The Wolverine

May 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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players who led in different ways throughout the last several sea- sons. Novak provided the burning intensity and toughness, Douglass the calm insight and knowledge for Michigan's younger players. At one point in the season, assis- tant coach Bacari Alexander noted the U-M brain trust wanted to in- fuse as much of Novak and Douglass Michigan Will Feature A Vastly Different Look In 2012-13 to Michigan next fall, head coach John Beilein's team featured a much greater sense of continuity. At the same time, it won't look at all like the team that won the Big Ten championship. Gone are seniors Zack Novak, Stu Douglass and Corey Person, as well as out- going transfers Evan Smotrycz, Colton Christian and Carlton Brundidge. On the way are freshmen Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III, Nick Stauskas and Spike Albrecht. But directing the show, once again, will be this year's Big Ten Fresh- The instant freshman point guard Trey Burke announced his intention to return man of the Year. That certainly wasn't a given. In fact, Burke admitted he came very close to pursuing his NBA dreams. "There was a point I was considering leaving, never really two feet all the way in. Sometimes I was more on leaving, sometimes I was more on coming back. After talking it over with the coaches and with my family, the final decision I made was to come back. That was the best decision for me. " Burke admitted. "I was nearly daily contact with the freshman. "We have some young men who really have the potential to play in the NBA," Beilein said. "We want them to look at this, take their time, do it the right way. "We never want them to have any regrets. We want them to be 100 percent certain, so you don't talk somebody into it, and you don't talk them out of it. You just give them information, and rely on their family, their education and the information you give them to make a good decision." Beilein added it's a great decision for Michigan, leaving the Wolver- Beilein served as an information provider and mentor, keeping in " ines with three starters returning from a Big Ten championship squad. In addition to Burke's 14.8 points and 4.6 assists per game back in the lineup, rising redshirt junior Jordan Morgan averaged 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds, and rising junior Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged 14.6 points and 3.8 rebounds. They're all prime candidates to start again. What happens at the power forward and shooting guard spots — which Novak and Doug- lass vacated — will provide plenty of forecasting fodder over the next few months. McGary, the 6-10, 250-pounder ranked by as the No. 8 Senior Zack Novak provided intensity and toughness for the Wolverines throughout his career, and he set a strong example for U-M's younger players. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL as possible into Burke, before those seniors became unavailable. Even amid the disappointment in Nash- ville, Burke — the Big Ten Freshman of the Year as voted by a media panel — began gearing up mentally for a leadership role. "Just being around those guys all listed at 6-5, 192, but the lanky leaper appears to still be growing, making some wonder if he can't play some power forward, along with sharing time at the three with Hardaway. Meanwhile, the 6-1, 180-pound Albrecht provides instant insur- ance at the point guard spot. "Change sometimes is good, and change sometimes is bad, you plan for change." Robinson ('s No. 11 player and No. 2 small forward nationally) is center and No. 30 overall player in the nation, will certainly make a strong bid to start there. Senior-to-be Matt Vogrich — who averaged 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in just less than 11 minutes per contest this year — will get a strong challenge from incoming sharpshooter Stauskas, who measures 6-5, 185 pounds. lists Stauskas as the No. 13 prep shooting guard and No. 71 player nationally. " Beilein noted. "But The changes ahead are at once difficult and exciting. Crisler Center patrons will especially miss Novak and Douglass, who led an unexpected ride to a Big Ten title this year. Those same fans are eager to see what a second year of Burke at the point, surrounded by highly regarded talent, can produce. "I just saw how bright the future was for this team if I was to come back, the time in practice, you pick up leadership traits from them," Burke said. "It allows that to carry over into 40 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2012 insisted. "Even if I was to leave, I could see how bright the future was … with the freshmen coming in, I see the future for us is that much brighter. " Burke — John Borton "

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