Petway Focused; Team Looks to Run this Year

Michigan coach Tommy Amaker breaks down the responsibilities of his staff, Brent Petway talks about getting back on track academically, and the Wolverines discuss their up-tempo style.

Coaching Responsibilities Set

When new assistant basketball Coach Mike Jackson was brought into the fold earlier this year, the need to designate duties among newly assembled staff arose. After a little reshuffling, Michigan head coach Tommy Amaker feels he has come up with a suitable arrangement of responsibilities on the basketball court and on the recruiting trail.

"We're very pleased to have Mike Jackson on board with us," Amaker said. "He has added a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm. He's a younger guy that can still get out there and mix it up with the players out there on the court. He does that with them. He is heavily involved with recruiting. He and Andy Moore are going to be the two guys on our staff that are going to be the focal points as recruiters. But also, they're guys that are going to be heavily involved with coaching on the floor. Coach Jackson handles our perimeter players and is doing a lot with our defensive work for our team. Andy Moore is involved, as he has been the last couple of years, with our post players. He has certainly been our key scout in terms of scouting opponents. So we're very pleased with him and what he has been able to continue to do. These are guys that are young and hungry, and they better deliver! (Laughing)"

"Coach Swenson is still on the floor and he can be out on the road for us," Amaker continued, "but you can only have three out (on the road) at a time. He'll be doing that, but not as much the other two guys. Like I said, we can have three out. That will often be Coach Jackson and Coach Moore…along with myself. So we can have four that can be out, but only three of the four out at one time."

Petway Looks Ahead

Brent Petway's academic ineligibility for the first semester was a disappointing development for the team as it prepares for what should be a bounce-back season. To his credit, though, the junior forward is not blaming anyone else for his setback. That went a very long way with his coach.

"He responded really well," Amaker said. "He had a quote in the release saying that he takes full responsibility. That was my first observation about him that he was going to be responsible for his actions or lack thereof. I was very pleased with that. He was being very mature about it. He was immature about it to have the situation occur, but he was going to be mature and be a man on how to handle it."

One of the toughest things Petway had to do was break the news to his mom. As a young man that was brought up in a household where academics were always stressed, he was weary of what his mother's reaction would be. While obviously disappointed, Petway indicated that his mom was much more concerned with what he was going to do from that point on.

"We had a long long talk," Petway said. "We talked about what really went on. I told her about some of the things that went on with me throughout the year and she was more understanding than I thought she would be. Of course she was disappointed saying, 'you've been raised better than this.' But she said that the important thing was to move on forward and not to let it hold me back. You can't really do anything about it now. It's just a hard lesson learned."

Petway insists that he is now back on track academically and focused on helping the team. When he finally returns, he plans for a more consistent jump shot to be part of his arsenal. "I'm going to sit these nine games, help out in practice, go hard at the guys, and get myself in shape for game action," Petway said. "Once I was able to start back shooting after my shoulder surgery, I was taking A LOT of jump shots everyday. I was working on rehabbing and getting the shoulder stronger. Repetition always helps you shoot the jumpshot better. Coach has been telling me that that's a good shot for me, so if I'm open…I think I've got the green light (laughing). We'll see."

Run N Gun

The Wolverines will clearly be looking to get up and down the floor more this season. Guarding against fatigue was an issue in previous years, but the number of athletes they now have make that much less of a concern. "I would characterize our style as up-tempo," Coach Mike Jackson said. "We want to pressure and speed the tempo of the game up. We're really going to try and transition, get up and down the floor, pressure the ball on defense, and get in the passing lanes. We're going to do a lot of things to try to speed the tempo up and I think with the numbers and depth that we have, that's going to be conducive to running."

Another factor that should make the Maize and Blue a more effective running team is depth at the point guard position. "With the With Daniel back and Jerret coming in, we have more experience at the point guard position, Petway explained. "Dion didn't really have much experience at running the point the whole game. With those two having the point guard mentality like that, I think we'll be able to get out and run. Coach Amaker has said that he really wants to try to push it down people's throats this year so that's what we’re going to try to do. I watched [Jerret] this summer during open gym. He's got nice handles, he can get into the lane and create, and he loves to pass. That's what the big guys love. I've seen a bunch of times where he gets into the lane and make a nice pass. It makes it easy on you, because you don't have to post up all the time and make your own move. You can just get a few lay-ups in there and that helps out."


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