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Mecca and BlueReview – Everything Juwan Howard said after Michigan’s NIT win over Toledo

what did they like about winning

I loved the fact that we shared the ball. Not saying we didn’t share the ball all year, but just making simple plays. We did a really good job of not turning the ball over early, making sure we got the ball inside and letting Hunter do the work. He did a really good job of being patient. When he doubled, he made the perfect play to the guys on the perimeter, so when we play like that, we’re a tough team to defend.

What did he say to the team at half time

I talked about defense. We must, of course, adopt our habits, being a little prepared. We’re not going to know every set, they have lots of sets with lots of different movements. The shooting they have on the floor, they’re going to be looking for some openings. Stay the course when they make something up. More importantly, make sure we contest every shot. Make some adjustments on ball competition, ball screen defense. The number of times Shumate found out about the pick and pop with our ball screen defense had to make an adjustment. Then, applying those outsides, being able to execute that and stop this team 40% in the second half, that was a big deal for us.

On Doug McDaniel’s Decision Making

Doug made plays. I told the guys, mainly with Hunter, with some hedging, Hunter was able to slide to the basket. He did a really good job where he came out of a ball screen, he was in drop coverage, able to pressure the drop big and get him to look away and lull him into dropping a pass. Whether it was a layup or a foul that led to a free throw. Also, getting in transition, getting out in transition and making sure we didn’t let the defense get set up. Doug did a really good job of applying pressure while we were trying to get transition opportunities for our guys. Very balanced on all ends. We are pretty balanced with the five players who started. We’ve got an even bigger lift than the T-Will. His few minutes were huge for us. Jace came in defensively putting guys up front in which he had a few guards that could either play for themselves or shoot the ball off the dribble, get to the paint and wreak havoc for you. Jess did a really good job of bodying him and not letting him get easy drive-bys.

Joy Baker on applying for an extra year

Michigan, it is a great school academically. While Joey is at Duke, academically he qualifies, there are other hurdles that we have to delve into. Hopefully, we’re going to work hard, we’re going to give it our best shot. We would love to have him back. Not just because of the shoot but the person overall. He just fits in the locker room. Guys, Joey is playing with them, he is now opening up and becoming an experienced leader. There are times when you’re new, you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, it’s hard to be uncomfortable interacting with people. You want him to be liked, but at the same time, he understands that he’s in the big game now and he sees that the players trust him. We need his leadership and it would be nice to have him back last season.

on whether they’re pursuing redshirts for Jaylin Llewellyn

First of all, with Jailyn we want to heal him. That’s the key. The young man has suffered a lot of injuries. Achilles, now ACL Trying to put him in touch with Klay Thompson. I’ll continue to work on that because Clay has gone through this before. Understands what it’s like dealing with those two tough injuries, the timetable and the mental part of it that really gets to you. How can you be dialed but also how can you not be where you are in a dark place. Jailyn has been great. It’s nice to see that he stays around the team, around the players and everybody loves him. He’s such a smart guy but he’s also a kind person. It would be nice to see Jailyn get well and we’ll go from there.

On Will Schechter’s three-point shooting

Will is a freshman and the game is now — you’re getting reps. As you get more reps out there, you get a little more comfortable and confidence starts to build. Will has a chance to be—I see it as—the captain of my team. What is something that you don’t get, you have to earn. You earn it by your character and your hard work. He is one of the hardest workers on our team. Puts in countless hours in the gym but also in the classroom which makes him elite level. I just see in the years to come, he could be a guy who could potentially break some records here at the University of Michigan. First, I’ll start with the all-academic team. Overall, we trust him in the game. He will keep getting better.

jett howard not playing

Unfortunately for us Jett has been injured all season. Jett, she’s a competitor and I’ve told you guys all season long. He suffered his first injury in the Virginia game. Returned and played in London vs. Kentucky. Thought he shouldn’t have played but he made sure he got out there on that floor and out there for his teammates. These days you hear about boys taking time off. I don’t know what that is. Jett Howard has been part of the DNA where he knows he has a passion for the game of basketball. Since he was young, when he was injured, he always picked himself up and continued to compete. Cut his eye first, he was out to make the next play with stitches. That’s how it’s wired. When he got hurt, another ankle injury in the Michigan State game, he fell on Hauser’s leg and Hauser was going back to get the rebound and he made it great. He came back out and played again. He went and saw a foot and ankle specialist and, as of right now, we’re going to watch this thing day by day, let it heal and then we’ll see and go from there. He wanted to stick out for his teammates today. He was also emotional. Very emotional that he didn’t play today.

On the decision to play in the NIT

I look at it this way: We were the team that brought basketball to the park. The other two teams did not have basketball. We brought the basketball, and it’s time to play. So what are we going to do? Are we going home with our basketball because they didn’t pick us to play in the first game? Oh, we’re not going to cry over spilled milk. We’re not going to act like we’re entitled. We’re not going to act like it’s beneath us… We’re not going to be a team that takes our basketball and doesn’t let other teams play.


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