Four-Star Jett Howard Commits To Michigan Basketball
Michigan Wolverines basketball coach Juwan Howard spent the last 17 years or so recruiting his latest commitment — his son, Jett
Jett Howard, a four-star prospect and Rivals.com's No. 35 player in the 2022 class, joined friend and power forward Gregg Glenn, four-star center/forward Tarris Reed and point guard Dug McDaniel in pledging to U-M, announcing Oct. 13.
The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout took visits to N.C. State, Tennessee and Michigan (Sept. 18 weekend), and his father — U-M head coach Juwan Howard — encouraged him to go through the process.
In the end, however, there wasn't much doubt Howard would join his brother, Jace, in playing for their dad. Still, the Michigan coach encouraged his son to look around a bit.
“He tells me, ‘I don’t want you to look back in 30 years and have regrets … feel like I pushed you into doing something you didn’t want to do,” the younger Howard said. “I know he wants me to be happy.”
So he treated him like a recruit on his September visit instead of just his son, taking him around campus, showing him the facilities and letting him know just how much he wanted him to join his program.
The younger Howard, McDaniel and Glenn all arrived for their officials at the same time — probably by design. The trio know each other well, having played AAU ball together growing up, and shared the experience together.
Also involved — Michigan sophomore Jace Howard and his mother, Jenine. She's been as instrumental in his development as anyone, traveling with her sons and doing the basketball mom thing when her husband was still in the NBA, and she’s been helping Jett with the recruiting process.
She was with him on a trip to Tennessee, and she was as impressed as her son.
“She loves coach [Rick] Barnes,’” Jett Howard said. “They did a great job showing their vision for me … how they would use me in the offense. They really let me know how I’d fit there.”
He got the red carpet treatment at N.C. State the week before, too. But Tennessee was considered the biggest threat to pull the major upset in this recruitment, thanks in large part to the head coach.
“My dad will roll his eyes when we talk about it and joke that coach Barnes is my mom’s new boyfriend,” Howard added with a laugh.
The Michigan coach didn’t take anything for granted on the trip, showing the recruits (and his son) around himself. Jett admitted he hadn’t seen the entire campus yet, so he was excited to see it all — and he wasn’t disappointed.
“I loved it,” he said.
And when they got back to the basketball facilities, his father broke down film for him and showed him how he planned to use him in the offense if he got his commitment.
“They want me to play a combination of the one, two and three,” he said. “They showed me how I fit, where they saw me in different situations on the floor. I liked it.”
But he also got the ‘defense first’ speech all recruits get when they first arrive on campus for their visits. That’s going to be the program’s identity, and it was made clear.
In that area, Howard is still getting better. He felt he made a huge leap at the end of his sophomore year, but COVID didn’t allow him to show off his progress. This year, he became one of the biggest movers in the rankings after showing ability on that end as well as his all-around offensive game.
Once known as a spot-up shooter, he showed off his ability to get to the rim, pass, shoot the midrange jumper and show off his all-around basketball IQ. One scout said he would have been a perfect fit for a John Beilein-coached Michigan team, too … and Juwan Howard has already proven what he can do with such talent.
He'll now get the chance to prove it once again with a player he literally loves like a son.
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