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Posted on Sun, Jan 23, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

Michigan basketball forward Tim Hardaway Jr.'s all-around game provides hope for the Wolverines

By Michael Rothstein

Throughout the despair and the frustration of a season and six-game losing streak none of the players on the Michigan basketball team have quite experienced before, there is hope.

Hope isn’t found in its struggling defense or disjointed offense. It rests with Michigan’s most-athletic player.

When Tim Hardaway Jr. stepped on Michigan’s campus this summer, he stood out as a freshman who could make a difference.


Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. tries to work around Minnesota forward Rodney Williams on Saturday.

Angela J. Cesere |

He showed it in Europe before the season when he led Michigan in scoring during its four-game European tour.

Then he immediately entered the starting lineup for Michigan and led the Wolverines early on in a road win at Clemson.

Now, Hardaway Jr., in the middle of a team that is struggling in every facet, is showing he’s going to be a good player in the Big Ten as well.

He’s scored in double figures in five of Michigan’s last six games, including tying a career-high 20 points on Saturday in a 69-64 loss to Minnesota.

“Tim really has helped our team chemistry, really helped everything that we’re trying to do,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “He still is a freshman, he’s still going to make mistakes. But there are not a whole lot of freshmen in the country putting up 20 against Minnesota.

“He’s going to be very good.”

In some ways, Beilein is right. Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger had 15 points and 12 rebounds against Minnesota on Jan. 9.

But the Buckeyes won. The Wolverines did not.

Hardaway doesn’t lead Michigan (11-9 overall, 1-6 Big Ten) in any category. He is second to sophomore Darius Morris in scoring (11.8 ppg.), third in rebounding (3.8 rpg.), third in assists (28) and is shooting 29.8 from the 3-point line and 36 percent from the field.

He’s taken 114 3-pointers and 89 2-pointers.

And it’s all part of the growing process for Michigan and for Hardaway Jr. Next stop: At Michigan State on Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN)

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



Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

When a team doesn't have wins, it can always have hope. This is a team playing for just for the love of the game now. Have some fun. Learn a few things. Come back next year.

Pete S.

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

I think Hardaway could end up being a very good player in the Big 10. My biggest concern for him this year is the stat about the number of 3pt shots he's taken compared to 2pt. He may eventually develop a good outside shot, but his biggest strength right now is his athletisim and ability to drive to the hoop. Since pretty much no one on this team does that beside Morris, it would be nice to get more drives or slash 'n kicks from Hardaway.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

I'm going to wait and see. You never know who is going to transfer, and I am not sure that I have seen that Beilein and staff know how to develop players. Manny Harris never exactly turned into who a lot of us thought he could have been, and, really, Douglas and Novak don't play much better than when they came into Michigan except for Novak showing a little more aggression...Udoh transferred and blew up.


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 2:08 a.m.

I have hope for all of them. The entire team is young. Douglass and Novak are probably close to their ceilings, but either or both could become the "senior who knows how to hit crucial shots" next year. The team has a lot of height now, and the skills are works in progress. I see a lot of potential in Morgan, Horford, Smotrycz, Vogrich, McLimans, and Hardaway. Out of all that potential, a few will turn into very good players, and we may even have one or two great ones before their careers are over. The future is looking pretty bright once they get past another rough spot or two.


Sun, Jan 23, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

I'm very impressed with Hardaway. He shows A LOT of athleticism and ability to take the ball to the hoop, as well as an impressive outside shot. He was clearly underrated in high school. He doesn't make up for Michigan's lack of inside game, but he helps make Michigan's future brighter.