Catching Up with Tim Hardaway Jr.
MGOBLUE Tim Hardaway Jr.
MGOBLUE
Tim Hardaway Jr.
MGOBLUE

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June 3, 2011

After an All-Big Ten freshman campaign, guard Tim Hardaway Jr. will show off his talents in Colorado Springs, Colo., starting June 16 at the 2011 U19 FIBA World Championships Training Camp.

If selected at the training camp to compete for Team USA in the FIBA World Championships, Hardaway will participate in exhibition games in Lithuania before traveling to Latvia for the World Championships from June 30 to July 11. He would become the eighth Wolverine to participate.

Hardaway averaged 13.9 points per game in his first season in the Maize and Blue. He also led the team with 76 three-point field goals, shooting 36.7 percent from behind the arc.

The four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree compiled 16 consecutive double-digit scoring performances to end the season, including a 30-point performance in an overtime win at Iowa on Feb. 19, becoming the first Wolverine freshman to score 30 or more points in a game since Daniel Horton (2003-06).

MGoBlue.com caught up with Hardaway for an exclusive interview about his upcoming opportunity with Team USA and the future of Michigan basketball before he departed for the training camp.

On being selected to the U19 Team USA training camp ... "It's an honor to have this opportunity because only a handful of people get this chance to compete. You have to take advantage of it once you get that invitation because this is a one-time experience and it may never happen again."

On other players attending the training camp ... "I know some of them. I played at Nike Hoop Jamboree with the majority of them. Some of the players I do not know because they are 19 and coming straight out of high school. But I know a lot of the others, like Travis McKie, and it is going to be a great time with them. I just want to absorb all the fun that we are going to have."

On spring preparation for the training camp ... "I've been doing the drills that Coach Beilein and his coaching staff have given me to workout with. I've also been working on the little things like defense and ball-handling that I need to get better with for next season. I just need to prepare myself to be able to compete with the best."

On past overseas experience helping with this opportunity ... "It is going to be great. Going overseas and knowing what the rules are already and practicing with the basketballs that they gave us is a big advantage. Just having the experience itself is great. I am going to use it to my advantage and hope for the best."

On trying out for a gold medal defending team ... "There is pressure, but everybody is just going to go out there and give it 110 percent and try to make the team. And whoever makes the team, good luck to them."

On preparation Team USA provides for next season with Michigan ... "It will help me see how other people work out and see how hard they go in the workouts and in practice. It also gives me another chance to get into training camp before the season. You've already played in the summer and you are already in shape, so you have to use that to your advantage."

On role and personal expectations for next season ... "Whatever coach Beilein needs me to do, I am willing to do it. And I am going to use that to my advantage. Coach Beilein is a great guy, he's really smart, and he will find a way to get some other people and me into the mix. Stu Douglass or Trey Burke will probably take Darius' spot, but like I said, we'll just have to wait for next year. All of the decision making is on coach Beilein."

On communicating with next year's incoming freshmen ... "I haven't talked with them yet. I am trying to let them soak up the college life a little bit in the summer when they come in. Eventually, I will sit down with them one by one and try to get to know them better and let them know what we are trying to accomplish at the University of Michigan."

On building on last season's success for next year ... "We did a great job last season I think. We were a very young team and we went to the NCAA Tournament and shocked a lot of people. We aren't worried about what ranking we might be or even people talking about us being ranked. We're just trying to have fun and play ball, and play defense because that is where most games are won."

On impact of Darius Morris' departure for upcoming season ... "We wish him the best. He worked so hard this whole season to get to where he is now. Everybody, all the fans, are mad and upset, but he is trying to fulfill his dream. We are behind him 110 percent with whatever decision he makes. We send our best wishes to him, but we can't harp on this. We need to go out next season and give it our all like he's there."

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423


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