On February 1st, Michigan earned a hard-fought victory over Rutgers in New York City that resuscitated its season. In the second half, Juwan Howard’s starters played 98 of 100 available minutes.
The win was pivotal but also representative of how much trust Howard had in his bench unit. He stuck with his trusted options in a must-win spot, and his starters gutted out the victory.
Michigan has now won five of six games and its season feels different. One significant reason behind the mid-season turnaround has been the bench. Since that win in New York City, Howard’s bench has carved out a role, earned his trust, and is producing consistently.