Michigan basketball motivated by Fab Five documentary, an update on Jon Horford and more notes
Soon after they received the news they’d be back in the NCAA tournament, Michigan’s basketball players sat around the television anxiously awaiting another big moment — this one more of a history lesson.
Any conversation of Michigan basketball and the postseason brings up the Fab Five. A documentary about the historic Wolverines team aired Sunday on ESPN.
“I loved it,” sophomore guard Darius Morris said. “It was a great, great story and for them to document it and to really get to see what those guys went through here while attending college here was just really special.
“It really motivated me.”
The Jalen Rose-produced documentary “The Fab 5” earned a 2.1 rating — the highest ever for a documentary on ESPN.
Perhaps the most influenced was freshman guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who tweeted during and after the documentary.
He saw how Crisler Arena used to be packed and the fervor of the fans whenever the Fab Five played.
“Just how the fans were loving this team, certain things that they did and how they presented themselves. That was how they grew up,” Hardaway Jr. said. “It was a great documentary.
“It was very motivating, just to see how they never backed down from anybody. It showed they cared about the game and stayed dedicated to their coach and just tried to make winning plays.”
This week’s schedule
In an effort to keep things as normal as possible for his team entering the NCAA tournament, Michigan coach John Beilein is sticking with a somewhat normal schedule.
On Monday, Beilein just got his team together and ready to go to the NCAA tournament, including drug testing and a gambling seminar. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Beilein said they will practice preparing themselves for Tennessee.
Beilein said his team will go 105 minutes Tuesday and then a little shorter Wednesday, but both will be “intense.”
On Thursday in Charlotte, Michigan will participate in its open practice and also have a short, closed practice.
“We’ll do something on that day besides the open shootaround but it will brief,” Beilein said. “Our two big days will be (Tuesday) and (Wednesday) here and then we’ll leave.”
Freshman forward Jon Horford, who has hampered with a knee injury for the last few weeks, is finally healthy and cleared to play.
It is still unknown how he’d fit into Michigan’s rotation at this point — his role fluctuated for the Wolverines throughout the year.
“He’s healthy. Yes, he is healthy so maybe we’ll use him in the games as needed,” Beilein said. “We’ve tried to step back with him and get him back to the foundations of what really is important to college basketball.
“He really works hard.”
Beilein spent 30 minutes with him Monday to help develop him further for next year. The Grand Ledge native, Beilein said, is already much stronger than when he started and is up to 242 pounds — the same weight as starting forward Jordan Morgan.
“There’s not any extra fat in there,” Beilein said. “Really, his body is developing.”