Jan. 28, 2013
Senior guard Josh Bartelstein begins his senior season and his third year writing the J-Bart Blog. He will give all Wolverine fans an inside look into the program and life outside of basketball during the 2012-13 season.
What's up everyone?
It has been a little bit since I last wrote, but our schedule has been absolutely crazy between school, traveling and playing games. A ton has happened and we have played some really good team basketball during the last 10 days!
We have won three games since I last wrote, at Minnesota, against Purdue and then at Illinois. Coach Beilein always says you remember those road wins more than anything else because you have 15,000 people screaming at you at the top of their lungs and we are all we got!
Teams that win a Big Ten championship find ways to win on the road and that is what we are doing right now. It isn't always going to be pretty, but you have to lock down on defense and grind it out.
I'll break down the Illinois game, since it was our most recent win. A couple things really stuck out at me. Jon (Horford) and Max (Bielfeldt) stepped up once Jordan (Morgan) went down with a sprained ankle. We have a saying, "Next Man Up" when someone goes down and those two guys did a great job of stepping up. We see how hard they work in practice every day and how good they really are, but doing it in a game and helping our team get a huge win is extremely rewarding for them.
Max is a guy who has been dominant at practice at times and for him playing at Illinois is a home game in front of all his friends and family, so we were all excited for him. In my opinion, the most impressive thing about Max was his mental toughness. Max airballed his first free throw, but for him to come back and then swish the next two shows how mentally tough he is. A lot of guys would not be able to step up and move past the air ball. It was an easy choice who was going to sing the fight song after the game and as a team we couldn't have been happier for him!
I know everyone wants to know what the No. 1 ranking means to us. For our fans, they can walk around with their heads high and chests out, but for us it doesn't mean a whole much. Coach Beilein made a great point. Do you have any idea who was ranked No. 1 last year at the end of January?
The goal is not to be ranked No. 1 now, but in April. However, the message I will send to our team is that what we are doing is working. The hard work, team thoughts, and everyone buying in -- is a recipe for success. If we continue to stay on this path and continue to improve every day, it shows this team can be special!
Off the court, we filmed a behind-the-scenes show for CBS Sports Network this past week. They followed us everywhere for about four days, from going to Mott's Children's Hospital (one of my favorite things to do as a U-M athlete), to me cooking eggs and proving all my doubters wrong. I have always wondered how the Kardashians do it with cameras following them around everywhere. Well I never thought I would utter these words, but I have a newfound respect for them -- in that aspect ONLY!
I look forward to seeing many of you at Crisler Wednesday night as we take on Northwestern.
The louder the game gets, the more it helps us!
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