Friday, May 24, 2019

Michigan Friday: 1 New Commit -1 Announcement and Luke's Intentions

Michigan landed Baltimore (MD) St. Frances Academy 2020 four-star linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green yesterday.  He is from Biff Poggi's school where it seems Jimmy wants to sign his entire team as this is the 3rd commit from his school for the 2020 class. (OT-Mazzccua and LB Savage)

Green-Hill is a 4 star to 24/7 but a three star in the composite.   He is 6'1 230 pounds and projects to a OLB at the next level.   His offer list included the likes of Duke, BC, Nebraska, Pitt, Syracuse, WVU, and Wisconsin.  His lead recruiter is Don Brown, who continues to do well on the East Coast.  

Nikhai is very high on Michigan's overseas trips: “I think it’s something every school should do. School and sports take a toll on student athletes, and these trips are amazing refreshers for both the players and the coaches to take a step back from their 24/7 football schedules," he said at the time. "In conclusion, the international traveling Michigan’s football team does shows that they are about more than football. They help players expand their horizons and give them lifetime memories."


  • The Michigan Staff is also waiting for Braiden McGregor's decision today at 7:00 PM.  The talented instate DE is reportedly down to a Michigan - ND decision.  Its too close to call at this point, but many insiders are picking a decision for the good guys.   McGregor's is at the top of the Wolverines 2020 board and would be very nice addition to the class.   Per 24/7 Composite, he is a 4 star and the 27th player in the nation (#3 DE). 

  • There have been false reports on social media that Luke Yaklich has already made a decision to leave U of M and not join Howard's staff.   Luke has led Michigan's defense the last two years which as been nationally recognized.   Luke's wife went on twitter to shoot down any rumor that a decision has been made.    Reports are that he as an opportunity at Texas and hopefully one to stay in Ann Arbor as well. 

  • Michigan DE Ron Johnson has put his name in the transfer portal.  He came in as a 4 star in the 2016 class and never really materialized.   We wish him the best on his new team. 

It's been a crazy two weeks, enjoy the holiday the weekend! 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Michigan Thursday: Welcome Home Big Man

I owe Warde Manuel an apology.  From the outside looking in, it looked like Warde was taking his sweet time to find a new head coach.   That he wasn't contacting the top candidates and was looking to hire his friends.

None of that was true, he did contact (through the search firm) the top coaches and ended up with the right choice Juwan Howard.   My only feedback is, this probably could have been done this time last week.   After the UCLA opening, it was pretty clear which coaches where willing to move and which ones weren't.  He was also able to get a new contract and a raise for his friend (even though he gave the Michigan fan base a minor heart attack for about 24 hours).

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.  There is never a perfect candidate when you have a surprise opening in May.  Coach B was exactly what this program needed, he didn't cheat and built a basketball power when the signature football program was struggling.   This opening left a huge hole to fill and I personally felt the program was at a cross roads.   I don't feel like that today.

Today, I couldn't be happier at the choice to bring Juwan Howard home to coach the Wolverines.  This guy has paid his dues in the NBA and has learned from the best.   He of course is a Michigan Grad but he is also qualified for this position and I believe will do a great job on and off the court.

Jalen is all over TV saying the Fab 5 is united again and will do nothing but support the program and each other.  That is great as the Fab 5 was maybe the most important time of the program, but to me that is secondary.  Juwan's job will be to recruit, develop, and win basketball games.   That is a tough job now, with everyone looking to get to the NBA sooner then maybe they should be.

I'm excited about this hire and think it was 100% the right choice.

Juwan's top priority now is:

  • Keep or hire a new staff.  Michigan fans would love to keep Luke and Saddi.  But is that in the cards?
  • Try to save Jalen Wilson (who was named after Jalen Rose) and get him to re-commit/re-sign with the Wolverines. 
  • Add a graduate transfer: I believe Cumberland the shooting guard from Oakland still hasn't committed anywhere 
  • Add any new late recruits to next years class - Franz Wagner?
Michigan has filled one hole with getting Juwan locked up, now has to figure out how to replace 3 starters to the NBA Draft.   Keeping Luke and Saddi would seem the best way to continue that momentum.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Breaking News: Done Deal - Juwan Howard is the New Basketball Coach

Per reports Michigan Man Juwan Howard has accepted in principal a 5 year contract to be Michigan's new Basketball Coach replacing John Beilein.

Press conference is expected late this week or after the holiday weekend.

Mixed reports on Luke and Saddi, the hopes are that they will stay but Luke will have an opportunity at Texas.  Seems Saddi and Juwan know each other from basketball circles.

More details to follow as they become available.

Wolverine Wednesday: Just Waiting For The Ink to Dry

Tuesday was a roller coaster ride.  I went to bed on Monday night thinking that Ed Cooley was in the mix and could have even been offered the job.   Then it became clear on Tuesday afternoon, Ed was using the Michigan interview to get a raise and an extension at Providence.  

Then  a few hours later a Miami Heat web site, breaks the Juwan Howard to Michigan news.   The problem was, none of the Michigan insiders could confirm the information.

Bleacher Report picks up the story from the Heat Fan web site and then DWade and LeBron tweets support for Howard.   Talk about an endorsement, from NBA royalty.   That is big time right there. (mostly when we know LeBron is a Buckeye fan)

Rivals Chris Balas is now reporting that the deal is basically done.  Since we haven't seen it from Sam or even ESPN's Wojo, I'm excited but still a little apprehensive that nothing seems official yet.  Chris is also saying that Michigan is expected to give Luke Yaklich a big raise to stay and not go to Texas.   Which would be a big win for the program.

Let's hope this gets done today and then I will owe Warde an apology.

  • This is a strange one to me, but Ben St-Juste has transferred to Minnesota.  Michigan put him on medical scholarship, which means he can stay enrolled but can't play football again at Michigan.  Ben graduated and now can grad transfer with 3 years to play.   Not sure why Michigan would put a talented CB in a position of need on a medical if he really wasn't seriously hurt. 

  • Iggy announced he was staying in the draft, which was always going to happen and probably didn't need an announcement.  What's interesting is Jordan Poole didn't scrimmage during the combine and most insiders believe that didn't help his draft ranking.    Matthews did scrimmage and was considered one of the top defenders at the entire combine, so he might have helped himself. 

  • Allen Trieu thinks McGregor decision comes down to a Michigan - ND battle on 7:00PM Friday.