"You can't worry about scoring," said Hardaway Jr. about his performance. "You've got to try to get your teammates involved, get yourself involved anyway you can, and try to have that impact in the game so you can help your teammates out."
After securing nine rebounds in the season opener against Slippery Rock Friday evening, Hardaway Jr. pulled in a team-leading eight boards last night against IUPUI. And it isn't that Hardaway Jr. has had several shots carom off the rim directly into his arms --- no. As his head coach John Beilein noted, Hardaway Jr. is leaping into the air and snatching these boards down.
"He got a couple rebounds where he was way above the rim," said Beilein. "Just like the one alley drive he had with the dunk. What Jon Sanderson has done for him in our weight room is incredible, and with all our guys. You see it right there. He wasn't getting rebounds like that too often in his freshman and sophomore year."
"So he goes five for five the other night and he doesn't shoot a three today."
Also, Hardaway Jr. briefly left the game with cramping in his quad, but was able to return after receiving some treatment and a few swigs of water.
The Wolverines must work with a short turnaround now as they prepare to host Cleveland State in the second round of the Preseason NIT tonight at 8pm EST.
To watch video of Hardaway Jr. after the win over IUPUI, press play below.