April 3, 2014
Well, that was a heck of a season. We won the outright Big Ten championship by THREE games. We made it to the finals for the Big Ten Tournament. We reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
While we did not have the finish many people hoped for, everyone in the program can walk away from the season satisfied because they gave it everything they had. When the season ends the way it did, all you can do is tip your hat to Kentucky and move on. That is exactly what we are going to do, we are going to move on and start working even harder to make sure something like that never happens again.
Quick side note: it is absolutely crazy how time flies.
I remember watching Michigan on TV last year in the NCAA Tournament and going crazy when Trey (Burke) hit the last-second three-pointer against Kansas. Next thing I knew I was on campus for the summer term, playing in open gym and attending classes. I swear it still feels like just yesterday.
Now the season is over, and I am almost done with my freshman year at college! It feels like just yesterday I was warming up for my first college basketball game against Concordia and being so excited I could not stop moving. When we went to Iowa State for our first road game I was formally introduced to college basketball. I will never forget that game -- the stadium was sold out with 16,000 screaming fans and the students even stormed the court after the game.
With another season in the books I am going to run you through some quick highlights of the year, on and off the court, which made this season so memorable.
1) Puerto Rico: Even though we were disappointed in our outcome of this tournament, it offered us something more than basketball. Here in Puerto Rico, we became truly a team. This tournament allowed everyone to get to know each other better off the court and form an element of trust with each other. After this tournament our team knew we had something special, and it was going to be an amazing year.
2) The Birth of the Amigos: Now the exact date of the amigos formation is unknown, but I suspect it started sometime around Puerto Rico. The amigos are a four-man wolf pack consisting of Glenn (Robinson III), Caris (LeVert), Zak (Irvin) and Derrick (Walton Jr.). These dudes do everything together. They have tried to invite me into their group countless times because they know if I'm in the group they might actually be able to get girls, but I have respectfully declined every time. Once again they don't read the blog, so I can say this without them getting mad.
3) Outright Big Ten Champions: This was a heck of an experience. We beat Indiana, cut down the nets and were able to celebrate a Big Ten championship in front of a sold-out Crisler Center crowd. This was an unforgettable moment. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect, but when I learned there was confetti, I knew it was the real deal.
4) J-Mo Day: Everyone knows about Jordan Morgan. He was the heart and soul of this team, a fifth-year senior and a true Michigan man. For five years, he has worked his hardest to become the player he is today, and this year he was really able to shine. Off the court he is getting his masters in manufacturing engineering. He came to Michigan as an unheralded recruit but turned himself into one of the best big men in the country. J-Mo, I know you're going to be successful in whatever path you choose so don't forget about me when you become big time.
5) NCAA Tournament: I was unable to attend the first and second round of the tournament because of my foot, but the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight were AWESOME. I'm not going to say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience because hopefully we can make it that far again, but you know what I mean. The support we had from Michigan fans was incredible. Thousands of students, alums and fans made the trip from Michigan and all around the country to support us. Even in our hotel lobby as we left for games we had hundreds of supporters cheering us on. Reasons like this are why Michigan is one of the best universities in the world.
6) Finally, a major lesson I learned this year is the universality of the Block 'M.' No matter where you go in the world, if you are wearing a Michigan 'M', someone will eventually say "Go Blue!" It is an incredibly humbling and an amazing thing to experience and be part of. Try it out for yourself -- go anywhere in Maize and Blue and feel that Michigan spirit!
Alright guys, thanks for all the support this season with everything.
I hope you liked the blog and hopefully I'll be allowed to do it for the remainder of my career here at Michigan.
By now you know the drill, stay chill and Go Blue!