After a back-and-forth battle against the Eastern Michigan Eagles, Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard answered the media’s questions about the game and his team. Here are some of the most noteworthy comments:
On what he said to Emoni post-game: “You guys want to know everything, huh? I just wished him well, wished him well, stay healthy. But other than that I’m not gonna tell you the rest. He’s a great kid, special player.”
On the back and forth nature of the game: “You can learn a lot just from a win instead of just from a loss, so we knew coming in with an atmosphere like that, that it was gonna be a game of runs, and what a special talent that they have — not just one player but two players. So when you’ve got two guys who are gifted offensively but also two competitors, you’re gonna get a very competitive game.”
On if EMU’s physicality took his team back: “No, not at all. As a competitor, you expect a competitive game and our guys are extremely competitive as well. But when you have a school that’s what, 10-15 minutes down the road. Some of the guys that are from Detroit, they have family that’s in the building. They also have some of their coaches and friends, relatives, as well as student body. When we get the crowd into it, it just breeds confidence, it breeds toughness, and that’s a tough team.”
On the defensive performance: “First half, I don’t think we did a good job of that. We talked about it at halftime so when someone asks ‘what was the adjustments that were made,’ some of the adjustments were let’s make sure we’re not up on the ball screen, let’s pick them up at the three-point line. You look at how they shot the ball in the first half, it was 53% from the field. So then in the second half, they shot 38% from the field. so that’s a credit to our adjustments and a credit to our defense. Our defensive disposition, and also our mindset.”
On Hunter Dickinson: “I think I might be the hardest and toughest on Hunter because I just expect more. But give the young man credit, he doesn’t mind that I challenge him, he doesn’t mind being coached, he enjoys going out there and competing. It’s tough sometimes when you have smaller guys that’re just walking underneath you, beating on your arm.
“Sometimes your whistle is — and I’m not saying the referees didn’t do a good job with their whistle cause they did — but sometimes you have that Shaq whistle. I remember times in the NBA when Shaq, he had a different whistle than everyone else because he was so big and stronger than the other guys. I think that times they expect for them to dominate and take a lot of abuse, but Hunter is just working, and he’s doing an amazing job of leading as well.”