Jan. 5, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- For a team to start a season 14-0 (1-0 in Big Ten play), one of the most important things going right for the University of Michigan men's basketball team is that all 15 guys on the roster know their role and what it takes to be successful.
There are veterans and vocal leaders like Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., who are mainstays in the Wolverines' starting lineup. The pair consistently leads U-M in minutes played and points scored almost every night out. And, 6-10, 250-pound Mitch McGary comes off the bench with a tremendous amount of energy, diving for loose balls and cleaning up the glass.
And then there is Glenn Robinson III, a 6-6, 210-pound true freshman who is leading Michigan in rebounds (5.9 per game) and is fourth in scoring, averaging 11.9 points per contest.
On a team with so many players capable of making an impact, having different types of leaders has proven to be important to Michigan's success thus far. In his second year as point guard, Burke has developed into more of a vocal leader, directing U-M's offense and helping its first freshmen get acclimated with the team's system.
Just as Burke was a year ago as a freshman, Robinson is perfectly fine being a quiet leader on the floor, while others lead vocally. Michigan's mix of leadership styles seems to be one of many things going right for the Wolverines as they near the halfway mark of the season.
Prior to hosting its first Big Ten matchup with Iowa, the Wolverines held a media roundtable on Saturday (Jan. 5). In addition to Coach Beilein, Mitch McGary and Jordan Morgan speaking with the media, Glenn Robinson III sat down for a brief interview.
U-M Freshman Forward Glenn Robinson III
On always being a quiet player with little emotion on the court ... "I have been like that since I can remember -- since I started playing basketball. I'm just real laid back and that's how I am off the court too. A lot of people tell me that I don't show much emotion -- I do get emotional out there, I just don't show it as much. I've always been one to lead by example, not always having to say something. I do say some things when necessary, but I think that if you want to be a leader, you have to go out there and show it."
On being a vocal leader when he needs to be ... "When things aren't going perfectly, I think it's important to get the team involved. I try to keep everyone's emotions high, even though it doesn't look like I am. In games, especially in close games, it's important that we keep the team together and everyone is on the same page."
On which guys on the team lead more vocally ... "Jordan (Morgan), Trey (Burke) and Tim (Hardaway Jr.), and then Mitch (McGary) comes in and brings a lot of energy. Tim leads with a lot of talking and energy out there on the court. It's nice to have both types of players on this team to lead. I may not be able to lead with experience, but I think my knowledge of the game and laid-back personality helps as well."
On becoming more of a vocal leader in the future ... "That's what you need, you need a mixture of both. I've worked on that personality part and that type of leadership and I think I'll continue to improve on that."
On being a quiet player that goes under the radar ... "I'm fine with that. You can see that we're winning and having great success as a team and we just have to keep it up. Whatever role I need to play or whatever I need to do to help the team out, that's what I'm going to do. I just care about us doing what we need to do to be successful."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423