2020-21 Season

Against Northwestern, Franz Wagner shows all he can be

It’s uncharacteristic for Juwan Howard to take credit. But he didn’t hesitate to do so on the adjustment that changed Sunday’s game.

“My assistants probably thought I was crazy in the coach’s meeting yesterday morning,” Howard said. “… We have to match his energy, we have to match his energy with a guy that we can trust — especially in ball screen coverages, (Pete) Nance is also a big trigger man in ball screens, where he’s setting the screens or slipping. We needed a guy who’s going to have the length, also smart and is gonna do it and be very detailed. And Franz is that guy.”

This matchup was tailor-made to give Michigan some trouble. Northwestern’s style of offense, with Nance playing as an athletic ‘5,’ meant Hunter Dickinson guarding the perimeter, which meant nothing good for the Wolverines. The Wildcats had shot 41.4 percent from 3-point range as a team, Michigan spent media availability on Saturday lamenting the number of 3-pointers it’s let opponents take recently.

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