Aug. 26, 2011
After sitting out one season due to his transfer from South Florida and missing last season due to a knee injury, University of Michigan men's basketball guard Jordan Dumars looks to make an impact on this 2011-12 Wolverine team.
Recently changing his number from 2 to 4, the same number worn by his father, Joe, during his tenure with the Detroit Pistons, Dumars looks to complete his rehab for his knee this summer and get out on the court this season.
Though he has never played in a game as a member of the U-M men's basketball team, the Detroit, Mich., native considers himself a leader, fitting nicely in Coach Beilein's perimeter-shooting offensive style of play with two years experience in Ann Arbor.
MGoBlue.com caught up with Dumars during his summer workouts for an exclusive interview discussing everything from his decision to transfer to Michigan to his role for the upcoming season.
On growing up with a father in the NBA ... "In reality it was the same because my parents are pretty regular, humble people. They never made it out to be anything special. Obviously, it's a little different when you go to two or three Pistons games a week as a kid and get to go on different types of vacations and meet different types of people -- that was cool -- but for the most part my parents keep me grounded, so it wasn't too much of a difference."
On transferring to Michigan ... "Michigan was one of my top choices out of high school anyway. When I was a junior, I came here on a visit and then the school year went along and AAU went along and South Florida came along. I liked the school because it was in the Big East and the whole perception about it being Florida was cool down there, but I realized I really didn't have a reason to leave home in the first place. I was looking at the wrong things, like the vacation aspect of Florida, when really Michigan was a better fit as a school academically and for my playing style. Coach Beilein is known for letting his players shoot on the perimeter, which is tailored to my game."
On last season's NCAA Tournament bid ... "It was unique in the aspect of me being out all year with a knee injury, but from afar it was pretty cool just to see how our team grew. People underestimate what that six-game losing streak was like in the middle of the Big Ten season. After we lost to Minnesota at home, it just seemed like there was almost no hope for our season. But it was one of the most miraculous things I have ever seen, how a team could change in a matter of games from being down and out to making a very strong push for the tournament. Just to see my teammates' resilience and to see how diligent the coaches were every day was pretty amazing."
On confidence provided by NCAA Tournament bid for next season ... "It goes back to the rock-bottom point of last season. I think that built everything for us because we know we're a resilient bunch and no matter what we all have the strength to get through whatever. There are not many guys on this team now that were McDonalds All-Americans or stuff like that. Basically everyone was doubted and looked upon as the lower-tier guys, but we just have a chip on our shoulder every day. We try to prove people wrong."
On offseason preparations for next season ... "I'm still doing a lot of rehab for my knee. This time last year we had started the practices for Europe, so we were doing two-a-days for 10 days. That's like 20 practices going hard, and by the sixth day I had a pain in my knee. We didn't really pay attention to it; I just got through it, and then I didn't go to Europe because I was ineligible because of the transfer. I tried to rehab, but then later on I got an MRI and saw that it was a small tear and I had a minor surgery in October, came back really fast in November, and then I tore my meniscus. That surgery was more major, and it has been about a year now and my knee is finally recovering. I'm able to run now and the whole summer has been dedicated to rehab and strength training and getting back into tip-top shape."
On offseason workouts in various locations with Crisler Arena renovations ... "At the end of the day, a gym is a gym. It's a hassle trying to get around. We have to start at the weight room and drive over to a different place, but once you get in that gym and lace your shoes up or that weight room, you're not even thinking about anything like that, you are just concentrating on the work that you have ahead of you."
On what makes this team special ... "I think knowing what this year could mean for us (makes it special). Going back to what I said about us being underdogs, all of us have been in situations in life when people have said something about you that you didn't like or doubted you or stuff like that, so the type of team that we are is just a resilient group that's always trying to prove ourselves. I don't think it's ever going to be a question of our expectations from the public. That's not our mindset at all because we really didn't do anything. Michigan basketball should be a lock for the tournament every year. We're not a low-major school that is just looking to make the tournament; we're trying to get things done. Obviously it would be lovely to make the Sweet Sixteen or the Final Four, but at the end of every one of our workouts this year all we say is, 'National Championship.' That's our mindset for sure."
On role for upcoming season ... "I would consider myself a veteran now. I'm coming up on my third year -- it's been two and a half years since my transfer in the middle of the year. I'm pretty well rooted with the coaches and in the system that we have now, so I definitely want to be a leader out there. Like I said before, my game is tailored to make plays, make shots, stuff like that, but really it's just to help the team in any way I can."
On personal goals for next season ... "To tell you the truth, I've always been taught that personal goals will be met by team goals. I don't really think in terms of what I want to do personally. Obviously, I want to say I want to be a first team All-Big Ten leading scorer, but if you're thinking about that then you are not thinking about the main important goals. As long as we win every game, go far, and make some noise in the Big Ten and make some noise in the NCAA, everybody's personal goals will be taken care of."
2011 Summer Basketball Q&A Series: Catching Up with the Wolverines
Catching Up with Guard Eso Akunne (8/19/2011)
Catching Up with Guard Corey Person (8/12/2011)
Catching Up with Forward Blake McLimans (8/5/2011)
Catching Up with Guard Josh Bartelstein (7/29/2011)
Catching Up with Forward Evan Smotrycz (7/22/2011)
Catching Up with Captain Stu Douglass (7/15/2011)
Catching Up with Guard Matt Vogrich (7/8/2011)
Catching Up with Forward Colton Christian (7/1/2011)
Catching Up with Forward Jon Horford (6/24/2011)
Catching Up with Forward Jordan Morgan (6/17/2011)
Catching Up with Captain Zack Novak (6/10/2011)
Catching Up with Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (6/3/2011)
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423