Aug. 20, 2012
Three years have come and gone, and suddenly forward Blake McLimans finds himself entering his senior year on the University of Michigan men's basketball team.
Measuring in at 6-10, McLimans, an economics major in U-M's College of Literature, Science and the Arts, found time to meet with Morgan Bailey from MGoBlue.com for an exclusive interview about his offseason preparations and his outlook on the upcoming season.
On his expectations for the upcoming season ... "We work really hard. We know the disappointment of the NCAA Tournament, and everyone was really motivated after that loss. Everyone wanted to get right back at it and work really hard, so we have a good chemistry going on the team now. The freshmen came in and everyone is gelling really well. I'm excited for the season."
On how welcoming in the freshmen has been and how everyone is working together ... "Everyone has been doing great with it. The freshmen have fit right in. We had a meeting and they said they feel like they're at home already. We definitely have a great chemistry on the team."
On who is going to step up as leaders on the team this year ... "All of the upperclassmen have been leading well. We've got Jordan (Morgan), Matt (Vogrich), Eso (Akunne), and Corey (Person), who is back and is another great leader from last year. I don't think it will be a problem. Zack (Novak) and Stu (Douglass) were obviously great leaders, but we have learned a lot from them and we are going to teach the freshmen what they taught us."
On his preparations throughout the summer for the upcoming season ... "I have been in Ann Arbor all summer. I've been working with Coach (Jon) Sanderson in the weight room and getting shots up. I've really been working hard, and I've invested more time into this year than I ever have before."
On if he has seen improvement in his game throughout the offseason ... "Yeah, I hope so. Hard work does pay off, and I have really been working hard so I feel like I have improved."
On what he feels is the most important aspect of this game to improve upon ... "Rebounding. That is the reason I was in the weight room. My jumping ability has gotten a lot better and I have been a lot stronger and that is what you need to rebound the basketball. That is really what I need to work on, and I have been doing that."
On his goals for the upcoming season ... "I want to have another successful season. I don't really have any personal goals. Going in with this team, our goal is to win another Big Ten title and see what we can do after that."
On if any of his teammates have stood out to him during the offseason ... "Everybody has really been working hard. There have been a few that stand out in my mind; however, I don't think one sticks out above another person. As a team, we have all been working hard."
On how the new William Davidson Player Development Center has made an impact on his training ... "It's great. We can get a lot better with a facility like this. It's so nice that we can come in here whenever we want and get shots up. It's always available. That will really make us a better team and we are becoming a better team because of it."
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