If you haven’t seen it already, the full press conference is here.
It is an incredibly cool moment seeing Juwan come home to Michigan. Regardless of who you are a fan of, that guy gave his heart and soul to UofM during his college career, and he loves the hell out of the University. There is no doubt that he is going to approach coaching the Wolverines basketball team with that same enthusiasm and intensity.
But if I were a Michigan fan, I would find some of his comments troubling to say the least.
Obviously he has only been there a week, but c’mon man. There has to be a better answer to not having any clue on what his coaching staff will look like, no one he is eyeing for 3 open scholarships, and no clear idea on what the identity of the team will be. “I want this team to be all about family and brotherhood is everything to me.” Not known for hard nose defense, not known for being physical, not being known for shooting the lights out, but building a brotherhood.
Every other team in the B10 when they hear that plan:
There was way too much “Don’t worry, we will figure it out with time” jargon and that should not put any fan at ease. It was like the PR team just completely forgot to schedule a meeting with him to coach him up on basic questions the media will ask. Juwan seemed so star struck and caught up in the moment, that he figured everyone just inherently trusts him with this monumental transition. I mean, you’ve heard of Pat Riley, right? Did you know Juwan sat in the same room as him while with the Heat and learned everything from him?
So just relax. All that legendary coaching Pat Riley did with Magic, Kareem, James Worthy, Patrick Ewing, Shaq and D-Wade just magically transferred itself to Juwan Howard. Because that is how coaching is done these days.
This was a hype hire, plain and simple. The story is great and makes the team incredibly marketable. The name Juwan Howard inherently creates a buzz around the program, reunite the Fab-Five, and talk about raising up those old banners from 25 years ago. With time Juwan Howard could find his footing and develop a coaching style that fits him and the program. but with no real plan of attack in place, that could take some time. Just such a weird hire after taking leaps and bounds forward with Beilein, you would think Michigan would want to keep the momentum going and bring in a guy who will help push this team forward. Or at least maintain the success that Beilein built. Instead they opt for the inexperienced homer, that could easily take 3-5 years to see real results. Only time will tell though.