Dribbles and Drives: Learning the New Experiences of College Hoops

Dribbles and Drives from Inside the House that Cazzie Built
THURSDAY,FEB. 5-- Looking Forward to Bright, Healthy Future in Maize and Blue

When you are seven-feet tall, it's difficult to go unnoticed anywhere, but that may be even truer for U-M center Ben Cronin who has become somewhat of a cult hero amongst the Maize Rage, despite a hip injury limiting his time on the court.

After struggling with that injury for a year-and-a-half, Cronin had successful surgery on his left hip on January 14.

"I feel pretty good about it," said Cronin. "The recovery process is going to be long but I'm staying excited about it and working every single day to get back, so I'm excited."

Six months is the expected timeframe for recovery and rehab, a process that has already begun with strength and conditioning coach Mike Curtis.

"Right now I'm starting to work on the hip motion, trying to get everything loose again," said Cronin. "From there we will start to work on the strength, getting my strength back and correcting the bad habits that I had from the injury. We are looking at being off crutches in the next two weeks, hopefully, and then we will go from there."

Though obviously limited due to his hip injury, Cronin appeared in two games early in the season before the decision was made to redshirt him. In just 10 minutes of action, Big Ben scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds. While the experience was limited, Cronin believes his time on the court, both in games and in practice, will serve him well going forward.

"I definitely got a little bit of game time experience," said Cronin. "Getting to see how fast and strong the game is at the college level. Getting to play with the boys out here was a great experience and I think that it gave me something to shoot for, to know what I have to work on and what I have to practice."

Even now, Cronin becomes a sponge during games and practices on the sidelines, doing as much as he can to prepare himself for his return to action.

"Mostly I get to see what I need to do with my game to become a really good college athlete," said Cronin. "Watching everyone in practice here and watching how strong it is in the Big Ten, I have gotten a good perspective on what I need to do."

Even while embarking upon the long journey of his recovery process, Cronin remains upbeat and excited about his future wearing the Maize and Blue.

"I'm really excited to get back and help the team in any way I can," said Cronin. "Whether it is in practice or on the court, whatever they need. I cannot wait to be more of a part of it."

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