On behalf of the University of Michigan men's basketball program, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season as well.
The holiday season affords us the wonderful opportunity to get better as a team and devote extra time to individual skill development. With the student-athletes not in classes, we simply have more time to improve and more opportunities to grow as a unit.
This season's holiday break was the longest that I can remember in my years of coaching. Our guys had four days at home and they all came back energized and motivated to continue to get better.
Our game versus Central Michigan served as a good learning experience for our team. It is always great to teach after a victory and based on our staff's breakdown of the game film, we identified some areas that needed to be addressed as we headed into Big Ten play. Specifically, our team must continue to sustain high-level play throughout the 40 minute games in the effort areas like transition defense and knowing player tendencies.
We opened up Big Ten play last week in Evanston versus Northwestern, which is always a challenging match up. Our staff complimented our players after the game on handling a ton of information in our game preparation. I thought the energy level and the unselfishness we displayed at Northwestern was special and contributed to our victory.
On Sunday (Jan. 6), we took on a very good Iowa team here in Ann Arbor at noon. The early weekend games are always interesting in college basketball. Often times, it is the team that starts the game the fastest and the toughest that wins.
We certainly did not start the game in the fashion that we wanted to but I thought that we closed the first half and started the second half really well. These stronger segments were able to offset the slower start to the game for us.
So many people contributed to Sunday's win, but Glenn Robinson III's activity level was undeniable. To finish with 20 points and 10 rebounds in his first Big Ten home game shows you the type of ability this young man has.
Each year shows and proves that Big Ten Conference play is unrelenting. We have two wins right now, but all of our attention has shifted to Nebraska. They are a tough defensive team and will certainly try to impose their pace and will on the game tomorrow night.
I look forward to getting back out on the practice floor with our team as we prepare for Nebraska. We can't wait to see our fans and hear our fans tomorrow night at 7 p.m.