Michigan junior guard Tim Hardaway
Jr. is trying to make the most out of this coming season—especially having fun.
At some points during last season, he acknowledged he wasn't having fun on the court, and that is one of his main objectives going forward.
"Just trying to go out there and have some fun," Hardaway Jr. said. "Couple of games last year it wasn't really (fun.) You could see it in my face. I'm just trying to go out there and have fun and have a great time. Just trying to stay as humble as possible."
Last season, Hardaway Jr. helped guide the Wolverines to their first Big Ten Title since 1985. Add in this year's preseason hype, and Hardaway Jr. says the team is focused on its team goal of repeating as Big Ten Champions.
"I think we are a great team," Hardaway Jr. stated. "I think we have a lot of talent. And we're just going to go out there and just try to play our hardest and play our best."
With winning a Big Ten Championship comes added expectations, and Hardaway Jr. says it is "cool" that media members are picking the Wolverines to be one of the top teams in the country.
"It's very cool," Hardaway Jr. said. "It just shows how much hard work everybody in this program has put into getting to this position right now. We are not going to stop working. We're going to keep working as hard as we can, just like we are underdogs. Just try to go out there and have fun."
Michigan coach John Beilien has seen the work that Hardaway Jr. has put in this past summer.
"First of all, (he is) doing more than just being a shooter, working on other parts like scoring, rebounding, things like that," Beilien said "Keeping his composure through thick and thin, depending on what it is. He is very emotional. He is very driven, and it is a good thing, but channeling that in the right directions. All things I think he has worked on so far. I think he has had a tremendous summer and even a better fall from what I see. I just like his attitude."
Hardaway Jr. said that, as a veteran, he has been more vocal in practice, but it is not one his goals to be a team captain. He said the current group of players is focused on helping each other out as a team.
"I don't think it's a goal for just myself," Hardaway Jr. explained. "Everybody on this team is capable of fulfilling that role. We have great senior, junior, sophomore players out here that have been here before and been in that situation last year. And just learn from Zack (Novak) and Stu (Douglass). I think everybody has that want it attitude—just trying to help the team as much as possible.
"It's tough on filling those roles that Zack and Stu had. Those were people that were big influences on Michigan basketball program. It's going to be hard, but whoever takes that opportunity of being captain for this team. It's an honor and a privilege."
Whether Hardaway Jr. becomes a captain or not, he says one of his main goals this summer was to embrace the incoming freshman and welcome them to the Michigan basketball family.
"We all just took on our roll to learn that guy. Learn where he came from. The background he came from, just try to get a closer feeling of where he come from. Were trying to build a brotherhood here. I think we are doing a great job of reaching that part. And we just got to keep building on it."
Sounds like something a captain would say.
Tim Hardaway Jr. talks about having fun this season and embracing the expectations of being defending Big Ten Champs. ***with video interview***
Hardway Jr. focused on having fun (w/video)
Tim Hardaway Jr. talks about having fun this season and embracing the expectations