Dusty May says he hopes to make Michigan enjoyable to watch again

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Dusty May was succinct when outlining his goals as Michigan coach during his introductory news conference on Tuesday.

“Our goal is to be enjoyable to watch,” he said. “We want to win championships, but we also want to put fans in the seats and be easy on the eyes.”

May was hired by Michigan after six seasons at Florida Atlantic, which he led on a surprising run to the Final Four last season. He was contacted by Michigan after FAU lost to Northwestern on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He met with athletic director Warde Manuel on Saturday, then toured the athletic facilities in Ann Arbor and signed a five-year, $19 million contract on Sunday.

May had been linked with the opening at Louisville, but Michigan was the front-runner from the start.

“This was a place that I wanted to be,” he said. “This was the right fit for me, my family. And it just felt right and I’m a big feel guy. I’m a big fit guy. And from Day 1, this was one that I just thought would match me and allow me and those around me to have the highest level of success doing it the way that we enjoy doing.”

Manuel began the search for a new coach after firing former Fab Five star Juwan Howard earlier this month.

“Normally, in every search I’ve ever conducted, you hear something negative,” he said. “Some issue arose. Somebody didn’t think you handled this student-athlete or this team. Nothing. Everything was positive.”

May takes over a Michigan team coming off an 8-24 season and a last-place finish in the Big Ten Conference, the school's worst season since 1960-61.

He plans to use both recruiting and the transfer portal, which he jokingly compared to “speed dating.”

Part of his challenge will be to bring in recruits who can qualify academically at Michigan.

“There’s an academic mission of a university that’s never going to change,” May said. “Our job as coaches is to find student-athletes that match in value that mission as well.”

On the court, May said his new team may not shoot as many 3-pointers as his Florida Atlantic teams, at least not at first.

“If we’re not at least jogging or moving at a solid pace, the guys will hear from me,” he said. “It needs to be free flowing; we don’t want the defense to ever get set. We shoot probably too many 3s. We finish at the rim. We play modern basketball, we do use analytics, we use the metrics, but we try to find the best way for us to play and it usually is centered around what do your best players do well."

May, who is from Peoria, Illinois, was a student manager at Indiana under then-coach Bob Knight. He began his college coaching career at nearby Eastern Michigan before stints at Murray State, UAB, Louisiana Tech and Florida.

Two of his three sons play college basketball. Jack May plays at Florida, while Charlie May plays at Central Florida.


AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball