Dec. 7, 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?
We have played a couple games since I last wrote. Both were good wins! The constant throughout the year and especially those two games were great team efficiency. We are taking great team shots, making the extra pass and really locking down on the defensive end.
Last Saturday we played our first road game of the year at Bradley. It was an extremely hostile environment and something our young team needed to experience. It was also a very cool experience for Max (Bielfeldt), as he got to play in his hometown.
One thing is very clear, Peoria, Ill. loves Max. He was like the President -- every single person at the game wanted to say hi to him no matter which team they were cheering for. The ovation Max got when he entered the game was louder than maybe anything else that happened that day! The Bielfeldt family even got us "Peoria" themed goodie bags so thanks to them for being great hosts!
Max played great, as he has been really coming along and making improvements every day. The Moose, as we call him, is going to make a big impact here as he continues to learn and work hard. Jordan (Morgan) also played a great game, recording a double-double. When J-Mo is active, our team is really hard to beat. There are not many big men who are as athletic as he is, or that can run the court with him and hedge ball screens. That inside presence is something we need every game.
Many people have been asking why I keep wearing suits on the sideline. Unfortunately, I had ankle surgery last week and will be out for about two months. It is my third surgery on that ankle, but hopefully the third time is the charm.
With being hurt, now I get to show off my suit game. I have a lot of competition with both Coach (Bacari) Alexander and Coach (LaVall) Jordan who have won the best-dressed assistant award, but I'm ready for the challenge. I'm going to take a lot of pride in this!
Our last game was against a very solid Western Michigan team. The biggest challenge with them was guarding their pick-n-roll and high-low game. Western runs some really good sets and after about the first 10 minutes we really locked down on the defensive end. The key to stopping Western, and pretty much every team in college basketball, is getting people on the help line. As long as we have people stay "hot" as we call it, our defensive it going to be just fine.
The other key to our success has been the play of our point guard. Everyone knows Trey (Burke) can score with the best of them, but what has really stood out this year has been his ability to make other players better. In our last two victories, Trey has 18 assists and zero turnovers. No one in the country is touching that. It goes way beyond the numbers as well -- Trey just completely controls the game and you can tell our team really looks up to him. His growth as a leader this year has been huge and when one of your best players is always talking, it makes your team better!
Lots of people are making a big deal about our five freshmen now all playing minutes. For one, they are all extremely talented and playing well, but I hope people appreciate how much some of the veterans are helping them out.
For example, Matt (Vogrich) has done an incredible job with helping Nik (Stauskas). We have so many plays and so many reads, but you can always see on our bench Matt talking to Nik and giving him directions. We always talk about being unselfish on the court, but our team is special because we don't care who gets the credit as long as it helps the team.
On another note, there is much buzz around our team with the Justin Bieber love.
Before everyone goes and gives Nik and Mitch (McGary) all the Bieber love, I much point out I was rocking his music long before those two stepped on campus, just ask Zack (Novak) and Stu (Douglass). I, however, will never sing on the jumbotron like Mitch did.
I will give Mitch credit for having a pretty good voice. Mitch's talent goes way off the basketball court and he actually is a great opera singer. He sings in the hot tub all the time and he can almost break the glass!
I cannot wait to see our sellout crowd this Saturday. As you know, we want all of you there as early as you can. I think doors open an hour and half before the game. Our fan support this year has been great and we need the crowd to get there early so Crisler is rocking when we take the court.
It is an exciting time for Michigan basketball and you don't want to miss out!
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And as always, Go Blue!