The Bartelstein Blog: Someone New, Video Game Madness, Squad 96

Oct. 29, 2012

Senior guard Josh Bartelstein begins his senior season and his third year writing the J-Bart Blog. He will give all Wolverine fans an inside look into the program and life outside of basketball during the 2012-13 season.

What's up everyone?

Four days!

That's all that is left before we tip off the 2012-13 season with our first exhibition game Thursday night (Nov. 1) against Northern Michigan. It seems like an awfully long time since we played Ohio at the NCAA Tournament. I do know this -- we can't wait to start playing against other teams. We are at that point in the preseason where you are sick of playing against each other and want to face a real opponent.

The other thing that is very exciting is the reopening of Crisler Center. It looks like a completely new arena, and that combined with the WDPDC makes our facilities better than anyone else in the country. Our fans are going to be 'amaized' -- get it -- walking into it because nothing looks the same.

Our team has made a ton of progress in two short weeks of practice. We are still learning and teaching new things every day, but you can see improvements being made. From our defensive principles to running coach Beilein's four-guard offense, everything is beginning to come together.

While we have focused a ton on defense, now is the time we try and get the crispness of the offense down. The special thing about his offense is that it's all based off reading the defense. So many teams you see run play after play, we rarely run plays and as coach says, "just play ball!"

As a player that is all you could ever ask, there is nothing predetermined, simply just play basketball and read your defender. Now that we have added a ton of ball screens and opened it up even more, I'm not sure there is a better offense for a skilled offensive player.

Off the court, NBA 2k13 has taken over our locker room. That video game is being played 24/7. From what I understand, Trey (Burke) and Caris (LeVert) are the two best players on the team, with Eso (Akunne) closing in.

Some of you might be saying we need to spend less time playing video games and more time on the court, but Trey has stated he has actually learned moves from playing the game. I actually have seen Trey use the euro step more in two weeks than all last year and he is saying some of that is from the video game. You never know where you will learn something new.

With that, hopefully I see a ton of you Thursday night. Squad 96 will take the court for the first time as a team. While you get four years of eligibility at U-M, this team will only be together for one special year.

That is the point we make in the locker room all the time -- leave it all out there for each other, for the seniors because you are only guaranteed so many games. I can't guarantee how many games we will win, but I can guarantee will play our hearts out and represent this school the way it should, like leaders and the best!

Have a great week! Again, we hope to see you Thursday!

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