On July 14th Joe and I sat down with Michigan Basketball’s Stu Douglass and discussed a variety of topics with the senior guard. What follows is the first in a three-part series centering on Douglass. This first segment will focus on Stu’s background, in the second edition Joe will explain the part Stu played in bridging the gap for Michigan Basketball, in the third segment Stu will provide some insight on his teammates and coaches.
On his legacy and on Michigan as a team:
Even as he enters his senior season, Douglass continues to work on his game. The 6’4’’ point/shooting guard with the flawless release has yet to have a breakout season from 3-point range.
When asked about the notable difference between his solid results when shooting in rhythm v. struggling when standing on an island, wide-open, Stu seemed a little surprised, and a little relieved.
“That’s right on, not many people observe that and that’s what I’ve been telling a lot of people,” Douglass noted.
“It’s always perplexed me, it’s tough because with Darius coming off the ball screen a lot of my job was to be in the corner and be ready to shoot. It’s tough for me to kind of sit there and create a shot, create energy out of just sitting there. I was a Reggie Miller fan; he was my favorite player growing up. So I worked on all the time throwing the ball out and faking a cut like somebody was guarding me. Even when I was in second and third grade I’ve always been shooting off the move, that’s all I did in high school, coming off screens. It’s more of a mental thing; thinking about it is the worst thing.”
Douglass’s comments on the players and coaches in part 3 are all interesting. Here’s a snippet on two of the incoming freshmen:
When asked what kind of legacy he wanted to leave behind, Douglass said, “When it comes down to it remember that me and Zack did everything we could in our power to help this program. We’re not the most skilled or greatest players, not the highest recruited players, but we gave our all for the program.”
Something special is happening at Michigan. This team harbors a chemistry that is rarely seen in team sports these days. “It was funny, Coach K, I saw him in the hallway and he stopped me after the Duke game in the tournament and he said, you guys are probably the closest team I’ve seen,” Douglass explained. “He could just tell that from playing against us. As far as college teams go, I think we’re as close as it gets.”
Coincidentally, mgoblue.com’s latest Catching Up With item also features Douglass. Here’s one of the Q&As:
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 team and personal goals for next season ... "I've been thinking about them. I think when we meet back as a team after summer session we'll have a better idea of what to expect. The team goal is to get to a national championship and win a national championship. I think we can do that. That's the goal, but we'll really sit down and talk about that in the fall. Every year coach talks about setting personal goals. If a player is doing better then the team is doing better most of the time. If the team is doing really well then that player is probably doing really well. It's all about 'team first, team first,' but I definitely have a lot of individual goals. I think every player has to set those for himself. I think I've been too hard on myself, getting down when I haven't reached those goals in the past years, but I'll probably come back in the fall and set my own goals."One basketball side note: A ridiculously early mock draft for the 2013 NBA draft has Tim Hardaway Jr. as the #6 pick.