In the spring of 2019, NBA veteran and longtime NBA assistant coach Juwan Howard was hired to be the head coach at his alma mater, Michigan, which he has cemented as one of the strongest men's basketball programs in the country after the Wolverines earned a No. 1 seed in his second season as head coach. The 2020-21 season marked the first time Michigan had been a No. 1 seed since Howard was a player at Michigan.
Here's everything you need to know about Howard's college career.
Juwan Howard's college basketball stats, vitals
Weight: 240 pounds
Years active: 1991-94
NCAA tournament record: 13-3
Career averages: 15.3 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game, 0.8 steals per game, 51.0% shooting
What was Juwan Howard's record in college?
In the three seasons that Howard played at Michigan, the Wolverines went a combined 80-22, although Michigan's season records were later adjusted by the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
What kind of prospect was Juwan Howard in high school?
As a senior in high school, Howard was named a McDonald's All-American and Parade All-American, while he received the most votes of any player that made the Chicago Sun-Times' All-Chicago team. The Associated Press reported in a story on Nov. 15, 1990, that Howard and his Michigan classmate Jimmy King were two of the top-12 players in the country in their graduating class. The Kokomo Tribune's David A. Kasey noted that Howard, as well as his Michigan classmates Chris Webber and Jalen Rose were "members of almost everybody's high school All-American team."
The Detroit Free Press' Mitch Albom wrote in April 1993, "Juwan Howard, all 6 feet 9 inches of his polite, grinning self, is in the middle of these remarkable Wolverines, who have gone from boys to men in front of the world. He is in the middle of it, but he is also at the start of it. He was the first to commit. The initial card in what many call the best recruiting hand in the history of college basketball."
In an AP story from March 1992 after Michigan had advanced to the Final Four as a No. 6 seed, the wire service reported, "The Michigan freshmen — Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Juwan Howard and Ray Jackson — were widely regarded as the best single recruiting class ever. No one, however, expected them to go so far in one year."
In the summer before his freshman year at Michigan, Howard competed in the U.S. Olympic Festival, which was an amateur athletic event in non-Olympic years, where Howard played for the West team.
What was Juwan Howard's game like?Howard was known as a fundamentally sound, hard-working and heady forward who spent hours in the gym developing his game. He was a double-figure scorer as a freshman and a 20-point-per-game scorer by the time he left Ann Arbor, while being a tough interior presence throughout his college career, even if he wasn't a major shot-blocker.
The Daily Tar Heel's Mark Anderson wrote in April 1992 that "Howard and Ray Jackson are the cornerstones of what can be an intimidating defensive team. Only five teams shot better than 50 percent against Michigan this year."
Howard was considered a tough, intense player who once fought through stomach cramps and the flu to play in an NCAA tournament game.
What were some of Juwan Howard's best games?
Here are some of Howard's best games in college:
Indiana 89, Michigan 74 | Jan. 21, 1992
Howard posted a double-double as he scored a team and season-high 26 points with 10 rebounds in a road loss to No. 4 Indiana. In the first five minutes of the second half, he and teammate Chris Webber outscored Indiana 16-6, with 10 of those points coming from Howard.
No. 6 seed Michigan 73, No. 11 seed Temple 66 | March 20, 1992
In Howard's NCAA tournament debut, he scored 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting with six rebounds and two blocks as Michigan picked up its first of five wins in the 1992 NCAA tournament.
No. 6 seed Michigan 75, No. 2 seed Oklahoma State 72 | March 29, 1992
The Daily Tar Heel reported that Howard held Oklahoma State All-American Byron Houston to 2-of-14 shooting and helped force Houston into committing eight turnovers in the Michigan win in the Sweet 16. Houston averaged 20.2 points per game that season on 53-percent shooting, but he managed just four points against the Wolverines.
Howard finished with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
No. 3 seed Michigan 84, No. 6 seed Texas 79 | March 19, 1994
In the second round of the 1994 NCAA tournament, Howard scored a career-high 34 points on 16-for-24 shooting, including the only 3-pointer he ever made in 16 NCAA tournament games, along with a career-high 18 rebounds. Howard scored roughly 40 percent of the team's points in the win, as he helped Michigan reach the second weekend of the NCAA tournament for the third season in a row.
The Austin American Statesman reported after the game, "For Texas to win with that offensive production, a great defensive game was necessary. Instead, Michigan center Juwan Howard scored a career-high 34 points. Howard was so unstoppable inside that (Texas coach Tommy) Penders elected to foul other players during the last 1 minute, 30 seconds, hoping they would miss one or both free throws. Instead, Michigan hit nine straight."
Michigan 82, Iowa 73 | March 2, 1993
Howard led Michigan with 19 points as the fourth-ranked Wolverines topped No. 15 Iowa in Ann Arbor.
What awards did Juwan Howard win in college?
Here are some of the awards and honors Howard received in college:
- 1994 All-American (Second Team – NABC; Third Team – AP)
- 1994 NCAA tournament All-Midwest Team
What did people say about Juwan Howard?
The Detroit Free Press' Mitch Albom: "And, oh, what he has done for Michigan! From the day he arrived, Howard lived up to his shadow. He started his first game as a freshman. He played with vigor and intelligence, albeit with young nerves. He would come to practice early — not all the Fab Five are like this, believe me — and work on low-post moves and turnaround jump shots."
The San Bernardino County Sun after Michigan defeated Cincinnati in the Final Four (April 6, 1992): "Starting center Juwan Howard and three Michigan subs complained of feeling ill, but coach Steve Fisher said all should be ready to play...But Howard was hurting the most, complaining of stomach cramps and a touch of the flu. Howard, considered the Wolverines' most intense player, still played 33 minutes and scored 12 points in Michigan's victory."
Former Indiana coach Bob Knight, courtesy of The Herald (Jan. 22, 1992): "Despite three of those freshmen fouling out, Indiana coach Bob Knight was impressed. 'They're so much bigger than we were,' he said. 'They're going to be very good. We had a group of good freshmen, but they were perimeter players.'"
Former Indiana forward Calbert Cheaney on the "Fab Five," courtesy of The Herald (Jan. 22, 1992): "They blow our freshman class out of the water. They have so many athletes and they can do so many things."
The Argus-Leader's Pat Duncan: "Although they didn't win the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, the Michigan Wolverines may not know how much they did for underclassmen everywhere. Any time a freshman or sophomore thinks he or she can't compete with juniors or seniors, they only have to recall Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard and the rest of Michigan's Fab Five freshmen."
Former Michigan coach Steve Fisher, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press: "Without Juwan, I don't know how many of our players would have ended up here. He was the first. He was the drawing card. Kids today want to play with other great players, and when we got Juwan we got the first great player."
Fisher, continued: "We owe Juwan more than we can say."
Former Michigan assistant coach Brian Dutcher after Michigan defeated Purdue in 1993, courtesy of the Star Tribune: "All of the talk before tonight's game was about Glenn Robinson and Chris Webber. What people forget is that all three of those guys were at Nike camp as high schoolers, and Juwan was the MVP."
The Detroit Free Press' Mitch Albom in April 1993: "Juwan Howard is one of those guests who honors your table. A fiercely polite, labor-intensive, child-loving, seen-the-real-world-and-survived-it basketball player. That he was the best in the country at his position in high school is almost too good to dream."
The Detroit Free Press' Mitch Albom in April 1993: "He is all that is right about college athletics, a guy who used his gift to rise above his circumstances, who used his scholarship to elevate his mind, who used the love of teammates to mend a broken heart."
Former Michigan teammate Chris Webber, prior to Michigan playing North Carolina in the 1993 national championship, courtesy of the Charlotte Observer: "As far as the game is concerned, we're not afraid of Eric Montross. Juwan Howard is great, and I think we have the best front court in the country."
Juwan Howard quotes
Howard, on seeing members of Michigan's coaching staff at his grandmother's funeral just days after he committed to Michigan, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press: "It was like I lost one family and I got another one."
Howard, to classmate Jimmy King, after Howard became the first of Michigan's 1991 recruiting class to commit, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press: "Hey roommate, it's your turn."
Howard, in April 1992, when asked if any of Michigan's underclassmen would turn pro after the season (courtesy of the Associated Press): "That's a question that's up in the air. I don't know what's going to happen down the road. But not one of us is leaving until we get a national championship ring. I'll tell you that for sure."
Howard, after Michigan defeated Temple in the Elite Eight in 1993 to return to the Final Four for the second year in a row, courtesy of Gannett News Service: "You have to give us credit now. We played hard, stayed strong and, despite all the criticism we've been getting, we still made it back to the Final Four. That's important to us."
Howard, in April 1993, when asked about Chris Webber taking a timeout when Michigan didn't have one in the closing seconds of the 1993 national championship game, leading to technical free throws (courtesy of the AP): "At that point of the game we can't point any fingers. We're not frustrated for one thing. We should be proud and happy. I know we are. Our team has been through a long road and great times and great games. We can hold our heads up proudly. We have two years left and we're not going to give up."
Howard, at the 1993 Final Four, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press: "Sometimes I think of where I come from, and then I look around at 62,000 people in the Superdome cheering for us, and man, it's unbelievable. I think, 'Michigan has done all that for me.'"
Howard, on his missed shots, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press: "I know exactly what I did wrong, and if I don't, I ask."
Howard, after Michigan was eliminated in the 1994 NCAA tournament: "We've made history. Nobody can say that we didn't."