2021-22 Season

Notebook: How Michigan hopes to grow from Arizona defeat

Two days after Michigan’s deflating 80-62 loss to Arizona, the dust has settled. Speaking via Zoom on Tuesday, Juwan Howard’s tone was more instructive than critical. 

“Every game, you win or you lose, you always find teachable moments,” Howard said, his voice hoarse, likely no coincidence considering Sunday’s game. “That game right there that we played against Arizona, it was a teachable moment for us.” 

Michigan entered the weekend tournament in Las Vegas boasting no shortage of questions; the loss to Arizona only served to amplify them. For Howard, the path forward from the loss starts with addressing his team’s “disconnect” and addressing what went wrong. 

Dealing with mid-game adversity

In retrospect, Howard is able to identify the turning point of Sunday’s game rather easily. 

With 7:12 remaining in the first half, Michigan tied the game up at 21. From there, things unraveled; Arizona outscored the Wolverines 16-8 to close the half and 59-41 to end the game. 

“There was a switch… that’s when the disconnect was lost,” Howard said. “When teams make runs like that, we’ve got to be able to reel ourselves back in. We did not do a good job of that.” 

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