2021-22 Season

Offseason storylines: A new point guard, again

Welcome to offseason storylines, a look into some of the biggest storylines and questions surrounding the 2021-22 Michigan Wolverines. Today we look at the point guard position where Michigan will welcome a new starter for the second consecutive season. Previously: What’s the ceiling for Michigan’s defense?

Michigan will turn its offense over to a new point guard for the second year in a row. Like last year, Juwan Howard is likely to hand the keys over to a lead guard with years of college experience but brand new to Ann Arbor. The Wolverines’ gamble on Columbia grad transfer Mike Smith paid off as well as anyone could have imagined. Smith wasn’t just a productive player in a U-M jersey; he shifted his game seamlessly to morph into exactly the type of player that Michigan needed to run the offense.

Smith started every game, led the Wolverines in assists, and was among the best ball screen passers in college basketball. He played a complementary but vital role. He was never Michigan’s go-to guy, but he made his four teammates better whenever he was on the court. It was Smith that unlocked the offensive upside of some of the best possession-finishers in the Big Ten like Franz Wagner, Hunter Dickinson and Isaiah Livers.

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