Michigan basketball’s “good cop”

Recently I shared a story I wrote about Michigan basketball assistant coach Luke Yaklich. I followed it up with a story on another assistant, DeAndre Haynes, the youngest coach on John Beilein’s staff. Haynes serves as an older brother figure and the “good cop” on the staff, all while helping to direct Michigan’s offense.

I was in Iowa when Michigan took just its second loss of the season. The Wolverines are learning how to play with a target on their backs.

In the prior game, point guard Zavier Simpson recorded just the sixth triple-double in program history. Here’s a look at how he did it.

Also, a story I wrote after last season’s national championship took first place in the “sports writing” category in the Michigan Press Association’s annual contest, beating out Mitch Albom’s story from the Super Bowl. Here’s the story: “John Beilein, Michigan, and the daunting task of calming a national championship loser

13-year-old Jude Stamper’s impact on Michigan basketball

Jude Stamper, 13, was born with a variety of health conditions, including a joint disorder that makes it nearly impossible for him to walk. He joined the Michigan basketball team before last season and attends games, practices, film sessions, and team meals.

Learn more about his relationship with the players and coaches, and the benefits of his association with the team, in my latest story for MLive.

Michigan basketball sets a program record

The Michigan men’s basketball team had never started 17-0 — until now. Here are a few of the stories I’ve written recently about the team:

Luke Yaklich, an assistant coach and Michigan’s de facto defensive coordinator, was a social studies teacher and coach at the high school level not too long ago. Here’s a look at his background and the philosophies that have made Michigan one of the best defensive teams in the country.

Michigan point guard Zavier Simpson, recently hailed as the MVP of the Big Ten by an opposing coach, is perhaps the only player in college basketball regularly shooting a running hook shot. Why does he do it? And what makes it so tough to stop? Find out here.

More than any particular drills or schemes, Michigan’s culture deserves credit for the team’s incredible start.

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