After the graduation of Chris Young last spring, it was clear the Michigan basketball team would be inexperienced in the post this season. After inking a trio of freshman centers comprised of Chris Hunter, Graham Brown and Amadou Ba, it looked like coach Tommy Amaker had enough boides to fill the whole. But now it’s down to just Hunter and Brown.
“I’m going to redshirt this year,” Ba said. “Talking to coach Amaker, the best thing for me is to redshirt this season”
Ba will still be able to practice with the team, and the coaching staff hopes the extra year will help to develop the young center. An inexperienced player, Ba has only played organized basketball for four years, and he will be able to use his redshirt season to learn what the coaching staff expects from him on the court and to better adjust to the pace of Big Ten play. Ba will still have a significant role in practice though.
“Talking to the coaching staff and Amaker, I think my role on this team is too rebound, play defense and to make some shots,” Ba said. “My main role is to rebound, play defense and help people get open.”
Ba, a native of Mauritania (in western Africa), moved to the United States just two years ago. The freshman speaks five languages, including Arabic, French and English, but according to Amaker, his English has held him back at times.
Despite the challenges he will face, Ba remains confident, and the coaching staff has faith in him and his abilities.
“I think his future is very bright. He’s a hard worker, obviously a bright youngster and very mature kid,” Amaker said. “His sights and thoughts are a little bit larger and higher maybe than the average kid his age.”
If you ask him why he is redshirting this year, Ba responds that it is for his own good. Forgoing the opportunity to play now for a chance at developing in to a better player one day, Ba’s sights are clearly on the future.
While Ba may not play this season, the coaching staff has every intention of preparing Hunter and Brown for immediate action on the court. It would be na