I was going through some Michigan Daily volumes recently and came across one from 2015. Shocked that I had records from the future in my hand, I peeked to see what was in store. I don’t want to ruin any big surprises, but there are a few things you should keep an eye out for.
SPOILER ALERT: Hillary Clinton ends up running for President. The Denver Broncos beat the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl. The Ebola thing, people stop talking about that and resume conversation about the Kardashians.
In Michigan news, the football team has a new coach, and people already want him fired. There’s a series of Mac computer thefts in February and the local news labels the suspect “The Apple Eater.” That mild winter they said we were going to have didn’t happen, but the University does get its second snow day in as many years. And finally, the men’s basketball team doesn’t disappoint.
Check out this excerpt from March 28, 2015.
CLEVELAND — With time expiring and the Michigan men’s basketball team down two points in its Midwest Regional matchup at Quicken Loans Arena, freshman forward D.J. Wilson caught a pass from fellow freshman forward Kameron Chatman. Wilson cocked the ball over his right shoulder, fired and knocked down a contested 3-pointer.
And for the second time in three years, the Wolverines are headed to the Final Four.
Don’t believe me?
I’m not claiming to be Marty McFly or Phil Diffy, but you probably wouldn’t have believed me have if I had told you a Trey Burke 3-pointer taken from inside Michigan coach John Beilein’s pocket would send the 2012-13 team to Atlanta, or that all five starters from that Final Four team would be in the NBA two years later.
You wouldn’t have bought that a lanky kid from Mississauga, Ontario would be the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year and the program’s highest NBA draft pick in 14 years.
You might not have predicted that an under-recruited freshman who grew up in Detroit could fill the shoes of the program’s first Naismith Award winner.
And you sure wouldn’t have put your money on a guard that hasn’t broken six feet — but nearly broke Louisville fans’ hearts in the National Championship game — and a gangly junior who wore braces for his first two seasons becoming the faces of the program.
You wouldn’t have believed a team that lost Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. could make another March run. So I don’t expect you to book tickets to Indianapolis for a team that just lost five players — three to the NBA, one to graduation and one who transferred.
No, this is not the same team as last year, and it sure isn’t the same squad as two years ago. This is a group with six true freshmen and just three upperclassmen.
But if Caris LeVert can take a page from Nik Stauskas’ book and have the swagger to complement his skillset, Michigan will play in Indy.
If Chatman can prove why coaches from Oregon, Arizona and Connecticut were drooling over him, Michigan will play in Indy.
If sophomore Andrew Dakich can find a new bench buddy, and new reasons to dance, Michigan will play in Indy.
If sophomore Zak Irvin can attack the rim and force defenders to give him some room from behind the arc, Michigan will play in Indy.
If guards Spike Albrecht and Derrick Walton can share the ball, and a good deal of the leadership, Michigan will play in Indy.
If Wilson can play half as loudly as his hair, Michigan will play in Indy.
If freshman Austin Hatch can inspire his teammates to believe that loss doesn’t prevent future triumph, Michigan will play in Indy.
If freshman Ricky Doyle and redshirt freshman Mark Donnal can become a formidable tandem down low, Michigan will play in Indy.
And if John Beilein does what he does best — turn under-recruited high school kids into NBA draft picks — Michigan will play in Indy.
This team is young, new and for the most part, it hasn’t been there before. But they’re not selling themselves short. Neither should you.
One last thing: The snow day, I was kidding about that.
See you in Indy.
Kaufman can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @sjkauf.