2021-22 Season

With ‘lunchpail and hard hats,’ Michigan looks to flip script against Michigan State

It’s no secret that Michigan is teetering, having lost three of its last four contests and sunk to 11th place in the Big Ten. Yet Friday, Juwan Howard continued to walk a rather obvious tightrope, careful to praise his team in spite of their blatant on-court deficiencies. 

“Sometimes, we fail to realize that, in college, it’s very fragile,” Howard said. “Fragile in the way of, you’ve gotta be careful of what you demand of your group. At the same time, understanding that they’re gonna make mistakes, the ball isn’t gonna bounce in every time. Keep encouraging is the most important thing.

“You need to know that your coach is in your corner and supporting you.” 

To his credit, Howard has certainly maintained that effusive public face, even as his team sputters. 

Just as he did Tuesday night after Michigan’s first-ever loss to Rutgers, Howard lauded his team’s effort. He praised their steadfast mindset, affirming trust in “each and every guy.” 

“I really commend and respect how our guys have been able to deal with adversity and not make excuses,” Howard said. “We have the type of mentality in our group where we roll up our sleeves and embrace the suck.” 

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