The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 43 the 7-1 freshman who wasn't ready for prime time two years ago, when the Wolverines lost 61-46 at South Carolina. He played all of four minutes in that lopsided loss, grabbing three rebounds and making a steal. When the Gamecocks invaded Crisler Center this season, much had changed. Teske scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, snagged a team-high nine rebounds and blocked three shots in Michigan's 89-78 win. South Carolina's no-nonsense coach, Frank Martin, noticed — and made it clear he noticed. "I don't think Coach [Beilein] gets the credit he deserves for the way his players develop," Martin stressed. "They all speak about his offense, because it is a machine, the way they play offense. But the growth of players … "I grabbed [junior point guard Zavier] Simpson when we got in for a practice. He was shooting around. I grabbed him and said, 'Listen, man, I was watching our film from two years ago, and you and Teske were like two little kids. Now I'm watching you guys play, and it's unbelievable how much better you guys are and how different you look.' "John does an unbelievable job getting his players better during their careers." Ironically, Teske remains under construction in a program he used to root against. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich., certainly well aware of the Michigan-Michigan State battles, the prominence of the Big Ten, etc. But Teske's dad, Ben, came from the Cleveland area originally. He's 6-8, Teske's grandfather is 6-5, and he has several tall uncles on that side of the family. That wasn't their only influence. The young hardcourt talent began to understand the power of the dark side at an early age. "I'm a big Cleveland fan, and I was actually a big Ohio State fan growing up, football and basketball, which is hard to say now," he said. "I always wanted Michigan to lose. It's funny saying that now, looking back on it. "My dad was just a true Ohio State fan. All my uncles back in the Cleveland area are, too." Allegiances can change quickly when recruiting comes into play. Teske found himself immersed in the

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