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Posted on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 : 9:19 p.m.

Big Ten Network films 'Big Ten Hoops on Campus' at Michigan

By Michael Rothstein

The 59 students filled two of the three bleachers flanking the back of the Big Ten Network stage, sitting and waiting, cheering when prompted and trying to show what a Michigan basketball’s student section can do.

The Big Ten Network’s basketball show "Big Ten Hoops On Campus" was in town for a show from Michigan’s Intramural Sports Building that will air on Friday at 10 p.m. on the BTN.

“It’s gaining traction in terms of people coming out,” the show’s host, Mike Hall, said before the taping. “That’s bigger. Our dunkers have gotten better. We had a few people who couldn’t dunk the first couple episodes. Now they’ve been better.”

The slam-dunk contest was one of many segments that will be part of Friday’s show, including a 3-point shootout, an interview with Michigan coach John Beilein, a segment with DeShawn Sims, an interview with Charles Woodson where he challenges former Ohio State guard Jim Jackson to a basketball game and a story on former Michigan coach Bill Frieder.

Picture what ESPN does for "College GameDay" and shrink it at least tenfold. That could give an idea of the Big Ten Network's weekly production, and Michigan's student crowd swelled to about 10 more students than the 59 who had been there at the start of the program.

The idea, Hall said, spawned from the network’s popular football show, "Friday Night Tailgate." Unlike "Tailgate," this version is more about the students and on-campus happenings.

“The idea was to figure out who the best 3-point shooter or dunker was on campus who was not on the team,” Hall said. “Generally it’s all students but sometimes we’ve had volleyball players, football players, soccer players.”

The show also brought in Michigan basketball players to judge. Sophomore guard Stu Douglass showed up as a guest commentator for the 3-point shootout and sophomore guard Zack Novak was one of two judges for the slam dunk contest.

Novak had won the Michigan slam dunk contest during Michigan Madness in October.

“I’ve never been on the other end,” Novak said. “This might be my last dunk contest experience on either end.”

Asked if that meant he wouldn’t be defending his title should Michigan have another Michigan Madness dunk contest, he was non-committal.

“That remains to be seen,” Novak said. “But I might have to retire on top.”

Novak and Jackson judged Seth Jordan, a 6-foot-1 sophomore from Niles, to be the dunk contest winner after he beat Michigan Daily basketball beat writer Joe Stapleton in the finals.

Jordan won the contest by dunking over his 5-foot-8 friend.

Amin Haririnia, a freshman from Bethesda, Md., won the 3-point shootout.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.