Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. no longer worried about slumps, more concerned with leading the team
A year ago, he had trouble letting go.
When his shot wasn't falling, the Michigan shooting guard couldn't seem to do anything but make it worse. His struggles had more to do with attitude than physical repetition, and it wasn't even close.
But now, a year older, a year wiser, Hardaway says he's over all that stuff.
He's got more important things to worry about.
"(Letting bad stretches linger) happened in the past, it happened last year, a lot," Hardaway said. "You're not going to have a perfect game (every night). (Bad nights) are bound to happen.
"You've just got to move on."
Hardaway -- whose team will host Illinois (1 p.m., ESPN) on Sunday -- went a combined 4 of 22 during a loss at Michigan State and a win over Penn State last week.
The slump was the first extended down period of the 6-foot-6 junior's season, which has by and large been a massive upgrade from his sophomore campaign.
Despite his recent shot struggles, Hardaway's still shooting 46 percent from the floor, 40.7 percent from 3 -- a massive jump from the 28.3 percent he shot last year.
He's also second on the team in scoring (15.2 points per game) and is averaging a career-best 4.5 rebounds.
And, perhaps more importantly, he's developed into a leader -- both in voice and in example.
"Tim watches the most film out of anyone, he studies the scouting report more than anyone," Michigan freshman Nik Stauskas said. "That's something I take away from Tim as far as leadership (goes)."
During most of his rough spots last year, Michigan coach John Beilein routinely attempted to shield Hardaway from talks of a "sophomore slump."
This season, Hardaway never gave his coach a chance -- as he offered a public apology to Michigan fans via Twitter after the Michigan State loss.
Hardaway cares about his own shot, and he cares about his own production.
But now, he seems more worried about winning -- no matter how it happens.
Putting it simply, Tim Hardaway Jr.'s all grown up.
"I think I'm doing a better job of not letting stuff linger around," he said. "And instead of focusing on myself, I'm trying to focus more on the team -- what can I do to help the team out?
"That comes from preparation. If you prepare really well before a game, you can be successful. And if you help your teammates prepare the same way you prepare, the whole team will be successful. I try to emphasize that as much as possible."
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