Nov. 26, 2012
Guard Josh Bartelstein is in 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?
I certainly hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I know we did, spending a week together in Times Square and winning an NIT championship.
Our first road trip as a team was a huge success. Anytime you play on the road and stay in a hotel, it is an adjustment especially for the freshmen. All five of them did a great job of adjusting to not sleeping in your own bed and all the little things that can be a distraction. This is a very good sign moving forward.
I loved the way our team played in those two games against Pittsburgh and Kansas State. The first thing that needs to be talked about is our team rebounding and toughness. We wanted to be beasts on the boards and win the battle on the glass. Our big men deserve a ton of credit for boxing out and our guards for going in there and cleaning it up. When we watch film, the best rebounds are the ones where the ball hits the floor and then we clean it up because that means everyone is being boxed out. We saw that multiple times this week. If we can sustain this all year, good things will happen going forward!
The next guy who needs a mention is Nik (Stauskas), who plays with a ton of confidence; he truly believes that every time he touches the ball, he is going to put it in the basket. Most freshmen on the big stage like he was this week would show some nerves but not Nik. He just played basketball, knocked down jumpers and got to the basket. While some label Nik just as a shooter, he is a terrific passer who can get to the basket as well. As he continues to learn and get better on both sides of the basketball, Nik will be a real weapon and game changer.
Most importantly, the best part of the week was how many people we had contribute. Jon (Horford) played big minutes on Friday, Spike (Albrecht) was huge in giving Trey (Burke) a rest and Mitch (McGary) dominated the glass! We want to be relentless with our depth and you saw an example of this Friday night, where we kept guys fresh and on the attack!
Being in Times Square is definitely an experience. From seeing the Naked Cowboys in the street to seeing a floating Snoopy in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the lights are always on and people are always on the street. It truly is a city that never sleeps.
The funniest story of the week goes to my man Mitch. We had a shootaround before our game Wednesday night and as everyone was boarding the bus to head to the Garden, we noticed one person was missing.
As we walked out of the hotel lobby, we noticed these firemen walking inside with huge axes. Corey (Person) joking around as usual said, 'I would hate to be the person they are about save.'
Sure enough, it was Mitch who was stuck in an elevator with 13 other people. Now Mitch is a big guy so being stuck is already not fun, but with 13 people smothered around you, that is really not a good scenario. To make it even worse, there were children crying in the elevator for all 40 minutes while he was stuck. Luckily, the firemen didn't have to use the ax and Mitch made the bus in time!
I can guarantee Mitch will never forget this first road trip as a member of the Wolverines!
Now we move on to a very good N.C. State team who no doubt is looking to come into Crisler Tuesday and get a big win. We need to be able to handle success and not prepare any differently. I'm very confident this team will remain hungry and nothing will change in our preparation. I'm also very confident Crisler will be rocking Tuesday night and it will be a special atmosphere.
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I will see you all Tuesday night.
Go Blue and have a great week!