If Michigan beats Minnesota on Saturday, Mike Smith will have notched more wins this season than he did in any individual year with Columbia. Chaundee Brown will be within a game of tying the most wins he had on any Wake Forest team.
“Losing, it’s not a good feeling to anyone cause you work so hard night in, night out,” Brown said. “How many workouts you do a day, how many shots you put up, how many hours you spend running through plays, working on your defense. For all that to go down the drain, losing continuously is not a good feeling.”
Brown and Smith are both playing meaningful January games for the first time in their college careers. Barring something completely unforeseen, both will play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in March.
On top of that, both have become integral pieces for Michigan. Smith has taken a lead role as a ball-handler on offense, Brown is a sixth man able to score and willing to defend at any time. Since before the season, neither has been shy in explaining what the opportunity to play for a contender means for them. The rhetoric has been backed up in their production.
“I think they both were looking forward to the challenge in being a part of something special,” assistant coach Howard Eisley said. “We feel like we’re working to do something special.”