Jan. 9, 2012
What's up everyone?
I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and one that hopes to have many special moments for our basketball team!
It was big week for us last week as we had to face back-to-back ranked teams.
It was a very tough loss at Indiana. First off, Indiana is a very good team and losing to them at Assembly Hall is nothing to be embarrassed about, especially by just two points and being down by as much as 15. However, for the goals we want to accomplish, that is a game we expect to win. We had our chances down the stretch. As Coach Beilein pointed out the next day, there were a ton of mistakes we made during the first 38 minutes of the game that cost us the win. We believe that, although some of these mistakes are small, once we clean it up our team is going to make a huge jump and really be special to watch.
So how did we respond?
We had a great win against Wisconsin. It was truly a special day to be a Wolverine. We got to talk and meet three Michigan greats -- Cazzie Russell, Rudy Tomjanovich and Phil Hubbard -- before the game. I mean, three of the five jerseys hanging from the rafters were in the locker room. If we weren't pumped up before that, I am not sure what to tell you.
I can tell you everyone was ready to go after Cazzie spoke. He spoke about how much he loves watching our team play because we play tough and, most importantly, together. What will stick with me the most, however, is that Cazzie said watching us play makes him proud to be a Michigan Man and we all represent everyone that comes before us. Very, very powerful stuff.
Onto the game. I was really impressed with our team defense. Wisconsin offers a ton of challenges when you play them. The first being you must guard them for the full 35-second shot clock, or as we said 36 seconds.
The next thing to talk about is how everyone has been so impressed with Trey (Burke) on offense this year, but Trey proved again why he is having such a great year on defense. Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor had to work very hard for all his shots. Trey just did a terrific job along with Stu (Douglass), but by this point we all expect this from Stu.
I need to give a big shoutout to Jordan (Morgan), who is playing with a swagger again and attacking the boards. When J-Mo plays like this, our team is really hard to play against because we get extra possessions. J-Mo's hunger and effort the last couple of games has just been outstanding.
Overall, it was just a great win for us and snapping that losing streak wasn't too shabby either.
Shifting gears just a tad.
The other very important game of the week did not take place on the court but rather in a video game. Our new locker room has a Wii system that the team spends countless hours playing. The game of choice is Super Smash Brothers -- pretty much choose a character and try to destroy each other -- and after dinner the other day I did some investigating at who is REALLY the best (note: I say really because at some point each guy on our team has self-appointed himself as the best).
The first thing I found out is that Eso (Akunne) is the Cazzie Russell of Smash, while Corey (Person) definitely is not. Apparently, he picked up his first win the other day (only took three months). The cheapest player is -- of course -- Evan (Smotrycz) because he spends the entire game hiding until the end and tries to swindle his way to a win. The player most out of touch with reality -- meaning he thinks he is way better than he is -- would be Jon (Horford). Lastly, (Zack) Novak has not played a game yet, because he is training at home until he believes he will dominate everyone in the locker room. Something only he would do.
Another competition our team has been having lately is who can make the best milkshake. With all of our team meals, we are always able to create our own milkshakes/smoothies for dessert.
In the past, Jon was pretty much known as the "Smoothie King," to the point that he could work at a Dairy Queen. But Jordan (Morgan), who got his own apartment this year (meaning now he has his own blender to practice with) may have become the new leader.
I am a definitely a believer in J-Mo and he now supplies me with my smoothies daily. So the good news for Jordan is: if this whole basketball thing doesn't work out, he is talented enough to work for DQ!
Lastly, be on the lookout for The Journey this Sunday (Jan. 14). It is one of my favorite shows on TV and they do a terrific job of capturing what the Big Ten is all about. This week they will have a feature on Novak and the crew came to our house today to check out our pad. We cleaned up very nicely for it, but there are definitely some funny moments that will air Sunday night! I cannot wait to see how it turns out.
With that I'm off to sleep as we play Northwestern on Wednesday (Jan. 11) and need to keep momentum going on what will hopefully be a long winning streak. Keep writing in at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will write again soon.