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Michigan lists two starters as game time decisions vs. Rutgers



Feb 18, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Jett Howard (13) is examined by team personal during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The stretch run of the season is here and Rutgers has a crucial Big Ten matchup against Michigan on Thursday at the RAC. Head coach Steve Pikiell told The Scarlet Faithful this week that Caleb McConnell status for Thursday’s game against Michigan “doesn’t look good.”

The Wolverines are also dealing with injury issues as March approaches. Assistant coach Phil Martelli had a video conference with reporters on Wednesday and addressed their own injury concerns.

Starting forward Terrance Williams has missed the past two games with a knee injury. Second leading scorer Jett Howard left their last game with a lower body injury. Martelli labeled both as game-time decisions against Rutgers.

Martelli said that Howard hasn’t practiced since leaving the Michigan State game on Saturday. He said that Howard’s “movement has improved each day” and that he is “making the trip (to Rutgers) hopefully with a uniform, not (with) a sweatsuit.”

He added, “His body language is much brighter than other times when he’s been injured.”

Howard is averaging 14.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 30.6 minutes per game in 26 starts as a freshman. He is shooting 36.9% from three-point range and averages 2.7 threes per game. His turnover rate of 10.8% is 126th lowest nationally and he is second in the Big Ten in shooting 89.5% from the foul line.

As for Williams, he was “a full participant” at practice on Tuesday. Martelli said they want to see how he responds before making a decision on whether he will play against Rutgers.

Williams is averaging 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. He is second on the team in rebounding and his defensive rebounding rate of 17.6% is 437th nationally. Williams has started all 25 games he has played in.

As for facing Rutgers for the first time this season, Martelli made it clear that Michigan knows they are in for a battle at the RAC.

“Lace your sneakers tight,” Martelli said. “And if you are, in any way, averse to being hit in the chin, don’t make this trip.” He added, “They’re as tough as tough can be.”

Rutgers beat Michigan for the first time in 16 meetings last season at the RAC and will look to do the same on Thursday night (8:30 p.m.; FS1).

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  1. thevinman

    February 22, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t ever want anyone to be out due to injury but Michigan losing one or both players will help balance out our losses of Mags and Caleb.

    • BataliBoli98

      February 23, 2023 at 12:30 am

      Same here. I never wish an injury on anyone but the fact is that either of these guys being out would give RU a nice boost. Howard is a very talented freshman who will be a tough matchup for Hyatt. Caleb not seeming like a “game time decision” makes me think that Sunday will be unlikely as well. I think that Martelli is right and tomorrow night will be a very physical game which could make for a tough turnaround to be at PSU on Sunday. At least they are also playing tomorrow at OSU. Go RU!

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