Oddsmakers: Juwan Howard, Chris Beard among early favorites for Michigan job

The Detroit News
Former Michigan star Juwan Howard, left, has been an assistant coach with the Miami Heat since 2013.

Now that John Beilein is off to the NBA, the focus turns to who will be his replacement as Michigan's next basketball coach.

And, as speculation mounts as far as who could be potential candidates, oddsmakers also are weighing in on the possibilities.

Bovada has installed Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard as the early favorite (+275), with Rick Pitino (+475) and former Michigan star Juwan Howard (+500) running close behind.

BetOnline.AG, meanwhile, gives Howard 3-to-1 odds to lead Michigan's program, followed by Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan (7-2), and Arizona State's Bobby Hurley and Florida's Mike White (5-1 each).

Howard helped lead the Wolverines to back-to-back national title game appearances as part of the vaunted Fab Five in the early 1990s, and has been an assistant coach with the Miami Heat since 2013, following a 19-year playing career in the NBA.

Beard also is a familiar name for Michigan fans, after knocking off both Michigan and Michigan State en route to a berth in the national title game. Beard recently signed a new deal with the Red Raiders.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said there will be a "full national search" for the Wolverines' next basketball coach, and his focus is to "get it right."