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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

College Basketball

Juwan Howard to reportedly be named head coach at Michigan

Juwan Howard

The University of Michigan has reportedly found its John Beilein replacement.

According to Five Reasons Sports, Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard has agreed to multi-year deal to become Michigan’s head coach.

The report coincides with an announcement earlier on Tuesday that Providence has signed Ed Cooley to a multi-year extension. Cooley was also in consideration for the Michigan job and reportedly had emerged as a serious candidate this week.

Howard, 46, is a two-time NBA champion, former NBA All-Star, and has worked as a Heat assistant coach since 2013. He played at Michigan from 1991-1994 and was part of the famous “Fab Five” team, along with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. The Fab Five is arguably the most well-known recruiting class in college sports history and generated success and notoriety for the program. They were also associated with infamy due to the Ed Martin scandal.

Howard will have big shoes to fill at Michigan, as the program reached the national championship game twice under Beilein and finished ranked in the top 10 nationally four times. Beilein has left the Wolverines to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Report: Ed Cooley emerging as serious candidate for Michigan job

Ed Cooley

After eight seasons leading Providence College, Ed Cooley could be making the leap to a Power Five conference.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported on Monday that Cooley is emerging as a serious candidate for Michigan’s head coaching vacancy. Goodman also lists Miami Heat assistant (and former Wolverines star) Juwan Howard as well as Michigan assistant Luke Yaklich as the other serious options. Additionally, he notes that Michigan’s search is being led by Gene DeFilippo, who was the athletic director at Boston College while Cooley was an assistant there.

Cooley, 49, has served as Friars head coach since 2011, going 254-179 (.587) with five NCAA Tournament appearances in eight years. Providence struggled to an 18-16 record last season however and could only muster an NIT berth.

While Cooley doesn’t quite have the familiarity with Michigan’s program that the other named candidates do, he brings decades worth of coaching experience on top of his unassailable sense of fashion.

Dennis Rodman’s son DJ commits to Washington State

Washington State Cougars logo

The legend of the Rodman family is about to live on, as DJ Rodman decided over the weekend where he will play college basketball.

DJ, who is the son of Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman, reportedly committed to Washington State.

As Dan Lyons of College Spun notes, DJ Rodman averaged 24.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in his junior season at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., this yearn. The rebound numbers are reminiscent of his father, but DJ seems to be a better scorer than Dennis was.

Washington State appears to be the most high-profile program to over DJ a scholarship, as the 6-foot-6, 190-pound junior has received other offers from Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside and Sacramento State.

Dennis Rodman has remained in the news over the past year or so due to his continued struggles with alcohol addiction.

Report: Juwan Howard set to interview for Michigan job

Juwan Howard

Juwan Howard was one of the names that was mentioned in connection with the Michigan job the moment John Beilein announced he was leaving to take the Cleveland Cavaliers job. Apparently the Wolverines took note and are making Howard a candidate for the vacant position.

Howard is set to meet with Michigan on Tuesday to talk about the head coaching vacancy, according to The Michigan Insider’s Josh Henschke.

Howard, 46, is a two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, former NBA All-Star, and has worked as a Heat assistant coach since 2013. He played at Michigan from 1991-1994 and was part of the famous “Fab Five” team, along with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. The Fab Five is arguably the most well-known recruiting class in college sports history and generated success and notoriety for the program. They were also associated with infamy due to the Ed Martin scandal.

Whoever lands the Michigan job will have big shoes to fill. Under Beilein, the Wolverines reached the national championship game twice and finished with a top-10 ranking four times.

UCLA in danger of NCAA Tournament ban over APR scores

UCLA Bruins logo

The UCLA men’s basketball program is desperate to get back on track under new head coach Mick Cronin, but that will be awfully difficult to do if the team is banned from the NCAA Tournament in future seasons.

According to Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group, the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores that were released by the NCAA last week show that UCLA is dangerously close to being below the 930-point threshold, which would trigger a postseason ban. UCLA’s latest score was the worst in the Pac-12 at 933. If the multi-year score that is released next spring dips below 930, the Bruins would be ruled ineligible for the NCAA Tournament in 2021.

“Unless the postseason ban is waived or avoided through the use of a filter, teams that don’t achieve the 930 will not participate in the postseason from the first time their multi-year APR falls below that benchmark,” NCAA spokesperson Michelle Brutlag Hosick told Wilner in an email.

The score the NCAA uses to determine postseason eligibility is a four-year average, and UCLA had scores of 942, 907, 977 and 905 in its last four seasons under former coach Steve Alford. That means the 942 will be removed from the calculation in the spring, so the Bruins need a score above 928 to avoid dipping below 930 for their average.

APR is calculated by measuring whether athletes remain in school and in good academic standing. Undergraduate transfers and players leaving early for the NFL or NBA draft lower the score.

UCLA already botched its coaching search and seemingly settled for Cronin, but he’s an experienced coach who enjoyed success at Cincinnati. If the Bruins can’t get their APR score up, it won’t matter how good of a coach Cronin is.

Jay Williams campaigns for Juwan Howard as next Michigan coach

Juwan Howard

Michigan is in the market for a new head basketball coach, and Jay Williams knows who should be considered for the job.

Williams, the former Duke star and current ESPN analyst, said on Twitter Monday that Juwan Howard should be the next Michigan coach.

Former NBA point guard Rod Strickland, a former teammate of Howard, similarly supported Juwan for the job:

Howard played at Michigan from 1991-1994 and was part of the famous “Fab Five” team, along with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. The Fab Five is arguably the most well-known recruiting class in college sports history and generated success and notoriety for the program. They were also associated with infamy due to the Ed Martin scandal.

Howard, 46, is a two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, former NBA All-Star, and has worked as a Heat assistant coach since 2013.

The culture at Michigan is not a problem, despite what Williams says. John Beilein brought Michigan back into prominence during his 12 seasons, helping them to become one of the most successful college basketball programs over the decade. The next coach would just need to build off that, not remake it.

Alabama’s Nate Oats shuts down Michigan speculation in statement

Michigan logo

Even coaches that recently took a new job will be subject to some speculation when a position like Michigan’s opens up, but Nate Oats won’t be heading to Ann Arbor.

Oats, who was only hired by Alabama in March, shot down all speculation linking him to the newly-vacant Michigan job, saying he was focused on the Crimson Tide while campaigning for his former assistant and current Michigan assistant Saddi Washington to be considered.

John Beilein’s departure for the NBA probably comes a bit later than Michigan would have liked it to in a perfect world. Two months ago, Oats would have likely been a candidate, but the coaching carousel already completed its first go-around and the Wolverines will have to look elsewhere.