Jim Carty wrote a piece on Zack Novak and Stu Douglass titled The Un-Fab Two: A Tale of Two Hoosiers for the January issue of the Ann Arbor Observer. It was posted online just a few days ago, and I don't believe it's been linked here yet. The whole thing is worth a read, but I liked this part on the duo's good cop/bad cop style of leadership:
On the floor, Novak is an emotional leader—fist pumping, chest bumping, teammate checking. His most iconic moment came last January, when the Wolverines played No. 25 Michigan State in East Lansing. They hadn’t beaten the Spartans at the Breslin Center since 1997, and Novak seemed almost manic as he demanded the win Michigan had been waiting for since he was eight years old.
Eyes wide, fists clenched, face red, he screamed:
“We’re better than that!”
“You’ve got to trust each other!”
“You just don’t quit!”
For all Novak’s emotion, though, it was Douglass who coolly hit the game-winning three-pointer.
“We’re very similar, but in a lot of ways we could not be more polar opposite,” Novak says of himself and Douglass. It’s the first week of November, and they’re taking turns doing interviews in Crisler Arena’s new locker room. “He’s more … it’s tough to describe. I’m more outspoken. A lot of times he would be the good cop, I would be the bad cop. He’s more likely to be nicer, and I’m not hesitant to get into somebody. He’s always so stoic. You can see it when he’s playing. He doesn’t need to get hyped and get into people’s faces—and there I am screaming at someone.”
Hearing this later, Douglass slowly nods and smiles.
“It’s not like he goes and beats up guys and I have to console them, not like that,” he says. “But he’ll get after guys, and I try to be more of an encourager.”
Although it's true when Carty says in the article that Douglass and Novak aren't about stats, I've noted that the "Record Watchers" section of the U-M game notes (see below) is filled with items concerning the two seniors. In addition to both being among Michigan's all-time leaders in three-pointers attempted and made, they'll both finish their careers in the top ten in minutes played (Novak may end up #1 in that category, depending on the number of postseason games). With his 13 points against Indiana, Novak now has 980 career points and is just 20 points away from becoming only the 28th player in U-M history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Given all their contributions to putting the program back on the path to greatness, it would be fitting to see them go out (as Carty suggests) with a big tournament run.
RECORD WATCHERS• Stu Douglass has not missed a game in his career, playing in 124 consecutive games. With nine regular season games remaining (without postseason), he will be just two away from U-M's all-time record of 135, which is held by Loy Vaught (1986-90).• Zack Novak has played in 122 total games. With nine regular season games remaining (without postseason), he will be just four away from U-M's all-time record.• Zack Novak became the 18th Wolverine to start 100 games. He currently ranks eighth with 110. He has started his last 81 consecutive games.• Zack Novak became the 40th player to grab 500 rebounds in his career. Currently his 559 total ranks him tied for 32nd in school history. If Novak reaches 1,000 points (967), he will become just the 28th Wolverine to tally 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.• Zack Novak ranks seventh all-time for minutes played (3,948), an average of 32.4 per game. He needs to play just 52 more minutes to become the sixth player with 4,000 career minutes.• Zack Novak ranks fourth all-time for three-pointers made (194) and fi fth for three-point attempts (545).• Stu Douglass ranks fourth for three-point attempts (555) and sixth all-time for three-pointers made (188).• Zack Novak (967) needs 33 points to become the 45th Wolverine with 1,000 in his career.• Stu Douglass (847) needs 153 points to become the 45th Wolverine with 1,000 in his career.• Tim Hardaway Jr. (820) needs 180 points to become the 45th Wolverine with 1,000 in his career.• With 109 assists and nine regular season games remaining this season, Trey Burke needs just 31 more to set the U-M freshman record of 140 held by Gary Grant during the 1984-85 season. Grant is U-M's all-time leader with 731.