College basketball is just over three weeks away, and now it is time for the third installment of the Overtime Heroics team previews. It only fits that we stay inside of the Midwest for this next team. Yesterday Michigan landed a 2021 five-star Moussa Diabate. No, this is not an article about this news. Today I am looking back at 2019-20 and diving the 2020-21 squad. Let’s get right into it.
2019-20 Michigan Season
2019-20 ended the weirdest way that anyone could have imagined, but the start of the season was perfect for Michigan and their first-year coach, Juwan Howard. The Wolverines started the year 7-0, winning the 2019 Battle for Atlantis tournament. On their way to the championship, they drove through some tough teams.
- vs Iowa State- 83-76 (W)
- vs #6 North Carolina- 73-64 (W)
- vs #8 Gonzaga- 83-64 (W)
All of the momentum was rolling the Wolverines way, the question remained, could they be stopped? The answer would be yes. After the 7-0 start, Michigan dropped three tough games in December. A loss to top-ranked Louisville, a loss to Illinois, and finally a loss to Oregon. Howard and the crew got back on track with two wins to end the month and get some momentum back before conference play began.
The January Blues
As much as November and December went Michigan’s way, the beginning of conference play did not. Michigan played 7 Big Ten games in January and ended up going 2-5 in that span, losing four straight at one point. The Wolverines went from looking like a top team in college basketball to 3-6 inside the Big Ten on the season.
The Wolverines fought back to finish the season with a 19-12 record being 10-10 inside of the Big Ten. Michigan also finished at the 25th spot in the AP top 25 polls towards the end of the season but fell out. The Big Ten tournament then was canceled as was the NCAA tournament. For a little bit, it seemed like the world was frozen in time.
2019-20 Stat Leaders
Zavier Simpson (SR)- 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.9 assists
Isaiah Livers (JR)- 12.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Jon Teske (SR)- 11.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Franz Wagner (FR)- 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Eli Brooks (JR)- 10.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists
2020-21 Team Preview
ISAIAH LIVERS IS BACK! Returning for his senior season, Livers is looking to stay healthy and put Michigan where they should have been last season. Joining him are two other starters who were also in the top five in scoring for the Wolverines. Livers, Wagner, and Brooks are the trio for Juwan Howard.
On the team’s recruiting side, Juwan did land recruitment from 2020 five star Isaiah Todd, but he later decided to leave the program and go to the G-League program. The readjustment of Todd did not stop Howard from having a top 15 recruiting class.
Michigan brings in three four-stars and one three-star. The list consists of G Zeb Jackson, C Hunter Dickinson, PF Terrence Williams, and SF Jace Howard. A couple of nice transfers rounds out the Michigan squad for what looks like another odd college basketball season. Look for Michigan to be another team that has the talent to make a surge into March, and do not be surprised if they make it past the second weekend.
2020-21 Impact Players
A couple of departures from the team won’t stop what the Wolverines have back and what’s coming in. Here is a couple of guys who will change the game for Juwan Howard.
Isaiah Livers (SR)
Chaundee Brown (SR transfer from Wake Forest)
Frans Wagner (SO)
Wolverine Projected Starting Lineup
G- Eli Brooks (SR)
G- Chaundee Brown (SR)
F- Frans Wagner (SO)
F- Isaiah Livers (SR)
C- Hunter Dickinson (FR)
That just about wraps up the third installment of the team previews that I will be putting out here on Overtime Heroics. If you want more up-to-date college basketball content, don’t forget to follow me on my Twitter account, @worldofcollege1.
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