The Wolverine

December 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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34 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2022 BY JOHN BORTON B rian Boesch eyes Juwan How- ard's team from a unique per- spective, starting with the sea- son's opening tipoff to the final packing away of the basketballs. This year, the Michigan men's basket- ball radio play-by-play man likes what he sees. What's not to like? Start with argu- ably the Big Ten's best player, 7-foot-1 junior center Hunter Dickinson. Add in an emerging returnee such as sophomore guard Kobe Bufkin. Then inject a host of freshman and transfer talent, like rookie guard Jett Howard, and it's not hard to project the Wolverines as a Big Ten con- tender and possible Sweet 16 squad again. Not so fast, warn the wary. Isn't Dick- inson the only returning full-time starter from last season? Doesn't the new wave of players from the prep ranks or other schools have to prove itself beyond the likes of Purdue-Fort Wayne and Eastern Michigan? Of course. Like with any team, however, discernable and developing talent jumps out, often regardless of the sample size and opposition. Boesch has seen enough Michigan basketball — under both How- ard and his predecessor — to draw several pointed perspectives. Here are a few worth considering, while bigger challenges await. NEW TALENT LED BY JETT FUEL Anyone scrutinizing Michigan's early outings couldn't help but be struck by the newest Howard in the lineup. Jett How- ard, the 6-8 guard out of IMG Academy and the head coach's household, lit it up in the early going. He put on a show in the exhibition game against Ferris State, pouring in 30 points on 10-for-12 shooting, including knock- ing down 6 of 8 attempts from 3-point range. When the lights went on to begin the regular season, he jetted off with 21 points, hitting 5 more 3s on 10 tries and racking up 5 assists in the opener against Purdue-Fort Wayne. A second-team preseason All-America selection by The Sporting News, junior cen- ter Hunter Dickinson averaged 26.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in Michigan's first two games. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL SET TO SOAR The Wolverines' Roster Boasts A Huge Upside

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