Reconnecting with the Fab Five
Michigan, of course, is in its first Sweet 16 since 1994, the final season “Fab Five” cornerstones Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard spent on campus. Nearly 20 years later, the “Fab Five” — Rose, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson — is still an iconic brand in Ann Arbor, Mich., and beyond. Michigan coach John Beilein said he’s tried to re-connect with the Wolverines’ past during his six seasons, and earlier this week, King spoke in a Michigan class that included the Wolverines’ current five freshmen.
“He came in and spoke in one of our classes to us five freshmen on the team,” freshman forward Mitch McGary said Thursday. “He said ‘Go out and have fun.’ He's been here before. He knows what to experience from it.
You may recognize the names, but Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III are trying to do something their famous fathers could never do: Reach a Final Four.
“I don't think he made it this far,” Hardaway Jr. said of his father, who played at UTEP from 1985-89 before enjoying a long career in the NBA. For Robinson III, a victory over Kansas would be his family’s second win over the Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament. His father, Glenn Robinson, a former star at Purdue, defeated Kansas in the Sweet 16 in 1994.
The Enfield way
Among his other accomplishments, Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield is considered a tremendous teacher. He’s worked as a consultant to help players become better shooters, and one of his achievements is second leading scorer Bernard Thompson, who averages 14.5 points.
“He was a terrible shooter in high school,” Enfield said. “Now he’s shooting 38 percent on threes. He spent three months changing his shooting form. Same thing with some of the other guys on the team. … It’s really amazing when you give players certain things to work on, show them film of what they’re doing well and now well and them a year and see them six months later go out and (succeed) against some of the best teams in the nation.”
A Florida thing
About half of the questions asked to Florida players and coach Billy Donovan were about Florida Gulf Coast, and the ride the Eagles have taken. The Gators said all the right things.
“We commend them for their success,” said Florida guard Mike Rosario. “Beating Miami at Miami, Mercer at Mercer and Georgetown, that tells you a lot about their team.”