Michigan Wolverines: Tim Hardaway Jr.

WolverineNation Mailbag 

July, 30, 2013
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Brady HokeAP Photo/Carlos OsorioIt's difficult to project what would have happened to Michigan football if Rich Rodriguez had not been hired. Brady Hoke was at Ball State and was not a candidate back in 2007.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Football season begins this week with the opening of Michigan’s fall camp. In a month, the Wolverines will have their first game and all of the questions that have been asked over the past four months will have the beginnings of some resolution to them.

Some questions about football -- and a quick look into Michigan basketball -- populate this week’s Michigan mailbag, filled with your questions.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Every Thursday our writers sit down to discuss a few topics in and around Michigan sports. With Tom on vacation this week, WolverineNation editor Bob McClellan joins the conversation to look at The Opening, freshmen and other varsity sports.

1. Of the 2015 offers, which prospect do you think should be No. 1 overall in Michigan's war room?


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WolverineNation mailbag 

May, 8, 2013
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Replacements and leadership are topics which come up during every offseason for every sport.

We'll examine those topics in this week’s WolverineNation Mailbag, featuring your questions. Have questions for next week? Send them to @chanteljennings on Twitter or at jenningsespn@gmail.com.

Now, on to this week’s queries.

M2go4blue from The Den asks: How well can we expect Michigan basketball to continue the success from the last two years, with the lack of upperclassman leadership this coming season? From last year, five seniors and a three-year starter in Tim Hardaway Jr. are gone. That's a lot of leadership missing.


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WolverineNation Mailbag 

April, 24, 2013
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan’s potentially early entrants have made their decisions -- Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. in the draft, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary out -- and now, the Wolverines roster for next season is starting to take shape.

Also, the most intriguing position battle on Michigan’s football team still has little definition entering the summer.

We address these issues in this week’s WolverineNation Mailbag. Send your questions for next week to @chanteljennings on Twitter or jenningsespn@gmail.com.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Tim Hardaway Jr. decision to leave for the NBA might not seem like the no-brainer it was for backcourt mate Trey Burke.

Hardaway Jr. isn’t projected as a lottery pick like the departing sophomore point guard. There’s a chance he could sneak into the first round if he has exceptional workouts. There’s a chance he could end up in the late second round or go undrafted if those same workouts don’t go well.

But it is a chance, at this point, Hardaway Jr. was wise to take.

He has done what he needed to do on the college level. He helped Michigan reach its first Final Four in 20 years. He was a first-team All-Big Ten player. And he stayed in college for three years, which is often an eternity for a player who has pro aspirations and makes himself well-known as a freshman.

More than any of Michigan’s other pro prospects, Hardaway Jr. understands what he is getting into. He has lived in the shadows of this lifestyle since he was born. His father was a first-round pick, played in the NBA for 13 seasons and was a five-time All-Star. Now, the son gets a chance to live the basketball life either in the United States or overseas.

If his goal was Europe, then it would make sense to stay because that would always be there. But if his goal is the NBA -- and it clearly is -- it is wise to make the jump now when people are paying attention to him.

For Michigan, losing Hardaway Jr. is not as big of a deal as Burke’s departure or the potential Glenn Robinson III/Mitch McGary announcements because of what the Wolverines have on the roster.

Michigan can slide Nik Stauskas into Hardaway Jr.’s slot as the 2 guard and could either push Robinson III down to the 3 or insert freshman Zak Irvin, the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2013.

The departure might mean Michigan will need some more scoring from freshman Derrick Walton Jr. or sophomore Spike Albrecht as well, but more shots for Stauskas and Robinson III along with shots for Irvin should make up the difference.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In some ways, Michigan knew this was coming for a year -- from the day Trey Burke said he would return for his sophomore season with the Wolverines.

[+] EnlargeTrey Burke
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesSophomore point guard Trey Burke took Michigan to the Final Four and brought home a Wooden Award.
But much like Darius Morris before him, Trey Burke leaves this Michigan basketball program in much better position than when he entered. When Morris arrived, Michigan had just qualified for its first NCAA tournament berth in a decade. When he left, it had made two NCAA tournaments in three seasons and had recruited a point guard out of Columbus, Ohio with a lot of talent.

When Burke came in, he heard questions about how he could replace Morris, now in his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now as he leaves two seasons later, giving Michigan its first-ever Wooden Award winner, its first Final Four in two decades and a program now looking to recruit top-50 players every season, the same question will remain.

What’s next? Can Michigan maintain its consistency and upward ascent even without its 6-foot leader in Ann Arbor. And much like two seasons ago, that answer will be yes.


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Final Four photo gallery

April, 9, 2013
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Tim Hardaway Jr.Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesDespinte the loss, Tim Hardaway Jr. and his teammates made some spectacular plays.
For a photo gallery from the national final and semifinals, click here.

WolverineNation basketball roundtable 

April, 4, 2013
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Michigan Wolverines Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsWith Michigan making the Final Four for the first time in 20 years, it only seems appropriate to dedicate the whole Roundtable this week to Trey Burke and company.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Every Thursday our writers sit down to chat about Michigan sports, but with Michigan in the Final Four for the first time in two decades, they thought it appropriate to devote this entire roundtable to basketball.

1) What is the key for the Wolverines against Syracuse?


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WN Mailbag: Final Four edition 

April, 3, 2013
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Wolverines have reached the Final Four for the first time since 1993. That means the last time Michigan stepped on a Final Four floor, not only had America just sworn in its first female attorney general, but Tag Team and Boy George were both dominating American air waves.

We’ll call it a draw for humanity.

So in the spirit of the basketball frenzy that has taken over, I’ll answer your roundball questions this week as the Wolverine fans prepare for what is an historic day. Mike will take care of the mailbag next week, so send your questions on to him at @MikeRothstein or michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com. Now, let’s talk some basketball ...

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Listen: Hardaway Jr. discusses what's next

April, 1, 2013
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Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. talks about how the Wolverines' offense has come alive over the past couple of games, discusses taking on a leadership role on the squad, the youth on the roster and how the club will attack Syracuse's zone defense on Monday's "SVP and Russillo Show." Listen here.

Sizing up Michigan-Syracuse matchup

April, 1, 2013
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Seth Greenberg previews the Final Four matchup between Syracuse and Michigan.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan is in its first Sweet 16 since 1994. Football spring practice is nearing its halfway point and that means a ton of questions in this week’s WolverineNation mailbag.

Have questions for next week? Send them to Chantel at @chanteljennings or jenningsespn@gmail.com. Now, on to this week’s questions.

SEnferadi37 from The Den asks: I will preface this comment with the fact that I know very little about college basketball and Kansas in particular. What I do know, from reading this forum and ESPN articles, is that Michigan struggles with big teams. Outside of Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey, what does Michigan need to plan for in order to beat Kansas? I know they took the two-point-guard approach against VCU. Is that something they would try again, or does that not work well against KU? Also, is that performance (or something similar) out of Mitch McGary something we can expect regularly?


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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Michigan's coaches emphasized something like this all season long, and occasionally they would see it.

A glimpse in practice here. A stretch during a game there. During portions of scrimmages in which they sat point guard Trey Burke to give him rest. But for the past two months, Michigan had not seen something like this in a game.

Michigan played with the offensive flow and precision it was fully capable of Thursday night in a 71-56 victory over South Dakota State in the round of 64 of the NCAA tournament, but something was very, very different.

For the first time this season, Burke was in the single digits, a non-scoring factor with six points. A team that had appeared so reliant on its Wooden Award-candidate guard suddenly needed to find someone else to score for it.

“A lot of people say that this is a one-man offense,” Burke said. “But I practice with these guys every single day and I know what they can do. They showed it tonight.”

[+] EnlargeGlenn Robinson III
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesMichigan's Glenn Robinson III hit three 3-pointers -- his first game with more than one in two months -- on his way to 21 points.
Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III, who had not hit more than one 3-pointer in a game since Jan. 24, made three and scored 21 points on nine shots against the No. 13-seeded Jackrabbits (25-10). Junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Freshman Mitch McGary, in the starting lineup in place of Jordan Morgan, had 13 points and nine rebounds.

And all of a sudden, fourth-seeded Michigan looked more like the top-ranked team it had been at one point this season instead of one that struggled over the past month.

“It’s nice for everybody to get to see that we don’t have to rely on Trey night in, night out to score baskets for us to win,” redshirt sophomore forward Jon Horford said. “We do need his defense, which is excellent, and we need his passing and all that stuff he does so well.

“But it’s nice that we got to see we don’t need him to score 20 points a game to be successful.”

For a little while, it became a concern for Michigan. The Wolverines (27-7) knew they had talent, but too often Burke came in to bail them out when they needed it. He would make a big play on defense or score points in a quick spurt when the offense started to stagnate.

Even Michigan coach John Beilein, when he saw Burke had gone 0-for-7 in the first half, said he figured he’d go 7-for-7 in the second. But for the first time this season, he didn’t.

“We need Trey to take a lot of shots and we need Trey to carry the offensive load for us, but yeah, sometimes we do rely on him a little bit too much,” freshman guard Nik Stauskas said. “Everyone kind of stands around and watches him play.

“Today, everyone got in the flow of the offense and not forcing it. And it was great.”

Around Michigan, it was indeed great for everyone involved. Burke still had seven assists and helped defend South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters along with Hardaway and Robinson, holding him to 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting.

But offensively, Michigan might have found itself at its most crucial time.

WolverineNation Roundtable 

March, 21, 2013
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Every Thursday our writers debate and discuss three issues surrounding the Wolverines. Today, they look at kids who would’ve benefited from an early enrollment, some March Madness and some under-the-radar 2014 prospects.

1) Which 2013 signee who didn't enroll early would've benefited the most from doing so?


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WolverineNation Mailbag 

March, 20, 2013
3/20/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The NCAA tournament is here, but what does that mean for Michigan when the Wolverines start playing Thursday?

We discuss that and more in this week’s WolverineNation mailbag, filled with your questions. Send those queries for next week to Chantel at jenningsespn@gmail.com or @chanteljennings on Twitter.

Now, to this week’s questions.


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