Michigan’s season ended on Saturday at Vanderbilt, officially flipping the calendar into the offseason. The Wolverines missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014-15, and it was the worst finish of Juwan Howard’s tenure in Ann Arbor.
“So saying all that, this summer, including me, we all have to get better,” Howard said after Saturday’s season-ending defeat. “We have to get better on all levels when it comes to what we’re going to do to help serve our team, to give us the best chance to be a competitive group.”
A bad season doesn’t kill a program, but two bad seasons can. Making the wrong decisions after a disappointing year does. Letting one bad season turn into two can be tough to come back from. Avoiding that fate is a Houdini act that John Beilein pulled off twice during his tenure. Riding out disappointing finishes in 2010 and 2015, only to make the right adjustments and bounce back with postseason berths the following year.
The pressure of turning things around leads to crucial decisions and a temptation to take risks. Every offseason move is a bit more difficult, knowing that you need to reverse momentum rather than carry on.
For Juwan Howard, that means the next two months are a critical period. Here are the burning questions and storylines that will shape the offseason.
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