Some say first impressions are everything. Fortunately for the Michigan Wolverines that didn't hold true for Miami (FL) Palmetto guard Tim Hardaway Jr. The strong dose of winter was the first thing the Sunshine State native noticed upon arriving in the Great Lake State.
"It was cold," said Hardaway Jr.
Had the visit ended there, the Wolverines would be on the outside looking in at Hardaway's recruitment… but it didn't, and they aren't. The chill in the air couldn't stop himfrom enjoying himself once he arrived on campus.
"I had a great time," he said. "I like the way the campus is set up everything is together. I like the size of the dorm rooms and I like the way everything is so nice, neat and clean up there".
Hardaway's experience went to the next level when it came time to take in the Wolverines' battle with Duke. The talented youngster was extremely impressed with the way Michigan handled the country's fourth ranked team.
"Michigan won because of their defense, rebounds and backdoor cuts," explained Hardaway. "I like how they shot the ball. If they had made more lay-ups Duke would have lost by more. Michigan's offense got what they wanted. They ran the show, they stayed calm, and they were patient in running their offense."
When the buzzer sounded Hardaway was more in awe of the crowd reaction than he was of the game's final score.
"WOW," he said recalling the fans rushing the floor. "That was the first time I have ever seen that. I mean… I see it on television, but not up close like that. Me and my dad were laughing. Those students were really excited."
Hardaway was accompanied on the trip by his father, former NBA great/crossover king Tim Hardaway Sr. After seeing the Wolverines in person, both feel that the rising prospect would fit in well in Ann Arbor.
"My dad said he could see me playing in this offense," said Hardaway Jr. "I can see myself playing in this offense it is the same offensive sets we run at my high school. I talked with Coach Beilein and told me they would love to have me play at Michigan. He told me that this would be a good offense for me to play in."
Hardaway also had the chance to spend a little time with the game's star, DeShawn Sims.
"I was telling DeShawn how much I enjoyed watching him play and he told me if I liked that, then that is why I should come and play and Michigan," the 6-5, 175-pounder said. "DeShawn was undersized in that game and to play like that is amazing. He played hard. He really came with it (Saturday) in the game."
With a greater appreciation for the direction of John Beilein's program, the Hardaway's indicated that Michigan is an even stronger factor in versatile guard's recruitment. Based on the strong recruiting punch continuously being delivered by Michigan assistant John Mahoney, that isn't likely to change.
"I talk to Coach Mahoney regularly," stated Hardaway. "Michigan is the school that is showing me the most love right now. "
If/when that love results in a scholarship offer, the Wolverines may move even further up the talented 2010 prospect's list.