Juwan Howard always has good stuff to say and it was no different after a big win over Michigan State and ahead of a matchup with Northwestern.

Regarding team health and needing luck...

“I’m staying on my knees every night and I’m also thanking God every morning. Not just for myself and my family, but also for others, and most importantly my players. Every team goes through it at some point in the season, and it’s a long season.”

My take...

Howard made this statement after being asked about Isaiah Livers' injury, recovery and workload and for Michigan basketball's sake, I hope his praying works. Livers is absolute essential to what U-M wants to do on both ends of the floor. He's arguably U-M's best offensive weapon and is a leader on the defensive end in terms of his knowledge and his voice. He's also versatile enough to guard 1-5 and really covers up a lot of holes. Howard, the rest of his staff, Michigan fans and everyone with an interest in U-M hoops is praying that Livers, and everyone else, stays healthy.

On Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske having experience from their freshman year... 

“It’s great to have seniors on your team that have been through the battles, that have experience of the highs and the lows. That have competed on the road, that have been in duress situations where they’ve fought through adversity. Fortunately for us, two of our best players are seniors.”

My take...

Howard also mentioned Livers as an experienced junior who can provide stability and a level head during crunch time. Between Simpson and Teske you have 150 starts, which is invaluable during tough losing streaks and must-win-game stretches like the on U-M is currently in. With eight games to play in the regular season, Michigan really needs to win four more times, and maybe once or twice in the Big Ten tournament, to comfortably get into the NCAA tournament.

On Livers having some first game back groin tightness...

“His recovery is going good. Yesterday he had some treatment and had a little practice. I got a good report that he’s good today, so we’re going to practice today and manage his workload. And hopefully tomorrow he’ll feel good to compete against Northwestern.”

My take...

It was a bit surprising that Livers played 31 minutes in his first game back but that has to be taken as a good sign even though he did mention some fatigue and soreness. It'll be interesting to see if he's on the floor that much tonight because he's certainly needed, as we've outlined. Livers definitely seems to be back very close to 100 percent as evidenced by him going up hard for a dunk, getting fouled, coming down awkwardly and not seeming to be any worse for wear. 

On anticipating seeing familiar faces in Chicago...

“I’m sure there are going to be a lot of folks who I knew growing up. I know how to manage when it comes to ticket requests. This is not my first rodeo. I know how to handle distractions, and I won’t have any.”

My take...

I honestly didn't give this concept much thought. Howard is from the South Side of Chicago, which about an hour from Welsh-Ryan Arena. It's not like his friends, family and childhood buddies are living across the street from where he's coaching tonight. It's also an 8pm tip on a Wednesday night. I'm curious to see how the crowd looks with Northwestern struggling and a lot of U-M alumni living in the area, but I don't see the place being overrun by people close to Howard. 

On Franz’s defensive effort against MSU... 

“I told you guys all year that Franz can not only score the ball, the guy’s a two-way player! [His effort] was huge. It’s been that way since when he first started playing in the Bahamas. He had his imprint on the [Michigan State] game by taking that charge. That was huge. Hitting the floor for a loose ball, not concerned with how many shots he’s getting. He’s just doing whatever it takes to help his team win.”

My take...

Wagner is such a talented, versatile and intriguing player. He's incredibly long at 6-9 and really does a good job staying in front of people despite not being an incredible athlete. He doesn't posses elite quickness but he's great at using angles and certainly puts those long limbs to use. I also couldn't agree more with Howard about Wagner's energy and tenacity. Seeing a young freshman, built like he is, taking tough charges and diving for loose balls is an energizer for a team. Throw in the fact that Wagner can deliver a 20-point performance on any given night and you have a budding star and fan favorite.

*Jake Karalexis contributed to this article

Which quote stuck out to you? What do you like most about Juwan Howard as Michigan's coach? Comment below!!!