2023-24 Season

Youssef Khayat eyeing offseason gains to make sophomore impact

Back in 2021, Franz Wagner took the court at Lucas Oil Stadium to face UCLA in the Elite Eight. Halfway around the world, Youssef Khayat — a big Franz fan — tuned in from Lebanon. In the wee hours of the morning, Khayat watched as a momentum-filled run for the Wolverines fell short in a 51-49 loss that saw Wagner miss a buzzer-beater.

But in 2023 — Khayat the one wearing maize and blue this time — he never got a chance to make up for his role model’s loss. Michigan didn’t even make the NCAA Tournament, let alone create any sort of deep run.

Khayat doesn’t like that.

“Being able to change this program and this drought of not winning is something that the guys take incredible pride in,” Khayat said Tuesday on the Defend the Block podcast. “And (changing that is) our goal next year.”

To do that, Khayat knows everyone on the roster needs to take steps, including himself. Minutes opened up through graduation, draft declarations and the transfer portal, and not all those spots were filled by incoming players. So Khayat wants to capitalize on that opportunity.

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