Two weeks ago, Manny Harris and Ron Coleman called a players-only meeting.
The message was clear: be resilient and accountable.
Yesterday, the Wolverines defeated their hated rival Ohio State, notching their first extended winning streak of the season.
The scene ended with the Michigan faithful celebrating at halfcourt.
But this team’s not there yet.
A few weeks ago, this team had a confidence problem, and some wondered how many more games this team could win, if any.
Then again, this is a different team than it was three weeks ago.
For the first time all season, Michigan played hard for a full 40 minutes. The Wolverines made the necessary hustle plays. Even though the Buckeyes shot nearly 70 percent from the floor in the first half, the Wolverines found ways to finish on top.
Whether it was tipping a rebound to a teammate, diving for a loose ball or making the extra pass for an open shot, yesterday the Wolverines did the little things that are reflected in just one place on the box score: the final score.
Hopefully, the team that lost to Central Michigan and Harvard doesn’t return. Hopefully, this program maintains its newfound mentality. But it’s still too early to say whether that will happen.
Michigan fans can celebrate this victory over the Buckeyes, the Wolverines’ first in five years.
Michigan fans can talk about this three-game winning streak and the resiliency their team showed coming back against Iowa. After the Ohio State game two weeks ago where the Wolverines lacked the offensive aggression down the stretch, they relentlessly attacked the vulnerable middle of the Buckeye zone this time around.
This is still an eight-win team in the bottom half of the Big Ten, but for an eight-win team, the Wolverines are playing pretty well.
“That was the best seven-win team I’ve seen,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.
The last four games prove the program is headed in the right direction. Fans can feel good about their team’s recent performance, but it’s clearly not there yet.
And redshirt junior C.J. Lee might have said it best: “We definitely turned the corner.”
If Michigan keeps playing like it did yesterday, every remaining game on its schedule is winnable. We could be pointing to the team meeting as the catalyst for the John Beilein era turnaround.
Then again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
– Robinson can be reached at email@example.com.