When Youssef Khayat told Juwan Howard he was considering college basketball, he let out a sigh of relief.
“I was like ‘ah, breathe, settle down a little bit,'” Howard told reporters on Thursday. “And I said it’s time to roll up my sleeves, and I have to share with him about how he fits with the Michigan culture, and share with him about the Michigan experience.”
And share with him the key role he will play in the Wolverines’ lineup next season.
Because deep down to his core, Howard refuses to be caught off guard. But this summer’s roster turnover did just that. It gashed wounds across Michigan’s roster. Three major vacancies opened up with the exits of Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate to the NBA Draft, and the loss of Frankie Collins to the transfer portal. Howard was left piecing together yet another young roster.
But that mattered less once Khayat kicked around the idea of coming to Ann Arbor. Out of the five international prospects that Howard recruited, Khayat, he said, stood head and shoulders above the field:
“This is the guy.”