Juwan Howard's Playbook (HV Weekly: 2/27/21)

Michigan looks very good.

Welcome back to the HV Weekly!

This week, we learned that back-to-backs have a similar effect on Hoop Vision content as they do on basketball games.

I followed up the Loyola Chicago defensive video from last week with another deep dive on Michigan’s offense.

The video got done… but some sleep was sacrificed in the process. So as a result, the HV Weekly was pushed back a day.

In today’s Saturday edition:

  • The new Michigan voiceover video

  • Bonus video on Juwan Howard’s playbook

  • The Starting Five newsletter

  • Links from around the internet

New Michigan video

Michigan has been one of the best offensive programs in the country over the past 10 years.

Under John Beilein, the Wolverines finished in the top 25 in adjusted offensive efficiency on five different occasions. Then last season, Juwan Howard also turned in a top 25 offense in his first year in Ann Arbor.

But even though efficient offense is nothing new for Michigan, it’s the style of play that’s a bit different this season.

In previous years, Michigan was very ball screen heavy — specifically with point guard Zavier Simpson. This season’s version, on the other hand, is very balanced. They have Hunter Dickinson post-ups, Mike Smith ball screens, Isaiah Livers ghost screens, Franz Wagner slashes to the basket, and so on.

The 12-minute voiceover video below breaks down Juwan Howard’s X’s and O’s and Michigan’s versatility.

More from the playbook

A lot of what makes Michigan great is their “flow” offense — just organic ball movement and reading the defense. But in addition to that, Juwan Howard also has a pretty extensive playbook.

Below are three Michigan set plays that didn’t make the final version of my YouTube video, but have all led to multiple Michigan baskets in Big Ten play.


This is maybe the best example of Juwan Howard’s playcall style.

He likes to go to his set plays after a timeout or to start a half. In the case of the post curl set below, Michigan scored off of it in the first minute of the games against Wisconsin, Iowa, and Purdue.

Notice how Howard’s sets have different endings and variations built in.

In the second clip, Dickinson runs out for a ball screen. In the third clip, Dickinson ducks in for a post-up instead (by design).


This one isn’t quite as original — “everyone” runs horns twist — but it has still led to several Michigan baskets.

Isaiah Livers can hit the three when replacing up to the top of the key, or find Dickinson inside on the hi-lo pas.


There weren’t many positives from Michigan’s 75-57 loss to Minnesota on January 16th. but the one offensive highlight for the Wolverines was this empty ball screen lift set. They scored on the roll three times at Minnesota.

For more on empty ball screens, check out our Hoops Dictionary newsletter.


The Starting Five

Consider this your weekly reminder on our Starting Five subscriber-only newsletter.

In this past Monday’s edition, we covered:

  1. Alabama and Gonzaga’s combination of offensive pace and defense

  1. Michigan’s “go-and-catch” concept

  2. The most NBA play

  3. Kansas’s second half offense in their win over Texas Tech

  4. Winthrop’s wheel series

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Links from around the internet