Jan. 8, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Prior to hosting its second straight Big Ten home game -- on Wednesday (Jan. 9) against Nebraska -- the No. 2-ranked University of Michigan men's basketball team held a media roundtable on Tuesday (Jan. 8).
Michigan will enter Wednesday night's game versus the Cornhuskers with a perfect 15-0 record -- just one win shy of matching the best start in program history (16-0, 1985-86).
A 31-game regular-season slate, including 18 games in a tough conference, means a need for leadership. Senior guard Matt Vogrich is a player that has experienced that leadership role from all sides this season. Vogrich started the first six games of the season and has come off the bench in eight of the last nine games, but one thing his not changed -- his leadership and willingness to do anything he can to help his team win.
When freshman Nik Stauskas worked his way into the starting lineup at the shooting guard position, Vogrich adapted to coming off the bench, like he had done during the first three years of his career at Michigan.
Since Stauskas stepped foot on campus over the summer, Vogrich has taken him under his wing and showed him the ropes in Michigan's complex system. As a senior who entered the season with 97 games played, Vogrich had plenty of experience and had seen the ups and down Michigan has experienced over the last three seasons.
U-M Senior Guard Matt Vogrich
On adjusting to different roles on the team this season ... "As a senior, you're all about winning, and I'm just trying to help the freshmen, Nik (Stauskas) especially, since he plays the same position as me, learn the play and learn what he's supposed to be doing in different situations. I'm really trying to help the younger guys evolve and develop into their roles."
On how fun this season has been so far ... "When things are clicking, it makes this a lot easier, and they've been clicking since the summer. It's a great group of guys, and we're going to keep working hard. I'm really excited though to see how we respond to some adversity. We have some tough games coming up with Nebraska, Ohio State and Minnesota. I'm excited to see how we respond when things aren't going as well as they have been thus far."
On the importance of senior leadership when adversity hits ... "It's going to be huge. The five seniors and then Jordan (Morgan), Trey (Burke) and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) are going to be able to help a ton. Jordan is like a senior since he's been here for four years -- he plays all the time, so he's going to be able to help the freshmen. Tim and Trey have gone through a ton of different situations as well, and they can help them out on the court, and off the court and off the bench, the seniors can help teach them what's going on and how to respond when things aren't going as perfectly as they have so far."
On the freshman class meshing with the rest of the team ... "They've been great. They're always trying to learn, they've been watching a lot of film. It's great to watch them work hard and have the willingness to work hard and try to be the best. I've really been talking to Nik (Stauskas) because he plays the same position as much. Nik is a great kid, he's hilarious -- he and I hang out all the time, so I'm just trying to help teach him when he doesn't remember the plays. I just try to walk him through that stuff and teach him where he's supposed to be in different situations."
On comparing the freshmen to where he was four years ago ... "Now I think that the mistakes they're making are silly, where as I know I was making the same mistakes when I was a freshman. They'll learn as time goes on. The college game is different than the high school or prep school game, so the more they see it, the better they get, and they'll continue to develop throughout the season."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423