When freshman guard Jett Howard committed to the Michigan men’s basketball program a little over a year ago, he completed the Howard trio for the Wolverines.
By now, everyone can tell you all about the Howard family. Juwan Howard — a Fab Five player, NBA star, and now in his fourth season as Michigan’s head coach — is Jett’s dad. And Jace Howard — now a junior guard and team captain — is Jett’s older brother. A trifecta of J names, the Howards seem to be taking over the Wolverines’ roster.
But for Michigan, Jett is much more than just Juwan’s son and Jace’s brother. He’s his own player, with a dynamic skill set and high basketball IQ. And after last year’s rollercoaster of a season, he could act as the stabilizing factor the Wolverines need.
“Jett is a really skilled player, versatile player,” Michigan assistant coach Saddi Washington said at Michigan Media Day on Oct. 14. “(He) can really shoot the ball, (and he’s) getting better in terms of handling the ball out in space and attacking off the dribble. Defensively, we’ll continue to grow in those areas, again, being a freshman. But we’re excited. I’m glad he’s with us and I think he’s gonna be a crowd favorite as the season progresses.”
Graduating from Florida’s highly touted IMG Academy, Jett was the 42nd-ranked recruit in the 2022 class according to 247Sports. Posting consistently high numbers throughout his senior year, Jett left high school averaging 13.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2 assists per game. And his impressive performance didn’t go unnoticed by colleges, especially after Jett pushed for a regular recruiting process, never favoring Michigan until his eventual commitment.
Multiple collegiate programs threw their hat in the ring for Jett, including Tennessee, Florida, LSU and Georgetown. In the end, the Vols and the Wolverines battled it out for his commitment.
“From a development standpoint, I felt like (Juwan) knew my game the best out of everyone in the world,” Jett said. “So I felt like if he knows my game the best and he knows my style of play like he wouldn’t guide me in the wrong direction. If he just feels like I can fit within the system.”
Jett’s biggest attribution is his scoring ability. As a 6-foot-8 guard, his height is an incredibly valuable asset. He has a shooting advantage, making it difficult for defenders to get in his face and interfere with his shot. A sharpshooter, Jett spreads the floor and adds a dynamic threat to Michigan’s offense — something it’ll need with teams doubling junior center Hunter Dickinson.
On the defensive end, Jett’s height allows him to help in the post against strong Big Ten frontcourt opponents. But his impact extends beyond that. His speed and agility are essential for guarding quick players on the perimeter. Stemming from his size, Jett’s offensive strengths and defensive capabilities make him a threat on both ends of the floor.
“Jett Howard has the prettiest stroke you’re going to find,” Michigan associate head coach Phil Martelli said. “And what I appreciate about Jett the most is his eyes. He has a really great eye in that he wants you to coach him.”
Jett rounds out the Wolverines’ 11th-ranked recruiting class nationally, consisting of four incoming freshmen. Fellow Floridian, freshman forward Gregg Glenn III was another factor that helped Jett settle on Michigan. Forward Tarris Reed Jr. and guard Dug McDaniel finish out the freshmen class. The Wolverines also acquired a fifth freshman with international recruit forward Youssef Khayat. With nine new players on the roster, having a strong presence on the floor like Jett from the get-go is an asset.
And having that immediate impact from a freshman is paramount in Michigan’s upcoming season. It’s something that flows from his family name, but is cemented in his abilities.