The Wolverine

November 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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38 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2022 2022-23 BASKETBALL PREVIEW BY JOHN BORTON J uwan Howard faces a unique op- portunity this winter at Crisler Center and beyond. Many coaches have guided one son through a ma- jor college basketball program. Howard features two, and not just sen- timental, end-of-the-bench additions. Junior forward Jace Howard increasingly saw the floor last season, and his leader- ship skills are such that he's been named a co-captain for the 2022-23 Wolverines. Younger brother Jett arrives as a head- liner, among the most talented in a large group of incoming performers. Their former NBA All-Star dad couldn't have it much better — he's guided his alma mater to a Big Ten championship, Sweet 16s and the cusp of a Final Four. He gets to continue his pursuit of greatness with two sons on the roster. Asked if he ever finds himself going harder on them than he does on other players, the Michigan head coach deliv- ered an extended, thoughtful response. "My boys know this — I love them," Howard said. "I love them uncondition- ally. They always are going to be special in my eyes. They are unique in my eyes, and both are very different, even though they're from the same mom and dad. "We've watched them grow and watched how they developed over the years. Seeing who they are and who they've become, I'm so damned proud of them. "I'm going to coach them. At times, there's going to be some hard, tough love. Am I coaching them harder than their teammates? Maybe, maybe not. But they're going to get coached." He paused, then talked about them in the context of the full roster, populated by those he's said in the past he consid- ers sons. "Do I expect more from them than from their teammates?" Howard mused. "I expect a lot from all of them, because of the way our staff has developed this cul- ture, and what we expect. It's a marriage. That's what makes it fun for us. "They have responsibility. So do we. Our responsibility is to love each other, help each other grow. I know I've said this before and I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face, we do a fun job of allowing our players to have active participation, a voice within the culture and within the team. "With my boys, they are a large part of that. The beauty of it is just watching how our teammates and staff have accepted them." A c c e p t i n g H owa rd 's o f f s p r i n g shouldn't be too tough. Jace became hugely popular as an enthusiastic bench leader, before he started seeing the floor in earnest. Jett represents a top-40 national recruit across the board, and he stands to make an immediate impact. "From an attitude standpoint, a work ethic standpoint, and a skill standpoint, it's tough not to be really impressed with what Jett has brought to the table," noted Brian Boesch, play-by-play man for Michigan radio broadcasts. "I think he's become a fan favorite early on. "I'm excited to see where that growth can be. What he does on the floor, what we've seen from him pre-University of Michigan, it fits a lot of what this team can really use for this season." THROUGH JETT'S OWN EYES As a senior at IMG Academy in Bra- denton, Fla., the youngest Howard on the roster averaged 13.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He believes he can help the Wolverines in a number of ways when called upon. "Shooting, playmaking, defend- ing," Jett mused when asked about his strengths. "I feel like in some of those big moments, I'm not shy. I don't shy away." He doesn't shy away from his playful side, when answering questions about the Fab Five and his famous father. He's watched all the videos, and understands JETT BLUE Jett Howard Headlines A Host Of Talented New Additions Freshman Jett Howard joins his older brother, Jace, in playing for their father, U-M head coach Juwan Howard. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETICS

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