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Posted on Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

Zack Novak, Stu Douglass win their last regular season game in Indiana and more notes

By Nick Baumgardner

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Entering Tuesday, Michigan basketball senior captains Zack Novak and Stu Douglass were a combined 1-5 in regular season games played in their home state of Indiana.

Their career record inside their home on the road isn't sparkling, but Michigan's 66-64 win at Purdue will give them one lasting memory to cherish.

Two Michigan seniors that were never really recruited by either Indiana or Purdue, Novak and Douglass have more than proven they belong in the Big Ten.

"Both of those guys have made a lot of people eat crow," Purdue coach Matt Painter said after the game. "They've ended being some pretty good players in the Big Ten."


Stu Douglass (1) scored 12 points in a win at Purdue, the final regular season game he'll play in his home state of Indiana.

AP Photo

Douglass finished with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes, while Novak ended his night with five points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Novak, a native of Chesterton, and Douglass, a Carmel product, both were greeted onto the floor at Mackey Arena on Tuesday to hearty boos from the crowd of 14,533. But neither seemed to care.

Indiana's home, but now, they're both Michigan men.

"I was definitely thinking about that," said Douglass when asked about playing his last regular season game in his home state. "If I needed any extra motivation outside of losing the past few years here, that was it."

Novak said he didn't really think much about this being his final Big Ten road game in Indiana prior to tip, but once things got going, he realized the situation.

"It's cool because of the simple fact that all my friends are here," Novak said. "I'll give them credit, they're all Purdue fans, but they put on a Michigan shirt today and came out and supported me.

"I'm lucky I've got good friends."

During their four years together at Michigan, Novak and Douglass now have wins at both Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. (a 72-66 win in 2009) and one in West Lafayette as well.

Novak, Zack (Crop).jpg

Zack Novak

Both dubbed as too small and nowhere near strong enough to survive in the Big Ten, the duo has now co-captained Michigan to a 16-5 overall record and a 6-2 start in league play, good enough to earn a current tie for first place.

Not too bad.

"I'm a big fan of both of them," Painter said.

Novak and Douglass won't play another Big Ten road game in Indiana. But that doesn't mean they're through performing in their home state.

The 2012 Big Ten Tournament, held in Indianapolis, tips off March 8.

Smotrycz livens up

Plagued by fatigue for the better part of January, Michigan sophomore Evan Smotrycz had been quickly falling off the radar entering Tuesday night.

But, for the first time in a long time, the 6-foot-9 sophomore answered the bell.

Smotrycz finished with 10 points in 15 minutes off the bench, putting together his first double-digit scoring effort since a Dec. 29 win against Penn State.

He also snapped a lengthy outside shooting slump with a 3-pointer in the second half. Prior to that make, Smotrycz's last triple came during a home win against Wisconsin on Jan. 8.


Jordan Morgan makes a basket in front of Purdue's Robbie Hummel.

AP Photo

Morgan on a tear?

Michigan sophomore forward Jordan Morgan put in a second-straight strong effort on the road Tuesday.

After going for 16 points and six rebounds in a narrow loss at Arkansas on Saturday, Morgan had 12 points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes against Purdue.

In eight Big Ten games, Morgan is averaging just 6.4 points, but more importantly, is grabbing seven rebounds per contest.

He's still a big off his season pace of 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds from a year ago, but his numbers appear to be tracking upward.

Off night for Burke

Michigan freshman point guard Trey Burke was held to his lowest scoring output in two months, finishing with six points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Burke did manage to hand out six assists and grab three rebounds, but was effectively taken out of things from a scoring standpoint.

His previous low was a five-point effort against UCLA in the Maui Invitational.

Michigan credited much of Burke's struggles to Purdue point guard Lewis Jackson, who hounded the freshman for most of the night.

"We tried to concentrate on Trey not handling the ball as much," Michigan forward Tim Hardaway Jr. said. "We knew Lewis Jackson was one of the best defenders in the country, and he was full-court for the entire game.

"We tried to get the ball out of his hands as much as possible."

Odds and ends

Michigan out-rebounded Purdue 30-23, and won the points in the paint battle 34-22. ... The lead changed hands 10 times. ... The Wolverines wore their blue jerseys for just the third time this season, and are now 2-1 in them.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

stu and zack will be inextricably linked in michigan bb lore----they helped mightily to rescue a program in need of resuscitation. and they came to A2 when almost nobody would.


Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

..Stu and Zack.. leading by example.. finish strong seniors.. Go Blue! v


Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 5:44 a.m.

Great win for our boys! We really needed that game, I took inventory of the remaining games and I would like to see us go at least 22-9 before the B1G Tourney, that would mean a 12-6 record in conference, surely that would garner one of the top 4 seeds and give us a bye on the 1st day of play. I'm hoping that if we get hot and are able to earn a 2 or 3 seed in the NCAA's and if not that, anywhere from a 4 to 7 seed and that way we wouldn't have to face a 1 seed till at least the Sweet 16. I'd like to see this team at least make the Sweet 16 this year and anything above that would be gravy......and groovy!!!