willing to take its chances, and the Volunteers will be rewarded with a visit in August. "I give them credit," Howard said of teams who continue to pursue him. "It's obviously tough because they're going to assume I'm auto- matically going [to Michigan]. But I feel like if they shoot their shot and give me a good reason — show me what I would do in their system and give a good blueprint — I'd be open to going to their schools, too." G eorgetow n 's P atrick Ew in g has also offered, while some of the Florida schools could also get looks. There are no plans for a Michigan of- ficial visit given how often he's been on the U-M campus, frequently to spend time with his brother. "Jace loves it up there," Howard said. "We went up and visited Ann Arbor when we were little, when [former head] Coach [John] Beilein was there. I love Michigan. "Obviously, my dad's there. I like it a little more [now]. I think my dad's doing a good job up there, especially for being only his second year — to be AP Coach of the Year is pretty good." He also believes he'd fit in well on the court, noting the style of play suits his game. "I see everybody is pretty much position-less," Howard said. "They get a lot of open shots and a lot of opportunities, so I think I'll take ad- vantage of that. "When I was watching [former Wolverines] Isaiah Livers and Jordan Jett Howard is listed as the nation's No. 7 shooting guard and No. 40 overall prospect, and is widely expected to join his father at Michigan. PHOTO BY GARRETT ELLWOOD/COURTESY USA BASKETBALL

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