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April 11, 2012 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-04-11

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'8A - Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sport

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Novak, Douglass bid 'M' farewell at banquet

By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Senior guards Zack Novak and
Stu Douglass built the Michigan
men's basketball program from
the ground up, leaving as Big Ten
champions. And after Tuesday's
team banquet, they'll leave Ann
Arbor with plenty of hardware,
too.
The senior duo nearly swept the
-awardceremony,garneringacom-
bined nine of the 12 awards, but it
was freshman point guard Trey
'Burke who took home the biggest
award of the night. After receiv-
ing a standing ovation in the pre-
sentation's opening minutes for
his recent decision to return for
his sophomore season next year,
the night culminated with Burke
being named the Bill Buntin Most
Valuable Player award, asvotedby
his teammates.
Burke - the eighth freshman
to win the award, and first since
Manny Harris in 2008 - also
picked up the Gary Grant award
for most assists.
Novak took home the Steve
Grote Hustle awardthe Thad Gar-

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dership award, the Bodnar as the program's Director of Bas-
for academic achievement, ketball Operations.
ard for Outstanding Free But it was Douglass's speech,
Shooting, the Iron Man not his awards, that highlight-
and the Charge award. The ed the night. Douglass, whose
rds gave him a total of 17 18-minute speech was by far the
honors - the most any lengthiest, opened by reminiscing
ine has ever received. He is about the first rep in the first drill
t player to win the Garner he ran as a freshman in front of
ship Award and Iron Man Michigan coach John Beilein.
three times. After a poor performance in
what he remembered as a drill
to "test toughness," Douglass
remembers Beilein yelling to him
And (now) that he was "as soft as a Sunday
ham."
i're left with Douglass shook his head and
laughed, drawing a chorus of
memories." laughter from the crowd. He said
it was one of the many Beilein
metaphors and analogies that he'll
never understand.
glass, who shared the Gar- "I had never heard of that
ard with Novak, also col- before in my life," he said between
the Rudy Tomjanovich chuckles.
Improved Player award, But it was Beilein who had the
ayman Britt Outstanding last laugh surrounding the inci-
ve Player award and the dent, later clarifying to the crowd
Conlan Sportsmanship that the phrase is, "softer than a
The sportsmanship award, Sunday hymn."
d straight, was personally Douglass went on to thank
ed by Conlan.whoserves evervone from his parents and

0

Senior guard Zack Novak teamed up with fellow senior Stu Douglass to take nine of the 12 awards passed out.

coaches to the ushers in Crisler
Center.
"I thought I was going to try
and keep it short," Douglass said
afterward, laughing. "Then you
just ramble on, ramble on, and I
didn't even realize how long it was
... until I was thanking the team at
the end and they were giving me
the hurry-up sign."
Douglass's lengthiness and long
list of people to thank prompted
Novak, the following speaker, to
jokingly thank his childhood dog,
Hoser. After a few more playful
jabs at Douglass, Novak's tone
grew serious as he reflected back
to all that he has accomplished in
his illustrious four years.
"You grow up and you have a
dream that one day, for us, you
want to play college basketball -
big-time college basketball, par-
ticularly in the Big Ten," Novak
said. "That day comes, and then
that day you dreamt about is yes-
terday. And you're left with the
memories."
It was revealed that the seniors
are responsible for designing the
Big Ten Championship rings, and
seldom-used senior guard Corev

Person drew some of the night's
loudest applause for his plea.
"We're all living testimoni-
als that those who stay will be
champions," Person said. "I've
been waiting to say this since I got
here, so Dave Brandon, we worked
hard and we made sure that those
(championship) rings are going to
look good, so I ask you to cut the
check."
Rounding out the award
winners were Jordan Mor-
gan, who took home the Loy
Vaught Rebounding award, and
Matt Vogrich for the Sixth Man
award. Sophomore forward
Evan Smotrycz, who recently
announced plans to transfer and
was the Wolverines' top bench
player, wasn't named as one of the
top three finalists.
EUROTRIP: Novak and Doug-
lass both shed some light on their
future plans to play professionally
next year in Europe.
The pair are both in talks with
agents and haven't yet settled on
where specifically they'd like to
play.
"I can't wait to get home and be
done with school" Douglass said.

"It'll be a while before any deci-
sion is made where I'm going."
The Carmel, Ind. native said
he likely won't leave the United
States until late August, as Euro-
pean leagues typically kick off in
September.
"I don't speak other languages
great, so if there's any bit of Eng-
lish, that helps," Douglass joked
when asked if he prefers any par-
ticular countries.
And while Novak has hinted
that he may want to put his Ross
Business School degree to work
immediately, Douglass indicated
other plans.
"Probably just playing - I can
finally just focus on basketball,"
he said.."When I get some money
- I have, let's just say, not much
money to my name right now, so
I've got to acquire some capital
first."
Novak's current status was sig-
nificantly more concise than his
teammate's.
"(I'll) hear pretty soon, as far
as agents go and everything, and
hopefully, go play overseas next
year and get some buckets," he
said.

Freshman guard Trey Burke took home the biggest hardware of the night: the Bill Buntin Most Valuable Player award.

PA R3 ,8AMAZINGA
MERPARTYS& SEET
BIGGEBST N EIN
C OUNTRY MUSIC?
PR ODUCED BY R EPUBLIC: 'E

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