I managed to catch up with 2008 commitment Stuart Douglass for an interview recently. For those that don’t know, Douglass is a 6-3 shooting guard from Carmel, Indiana who played his way to an eventual offer at Michigan’s team camp last summer. Douglass is averaging 15.3 ppg and has made 79 of 208 (38%) three pointers on the season for state ranked Carmel High. Carmel has a regional semi-final game (and potentially a regional final game) on Saturday at 12pm (finals at 8pm) in Southport. Thanks a lot to Stu for taking the time during his season to do the interview.
How is your season going? It looks like you guys have a legit shot to win the state championship.
Our season is going great so far. We finished 18-2 and we were undefeated through 16 games. We just won the sectional championship last night against a county rival by 14. Next weekend is regionals and we’re feeling confident about our chances of going all the way to the championship. If we keep playing defense the way we did when we were undefeated we should have a very good chance.
How would you describe your game? Most people talk about your shooting, what other strengths and weaknesses do you have?
Shooting is what I get noticed for most but I think I have a pretty high basketball IQ. I usually know when I should shoot or drive or pass off to an open teammate. I’m working a lot harder on rebounding and on pressuring the ball, a few things I haven’t done so well the last couple years. This year I’ve been put on the other teams point guard more than I ever have and I’ve been given more defensive responsibility and I love it. I have taken an approach to defense now like I always have to shooting about challenging myself to get better and it becomes a lot more fun that way. Itâ€™s something I’m taking pride in now, which was not like me even last year.
Do you have any specific goals and things that you want to work on this summer?
My main goals this summer are to get stronger and work on my ball handling. Iâ€™m going to work on everything but those are two things I want to emphasize. In coach’s system I’ll have to be able to bring the ball up as well as shoot and itâ€™s something I’m looking forward to.
How deep is your three point range?
I’d say itâ€™s pretty deep. I can usually shoot pretty consistently from about 25 feet maybe as far as 28 or so. Before games sometimes I’ll take a few jumpshots from half court and once I hit 8 for 10 so itâ€™s getting better. I keep improving my range every year.
Who would you compare your game to? Any college or pro players?
I always think comparisons are tough. I’ve always watched JJ Redick’s game and tried to emulate some of the things he does and I’ve watched Chris Lofton a lot this year too and see a lot of myself in his game. Of course I’m not the player they both have become but I would sure love to work to that level.
Your former teammate Jake Kelly is having a solid freshman year at Iowa. Do you see yourself having a similar impact next year?
Jake is having a great year and hopefully I can have that kind of impact but itâ€™s way too early to make any predictions. I know I’m going to work as hard as I can to get ready for next year and if get the opportunity to make that kind of impact that would be great.
Have you been watching Michigan games this season? What kind of role do you see yourself having next year?
Yeah, I’ve watched as many games as I can. Next year I can hopefully bring some consistent three-point shooting. I know I have the shooting role on my team this year but everyone in coach’s system has to be a shooter so next year, so I’m just going to work on bringing consistency every game. I know this year some games the shooting has been really good for Michigan and others just the opposite.
Have you developed relationships with any current players? Or other Michigan recruits (some kids from Indiana have been mentioned as possible targets: Zack Novak and Colt Ryan)?
I don’t really have a relationship with any of the players yet but just from visiting a couple times and being around the players I don’t think that will be a problem at all. I actually haven’t yet talked to Ben either I’ve just been kind of caught up in my season but I hope to do that soon. Guys like Colt and Zack I’ve known and have talked to before at AAU tournaments but nothing more than that. I’d always see them at tournaments because we all played for different teams within the Indy Elite program this summer.
What is your favorite part of Ann Arbor?
The only part of Ann Arbor I’ve really seen is the Big House and Crisler Arena. We walked around a little bit on my official and I like the campus but I guess haven’t seen enough to have a favorite. My favorite is going to have to become Crisler because I’ll basically be in there all summer.
What was the deciding factor in your decision to come to U-M?
It’s just the perfect place for me. I always wanted to play in the Big Ten growing up and when I saw Coach Beilein for the first time a few years ago with West Virginia I had always said I would love to play for him. Michigan is a great school where I’ll get a great education as well. I had known for a while that I wanted to go to Michigan. No other offer could’ve changed my mind.
What’s on your iPod right now?
On my iPod I have a lot of Eminem, Seether, Nas, Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Lauryn Hill, and Immortal Technique. A lot of different stuff. I listen to anything besides most country.
Anything else you have to tell Michigan fans?
I’ll give it everything I have and hopefully be a part of bringing Michigan basketball back to where it hasn’t been for a while.
I also have two other quick recruiting notes. First, Kyle Cassity scored 24 in his playoff win in front of John Beilein last night, here’s an update on his recruitment. Second, Arizona small forward Aaron Fuller has committed to Iowa.