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Juwan Howard makes Michigan State a competitor



Gonzaga looks like the team to beat this year. Baylor is second in college basketball, followed by third. Is it… Michigan?

This is real.

After defeating No. 9 Wisconsin 77-54 on Tuesday night, the Wolverines are now 11-0. Wisconsin is a fierce opponent, having only lost two games before. They defeated Michigan’s 12th place by double digits on Christmas Day and entered the top ten duel with Michigan’s 7th place for two consecutive stops. But it never closed on Tuesday. The Wolverines led by 40 points and scored 43-6 between the first half and the second half. Four players completed the game in double figures. This is the first time in the history of college basketball that a team defeated three straight opponents with at least 1

9 points.

Michigan State coach Yuwan Howard said after the game: “They are locked on a path that makes their opponents difficult. It is not easy.” “This is drilling in practice, watching it on a movie and feeling uncomfortable. A buyout method of putting it into practice.”

In just two seasons, Howard managed to make the Michigan plan his own.

Before taking over as the head coach of his alma mater, Howard was one of the loveliest coaches in the NBA and established a good career among the assistants of the Miami Heat. When Howard took over Michigan State, former head coach John Beilein had just served as the NBA head coach in Cleveland after 12 seasons with Ann Arbor.

There have been former NBA players who have taken over college courses in the past, but no one can succeed as quickly as Juwan Howard. Avery Johnson served as head coach in Alabama for four years, but with little success. Penny Hardaway and James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa had some recruiting victories in Memphis, but had a ranking in just three seasons The top team.

January 12, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Isaiah Livers (2) played against Wisconsin Bad team guard Brad Davidson in the first half of the Chrisler Center (34) when shooting.Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA Today
January 12, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Isaiah Livers (2) played against Wisconsin Bad team guard Brad Davidson in the first half of the Chrisler Center (34) when shooting.Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA Today

Michigan State issued an early statement in the 2019-20 season, starting 7-0 and defeating Gonzaga to win the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Howard was able to do this from a team he inherited from Beilein, and his team did not recruit new recruits. The Big Ten was the toughest game in the college basketball game last season. The Wolverines still ended the game with a record of 19-12. Howard did not waste any time in the offseason and introduced some senior high school talents, including four-star star Hunter Dickinson, Zeb Jackson, Terence Williams and Howard’s son Jas.

The Wolverines lost only two seniors and returned key players such as senior Isaiah Living, sophomore Franz Wagner and graduate students Austin Davis and Mike Smith. Michigan entered the 25th place this season. It took five weeks and a 6-0 record until Howard’s lineup began to climb steadily.

“Everyone got involved. Everyone got into this culture in just two years, and I still think we have one step left,” Isaiah Livers said after his victory in Wisconsin. “It’s similar to starting 17-0 in my sophomore year, but I think this team goes deeper.”

This is a Michigan team that lives and dies on its own defense.

Liverpool said: “In order to play on Coach Howard’s team, you have to play defense.” “We just said,’Why not try to disrupt every team’s offense?” It just led to this culture, which is destructive and Block, block, talk, and dance around. We want to play like there are six defensive players. “

Michigan has 9 blocks against Wisconsin and has enough depth and height in the frontcourt. His height is 7-foot-1 freshman Dickinson, 6-foot-9 sophomore Wagner and 6-foot-8 junior Brandon. · Johns.

Wagner is the younger brother of the former Michigan player and now forward Mo Wagner of the Washington Wizards. He is the most improved player on the Wolverines team and the best player on the court on Tuesday night. Wagner, who weighed only 205 pounds as a freshman, worked out with his brother in the District of Columbia during the extended isolation period, and now weighs 226 pounds.

“He trained his hips throughout the spring,” Michigan State’s fitness and condition coach Jon Sanderson told Brendan Quinn of the athletic team. “I mean, he pushed it. It’s not perfect. He doesn’t have a real weight room, but he made the most of these three months, and then decided to be physically different.

Wagner has scored in double digits in each of the past five games and won a double-double on Tuesday night, including 15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 block. Because of the weight gain, he was no longer pushed into the lane, but was looking for a different way to score.

There are no five-star recruits once and for all in Michigan. Every player on the roster bought early what Howard hopes Michigan basketball will be like. Other elite high school players want to be one of them and learn from coaches like Howard, which helped tremendously in the recruitment process. Michigan State will be led by the five-star alliance Caleb Houstan and will rank first in the recruiting class for the next season.

Howard said: “We have worked very hard to identify high-quality players and works that will be useful to our plan. We want to ensure that we have a group of high-quality young people who can appear in court and It represents the dignity and elegance of Block’ M and this university.”

Shaka Smart spent six seasons in Texas and finally gained a certain appeal. What Howard has done in Michigan for two years is extraordinary. From recruitment to competition preparation, hiring the right coaching staff, and establishing a winning culture that everyone agrees with, there are many moving parts at the university level. Gonzaga may be the top team of the season, but Michigan has stayed away and has all the tools to be one of the last four teams in Indianapolis.

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