The Wolverine

January 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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16 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2017   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS Michigan freshman center Jon Teske is "going to be a good player here at Michi- gan," head coach John Beilein said earlier this year, and his length has posed a problem for teammates in practice, especially. "It's just different. You can't replicate 7-foot or 7-1 … however tall he is," senior point guard Derrick Walton Jr. said. "So practicing with that stuff and getting him implemented and stronger, that definitely can help us down low and on the defensive end. "Shooting over a 7-foot guy is really difficult for me, and I'm sure it is for any- body else." The soft-spoken Teske talks about his first several months at U-M in this recent Q&A: The Wolverine: Your teammates say they like to tell you when they're coming your way. How often do you get guys coming at you in the lane to challenge you in practice — and how often do they let you know about it? Teske: "If they do, it's always in a playful manner. A couple times, guys some- times don't want to come down in the paint. It brings a lot of energy, guys get real excited, and that's cool to see. "It's happened a couple times in open gyms, sometimes in practice here and there." The Wolverine: How have you adapted to having to take a full load of classes in addition to practicing every day and preparing for games? Teske: "It's been good, especially just coming in the summer and getting one semester over already. I've already signed up for classes next semester. "It's been a really big jump, but I'm really loving it down here." The Wolverine: How tough is it to balance school and basketball? Teske: "You do have time for everything with study hall and stuff. Now once we get into the season and you're missing classes here and there, it will be tougher. "But I'm just staying focused, trying to stay on that grind." The Wolverine: What's the hardest part about adapting to high-major college basketball out of high school? Teske: "Just knowing all the information that goes into the game, knowing your opponent, what their tendencies are, what to do offensively if they take stuff away. You have to know all that information." The Wolverine: You've got a number of veteran big men on the roster to help you when you have questions. Who's your go-to? Teske: "Whoever is really available … whoever is standing next to me whether we're working on offense or defense. Either one [redshirt junior Mark Donnal or sophomore Moritz Wagner] is very open to me on what to do offensively and what to do defensively." — Chris Balas Sitting Down With Freshman Basketball Center Jon Teske Getting To Know Freshman Point Guard Xavier Simpson Freshman point guard Xavier Simpson saw action in each of Michi- gan's first 11 tilts and averaged 9.5 minutes per game over that stretch. He's been able to give senior Derrick Walton Jr. a quick break during each contest and should continue to do so once the Big Ten season begins. Known more for his defense than his offense at this stage of his career, there are other things worth knowing about Michigan's young guard: Nickname: "I guess it would just be X. That's what everyone calls me." Favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor: "I'm going to have to say BurgerFi." Best meal he can cook by himself: "Pizza Rolls and Ramen noodles. I can do some breakfast food, too — pancakes and stuff like that." Teske has appeared in nine of the Wolverines' first 11 games, posting seven rebounds, five points, two blocks and a pair of steals. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS Simpson has done most of his damage via free throws at this early stage in his career, recording 10 of his 18 points at the charity stripe through 11 games. He also had 12 assists, eight steals and six rebounds. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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