July 29, 2011
Following the success of last season's blog, junior guard Josh Bartelstein is back to give an inside look all season at the 2011-12 version of the Wolverines.
What is up everyone?!
The blog is back!
I had a great four-month vacation from writing, but it is time to get back at it. It seems like yesterday I was writing on the plane back from Charlotte, N.C., about what a special season we had. Four months later, so much has changed with Michigan basketball, and at the same time, our core had become even closer.
First up, Darius Morris got drafted by his hometown Lakers. We all were so happy for him and it is almost surreal to see a teammate and good friend make it to the NBA. Darius is in a perfect spot in L.A., and we all know he will do great things there.
The next bit of big basketball news of the summer came with Tim Hardaway Jr. Tim played for Team USA this summer and was a huge part of its run to a fifth-place finish in the FIBA World Championships. He was a major contributor on both ends of the court. We even noticed that because Tim has spent the last two summers in Europe, he has a little more "Euro Swag" to him. However, I am pretty sure we don't have to worry about Tim moving across the pond any time soon as the European way and him are not exactly one. We are just happy to have him back in Ann Arbor.
Everyone asks me what's going on with the construction. Well that is the next big change in A2, as Crisler Arena and the Player Development Center are under major construction. You can see how good they are going to look when they are done. There are plenty of cool construction photos on the Michigan Basketball Facebook page. Check them out!
It seemed like the construction crew just kept digging deeper and deeper into the ground without any progress, but now the PDC looks like a real building. From all that I have heard, there will be no better basketball facility in the country.
Every week we hear something new will be added in the PDC. It has taken on mythological proportions of its own -- from iPads to underwater treadmills to recently even a helicopter pad. Yes, that is what I said: a helicopter. Let's just say everything has been thrown in the rumor mill and is churning. As a team, we are all just excited to have a court to practice on.
With all the construction we have had to find different places to get ready and work out. As I have always said, what makes this place special is that all the sports here are really good at sharing without even blinking an eye. So our locker room is at the baseball facility, we lift at the wrestling center and we play basketball at the IM, the CCRB or the sports Coliseum. There will be a quiz later. The good thing about the IM is that it is literally 150 degrees in there every day so getting a good sweat is easy, just tie your shoes.
Summer basketball camps at Michigan will never change. Coach B loves having his camps and they are one of the special things the program does to reach out to kids. They have great instruction and most of the players get to coach a team.
I think Coach B just wants us to see how hard of a job he really has. Tim is very serious about his team and has a set offense. It surprisingly works. Corey (Person) lets his team "just play," which isn't surprising, and (Zack) Novak doesn't like losing (very surprising). Anyone who follows our team knows that was a joke. Really? Did you see the footage from Michigan State?
If you asked any of the kids what their favorite part of the camp was they will say the dunk tank. Travis (Conlan) and C.J. (Lee) had the brilliant idea of letting the campers throw balls at a dunk tank while we fell in the water. It feels good the first time, but after the 50th time it gets a little old. Despite being soaked to the bone, Jordan (Morgan), Evan (Smotrycz), Novak and I just kept sitting on the ledge and falling in. It turned out to be a blast. We have the pictures to prove it.
It feels really good to be back with all of you. I am looking forward to updating you again with the ins and outs of the season. I think I will write again in a week or two.
As always, if you have any questions send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time take care and Go Blue!