Some thoughts on Michigan basketball roster movement

Dug McDaniel entered the transfer portal on Monday. Michigan basketball also lost a commitment in the 2024 class and here's what it means for the Wolverines.
Mar 13, 2024; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Dug McDaniel (0) celebrates his
Mar 13, 2024; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Dug McDaniel (0) celebrates his / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Last Friday, Michigan basketball fired its head coach. On Monday, not surprisingly, the Wolverines lost their best player and leading scorer, Dug McDaniel to the transfer portal.

Some Michigan basketball fans on social media are acting caught off guard. The truth is that they should have seen this coming from a mile away.

Dug McDaniel led Michigan basketball with 16.8 points per game. He shot 41 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range, in addition to four assists per game. There's going to be a strong market for him and in the right program, he could be elite.

McDaniel was asked to carry too much this past season. It wore him down and I think that's why his defensive effort waned at times. You can't carry the team on both ends of the floor. Yes, he took too many shots and too many low-percentage shots, but he had to. There was nobody else, especially at the end of the season, who could create a shot.

Dug was also really close to Juwan Howard, so I don't see any scenario where he would have been back after Juwan was fired. Maybe if Michigan basketball hired Jay Wright, but come on folks, the Wolverines aren't a blue-blood program and won't be unless John Beilein returns or Warde Manuel gets fired. It's really that stark to me.

Michigan basketball isn't set up for success

NIL matters in football, but it's everything in basketball. If it wasn't for Michigan basketball's NIL failures, Hunter Dickinson would be on the team. And if wasn't for admissions, Caleb Love and Terrence Shannon would be too.

Can you imagine a lineup with Hunter Dickinson, Love, Shannon, and Dug? Plus a guy like Tarris Reed and maybe even Olivier Nkamhoua? That's a Final Four team and it could been a reality, just not at the University of Michigan. That's what Juwan was up against it and the next coach will be too.

Belein was a miracle worker. He also left college basketball because he was sick of the direction it was headed and that was before the portal and NIL were a thing. I'm skeptical his approach would still work, without at least the basic NIL support needed to retain players, which is something Juwan didn't have when his best player and one of the best scorers in program history, Hunter Dickinson, left this offseason for a payday at Kansas he couldn't get at Michigan.

I'm not saying Juwan is blameless, especially when it comes to Caleb Love and Shannon. But the Dickinson matter is another issue entirely and that was just last offseason. How many coaches are signing up to coach a program that can't pay to keep its top talent?

Dug McDaniel is about to get paid. He'll also be able to choose a team that can allow him to thrive as a point guard and I wish him nothing but the best. I also wasn't the least bit surprised that four-star Khani Rooths re-opened his recruitment after the departure of Juwan Howard.


It's a bummer but this is all par for the course with a head-coaching change. Michigan knew what it was getting into when it made a change and unfortunately, this is just part of it.

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