6 - Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 8
to Beilein, threw one final wrench into Bartelstein's
Tilton, whom Bartelstein called a "huge coach
Beilein fan," ran the same two-guard offense that
Michigan featured, especially earlier in Beilein's ten-
ure. Bartelstein wasn't a Wolverine fan but had sev-
eral friends from high school at Michigan.
"Michigan seriously came in so late that it was
never in the realm," Sheri said. "That was never part
of the plan."
The Wolverines had also just wrapped up a sea-
son that saw the program's first NCAA Tournament
appearance in 11 years. But something else about
Michigan caught Bartelstein's eye; the Wolverines'
two captains, starting point guard C.J. Lee and David
Merritt, another guard that saw significant playtime,
were both walk-ons.
With Merritt and Lee graduating, Beilein was
intrigued by Tilton's email.
Bartelstein had been to Ann Arbor before to visit
friends - "never thinking he'd play basketball there,"
as Sheri put it - but on the weekend of April 26, 2009,
Bartelstein and Mark spent the day with Beilein and
assistant coach Jeff Meyer touring the campus and
With time to spare before their flight home, father
and son took a seat along the first-base line at Ray
Fisher Stadium to catch the end of an Indiana-Mich-
igan baseball game.
"He turned to me and said, 'Dad, I'm going to
Michigan,' "Mark recalled, laughing.
He tried to slow his son down - even making Bar-
telstein sleep on his decision before committing -
but the decision was sealed.
"I was just like, 'I don't think there's anywhere
else that I would go,' " Bartelstein said. "After being
shown around, it was just obvious that this was a
dream come true.
"It's Michigan. How do you turn down Michigan?"
The next day, Bartelstein called Beilein to formally
By that time, Northwestern had also entered the
picture, tendering Bartelstein the same preferred
walk-on offer as Michigan. Evanston is just a half
hour away from Highland Park, and the Wildcats, a
team often predicated on mid-major caliber recruits,
may have given Bartelstein a better opportunity to
see the floor. The Wolverines had just made the tour-
nament in Beilein's second year, and though the team
wasn't as talent-laden as it is now, the headman was
honest with the Bartelsteins.
"They told me right away that nothing was going
to be guaranteed," Bartelstein said. "'You're going to
have to work really hard for everything, you're going
to have to play better than any scholarship player,
and if you and a scholarship player are even, you're
not going to play. You've got to be above him, but you
can do it. Look at C.J. and Dave; I'm not going to say
you can't do anything, but it's goingto be really, really
The first time Bartelstein saw his jersey,
No. 20, illuminated under the lights of his
old locker in Crisler Arena, he snapped a picture and
sent it to family members.
"He's always been a really, really good player,
but the day that he sent the photo, it was - there's
no question that you take a deep breath and go, 'Oh
my goodness, he's actually playing for Michigan,' "
Mark said. "It's an overwhelming thing."
"I was happy that I guess," her voice trails off,
seeped in emotion, "that he made it, that he was liv-
ing his dream."
Against Northern Michigan in Michigan's first
game of the 2009-10 season, Bartelstein - playing
the final four minutes of the Wolverines' 97-50 win
- penetrated a crease in the paint. When help-side
defense came, he dished what he still contends was
a "really good pass" to former forward Eric Puls
for what should've been his first career assist. But
Puls bobbled it out of
bounds, and it wasn't
until his high-school
coach called that Bar-
telstein found out he
was credited with a
turnover - the only
non-foul stat he record-
ed all season.
"If you go back and
look at the tape, you
would realize that it,
was really just a -" he
paused to laugh, not
wanting to throw a"
teammate under the,
bus, " a miscommunica-
His playing time
has been few and far
between since. There
was an ankle surgery.
his freshman year and
another this season
- he injured it during
a two-minute outing
in the opener against
Slippery Rock - both
on the right ankle,
and a concussion that
sidelined him for a sig-
nificant stretch of his Senior Josh Bartelstein has th
He missed his first six shots before finally drain-
ing a 3-pointer in an 80-57 loss to Purdue in his
sophomore year. His only others points, another
3-pointer, came in a blowout loss to Ohio State in last
season's Big Ten Tournament. The prolific shooter
who tore up the prep league has shot just 13.3 per-
cent from the field in his career.
Still, former guard Stu Douglass insists that when
healthy, Bartelstein is a different player in practice.
"A lot of times in practice, he would kill us - just
not miss a thing," Douglass said in a phone interview.
Bartelstein, who's admittedly not the most out-
spoken person, has become the team's unofficial
Bartelstein's first blog was titled "The
Wolverines Abroad: Player's Perspective."
Written Aug 22, 2010, it was a part of a seven-
part series of blogs - each by a different player
- chronicling the team's offseason trip to Europe.
When the concept became a hit back home with
the fans, a team official approached the team ask-
ing if any players would be interested in writing a
season-long weekly blog; Bartelstein was the only
volunteer, and the "Bartelstein Blog" was born.
He admitted he didn't think it would ever catch
on, but since he wrote the first one on Oct. 15, he's
written at least one in nearly every single week of
the past three seasons.
Writing about a variety of topics, Bartelstein gives
fans unique behind-the-scenes access on a variety of
topics, using a dialect that mom says is "exactly how
Bartelstein receives more than a hundred emails
each week from fans responding to entries and ask-
ing questions he'll answer
in future blogs, while
other fans, even students,
approach him on campus
and at games about it.
While he says the fan
interaction is his favorite
part, he plans to aggre-
gate the 77 blogs he's writ-
ten - with at least a few
more coming in the next
month - and turn it into
a book, highlighting his
time at Michigan.
"When I look back at
what I wrote my sopho-
more year, I can see how
far we've come," he said.
"It's really rewarding for
me because it's kind of
a journal of my years at
"Between the blog and
being a captain, I prob-
ably am more well known
(than most walk-ons), but
I enjoy it. I love interact-
ing with people."
FILE PHOTO/Daily iving with Bar-
e ear of the locker room. telstein has its
perks, Douglass - Bartel-
stein's roommate for two years - says.
Douglass and Novak lived in an off-campus apart-
ment with Bartelstein duringtheir junior and senior
seasons, and Morgan, Hardaway and Jon Horford
have moved in since.
Bartelstein has a wealth of information regard-
ing the business side of the NBA that he's picked up
from his dad, along with a multitude of stories his
dad has gathered through the years (Indiana Pacer
forward Danny Granger, one of Mark's former cli-
ents, became former forward Colton Christian's
favorite player after Bartelstein told teammates
about Granger's plans to build a Batman-style Bat-
cave beneath his New Mexico home).
While NCAA regulations prohibit agents from
interacting with student-athletes, Mark's situation
is a unique exception - though he leaves the busi-
ness side of his profession out ofhis son's apartment.
"We just don't go there with that," Mark said,
adding that he treats Bartelstein's roommates no
different than the roommates of his daughter, a Uni-
When Bartelstein moved in with Novak and Dou-
glass, Douglass realized he could take advantage
of Bartelstein's knack for taking around-the-house
responsibilities, letting trash and dishes pile up so
that Bartelstein would eventually clean it up. But
even before living with Bartelstein, Douglass saw
his teammate as a friend he could lean on, some-
thing that only magnified when their rooms were
next door to each other.
"He was the perfect roommate for me," Douglass
said. "From the cleaning to the stories and the help-
ing me out, I couldn't ask for a better roommate or a
better teammate, honestly.
"My parents weren't always there to talk to, or I
wouldn't always want to talk to them on the phone,
so I'd go to Josh. He's genuinely one of the greatest
guys I've ever been around and one of, if not the best
teammate I've ever been around."
Douglass said he first saw Bartelstein take on
a significant leadership role on last season's scout
team. Despite notbeing a prototypical, floor-general
leader, Bartelstein found other ways to lead from the
sidelines and off the court.
"He's not going to get in your face, but when the
time comes, when the moment comes for him to
say something, he's going to say it," Douglass said.
"He's very good at sitting back and reading a situa-
tion, looking at a situation, and looking over all the
information and aspects of what's going on on the
court, off the court, and then being able to talk to
After Ohio eliminated Michigan from last year's
postseason, ending the careers of former captains
Novak and Douglass, Beilein approached Bartel-
stein and Burke moments after the team plane land-
ed in Michigan.
"He said, 'Stu and Zack are gone now. You two
are probably our two most natural leaders.' (Becom-
ing captain) was going to be a goal of mine anyway,
but even when coach Beilein recruited me, he said,
'You're going to have to be a leader,' and now it's my
turn," Bartelstein said.
Beilein noted that it's a rarity in his career to
nominate a captain who rarely sees the floor, but
that Bartelstein was the "natural" selection.
"That is the most selfless, team-team-team guy
that I may have ever coached, and as a result, it was
natural," Beilein said in November. "That young
man has the ear of this locker room and also he has
the ear of the coachingstaff, as well."
espite a 24-6 first-half run and 16 sec-
ond-half points from Burke, Indiana -
like Purdue the year before - spoiled Michigan's
"It was special beforehand," Bartelstein said.
"But it was all about the game and winning a Big
Ten Championship, so..." his voice trails off. "You
just have to have perspective."
With no more than a month left in his-Michigan
career, perspective is something Bartelstein has
thought about a lot across the past four years.
It's the perspective that, as a self-proclaimed
huge basketball fan, he's "lived an unbelievably
RELEASE DATE-Tuesday, March 12, 2013
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Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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