Sept. 24, 2012
A familiar face will be returning to the University of Michigan men's basketball team this year. After completing his degree last spring, Corey Person was offered a fifth year of eligibility by head coach John Beilein on July 11, 2012, to continue his education and membership on the team.
In an exclusive interview with MGoBlue.com's Jordan Macocha, Person discussed his decision to return for a fifth year, responding to the expectations this year and what he has been doing to improve his own game.
On what made him return to Michigan for a fifth year ... "The potential of how good this team could be and my desire for the team and the program to keep getting better. This year could be a very special year, and I feel like we can make a big run and I just wanted to be a part of that. I felt like it was my personal duty to come back and lead the team in the right direction and keep everyone focused on going in the right direction. I wanted to be that leader and get the team there."
On responding to preseason hype ... "The team will respond very well, I have faith in our guys. We have a lot of guys with very good character so they'll take that all pretty well. I told the guys at the very first team meeting that I've been in this situation before, after my freshman year, when we made the tournament and nobody expected it. We had a lot of guys coming in, had a good recruiting class and had a lot of hype. We just expected teams to lie down. We expected that just because we were ranked in the preseason top 25 that the teams that were not ranked as high would come in and we could just coast through the games and be able to win. We found out early that wasn't going to happen. It was kind of a disappointing season for us and we didn't reach our potential and didn't make the tournament. One thing I learned is that you can't expect anyone to lie down for you and it starts in the summer time. You have to put in the work, get in the shots, get in the gym and put in extra time because the higher you're ranked, the bigger that target is. Everybody that you're getting now is going to give you their best shot. So now you've got to be prepared for that.
"Our motto is, 'March starts right now.' We have to put in the work in the weight room and in the gym so I told the guys if you want to win those games you have to put in the time now. With the guys we have now, everybody is motivated and wants to get better. Eventually our goal is to win a Big Ten championship and get to Atlanta this year (where the NCAA Final Four will be hosted)."
On the preparations he has taken to improve his game ... "I've just tried to improve my game. I've been working on my ball handling, shooting consistency and continuing to try to become more explosive and become quicker. I feel like the better you become and the more you put into your game, the better you make everybody else. The better everybody is in practice, the more competitive practice becomes and people get even better. I just want to be able to improve so we can have those real battles in practice. That will help when we get on the court and win as many games as possible."
The Inside the Huddle Series
Josh Bartelstein (8/6/12)
Jordan Morgan (8/12/12)
Trey Burke (8/14/12)
Blake McLimans (8/20/12)
Max Bielfeldt (8/23/12)
Eso Akunne (8/27/12)
Jon Horford (8/30/12)
Tim Hardaway Jr. (9/8/12)
Matt Vogrich (9/12/12)