The Michigan basketball program is continuing to look to its
past as a source for inspiration.
At halftime of yesterday’s 59-57 loss to Indiana, the
Wolverines raised No. 35 to the rafters as they retired the number
of former All-American Phil Hubbard, the second retired number in
the last year.
“It means a whole lot to me,” Hubbard said.
“When I was at Michigan, (the team) always talked about
getting our jersey retired.
“I played in the Olympics (in 1976), but having my jersey
up (in the rafters); it’s a big event for me.”
Hubbard is 14th on Michigan’s all-time scoring list
(1,455) and fourth on the all-time rebounding list (979).
Hubbard became the second former Wolverine to have his number
retired since coach Tommy Amaker took over the program three years
ago. Former All-American Rudy Tomjanovich’s No. 45 was
retired last February.
“I think we’re doing what we’ve been
delinquent in doing, which is honoring our past,” Michigan
Athletic Director Bill Martin said.
Martin spoke of Michigan’s rich basketball tradition
— something which may not be as well-known among younger
students and fans — by paraphrasing a quote from Fritz
Crisler, former Michigan football coach.
“ ‘Tradition is something you can’t go down to
the corner store and buy,’ ” Martin said.
“It’s something that you have to earn decade after
decade by doing what is right, bringing in quality young men and
women and perpetuating the ideas of the institution.”
As a player on the court, as a leader and as a successful
professional, Hubbard embodies what the Michigan basketball program
“His successes as a Wolverine player and in his
professional life are truly something to be proud of, and something
to be honored,” Amaker said.
Hubbard became the third Wolverine in the history of Michigan
basketball to have his jersey retired. In addition to Tomjanovich,
former NCAA Player of the Year Cazzie Russell had his No. 33
retired in 1993.
While at Michigan, Hubbard led the Wolverines to the national
championship game in 1976 — ironically, a loss to
The following year, Michigan won the Big Ten outright and
reached the Elite Eight.
After being selected by the Pistons at No. 15 in the 1979 NBA
Draft, Hubbard spent two seasons with Detroit before being traded
to Cleveland, where he would spend the rest of his 10-year
Hubbard retired in 1989 with a career average of 11 points and
five rebounds per game.
In 1997, Hubbard returned to the NBA as an assistant coach for
the Atlanta Hawks. Currently, Hubbard is an assistant with the
Right place, right time: Indiana forward Sean Kline had six
points, two rebounds, an assist and a block yesterday.
A quiet 19 minutes, right? Not exactly.
The 6-foot-8 junior’s three buckets came when Indiana
needed them most — down the stretch — as the Hoosiers
put away the Wolverines.
Kline alone had three of Indiana’s final five field
“He played with a different spirit tonight,” Indiana
coach Mike Davis said.
With 6:50 to go, Kline’s falling turnaround jumper pushed
the Hoosier lead back to seven points, 50-43. Then, with under
three minutes remaining, Kline scored on back-to-back Indiana
possessions to extend a five-point lead to nine.
“Our guards had been making plays all game long, but in
the second half their shots started not to fall,” Kline said.
“We kind of got lackadaisical on offense, but when the shots
are there, you’ve gotta step up and make plays.”
Uncharitable stripe: In a season in which Michigan’s
free-throw shooting has been less consistent than Bobby
Knight’s moods, yesterday was no different.
But against Indiana, it wasn’t exactly a good performance
or a bad performance for Michigan — it was hardly a
performance at all.
Michigan shot just three of the game’s combined seven free
throws, hitting two of its attempts.
“I don’t think I have ever been a part of a game
when the two teams combined for (just) seven free throws,”
Indiana sophomore guard Bracey Wright attributed the
game’s lack of free throws to the officiating, which allowed
the teams to play very physically.
“(The refs) were just letting us play,” Wright said.
“They were letting us beat each other up.”