March 7, 2011
Sophomore guard Josh Bartelstein will give an inside look all season at the 2010-11 version of the Wolverines.
What a day!
I'm pretty sure everyone is rocking their Maize and Blue today and we all have good reason to. The atmosphere at Crisler on Saturday was electric, the best I have seen in the two years I have been here. The Maize pom-poms made it seem like the place was rocking back and forth. As a visitor, I would not want to play at Crisler Arena right now.
For the first time in a very long time, we had a full week to prepare for an opponent. It was a big advantage to be able to rest up and game plan while the other team has to play during the week. When you give coaches like John Beilein and his staff a full week, they are going to install a top-notch game plan. I can recall a couple times this year where we played a team after they had a full week to prepare and it makes a difference -- remember Indiana on the road?
I have to give a lot of credit to Stu (Douglass) and Darius (Morris) as they both battled sickness and lead us to victory. They didn't complain, they just kept fighting and it paid off big time. Also, Evan (Smotrycz) was huge yesterday in giving us a big spark off the bench. There are not a lot of 6-10 people who are as versatile as Evan. To think he is only a freshman and can step in and play like that is a scary thought for opponents.
After the game yesterday, I had tons of people ask what's the big difference between now and two months ago when you were last in the big ten. The truth is all the small things are making a huge difference.
There is such a small line between winning and losing that a play here or there makes all the difference in the world. We just learned to value every possession and as coach Jordan always preaches, making winning plays. We started making the extra pass, taking charges and believing in the offense even when the shot clock is at 10. You are seeing a young team mature and learn how to win.
When you play basketball at the University of Michigan, you spend every possible break in Ann Arbor with no one else around. So we have a lot of time to try and find things to do. We went to two movies including the Justin Bieber movie and we definitely now have some big Bieber fans on our team.
It really is an amazing story. The biggest thing that happened this break was Monopoly. I bought the electronic version and we pretty much have had team tournaments every night since. Of course every member of our team proclaims to be undefeated and know some secret to the game no one else knows.
Once we started playing however, it was clear certain people didn't belong. Let's just say it is a good thing Evan and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) are really good at basketball because Monopoly just isn't their game. Zack (Novak) has banned Evan from playing because he made a bad trade with me and I went on to dominate the board. Apparently the next day Evan was practicing on the computer in preparation for the next day. He performed much better at the team hotel on Friday night.
That's all for now and I hope to see a ton of Michigan fans in Indy. We need all of you there to join the Maize Rage in representing the Maize and Blue in Indy.
OH AND A BIG SHOUT OUT TO RORY!!! Rory was at our game against Michigan State and he was a good luck charm so we trying to get him to practice this week. We all believe Rory!
I also wanted to give a shout out to our student trainer, Brad, and the video he made... check it out here!
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