2021-22 Season

Notebook: Michigan pleased with freshmen growth, defensive intensity

Sitting courtside at Crisler Center, Saddi Washington hardly hesitated when asked to discuss the growth of Michigan’s heralded freshman class. 

“Their commitment, their attention to detail,” Washington began, before pausing. 

As he looked forward, past the Zoom on his laptop screen, he watched a trio of freshmen put in extra work, having remained on the court after practice. There was Caleb Houstan, fresh off a career-best 19-point performance against Indiana. There were Kobe Bufkin and Frankie Collins, the two backcourt mates working to turn brilliant sparks into consistent stretches. 

“All of our freshmen are serious about their craft, whether it’s player development on the court, film sessions, they’re all serious about getting better,” Washington said, glancing up every now and then. “That’s all you can ask for. 

“At this point in the season, those guys have logged enough minutes. Now, let’s move from freshmen talk to playing some pretty veteran minutes. A lot of it is being able to get reps at this level against high-level competition night in and night out. It’s gonna be a part of their growth and development.” 

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