The Michigan Wolverines ended their season, not on the highest note. The team lost in a battle against UCLA in the Elite 8 last week. Even though it was not the outcome, the team wanted to end on. There are still positives that came out of this season, such as experience, leadership, and excitement. The Wolverines indeed proved to the whole country that they’re here to play not only this season but in future seasons. Here are some notes Michigan fans should know going into the offseason and next season!
Mike Smith Declares for NBA Draft
Michigan Wolverine senior guard Mike Smith just recently on Instagram announced that he would declare for the NBA Draft. Smith decided not to take the opportunity to come back next year due to the NCAA giving extra years of eligibility for winter sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before coming to Michigan, Smith played his first four seasons with Columbia until he decided to transfer this past offseason. According to Orion Sang of Detroit Free Press, Smith started all 28 games for the Wolverines this past season and was the primary ball-handler and team-leading passer. Smith averaged 9.0 points, 5.3 assists, and shot 41.8% from the 3-point range during the season. Michigan Fans are still waiting for other players to make their decisions, such as Isaiah Livers, Franz Wagner, Hunter Dickinson, Austin Davis, Eli Brooks, and Chaundee Brown Jr.
Bright Future Ahead
The Michigan Wolverines have a bright future ahead of them. But, the pre-season rankings are lower than most fans thought they would be. CBS Sports’s Gary Parrish has the Wolverines ranked 8th, while ESPN’s Jeff Borzello has the Wolverines ranked 17th. Even though the Wolverines are losing a large senior class, the Wolverines are gaining youth like no other team. According to 247 Sports, the Michigan Wolverines have the number one recruiting class in College Basketball. Fans are excited about two five stars coming in Caleb Houston and Moussa Diabetes. Houston is ranked 8th, and Diabetes is ranked 7th in ESPN’s 2021 College Basketball Recruiting class. Both Austin and Diabte are both ranked in the top 2 for best Florida Basketball players for the class of 2021. Michigan is bringing in three four-star recruits, as well as one three-star recruit as well.
Michigan Basketball fans should be encouraged by Coach Juwan Howard’s job on the recruiting side and this past season. Coach Howard has transformed the Wolverines into a powerhouse on the floor and recruiting in College Basketball. Coach Howard’s next goal is to move on from the elite eight and win a national championship. Michigan Basketball has not won the tournament since 1989. According to Vegas Insider, Michigan currently sits at the 3rd best odds to win the national title in 2022 at +1200.