On Friday, when prompted for his early impressions of this year’s Michigan team, Juwan Howard hardly hesitated.
“Well, they’re very young,” Howard said.
Indeed they are. A veteran-laden team a year ago, the Wolverines now boast just four scholarship upperclassmen.
Nowhere is that youth more apparent than in the six-man freshman class, a highly-touted group that makes for the second-ranked recruiting class in the country. If Michigan is to live up to its lofty preseason expectations, the freshmen will certainly play a prominent role.
So far, they’re doing their best to cope with the typically rigorous transition from high school to college.
“I don’t know who beats who to the gym or who works the hardest,” Howard gushed. “Moussa (Diabate), one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around. Kobe (Bufkin), another hard worker. And this is going to sound very plain Jane, but it’s real. Frankie (Collins), another hard worker. Will (Tschetter), I mean, c’mon, do I have to say more?
“They stay consistent with it, too, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s not coach-driven. That’s how they’re wired.”