Jan. 23, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Following the University of Michigan men's basketball team's win at No. 9 Minnesota last Thursday (Jan. 17), the Wolverines boarded a plane and headed back to Ann Arbor with six days to prepare for its next game with Purdue on Jan. 24 at Crisler Center.
Since the start of Big Ten play on Jan. 3, Michigan had three days at the most in between games to prepare for its next opponent. With six days until its matchup with Purdue, the Wolverines were given time to do several things they do not normally get to do. The players got two whole days off from basketball related activities, which gave them time to rest, as well as physically and mentally prepare for their next stretch of five games within 13 days.
Resting was not the only thing done on their off days, however. Since the players did not have classes on Monday (Jan. 21) in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day, all 15 of them carpooled to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital to visit with patients and their families. The team spent time signing autographs, taking pictures and best of all, bringing smiles to several children and their families.
Even with its busy schedule, the team always sets aside time to make a difference in the community and visit those who are not able to make it to Crisler for a basketball game. In October, the Wolverines made a trip to the St. Louis Center to visit residents and play basketball with them. After having great experiences at both Mott's Children's Hospital and the SLT, the team plans to make return visit to both places in the future.
Prior to hosting the Boilermakers, the Wolverines held a media roundtable on Wednesday (Jan. 23). In addition to Coach Beilein, Trey Burke and Jordan Morgan speaking with the media, Nik Stauskas sat down for a brief interview about the break between games and the teams' visit to Mott Children's Hospital.
For photos of the team's trip on Monday, check out Mott's Facebook page and be sure to LIKE their page.
U-M Freshman Guard Nik Stauskas
On having six days between games ... "It definitely helps because we went through a two-week period that was definitely a grind, where we were either playing a game or practicing almost every day. Having those two days off to let your body rest is definitely going to help us, and I think we're going to be ready to play against Purdue."
On how he has adjusted physically and mentally to the college game so far ... "I think things have gone pretty well. I've had a few games where I've struggled. I think coming in, I thought adjusting to the crowd was going to be my biggest thing, but I actually haven't had any problems with that. I've kind of enjoyed the atmospheres that we've played in so far. I've just been having a lot of fun, and I think for the most part I've been playing well."
On having more time to prepare for Purdue ... "Even on our off days, some of the guys got in the gym and got some shots up on their own. Having six days between games gives us extra time to go over scouting reports or whatever it is that we need to do to prepare. Yesterday's practice was very high energy, so I think we'll be ready."
On the team going to Mott's Children's Hospital ... "It means a lot for us to be able to go there because those kids have gone through a lot in their lives already. Some of them will never get a chance to leave that hospital, so to go there and see that we could put a smile on their face and sign some autographs or take pictures with them, that means a lot to us and made us all happy."
On returning to Mott in the future ... "It's definitely something we will do again in the future. Coach Beilein talks to us a lot about doing community service and helping others, so we're up for it any time."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423