The Michigan basketball team lost another game by double digits last night, despite leading at halftime. This is not the first time Michigan has blown a halftime lead under head coach Juwan Howard, and it will not be the last unless something changes. The Wolverines are dead last in the Big Ten, and the fan base is starting to get irritated with the lack of halftime adjustments and poor coaching decisions for Michigan in crunch-time situations. Is a change in order, or will Michigan continue to back Howard?
Blown Halftime Leads for Michigan This Season
This is not the first time Michigan has lost a game this year despite leading at the half. It is almost becoming the norm.
Michigan has lost a total of seven games this year after leading at halftime. Five of those games have been this month. In these seven games, Michigan is being outscored by 12.43 points on average in the second half.
Here is the full list of games that Michigan has lost after leading at halftime this season:
|1H PT DIFF
|2H PT DIFF
|AVG PT DIFF
To add dirt onto the wound, Michigan has been outscored in the second half 14 times this year, including two overtime losses. That is 66% of their games and is one of the more impressive feats that the Michigan Basketball team has accomplished this year.
Juwan Howard’s Poor Game Management at Michigan
At the end of the day, you need to put your players in situations where they can succeed, and Juwan Howard is failing to do so. The second-half collapses are not only limited to this season. This issue has been around ever since Juwan Howard took over as head coach.
In previous years, the reasoning was that Michigan was a young team, and mistakes happen at the end of games when you have inexperience on the court. Turns out, the real issue was the inexperience Michigan had at their coach. The average years of experience of the Michigan Basketball team is 1.83 years, which is just over the D1 average of 1.82 years, They are still not super experienced, but they are saying their youth is what is the problem is naive.
Michigan failed to make the NCAA tournament last year for the first time in Juwan Howard’s coaching tenure at Michigan. The Wolverines were on the bubble as the season was winding down, and only needed to win one game in their last three to most likely secure a tournament bid.
With two OT losses, and being outscored by 15 points in the second half of their final game against Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan’s postseason hopes were crushed. All great examples of Michigan failing to finish a close game. The icing on the cake was their 2nd round NIT loss to Vanderbilt where they scored just six points in the final eight minutes of the game to lose.
One of the more disappointing performances came from the 2021-2022 season where Michigan lost in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament to Indiana. The Wolverines were up 17 points with 12 minutes left and ended up losing by five. They scored just nine points in the final 12 minutes of that game as Indiana went on a 31-9 run.
The list goes on and on of Juwan Howard’s teams losing games they shouldn’t. Of course, there will always be bad losses, but the amount that Michigan has encountered during Howard’s tenure is far too much, and a bigger issue is at hand.
Suspensions, Health, and Immaturity
Juwan Howard has been in the news for multiple different reasons during his time as the Michigan head basketball coach. Most recently, Howard missed the start of this season after undergoing a very serious heart surgery. Anything medical regarding the heart is very serious, especially when you’re a 6’9, 50-year-old. It doesn’t take a doctor to know that the bigger and taller you are, the harder your heart has to work, so Howard’s health is in question when thinking about his future at Michigan.
Juwan Howard has also shown anger problems as well as immaturity during games and at practice. The biggest story was during the 2021-2022 season, when Juwan Howard slapped a Wisconsin Basketball Assistant coach. This led to Juwan being suspended for the rest of the regular season.
Juwan also reportedly had an incident this season with a staffer. Nothing ever came from it, but it is clear that Howard has a problem dealing appropriately dealing with anger. This is never a great sign when you are coaching and teaching young men not only about basketball but about how to act as a man.
Juwan Howard’s Future at Michigan
To keep this short, there isn’t one. Even though Howard is an alumnus and played for the infamous Fab-Five at Michigan in the early 1990s, he has to go. He has had too many teams that have underperformed, and it is obvious that he is currently incapable of making big-time decisions during crucial points of the game.
In addition to being unprepared as a coach, his health is a big question. Coaching any sport at any level takes an emotional and physical toll on your body. Suffering a major heart problem has to be scary for him and his family, and it will probably play a factor in his future.
The final straw is his immaturity and anger issues. Nothing looks worse than having a coach lose his cool and throw a punch on national television. It is embarrassing and is a very bad look on him, his team, and the university.
Add all of those factors together, and there is no way that Howard will remain Michigan’s head basketball coach next year, and if he is, they will once again find themselves in the bottom of the league.
For More NBA and College Basketball Bets
If you enjoyed this article and want more NBA and College Basketball betting content, follow me on X/Twitter and TikTok @WorstBets. To find more great stories featuring the NBA or College Hoops click here.