Behold the newest "retro" Michigan Basketball wallpaper

Submitted by FabFiver5 on December 6th, 2012 at 1:14 PM

A recent post about the lack of Michigan Basketball wallpapers prompted me to throw my hat in the ring. I too, am in serious need of a computer/iPad background change, so what better way than to help everyone else out at the same time?!

Full disclosure: I am in no way a graphic designer or Photoshop professional, so all you get are my basic skills. This is also my first foray into creating a wallpaper, so if anyone has tips or recommendations, feel free to share.

Have you ever wondered what our current Michigan basketball roster would look like as an old-school 1970s hoops squad? No? Me either. Until I ran across a gem of a photo in the Bentley Library archives...the 1978-79 team photo – complete with feathered hair, a wicked afro, short shorts and high socks.

It was then that I set out on a conquest to mold both that photo and our current player photos into an epic composite that makes me laugh every time I look at it.


After noting that the amount of players and coaches was almost exactly identical to this year's team, I knew I had to take a crack at it. Also, skin colors were almost perfect with the players that we currently have. There was only one extra body in the original that needed to be accounted for...the glorious man kneeling down on the right in the front row. And let's be honest – he just looks so cool that I had to leave him in.

After a few hours of work, below is the final product. I have multiple versions (desktop color/B&W, iPad) at the link below. I'd have to say that my favorite parts are Jordan Morgan with a sweet afro and Mitch McGary with blonde feathered hair. Also, Trey Burke looks really happy despite how tight his shorts are. I did not deal with jersey number changes because of all the shading and angles those entailed.

Special thanks to TheArtTheArtTheArt's football wallpaper for inspiring this piece.





December 6th, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

This is saturated with awesomeness.  I think we sould make that final member someone special.  My vote is Novak - he helped rebuild the program more than anyone.  Lloyd Brady would work.  Shoelace would be approprate as well.

What say you?


December 9th, 2012 at 9:18 AM ^

Close ... I was an All-Metro Detroit golfer in from Clarkston in '74 - '75, tried out for the M golf team in the fall of '75, until Fife, also from Clarkston called me and invited me to be a student manager of the bball team.  Great memories!


December 7th, 2012 at 11:22 AM ^

Ahh, memories of my youth.  I tried to recognize as many players and coaches on the 78-79 team as possible.  I believe I spot 35 Phil Hubbard, 40 Mike McGee, 35 Dave Baxter, 45 Thad Garner, 25 Keith Smith, Head Coach Johnny Orr and Assistant Coach Bill Frieder.


December 7th, 2012 at 11:28 PM ^

That was the last year for Joel Thompson, Dave Baxter, Tom Bergen and Len Lillard, all of whom are pictured.

Top row l-r - Frieder, Orr, Joel Thompson (with a much sm aller 'fro than earlier in his career), ?, Len Lillard, Phil Hubbard, Tom Bergen, Paul Heuerman, Alan Hardy, Jim Boyce, Dan Fife (Dugan and Dane's father).

Bottom row l-r  Mitch Kaufman (student manager), either Mark or Marty Bodnar, Mark Lozier, ?, Johnny Johnson, Mike McGee, Dave Baxter, Tom Staton, either Mark or Marty Bodnar, ?,?.

I graduated the year before.

From looking at the historical stats on mgoblue, there were two walk-ons on the team that were not on the team while I was there.  They are Mike Robinson and Cornel Williams.  One of them is number 45 and the other 41.  I have no idea which is which.

Thad Garner and Keith Smith didn't join the team til the next year.  I assume the two guys on the far right of the front row are also student managers.


December 9th, 2012 at 9:40 AM ^

Top row l-r: Frieder, Orr, Joel, Mike Robinson (John Robinson's ('77) brother), Lillard, Hub, Bergen, Heuerman, Hardy, Boyce, Fife

Bottom row l-r: Mitch, Marty B, Lozier, Cornell Williams, JJ, McGee, Baxter, Staton, Mark B, Tom Kempf (grad asst), John Anderson (student mgr / me)

Unfortunately, we didn't have Hub at his best that season, as he injured his knee in the World Games that summer.  He would have certainly been a top candidate for player of the year coming off the 2 prior seasons - NCAA finals vs. IU in '76 and #1 ranked team '77 (we lost to UNC-Charlotte (Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell) in Regional Finals @ Rupp Arena.


December 7th, 2012 at 1:00 PM ^

Instant classic...very nice work!  Honestly, all seem to be spot on except for Burke.  Have you tried to switch Burke and Eso (I believe that's Eso...#41)? 

One of my favorites is Bacari...just fits perfectly.

Dutch Ferbert

December 7th, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^

It would be awesome to send the team out in short shorts, knee high striped socks, and maybe some headbands for the MSU game in March.

This would be so much more original than the clown uniforms from last year's football game in East Lansing.



December 9th, 2012 at 11:46 AM ^

My profile picture at left is of the '76 - '77 team (Couldn't figure out how to post it).  It hangs in the Crisler Center display cases.

top row l-r: Bill Frieder, Johnny Orr, Mark Lozier, Dave Baxter, Rickey Green, Dave Stavale, Tom Staton, Bill Lelich, Jim Boyce, Dan Fife.

bottom row l-r: Mitch Kauffman, Len Lillard, Alan Hardy, Phil Hubbard, Steve Grote, John Robinson, Tom Bergen, Joel Thompson, Bobby Jones, John Anderson

This team was ranked #1 by the AP & UPI the entire year only to lose in the NCAA Regional Semifinals to UNC-Charlotte.


February 3rd, 2013 at 11:47 PM ^

I worked at the old IM building in the 70's and recall Johnny Robinson and his brother Mike often playing pickup games. I was trying to convince "Punt" that Robinson's brother was on the team at one point and he doubted me - now I have found this thread to prove him wrong (which gives me great pleasure).

Does anyone recall if they were twins?

I know Johnny passed away recently.




January 9th, 2014 at 4:53 AM ^

Yes, Mike (6' 10"), 2 or 3 years younger than Johnny (thus not his twin) was on the team for 1 year if my memory serves me well. He had excellent skills, however didn't appear to be as hard a worker as Johnny and was a step or two slow to be effective. Both Johnny and Mike were great guys, humble and easy to make friends. Johnny, or Rob as we called him, will surely be missed.