Joe and I sat down with Stu Douglass on July 14th and discussed a number of topics with the senior guard. Part 1 with Stu focused on his background. In Part 2 Joe explained the role Stu had in bridging the gap for Michigan Basketball. In this 3rd and final edition Stu talks about some of his fellow Wolverines, including the incoming freshmen, and some of the coaches.
On one of his roommates Josh Bartelstein: Josh is always upbeat, same way, win or loss you know he’s always there to support you. He’s very insightful. He’ll timely say some insightful things and make you think a little bit, positive upbeat things. He’s been a huge asset for our team. On the practice squad he’s a tremendous three-point shooter. A lot of times he killing us and coach is yelling at us and there’s not much we can do, you give him one inch and he’s putting it up and it’s going in.
On Redshirt Sophomore Blake McLimans: We all tell him, we know he’s a good shooter, he knows that. Sometimes as a shooter you can get too open. He would be almost too open by like 15 feet sometimes you don’t want to shoot those shots because it’s weird. I think he was just thinking too much. He’ll calm down; he’s been playing well in open gyms.
Who could be this year’s Jordan Morgan and have a break out season: Matt’s [Vogrich] been shooting the ball very well. He can fill in the 2-spot and the 3-spot, he’s very versatile and he knows the offense. I think that will help us a lot especially being a little depleted in the back court. It will take Trey [Burke] and Carlton [Brundidge] a little bit getting used to the back court and knowing the offense.
On Sophomore Jon Horford: Jon’s still strong, still intense. He’s a funny guy to play with in open gym, he’s very intense. I think with him it’s about not being apprehensive and just letting your basketball instincts take over. I think he’s been building on those instincts. He should have a big year for us.
On incoming freshman Trey Burke: Very good, very skilled with the ball, very confident with the ball and that’s something I know I struggled with my freshman year. I don’t see any problem with him or Carlton being confident with the ball in their hand. That will be huge for us especially in the Big Ten with pressure teams like Purdue. Trey is a tremendous shooter, a lot better shooter than I thought. He can play very well.
On Freshman Max Bielfeldt: Max is a brick house; he’s got the biggest legs I’ve ever seen. He’s interesting though. He can shoot and step out and he’s such a good candidate for a ball screen. Coach Bacari [Alexander] does a great job with finishes and working with the big men. Month by month what he did with Jordan [last year] was fantastic. I think what Coach BA does he kind of programs it into them so they don’t have to think about it they just know how to finish. It’s not like shooting a jumper and you’re thinking to much about it. I think he’ll do great work with Max.
On Assistant Coach LaVall Jordan: He’s showed me a lot, being able to score, create space. He says the good players can create space; the great players create space and knock down those shots. He’s taught me a lot, hesitation dribbles, deception, being in control and not letting the defender control you. He’s helped me a lot with that, kind of opened my eyes to a whole different bunch of skills that you don’t really realize are skills. You work on the crossover, you work on between the legs, but if you’re not the most athletic person you can’t go around somebody like Manny Harris or Tim [Hardaway Jr.] you have to use a more mental game than physical.
On Sophomore Evan Smotrycz: We trust him to shoot a lot of shots because he’s very good, very skilled. If he kind of slows it down and plays within himself, we were watching the homerun derby and all of them said the key to their success the second time around was to slow it down and take your time. I was just thinking that’s the same way basketball is. That’s very true for Evan. If he plays within himself and trusts himself, we definitely trust him to score. He’s very versatile. It’s crazy how maybe slow he can be, but he’s one of the most deceptive, it’s like Dirk [Nowitzki], I’ve never seen a shot fake work more in my entire life than Evan’s. He’s just got a lot of pieces to his game that can be great if he just takes his time and puts it together he can be a great player.