Tim Hardaway Jr. all in for Michigan, Jon Horford healthy and John Beilein talks schedule
Immediately following the Michigan basketball team's NCAA Tournament loss to Ohio last month, Tim Hardaway Jr. emphatically declared he'd be returning for his junior season.
A week later, in an interview with the Detroit News, Tim Hardaway Sr. (currently working as a scout for the Miami Heat) reaffirmed the point, saying his son "wasn't going anywhere."
Just in case anyone hadn't gotten the point yet, minutes after teammate Trey Burke announced his plans to return for his sophomore season, Hardaway told reporters he didn't even seek information with regard to his NBA draft status.
That came as no surprise to Michigan coach John Beilein.
"Not at all," Beilein said. "Tim and I talk about this all the time, and his dad and I talk about it on occasion as well."
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
After bursting onto the scene as a freshman a year ago, Hardaway went through a bit of a sophomore slump through portions of the 2011-12 campaign.
The 6-foot-6 wing finished second on the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game, but shot 41.8 percent from floor, and was just a 28.3 percent shooter from 3-point range.
He went through bouts of poor confidence, struggled with shot selection early in the Big Ten season and admittedly had problems adjusting to a new point guard early in the year.
"I did go play USA Basketball overseas (last summer) and I felt like the (on-court) chemistry with the incoming freshmen wasn't really there for myself," Hardaway said. "I feel like this summer is going to (go a long way to help that).
"We already have chemistry, but we just have to work the incoming freshmen into it."
Hardaway currently ranks as the 78th-best NBA prospect for 2012 on ESPN NBA draft analyst Chad Ford's big board.
The NBA draft features just 60 selections, and players have until April 29 to declare.
"Tim is very well aware of the NBA and what he has to do," Beilein said. "His dad keeps him apprised of it. He loves Michigan as well."
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
Jon Horford's foot cost him most of the 2011-12 season, but he's feeling no lingering issues from the injury and is back to working at full speed.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward will seek a medical redshirt after appearing in just nine games last year due to a stress fracture. Entering the summer, he's feeling 100 percent.
"I'm back, I'm running full-court and doing all that," he said Monday. "I'm good to go. I'm going full-go this summer."
Horford will compete for playing time in Michigan's front court alongside returning starter Jordan Morgan, redshirt freshman Max Bielfeldt, senior Blake McLimans and incoming freshman Mitch McGary.
Beilein talks schedule
Michigan has been rumored to be a part of the 2012 Preseason NIT for some time now. On Monday, Beilein let the cat out of the bag.
Asked if he had any further information on the rest of Michigan's 2012-13 non-conference schedule, the Wolverines' coach said he was waiting for a few things to pan out.
"We don't know (yet). The Preseason NIT has not been announced (with) all the teams that are in it yet," Beilein said. "So we're waiting to see that."
Should Michigan take part in the Preseason NIT, it would play two opening-round pod-style games (possibly in Ann Arbor) with a chance to advance to New York's Madison Square Garden for the semifinal and final round.
Other confirmed non-conference dates for 2012-13 are a home game with Arkansas, a likely home date for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and a return game at Bradley.
The Wolverines will also play Beilein's former team, West Virginia, in the first-ever Brooklyn Hoops Winter Hoops Festival on Dec. 15.
The game will be held in the soon-to-be opened Barclays Center.
"I think with some of the crowds we had last year, a few guaranteed (money) games will probably finish things off," Beilein said. "But we're still open (to things). We wanted to know what our roster was before we ended up scheduling some of these games."
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