Where Does Michigan Men’s Basketball Go From Here?
Yesterday, I wrote about where Michigan State basketball stands heading into the offseason after bowing out of the NCAA Tournament last Sunday.
Well, with Michigan's 63-55 loss to Villanova on Thursday night in the regional semifinals, the Wolverines season is now complete after finishing 19-15. So let's take a look at where they are heading into an uncertain offseason.
Does Hunter Dickinson stay or go?
This is the number one issue the Wolverines have this offseason. After flirting with the NBA last offseason, Dickinson (pictured above) returned for his sophomore year and averaged 18.6 points and 8.6 rebounds a game. He improved his outside shot and is a very good free throw shooter (80.2%), but he still needs to work on conditioning and defense. He's not as highly thought of in NBA circles this year as he was last year, but would he benefit by coming back to school another year? I'm not sure about that.
Who else stays or goes?
Freshmen Moussa Diabate and Caleb Houstan showed flashes of big-time ability this season. But that's what it was, flashes. Diabate has NBA athleticism and without Houstan's shooting, Michigan would've lost to Colorado State in the first round. But they were inconsitent like most freshmen are. My guess is that they'll flirt with the NBA (much like Dickinson did last year), but they'll return for their sophomore season.
As for guys like Brandon Johns, Jr. and DeVante Jones. Thanks to the free COVID year (2020-21), they could return for one more year. But I expect both to be gone. Johns never built on the promise of his first two years in Ann Arbor. And with Frankie Collins and Kobe Bufkin in the backcourt next year, Jones might be one too many guys there. But we'll see.
Who's coming in?
Michigan has four high school signees coming in this fall. Guard Dug McDaniel and forwards Gregg Glenn, Tarris Reed, and Jett Howard (Juwan's son) will join the squad.
They'll also have big man Will Tschetter joining the group. He redshirted this season. Because of scholarship limitations (you're only allowed 13 scholarships per year), it is unlikely they go after a transfer portal player. But you never know..
What about any assistants leaving?
Longtime assistant Saddi Washington (a Lansing Sexton HS grad) looks ready to be a head coach. Top assistant Phil Martelli raved about him and fellow assistant Howard Eisley when head coach Juwan Howard was suspended. Saddi is a Western Michigan alum and their head coaching job is open. Washington turned the job down the last time it was open. Does he turn it down again?
But whatever you do, keep Phil Martelli. He has turned out to be more vital to this program than anybody thought he would.
Finally, what about Juwan Howard?
He has to mind his P's and Q's from now on. One more screwup, however minor it might be, (It could be just pushing someone, or getting in someone's face aggressively) and he'll be gone. He is on zero tolerance after the Wisconsin incident in February.
But what he really needs to do is become a better in-game coach. He's now been a college coach for three years, and he still struggles with having the right guys with the ball at the right time. And he didn't make the adjustment to quicken the game up against Villanova (like, press them a bit, use your speed advantage).
Now, I'm not saying you should fire him. But he needs to show me something next year.
Just don't slap or punch anybody, OK?