The most notable rule change in men's college basketball for the upcoming season will be the three-point arc moving out a foot, from 19 feet,nine inches to 20 feet, nine inches. But for one of the newest Wolverines, Stu Douglass, the extra foot isn't likely to make a difference.
Noted for shooting the three from well beyond the arc, Douglass was a 45-percent three-point shooter as a junior at Carmel High School in Carmel, Ind.
His three-point percentage dipped to 35.5 percent as a senior, as opponents routinely used a variety of defenses to attempt to slow down the Carmel star. While his long-range percentage may have dropped, Douglass found other ways to help his team be successful, like leading the Greyhounds to a 22-3 record while averaging 14.5 points per contest.
A 2008 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Academic All-State selection, Douglass comes to Michigan well prepared for the talent he will face in the Big Ten, having already matched up against the likes of Greg Oden, Eric Gordon and Mike Conley Jr. while in high school.
In the second of a three-part question-and-answer series with the freshmen on the Michigan men's basketball team, MGoBlue.com sits down with Stu Douglass to learn a little more about the new Wolverine sharpshooter.
Meet Stu Douglass ...
Choosing Michigan: It was the perfect fit, for both basketball and school. I think I fit perfectly in Coach Beilein's system. I love it up here, it's not too far away from home, but it's far enough. It's a place where I can become the person I want to become.
What he is looking forward to: Just improving, learning and picking up things from Coach Beilein and the staff. Seeing the team come together and improving as a team. Helping to be a part of turning things around; turning it around is what I'm looking forward to most.
His summer so far: We've been here about six weeks, going to summer school, taking a couple of classes. I think I'm going to get a couple of A's, so that has started off good. We've been working hard in the weight room; I can feel myself getting stronger. We've been working on the basketball court; I've been working on my ball-handling and my shooting. I've been working on becoming a better teammate, getting to know all the guys and just meshing with everybody.
Goals for the upcoming season: Just improvement. That's a word with no ceiling, improvement both individually and as a team. Playing time-wise, nobody really has any idea. Practice hasn't started yet and you have new players blending with last year's guys that know the system now, so I don't really have any expectations and I won't get disappointed with anything. I just want to improve.
The new, deeper college three-point line: It's never really affected me. In high school, I always shot from deeper, usually from NBA range. It might push the defense back a little, some coaches talk about at least guarding with your feet on the three-point line, so maybe I'll just go back a little bit farther. But it won't affect me too much, we've been practicing with it (the new line) and it's not that bad.
His number at Michigan: Number one. I had about five numbers in mind but they were all taken. There wasn't really a reason for choosing number one, maybe to stand out a little bit, but not really.
The best moment of his basketball career so far: The day that Coach Beilein called and offered me. Just knowing that this was going to be my home for the next four years and that I had worked real hard and finally achieved my goal. That was a big day.
Describing his game: My game is obviously shooting and trying to bring a high IQ to the court. I think I'm a pretty good shooter and passer; those are probably the main things. I'm getting better at my ball-handling and defense. I've always watched and tried to pick up things from Manu Ginbili, (Steve) Nash, Steve Kerr, J.J. Redick, guys like that. But I'll watch anybody, Adam Morrison, Kobe (Bryant), shooters, scorers, anybody that I can pick up any little thing from.
Favorite sports other than basketball: I love football. I love football second to basketball so if I could play another sport it would be football. I always wanted to but there was just never any time with basketball.
Hobbies outside of sports: Movies, I love movies. Big Ben (Cronin) is a big movie critic so we are always talking about movies. I'm also starting to get interested in business; I want to get into the business school. Economics class my senior year was really interesting, stocks and that kind of stuff is interesting to me.
Dream job (not including playing basketball): I've always wanted to own my own real estate company.
Favorite food: Ribs. Barbeque baby back ribs.
Favorite subject in school: Math.
Favorite color: Blue gray.
Favorite television show: SportsCenter and The Office.
Favorite movie: Super Troopers and Love and Basketball.
Favorite place he has traveled and place he would like to visit: I've been to Mexico, that is my favorite place and I've always wanted to go to Spain, or just to Europe anywhere, see all of Europe.
Favorite pro sports team: Phoenix Suns.
Favorite musical artist: Eminem.
Pregame superstitions: None really, just staying focused.
Part 1:Meet the Freshmen: Ben Cronin
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