An intriguing piece for the future and 2023-24
Juwan is known for his ability to coach and develop bigs. it helped the Wolverines land Hunter Dickinson back in the day and I’m certain it was a factor with Aaliya.
Aaliya got the attention of NBA scouts with this performance at the U19 World Cup. He had 15 dunks in seven games. He also made 4-of-10 3-point shots that were catch-and-shoot via UMHoops, which shows there is some hope for the potential of his shot.
The thing I like the most is his defensive prowess. He’s a guy who could probably do just fine switching ball screens. He’s also got a pretty good touch around the rim and with Howard helping to refine his post-up game, he could be a real force in college basketball.
That’s not in the cards this season. But this move will hopefully prevent Tray Jackson from having to spend minutes at the five. Seton Hall played him there out of necessity and it wasn’t super effective.
Jackson could give Michigan basketball some valuable minutes at the three this season, particularly with his shooting touch, and the addition of Aaliya can ensure that he gets more minutes at the three instead of being a backup five.
All in all, it’s a pretty good pickup for Juwan Howard, who is always grinding and finding ways to improve Michigan basketball’s roster, even if he does have one hand tied behind his back due to NIL — or the lack of it.