Purdue to face NWI trio in Ann Arbor
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org January 23, 2013 7:36PM
Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III (1), flanked by Binghamton guards Jimmy Gray (20) and Jordan Reed, right, look to pass the ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:59PM
A trio of Northwest Indiana freshmen has contributed to Michigan’s continued upward trajectory this season.
Lake Central graduate Glenn Robinson III headlines the group for the No. 2 Wolverines (17-1, 4-1 Big Ten) that also includes Chesterton’s Mitch McGary, as well as Crown Point grad Spike Albrecht.
Having started every game, Robinson averages 12.1 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds, one of the premier freshmen in the country and gaining momentum as an NBA prospect sooner rather than later.
“Glenn Robinson has been spectacular,” said Purdue coach Matt Painter, whose team plays Michigan on Thursday night at the Crisler Center.
“Glenn Robinson is really selective and efficient, and he can really stretch the defense. He’s rebounded for them. … He’s just a great addition.”
Painter was asked about the recruitment of the son of the former Roosevelt, Purdue and NBA star.
“We recruited him,” he said. “We actually ran out of scholarships (including freshman Rapheal Davis committing to the Boilermakers in the spring of his freshman year in high school). We really liked him, he’s a good player. He really made strides from that sophomore to that junior year; he had a very good stretch there. He’s got a great high school coach (Dave Milausnic), and they do a good job in motion. So now going to Michigan in their system, it definitely fits. He’s a great kid, he really worked hard, and he has a good feel and knows how to play. I obviously played college basketball with his dad, but it never really matriculated to that point.”
McGary has averaged 5.5 points and 5.7 rebounds backing up junior Jordan Morgan. The 6-foot-10 power forward spent three years at Chesterton, before two at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
“He’s a big, strong kid,” Painter said. “… He’s going to be even more of an impact guy with them next year because they have such great leaders with (Tim) Hardaway and (Trey) Burke that taught him.
“Mitch McGary gives them a great boost off the bench with his size and his athleticism.”
Point guard Albrecht, who spent a post-graduate year at Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts, also has appeared in all 18 of Michigan’s games, averaging 1.8 points. Like his fellow region freshmen, he too played his AAU ball with SYF.
Of course, sophomore point guard Burke and junior guard Hardaway are Michigan’s marquee veterans. Burke, who considered leaving for the NBA after last season, was a preseason All-American and has played his way into the conversation for national player of the year, averaging 18.0 points and 7.2 assists. Hardaway has continued to round out his game, averaging 16.4 points and 5.4 rebounds.
“He’s considered one of the best PGs in college right now,” freshman point guard Ronnie Johnson said of Burke. “That’s my goal — to see what I can do and how I match up.
“You have to be locked in on him and not let him get as many touches or don’t give him as much room.”
Nik Stauskas, another highly regarded freshman for Michigan, has averaged 12.6 points from his guard position.
The Wolverines’ only loss this season came at No. 14 Ohio State, and their last game was an 83-75 win at No. 12 Minnesota on Jan. 17. Purdue (10-8, 3-2) has won back-to-back games in Ann Arbor and three of four, including last season’s upset of then-No. 11 Michigan on Senior Night; but the Wolverines are 11-0 at home this season. The Boilermakers — the last time they were unranked and beat a Top 5 opponent on its home floor was Jan. 20, 1979, defeating No. 4 Illinois 69-57 — have won six of the last eight games in the series overall, but have their work cut out for them to add to that run of success.
“They have the ability to hurt you in so many ways,” Painter said.