Michigan suspends leading scorer Dug McDaniel for next 6 road games

McDaniel has averaged a team-high 17.8 points per game this season for the Wolverines

Dug McDaniel will still be allowed to play in Ann Arbor for the Wolverines during his suspension.
Dug McDaniel will still be allowed to play in Ann Arbor for the Wolverines during his suspension. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michigan will be without its leading scorer on the road for its next six away games.

Dug McDaniel will be suspended for the Wolverines’ next six road games, both he and the program announced Wednesday night. McDaniel, however, will still be available for home games.

It’s unclear specifically why McDaniel was suspended, or why he was only suspended for road games, but head coach Juwan Howard hinted that it had to do with “academic goals."

“We have very high standards within our program, culture and university,” Howard said in a statement. “Serving as mentors, we need to set the standards and pathways for our young men to succeed … Dug will dress for home games, however, when we are away from Ann Arbor, he will work toward meeting several academic goals he has set and needs to meet.

“While I am disappointed, this is not something that we take lightly. This is an important step for Dug and his success as a student-athlete.”

McDaniel has averaged a team-high 17.8 points and 5.1 assists per game this season, his second with the Wolverines. McDaniel was a four-star recruit out of high school, and had offers from Florida, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Arizona State, among others, before landing at Michigan.

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Dug McDaniel
2023 - 2024 season

McDaniel’s road game suspension will start Thursday night when Michigan travels to Maryland. He will be eligible to travel to road games again Feb. 29, when Michigan heads to Rutgers.

McDaniel’s suspension comes amid rough losing streak

McDaniel’s suspension couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Wolverines.

Michigan enters Thursday’s game on a four-game losing skid. After dropping a high-scoring battle against Florida last month at the Jumpman Invitational, Michigan fell to McNeese State — which recorded its first-ever win against a Big Ten opponent. The Wolverines then fell to both Minnesota and Penn State.

Howard didn’t coach Michigan against the Nittany Lions, either. Instead, he stepped aside and let assistant coach Phil Martelli lead the team in the game at the Palestra, as he wanted to honor the Philadelphia-area native. Penn State won that game 79-73. Martelli served as the team’s interim head coach to start the season while Howard was recovering from heart surgery.

The program has been in a weird place ever since Howard punched a Wisconsin assistant after their game in 2022. They missed the NCAA tournament last year completely after losing six of their last nine games of the season. Last month, Howard got into an alleged heated confrontation with longtime strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson.

Michigan is just 6-9 so far this season, the fifth under Howard, which is the worst record in the Big Ten conference. Maryland will enter Thursday’s game at the XFINITY Center having dropped its last two games.