For those that missed our recent interview with Tim Hardaway Jr., click here.
Michigan's defeat of two top five teams thus in the young season has turned the heads of observers from coast to coast. The most notable of those watchers have been the recruiting targets on the Wolverines' list. A handful of them were in attendance for the 81-73 victory over Duke. Miami (FL) Palmetto high standout Tim Hardaway Jr. was among them. The talented youngster is being guided through his recruitment by the man that accompanied him on the trip, former NBA Great, Tim Hardaway. To say that the elder Hardaway was impressed by what he saw in Ann Arbor would be an understatement.
"The experience was good up there," Hardaway Sr. said. "Michigan is doing a fabulous job. I like what they are doing on the court and with their academics".
The praise for John Beilein has been plentiful in the aftermath of the Duke, but the NBA's crossover king was extremely impressed with him well before the Wolverines took the floor to take on the Blue Devils. The game's outcome only validated his already high opinion of Michigan's headman.
"I like what he is doing with the kids," said Hardaway Sr.. "He is a great coach who is well established and he is a proven winner with what he did at West Virginia."
Sr.'s long basketball career has given him great perspective on the ingredients for consistent success. After seeing Beilein and his staff up close and personally, the man responsible for the "UTEP-2-Step" is convinced those ingredients are in place at Michigan.
"I like what he does in their film sessions and practices," Hardaway Sr. explained. "First they watch film, then they come out and practice, then they go and watch film again. He does not make the film sessions long and he does not degrade the players. He is just making sure they know what they are doing on the floor and that is so important with kids today. When I was playing in the NBA some players would fall asleep in the film session, but in Beilein's sessions are short enough where the guys could quickly get the point of what they could do better."
After analyzing both a practice and the game, Hardaway Sr. believes his son's game would blossom under Beilein's tutelage.
"(The offense) fits him beautifully with the down screens and the movement without the ball," Sr. explained. "Michigan is showing him the most love, but we are just taking our time with his recruiting right now."
The question is, will that patience remain if the Wolverines turn up the heat even more? Time will tell.