Michigan Basketball: Another potential father-son duo adds exciting intrigue

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 09: Head coach Juwan Howard of the Michigan Wolverines looks on next to his son Jace Howard #25 while playing the Toledo Rockets at Crisler Arena on December 09, 2020 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 09: Head coach Juwan Howard of the Michigan Wolverines looks on next to his son Jace Howard #25 while playing the Toledo Rockets at Crisler Arena on December 09, 2020 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The latest on Jett Howard and Michigan basketball recruiting in 2022 as Juwan Howard looks to form an intriguing father-son duo in Ann Arbor. 

The obvious and also not-so-obvious come to mind when reminiscing about the great father-son pairings in college basketball.

Having it be the case for the ones fortunate enough to watch their child go to battle on the court or learning the game from their longtime mentor comes only once in a blue moon.

But when it does blossom, cherished fortune is the odds-on favorite.

Former New York Knicks great Allan Houston would earn multiple first-team All-SEC selections during his run with the Tennessee Volunteers from 1989-93.

Allan, under his father and head coach Wade, became the school’s all-time leading scorers with 2,801 points (a record he still holds today) and made two trips to the National Invitational Tournament.

Former Louisiana State head coach Press Maravich helped his son Pete become a three-time consensus first-team All-American. The second-generation Maravich led the NCAA in scoring during each of his three seasons while averaging 44.2 points per game. From 1954-79, LSU had not made a single postseason tournament appearance outside of 1970 during Maravich’s final year in college.

After two seasons with Michigan basketball, guard Aubrey Dawkins transferred to Central Florida to reunite with his father, Johnny, as the head coach-player duo led the Knights to the Round of 32 of the 2019 NCAA tournament as the No. 9 seed. Dawkins entered the professional ranks the following year and signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.

There have been close to 200 father-son combos across the college basketball realm in recorded history.  Out of the ordinary? Sure. In short supply? Far from it. A gratifying story that can be appreciated by all? Absolutely.

As a father of two children, Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard has rectified what it means to keep family close when his oldest son Jace joined the family business in Ann Arbor. Call it inevitable that the teen whose father dawned the spotlight as a member of the Fab Five and spent three decades in the NBA found a desire to learn under the man who watched him grow.

Jace, the three-star small forward out of Miami, Florida, the same city where his father captured two NBA championships, was the 390th ranked prospect according to the 247 Sports Composite of the 2020 class. In his first season with the Wolverines, Howard played in 11 games while averaging 3.1 minutes off the bench.

The inner jubilation that a head coach possesses when his own son is an impact player for the team he’s the general of is something only names like Lon Kruger, Bruce Pearl, and Tubby Smith can experience.

For the elder Howard, that tenderness of gratification as both head coach of the Wolverines and parent could come again in the upcoming signing period for the 2022 recruiting class, as the youngest Howard child is cutting his collegiate list down to seven.

Jett Howard announced Friday to Joe Tipton of ON3.com his finalists in Florida, Georgetown, LSU,  Michigan basketball, North Carolina State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.

The news came with little surprise given Howard’s larger-than-life family ties to the Michigan basketball program and also the recent reports that the small forward is officially visiting Ann Arbor on September 18 which came an hour before the top-seven list was released.

Howard initially had Michigan basketball down for an official visit on September 11 but told HoopGate of the change in plans. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound native of Florida will also officially visit NC State on September 4, Tennessee on September 11, and Georgetown on September 26.

Howard is ranked as the No. 39 overall prospect nationally according to the 247Sports Composite and No. 10 at the small forward position.

As an offensive threat, Howard’s quick release when playing off-ball makes him a dangerous presence behind the three-point line. His long frame and speed allow him to effectively play in transition while driving to the rim. Defensively, Howard’s long arms make him an impact player down low and at the perimeter when crowding opponents.

If Howard joins the already brewing 2022 class and enters alongside fellow four-star Rivals150 prospects Tarris Reed Jr. and Dug McDaniel, that’ll give Michigan room for one more verbal commitment, as according to The Wolverine Magazine “the Wolverines will take a fourth in the class if it’s the right guy, either an elite shooter or player overall.”

Names like Prolific Prep (CA) four-star center Yohan Traore and Calvary Christian Academy (FL) four-star power forward Gregg Glenn are high on Michigan’s board with both receiving offers and the latter expected to visit Ann Arbor in September.

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It’s an easy assumption that Howard will sign with the Wolverines for the 2022-23 campaign. But as it’s shown to have heavy influence over players like Reed Jr. and McDaniel, the eldest Howard continues to prove his prowess on the recruiting trail, which should have exact inclinations for the youngest Howard son as well.