The Wolverine

December 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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46 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2017 T he Michigan basketball team has a number of new faces this season — but fifth-year senior forward Dun- can Robinson isn't one of them. Ready for his third season of eligibility after transferring in from Williams College, he is hoping to improve on the 7.7 points per game he averaged last year. Robinson said the young team is "full of energy and a rejuvenating competitive spirit." Robinson is one of three seniors, along with graduate transfer point guard Jaaron Simmons and guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. He has reentered the starting lineup this season after coming off the bench for the majority of last year. "Whatever role I need to fill to help this team win I'm more than happy to do," Robinson said. He understands that the team is young and has a long way to go in getting to where they want to be, and hopes he can be one of the Wolver- ines' leaders. "This year specifically, I'm just ex- cited to really embrace a leadership role," Robinson said. "I haven't had one since high school. Zak [Irvin] and Derrick [Walton Jr.] were our leaders their junior and senior years. "For me to step into that this year, I'm really excited for it and want to make the most of it." Robinson, who was named one of the team's three captains, said he's both a vocal leader and someone that leads by example. "I'd like to think I'm a little bit of both," Robinson said. "First and fore- most, I try to be relationally based. I try to build relationships with as many people as possible and let them know that besides basketball, I'm here for them and got their back. "I think that's the kind of stuff that translates on the court." Abdur-Rahkman and junior for- ward Moritz Wagner are Michigan's other two captains. — Andrew Vailliencourt CHARLES MATTHEWS IS EXCITED TO BE PLAYING One player who is a new face on the court after transferring to Michi- gan from Kentucky is redshirt sopho- more forward Charles Matthews. He sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, started the team's first two games this year and is expected to be a key contributor. "I'm pretty excited to play — it's been a long time," Matthews said. "It's what I love to do. It takes up so much of my time, and I put so much into the game of basketball, I'm just excited to get out here and play the game." Head coach John Beilein said that in a shooting drill, Matthews made 65 of 85 three-pointers and reminds him of a former Wolverine. "He's got to do it with the lights on, but that's a high number for him," Beilein said. "His numbers in some shooting drills have been out- standing. But he's been inconsistent. "… He's got a great attitude and as good of athleticism as we've ever had. He has Manny Harris-type quickness." Matthews scored 20 points in Mich- igan's season opener and notched 13 against Central Michigan. The 6-6, 200-pounder said he im- proved a lot in the year off, more than he thought he would. He admit- ted the offense is complex and takes time to learn, and noted he is much more comfortable now. His ball han-   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL Duncan Robinson Embracing A Leadership Role Robinson, who averaged 15.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game during U-M's 2-0 start, said he's both a vocal leader and someone that leads by example. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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