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Michigan coach Juwan Howard talks about his team's 79-71 win in the opening game against Appalachian State on November 5, 2019.
Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press

Basketball in Michigan is in the works, as expected by a new coach on its debut, and there is still a long way to go.

At 12:59, the Wolverines held a 30-point lead at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. Until then, they dominated the game on both ends, attacking from the bottom and the outside in the offensive and restricted the quality of the defensive shots.

Michigan was well on its way to starting the era of Juwan Howard with a blowout over an overmatch opponent.

Until everything has changed.

Jon Teske defends the Hunter Seacat from Appalachian State in the second half of Tuesday in Ann Arbor. [Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press]

Appalachian State used a 32-6 run to reduce the deficit to four, and looked like a far superior team at the time. The Wolverines could not stop turning the ball with 17 bucks, more than in any other game of the past season. Meanwhile, the defense fought to stop in transition or half-court.

It was a recipe for disaster. If more time had gone by, or if the original leadership had not gone so badly, Howard's debut might have ended with an unthinkable defeat.

And although the Wolverines emerged victorious, the teams became even more of a steep learning curve as they adapted to life under a new trainer.

"We just got away from the little things," Center Jon Teske said. "In the first half we really split the ball, knocking open a lot of open strikes, splitting the ball in a great way, making that one extra pass, we have some tension in the second half, we need to relax. had risen by 30 points.

"We will learn from this, grow from it, all we have to do is maintain this 30-point lead and the 20-point lead, and just keep your foot on the pedal."

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There was no evidence at the beginning of the season That this team could overcome all of these factors and play their best basketball from the start, there would always be a time for adaptation built this idea.

And not only the players learn with each game. Your trainer is too.

"Overall, I think there are some areas where not only our players need to improve, but me too, as a coach," said Howard. I can not part with the group, hopefully I'll sleep a bit tonight, I hope I do not play every bit, every thing in my head, while I try to fall asleep, but I know that I will do it.

"I will have a sleep disorder because it shows that … you are interested. You are interested in this game, you are interested in what happens. You are interested in improvement and growth. I am always critical. I am always hard for myself.

Contact Orion Sang at osang @ freepress .com Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang . Read more about the Michigan Wolverines and subscribe to our Wolverines newsletter.