The Wolverine

September 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2021 BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan basketball coach Ju- wan Howard added another critical piece to his 2022 recruit- ing class when big man Tarris Reed,'s No. 90 player nationally (but sure to rise in the next rankings after a big summer), pledged in early August. U-M will try to add a couple more this cycle, but Reed's addi- tion already gave the Wolverines the No. 16 class in the country, ac- cording to Rivals, with only two commitments — the 6-9 Reed out of Branson (Mo.) Link Academy and four-star point guard Dug McDaniel, the nation's No. 75 prospect, of Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI. Only four teams — Kentucky, Oregon, Duke and UCLA — had a higher star average than the Wol- verines' 4.0 as of Aug. 22, and all but seven of the schools ranked ahead of them held more commit- ments. Number of recruits factors into the rankings, and U-M's is cer- tain to rise. Howard and Co. will likely take two more in 2022 and one — Howard's son, Jett Howard — is another very likely four-star addition. The 6-7 Howard, who is listed as Ri- vals' No. 40 senior nationally and is still rising, will visit Tennessee, LSU and a few others, but he's highly likely to join his father in Ann Arbor. "He's a stud. He's really good," Ri- vals national recruiting analyst Jamie Shaw said after seeing Howard at the July NBA Players' Association Top 100 camp. "He's another one I'll be push- ing for a significant bump. I wish he'd shot it better, but he's just one of those incredible role guys that fits in a ton of situations." There aren't any holes in his game, Shaw noted, adding Howard is good at everything but still looking to get 'great' in a few areas. He is a "tough as [heck], big, strong kid who can handle, pass and shoot," Shaw said.'s Andrew Slater was also impressed with him, calling him the best player on a talented team. "He was on a team that should have won more, but he was great," Slater said. "He shot better from midrange than I anticipated. … I didn't think he shot as well from three as other camps — well, but just not as well as at [Nike] EYBL [Elite Youth Basketball League]. "But he made a lot of smart plays. He's more of an overall player. He used to be just like a standalone shooter, a specialist kind of deal. He's become more complete. That's the best way of phrasing it, and he's a better defender overall, turning the ball over less, becoming a better passer." Shaw went so far as to call the Bra- denton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout the top small forward at the event. "While he may have started the camp off a little slow, [he] ended the camp seventh overall in scoring and three-point percentage at 11.4 points and 36.4 percent," Shaw reported. "… [He] played 23.8 minutes per game and showed his composure on the ball and his burst and ability to score the ball. "Howard plays with a great pace and a lot of strength, but it was his confidence and composure that stood out, also his willingness to compete." His team also won the 3-on-3 por- tion of the camp, another accolade in an outstanding summer. The Wolverines will rise in the rankings if (when?) Howard pledges, but it's clear the coaches want a fourth, either an elite shooter or player overall. They tried with future five-star Kyle Filipowski (committed to Duke), a 6-10 power forward out of Mas- sachusetts, and 6-9 power forward and Nebraskan Isaac Traudt (no traction), and most recently of- fered fast-rising big man Yohan Traore. They'd love the 6-9, 227-pound Traore, out of Glendale (Ariz.) Dream City Christian, to play alongside Reed and feel they can play both at the same time. "That is the kid that still was going hard despite the long sum- mer," Slater said. "To me, he's one where you go, 'If we can get him, we've got to get it done.' Maybe it's because he's a foreign kid [originally from France] who didn't get the attention in high school, but his motor was off the charts." Shaw believes Traore, currently Ri- vals' No. 64 prospect and No. 9 power forward nationally, might be a top-10 guy when it's all said and done. "There is not much on the floor Traore cannot do," he said. "He still needs to continue to tighten it all up, but he has range on his jump shot, can score with his back to the basket, can slide his feet on defense, can attack the basket off the bounce … "The 6-9 forward showed glimpses of brilliance in this [NBAPA] camp, and he competed, which was not al- ways the case in this setting. When it comes to his NBA prospects, you wish he was a couple inches taller, but for college, this will not matter as much." He averaged 12.4 points and 3.8 re- bounds on 57.4-percent shooting for the week. "He rebounded well, showed abil- ity to face up, which nobody had seen before in the last two months," Slater added. He's visited Texas, and they're one to watch (along with LSU), but Traore will take a trip to Michigan this fall,   BASKETBALL RECRUITING Two Down In 2022 … Two To Go? Jett Howard, the son of U-M head coach Juwan Howard, will visit Tennessee, LSU and a few others, but he's highly likely to join his father in Ann Arbor. PHOTO BY GARRETT ELLWOOD/COURTESY USA BASKETBALL

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