Halfway through the second half, Kobe Bufkin had the ball. Off of a missed Rutgers shot, the ball was tipped toward the freshman guard who corralled the rebound and then sprinted to the opposite end of the court all in one motion.
He made his way to the wing three where he kept his dribble and surveyed the court.
Four Rutgers defenders were back. The rest of his teammates were trotting to get in position for a halfcourt set. Everyone on the hardwood, Rutger and Michigan players, was expecting a regroup. Everyone except Bufkin.
Bufkin shot a 3-pointer in transition that caught everybody by surprise. Maybe to the surprise of even more — he made the shot.
An early shot clock 3-point attempt was rarely seen from Michigan all season long. A transition 3-pointer, even more so. That’s because both require a level of confidence to attempt, a level of confidence almost every player on Michigan who can shoot the three lacked.
At that moment, Bufkin had all the confidence in the world.
“And you know me. I’m not one that says, ‘Oh my god, great shot.’” Acting head coach Phil Martelli said. “But on the pull-up on the first break, I went “Oh my god, great shot.”