Jaron Faulds takes the road less traveled to Michigan


Ahhh, “The Road Less Traveled,” one of my favorite poems. It IS a great concept. Not everyone takes that road, perhaps only a very few. Not all who take that less traveled road find success, but those who do often find great reward. Oftentimes it makes “all the difference.” I’m rooting for this young man…to find his path at Michigan.

1 Like

If Michigan had used one of their scarce scholarships on Faulds I would be concerned. As a preferred walk-on this is a GREAT signing. I know it is a highlight tape, but in those clips you see him being a rotation player against major college programs like PSU and BC. If that’s your 13th guy and the person pushing the scout team in practice the team will benefit from it. He’s instant insurance against unexpected injuries, departures, or foul trouble.

Longer term he also seems to have some upside. The fact that he was at Columbia implies intelligence and I could see that in his highlight tape (all caveats understood). He found his way to spots around the basket, he got open, he boxed out, he used some crafty post moves to score, etc. I only saw one jump shot in that entire tape so who knows if he has much of a ceiling, but as someone to have in the program without giving up a scholarship I think this is excellent.

The comparison I’d make is to Max Bielfeldt. Max barely played for most of his career and then jumped into the rotation later after some players left and his skills improved enough to contribute. He was always limited and not your ideal rotation piece, but he held his own and did some dirty work - eventually starting his 5th year for Indiana. Now imagine that Max was a preferred walk-on who already played division-1 for Columbia and was a few inches taller…


With him playing the big on the scout team, it will free up Davis and Castleton to concentrate on our defensive and offensive sets.

1 Like

Is it possible that Jaron Faulds (and U of M) benefits greatly by the hiring of Juwan Howard as head coach?

I looked back to highlights of Jaron’s first year at Columbia. He has a nice jump hook, good footwork down low, even a running sky hook.

Would it be too much of a stretch to think of Jaron Faulds as a three-star version of a five-star Juwan Howard coming into college?

No one on the board has really talked about Faulds. But I’m wondering if now that he has Howard to coach and mentor him in a similar style of play, with Juwan’s 25 years of experience, is it possible Jaron Faulds gets some meaningful playing time this season? Thoughts?

Unfortunately the C is the position that Michigan has the most depth and so Faulds has a considerable uphill battle for playing time. Teske is one of the top centers in the B1G, Castleton has a ton of talent that just started getting showcased at the end of the season and Davis is a guy who, at the very worst, has seen some time on the court and is an upperclassman.

I would be surprised if we see him much this year or going forward but that certainly is not a knock on him.


I know, it would probably an uphill battle for playing time.

However, Juwan played the four when he was here at Michigan. (I know, he was a McDonald’s All-American.) Could Jaron put in some time in at that position? Say as a back-up to Brandon Johns? Possible? Or would Jaron’s position only be at the 5?

Short answer, no.

Long answer, Juwan was a stretch big and also coached in the NBA where posting up big men is even more out of style than it is in college basketball. I’m sure we will post up more than before, since 1>0, but it remains to be seen if that will be an integral part of a Juwan Howard offense. I would hope not, personally. Even if you think it benefits Jaron, would it not benefit Teske and Castleton and any other more talented big man just as much?

I don’t see the comparison between Jaron and Juwan. Jaron is not a 4 in any kind of modern basketball, and if he plays a second at 4 I will be terrified.

1 Like

The more likely path to playing time would be 2020-21 with Teske graduated, Castelton the presumptive starter, and Davis not likely to have his 5th year picked up. Depending on what happens in recruiting Faulds could have a less cluttered path to foul-trouble minutes (or possibly the #2 C/back-up role)


You’re certainly correct. I’m sure all the bigs are going to benefit from a coach like Juwan, with the experience he’s had at all levels.

My thought was that out of all of our current bigs, Jaron’s game (and body) seems to most closely resemble what I remember of Juwan. (Albeit at a much different level.) So my thought was that Juwan can offer an in-person reference point for how someone like Jaron can succeed. (Maybe the game has changed and there wouldn’t be as much demand for his skill set anywhere but the five.)

However, with the three-point line pushed out, might there be more space and a place for an athlete that can hit a short jump hook, and get that kind of a bucket?

Of course, there might be others on the team that would be able, or better able to hit that shot. It will be interesting to see how moving the three-point line back will impact the game this season.

I don’t think that how Juwan played really has anything to do with what players will play well.

Faulds’ playing time probably has the most to do with where there are weak spots in the roster. It seems unlikely that there will be a void at the five with Teske/Castleton so you could say that Faulds best path to playing time is if Brandon Johns struggles and Isaiah Livers has to play the three.

What does that mean for what Michigan runs on offense? Who knows, we just have no idea. Under Beilein, the option would always be to go smaller than bigger, but maybe Juwan sees things differently. We don’t have anything to go on (and it probably isn’t a safe bet to go off of how Juwan Howard played as a player).


Ironically, this is a roster that Beilein put together with which going small is not even an option.

How is it not an option?

how? playing X, DDJ and Brooks at 1-3?

Any lineup with Livers at the four would qualify as a typical “small” lineup from Beilein I think.

Just because someone like Cole Bajema is tall doesn’t mean that he can’t be a part of a small lineup.

If Beilein (and Jalen Wilson) were still here as planned you would have seen a ton of Jalen Wilson at the four too.

1 Like

And it sounds like Wagner was intending to commit to Beilein during his visit as well. And we don’t know which transfers might have been leaning UM’s way with Beilein. So the roster Beilein was putting together – with Wilson and Wagner added – very much could have had flexibility for different small-ball looks.


Max came off the bench at Indiana.

Juwan played. Enter at michigan not power forward.

1 Like