Juwan Howard return to Michigan basketball is 'more likely than not' despite downward trend

Michigan basketball was beaten by the 13th-place team in the Big Ten by 30 points on Thursday night but the exit of Juwan Howard is far from guaranteed.
Feb 22, 2024; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard gestures to his
Feb 22, 2024; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard gestures to his / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Things keep going from bad to worse for Michigan basketball. Facing the second-worst team in the conference, on the road in Rutgers, the Wolverines were embarrassed, losing the game by 30.

When Dug McDaniel was suspended for six road games, the Wolverines lost all six by an average of 20 points. He returned last night, but it didn't matter. One of the worst offensive teams in college basketball scored 41 points in the first half and it was over 10 minutes into the game.

There were curious decisions like not playing George Washington III until late or continuing to play Tray Jackson over Youssef Khayat for no clear reason.

All in all, it was an epic disaster. It's also nothing new. Michigan basketball is 3-15 in the Big Ten this season. The Wolverines are 8-21 overall.

Despite that, noted Michigan insider John U. Bacon took to X on Thursday night and said a decision won't be made until after the season, which is just three more games.

However, Bacon also indicated that as of now, Juwan Howard's return to Michigan basketball is "more likely than not."

This is sure to frustrate Michigan basketball fans who have watched this program underachieve for the past three seasons. The bottom finally fell out after Hunter Dickinson, Kobe Bufkin, and Jett Howard left.

Even with all of that talent, Michigan couldn't make the NCAA tournament. This season started well, but after a 3-0 start, Michigan is 5-21. Juwan has a solid recruiting class coming in, but it's hard to see how his roster construction will put the Wolverines in a position to rebound in 2024-25.

I also understand Warde Manuel factoring in Juwan's heart surgery. But this isn't a one-year deal. The past three seasons have been a disappointment and as much as I love Juwan Howard, it seems like the best move for both sides is to part ways and move on.


Juwan belongs in the NBA and Michigan needs to find the closest thing it can to John Beilein because if you aren't going to play the NIL game, that's how you win in college basketball -- with smart recruiting and development -- two things that haven't happened in the Howard era.