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For the second time this week, a Michigan player has held a press conference and for the second time this week, a Michigan player declared for the NBA Draft. Last time it was Trey Burke and this time it was Tim Hardaway, Jr. Unlike Burke, Hardaway did not earn Player of the Year honors and does not appear to be a NBA lottery pick, but he still had a brilliant career at Michigan and stands a good chance at be drafted in June.
Hardaway's accomplishments have slipped under the radar for many, but his career was pretty impressive in the grand scheme of things. He earned 1st team All-Big Ten honors this season, 2nd team All Big Ten in his sophomore season, All-Big Ten honorable mention as a freshman, and made the All-Big Ten Freshman team in his first season in Ann Arbor. He may not have been Michigan's best player during his tenure, but that's a pretty good resume. Plus, during his 3 years he will finish 6th in career 3 point shots made, 18th in career points, 18th in career assists per game, and 25th in career assists. Those are some pretty solid numbers and will be in the record book for years to come.
For Michigan, this leaves a pretty big hole to fill. Probably not as big of a hole as Burke left when he declared on Sunday, but he accounted for 20% of Michigan's field goal attempts, 25.7% of their 3 point attempts, 11.5% of rebounds, and 20% of the team's steals this season. Those are some big numbers for any team to replace, especially after losing Burke. The good news for the Wolverines is that they have two guys setup well to replace Hardaway. Both Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert have the potential to fill Hardaway's position and both should be ready for next year. Along with this, Michigan will be bringing in Zak Irvin who is a highly touted recruit who can play on the wing. And if things really struggle, Michigan can always use two point guards or two big men as they did at times this season. Losing Hardaway will be tough, but it's definitely not something that should doom this team, even if Hardaway had a great career.
In terms of the draft, there are all kinds of predictions about Hardaway. Some have him as a late 1st round pick, others as an early 2nd round pick, and others have him deep in the draft. The consensus points to him as having a strong likelihood of getting drafted. He's shown he can shoot the ball from outside, drive the hoop, and play solid defense. He does need to work on getting a consistent shot and his handle, but he has some skills that many NBA teams would like to have on their roster. Look for an early to mid 2nd round selection. The first few years will be huge for Hardaway as he will have to battle to stay on a roster. If he can work on these parts of his game and bulk up a little, he has the potential for a solid NBA career.
THJ may not have lived up to the hype many created for him, but he was a good player for Michigan for 3 years in which the program grew from missing the NCAA Tournament to a national championship game appearance. The highlights that will probably stand the test of time were his fantastic freshman run, his amazing shooting night against OSU earlier this season, and his great shooting night against SDSU in the NCAA Tournament. He had a fantastic career for the Wolverines and may not have the highlights of a guy like Burke, but really was a good player and hopefully will have a good NBA career to go along with that.
[Edit: The hype described in the final paragraph was referencing hype coming out of his freshman year. Outperformed his hype coming into college.]
This post was edited by Thomas Beindit 12 months ago
Basketball Analyst For BTPowerhouse & Wolverine 247 - Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tbeindit
Totally disagree with that statement. He was a 3* recruit most fans felt was a backup plan compared to Trey Zeigler and Casey Prather, and a lot were disappointed we "only" ended up getting Tim.
He came to Michigan when a lot of top kids wouldn't, had a stellar career, helped change the culture to one that top players do want to come to Ann Arbor, and single-handedly won us many games, including an all-time great performance against OSU. Oh, and he did well enough to be in the discussion for early-entree NBA candidate, unlike the other recruits so many fans hoped we'd get instead.
In my opinion, Hardaway totally exceeded expectations for his career in both ability and leadership. True Michigan Man as he closes this chapter and starts a new one.
Not entirely sure he has shown he does any of those consistently at an nba level.
Should have specified on that. I meant the hype coming out of his freshman season. Way better than his 3* status.
THJ was a part of the Renaissance of Michigan hoops. For that I will always remember him
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