The Wolverine

August 2022*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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AUGUST 2022 THE WOLVERINE 21 will certainly command attention on the third and final day of the competition. The Wolverines also feature an inter- esting history with the Cavaliers. Michi- gan hasn't hosted Virginia since 1951, when the home team posted a 66-52 vic- tory. The other two contests involved postseason play. UVa beat Michigan in the 1980 NIT, 79-68, while the Wolver- ines blasted Virginia in the 1989 NCAA Tournament, 102-65, on the way to the national championship. OVERSEAS TRIP WILL PROVIDE BONDING OPPORTUNITY Michigan might still be introducing some players to each other when it heads for Europe in mid-August. The Wolver- ines' opportunity for international travel has rolled around again, and they're headed for Paris and Greece. The trip could prove important on sev- eral levels. Juwan Howard saw more than half of last year's roster turn over due to graduations, transfers and early NBA defections. Now, armed with the next freshman class and grad transfers, he's bringing together a new crew. The three scheduled exhibition games — with exact dates and times yet to be announced — will take U-M to Paris, Athens and Mykonos. College teams can travel overseas once every four years, and Michigan last did so in 2018, playing pre- season games in Spain. ❏ Youssef Khayat Lends The Newest International Flavor Michigan isn't any stranger to highly successful foreign imports. The Wolverines assisted Germans Moe and Franz Wagner, along with Paris native Moussa Diabate, into the NBA. Next up? Freshman Youssef Khayat, a 6-8 wing from Lebanon, who has per- formed on a French professional squad for years. Khayat made the call for Michigan without actually visiting Ann Arbor and noted that the Wolverines' track record with international players made a big difference. He told the On3 network the following: "I chose the program for their experience developing international wings. They have one of the best coaches right now in Juwan Howard, who I grew up watching and admiring. The coaching staff made me immediately feel at home. And Michigan has one of the largest Lebanese com- munities in the U.S., so that impacted, for sure." Khayat performed for the Limoges CSP under-21 team, as well as the Lebanon National Team. He averaged 17.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 33 games for the Limoges squad in 2021-22. Some insisted upon his commitment to Michigan that Khayat can provide im- mediate help at U-M's unsettled wing position. Junior center Hunter Dickinson represents the only returning starter from last season's Sweet 16 squad. Michigan radio play-by-play man Brian Boesch sees an intense battle for minutes shaping up. "It's a really intriguing potential fit," Boesch said. "I've watched a little bit of Khayat. You look at the body, the frame and the experience he's gotten playing overseas. This team needed some help on the wing. "I think it's fair to expect that [junior forward] Terrance Williams II can make that jump, but this team coming in has some questions at the wing spot. There is a real chance that [Khayat] can come in and immediately help. "When you play against older, more ma- ture talent — like we've seen in the past with Franz [Wagner], with Moe [Wagner] — you have the ability to be advanced from a defensive standpoint, which is al- ways going to be important." Unfortunately for Khayat, he will not get a full summer of working out with U-M trainer Jon Sanderson, but Boesch still anticipates some physical advancements between now and the start of Michigan's season. "This is a young man who has the size," Boesch noted. "He won't have a full run in Camp Sanderson, but I'll be interested to see the first time I meet him versus how he looks in November, how he's able to add to that." There's no doubt, Khayat comes in at a position of need, with the ability to put the ball in the basket from outside. In 29.5 minutes per game for Limoges last year, he shot 37 percent from 3-point range. "Wings will continue to be so, so valu- able," Boesch said. "A guy like him, who has that ability, has that frame — I'm really excited to see what he can bring to the table. "It's a great investment in a young man who brings a different skill set than some of the guys who have come in. [Freshman] Jett Howard has the chance to seize some immediate minutes as that type of player, but Michigan has some question marks there. "We'll have to see if somebody can seize that — Youssef or Jett or somebody like a T-Will [Tschetter]. It will be fun to watch, that's for sure." — John Borton Head coach Juwan Howard brought in one international player and two transfers to round out U-M's 2022-23 roster. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Khayat averaged 17.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 33 games for French pro team Limoges CSP in 2021-22. PHOTO COURTESY LEBANESE BASKETBALL/TWITTER

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