Welcome to offseason storylines, a look into some of the biggest storylines and questions surrounding the 2021-22 Michigan Wolverines. Today we open the series with an in-depth look at Michigan’s defense.
The way Juwan Howard tells it, it was as simple as spending some self-reflection time during quarantine and realizing his program had to improve on defense. He told his staff that the Wolverines needed to have a”kick-ass defense” and then he made it happen. The Wolverines jumped from 28th to 4th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency and improved in almost every statistical category. They fouled less often, improved on the defensive glass, and were significantly better defending inside the arc.
Michigan had the best defense in the Big Ten, allowing just 95.2 points per 100 possessions in league play, and its proficiency on that side of the ball set the foundation for a championship season. The Wolverines lose some crucial defensive cogs, but should still have the pieces to excel on the defensive end of the court once again in 2021-22. Just how good can they be? Here’s a closer look at what worked for the Wolverines defensively last year and how it translates to a new roster.