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November 14, 2013 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-14

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7C Thursday, November 14 2013 / TipOff


Take a moment
to appreciate
the sophomore
class while you
can, writes Neal
Glenn Robinson
Ill has always
been shy and
reserved, until the
Sweet 16 against
Who will
contend in one
of basketball's
Cover photo by ADAM GLANZMAN
Infographic by NICK CRUZ

The freshman point guard has many of the same Robinson has that are-you-kidding-me freakish
characteristics as Burke - he's small, aggressive athleticism that Michigan saw many times last
and likes to run the court, but the Harper Woods, year. So far this season, the sophomore forward
Mich. native still has a lot to prove before any has gotten his playing time at the "4" because of
comparisons can be made. In Michigan's offense, sophomore forward Mitch McGary's injury. He
Walton will have the freedom to run a fast-paced attack and penetrate came into the season expecting to play onthe wing, but has proven able
toward the basket to open up other guys on the court. to handle a position closer to the basket.

s a Stauskas could be the best 3-point shooter in the
F country, and that's only one part of his game.
Last year, more than half of his points came from
3-pointers, and while he'll still shoot the three
plenty this year, he's also shown an increased con-
fidence in his ability to drive and finish. Stauskas put on 16 pounds of
muscle over the summer, which makes him a dual threat to shoot or
take the ball to the rim.

^:The redshirt junior beat out fifth-year senior for-
ward Jordan Morgan for the starting job. Horford
is a bigger asset on the boards than Morgan, and
though neither are big offensive weapons, Hor-
ford has proven more consistent at knocking down
mid-range shots. However, Horford's weakness is that he doesn't run
the court well, and that could be a problem in Michigan's fast-paced
offense - especially as the grind of the season takes its toll on him.

The sophomore guard is Michigan's most McGary has looked good in Michigan's first two
improved player after staying on campus over the games - perhaps handsome is the better word.
summer to train and work out. He's bigger, stron- The 6-foot-10 big man is injured and has been
ger and a sharper shooter. He can knock down forced to watch the beginning of the season from
3-pointers with the same grace as when he beats the bench attired in suit and tie. At Big Ten Media
his defender off the dribble and crashes toward the basket. The stat Day in Chicago, McGary indicated he plans on being in a uniform on
that will increase the most for him, though, is minutes as Beilein looks Dec. 3 against Duke, but otherwise, both the extent of his injury and his
for any way to get LeVert on the floor. return date are uncertain.

The Daily men's basketballY
writers do their best
to predict what will happen
in the world of college hoopsj
this season. Daniel Neal Simon Daniel
Feldman Rothschild Kaufman Wasserman
Michigan regular-season record 24-6 24-6 23-7 24-6
enchmonM anSate Michigan Michigan State Michigan State
.......g....Tee...>..cham pion....... ..I-.M i ...chi ......an .....Stat ............................... - ..........................................................................................- .....- -...............................
BigTen second place . Michigan chigan State Michigan Michigan
Tenthird place Ohio State Wisconsin Ohio State Wisconsin
Big Ten Tournament champion Ohio State Wisconsin Michigan Wisconsin
Big Ten MVP Gary Harris, Michigan State Glenn Robinson Ill, Michigan Harris Harris
igTenCoachoftheYear Tom Izzo, Michigan State John Groce, Illinois Izzo Izzo
Ten suprise team Minnesota Illinois Northmestern Iowa
MichigangMVniCanis Levert Robinson aobinson Robinson
National Player ofthe Year Andrew Wiggins, Kansas Jabari Parker, Duke Marcus Smart, Oklahoma St Smart
National Freshman of the year Wiggins Parker Wiggins Wiggins
Michigan's season ends here tlite tight Sweet 16 tlite Eight Sweet 16
.NCAA "Bracket laster' Harvard Saint Louis Colorado Harvard
NCAA Final Four Kansas Duke Kansas Kentucky
Kentucky Saint Louis Kentucky Louisville
Louisville Michigan State Michigan State Michigan State
Michigan State UCLA Oklahoma State Ohio St
2C Tipoff - November 14, 2013

Clay-Irving told him, " 'Boy,
you better bring your butt back
to school, because - ' " overcome
with laughter, she had to stop and
collect herself. "The one-and-done
thing just never - "
"Crossed our minds. And it
shouldn't have crossed his," Craw-
ford cut in, finishing her daugh-
ter's sentence.
"I was just like, 'No way you
think you can go and play LeBron
(James) and Kevin Durant.' I know
you don't think that. I think he
thought that, but I was thinking,
'No way,' "Clay-Irving said.
Though Robinson was unani-
mously projected to be a lottery
pick, Brumm saw a brighter future
ahead. He warned Robinson that
NBA teams were "just wanting an
athlete ... somebody who he really
As soon as he committed to
staying at Michigan, the rising
sophomore went to work in a way
that those close to him had never
Clay-Irving doesn't recall him
even taking a day off.
Each summer morning, his

alarm was rarely set anylater than
6 a.m., and he'd head straight to
gym to get up at least 500 shots.
A few hours later, he'd work with
Brumm and sometimes a then-
healthy McGary. A quick nap
preceded workouts and lifts -
including making the 45-minute
tri-weekly treks to see Wallen -
and then he'd return to the court
for more practice. In between, he'd
find time to watch game film and
cook. (Even at school, where team
meals are freely available, he cooks
almost all of his meals to adhere to
Wallen's dietary restrictions for
"The way he approached every-
thing was all about one mission,"
Wallen said. "Usually the saying
is, 'Hard work beats talent when
talent doesn't work hard,' butI tell
Glenn he's both."
It showed. When Robinson
arrived back in Ann Arbor for pre-
season physical tests, his vertical
jump was literally off the charts (it
exceeded the Vertec vertical-jump
measuring machine's maximum of
12-foot-3). And, after making pre-
season visits to Michigan, Michi-

gan State, Indiana and Kansas,
ESPN's Jeff Goodman said that
Robinson was "the most impres-
sive player" he came across.
But the offseason results tran-
scended just the court.
"This preseason, he has been
more vocal than ever," Beilein
said. "He's got the ear of our locker
room right now. That doesn't come
natural to people sometimes.
"It says a lot about where his
comfort level is."
Added McGary: "I think, he's uh
- " the forward paused to collect
himself, "slowly becoming a man. I
don't think he's gonna stop."
Neither does Brumm.
"I think he's mastered the phys-
ical aspect of the game. He's still
developing, maturing," he said.
"I'm not sure you or I really know
how good he is.
"Glenn's going to keep going
until his body starts breaking
down. I think he will get bored
with basketball before that day
comes.... I don't think he'll ever get
to that phase where someone says,
'OK, you're not good enough."'

Robinson has heard you.
And so far, he's answered with
at least incremental improvements
about each of his doubts while in
Ann Arbor. But to put it all togeth-
er - the leadership, the tough-
ness, the all-around player who
will step up instead of passing up
- is the key to Michigan's season,
and that's not something that'll be
judged in the immediate future.
It's a question best answered in
And Robinson knows that. He's
heard it - he's a listener, remem-
You'll never be the guy.
It's something he thinks about.
Sitting in a dimly lit room over-
looking State Street on a gloomy,
rainy, late October afternoon, Rob-
inson is asked if he wants to be the
guy with the ball in his hand with
the game on the line.
"Oh yeah," he pauses to take
a sip from his Starbucks cup.
The regular-season opener was
more than a week away, but for a
moment, it appeared his thoughts

had shifted to the past. To the
times he has done it before.
There was the game winner
that he hit from half-court in his
freshman year. And the game in
his junior year when he scored 29
points in his team's playoff opener.
He "wasn't going to school the
next day if we lost," so he won - it
was the first high-school game his
father ever saw him play in.
But then there was the game two
days later against undefeated No. 1
Munster. With less than seven sec-
onds remaining, Robinson missed
a game-tying 3-pointer. He got the
rebound, though, and drilled it.
"I don't think anyone realized it
was just to tie the game," so fans
stormed the court. But the ela-
tion ended minutes later when he
missed the back-end of a pair of
free throws that would've sent the
game into double overtime, ending
his season.
"Yeah," he says. He sets his
drink down. His answer comes
without a smile, or attitude, or
even any sense of absolution. Just
the same emotionless, quiet Glenn.
"I need tobe."

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