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Wolverines have chips on their shoulders
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 5, 2013 @ 10:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA – Jamie Peretzman spent Easter Sunday morning rummaging through stores in the Dallas area. His mission: Chips.
“I didn’t really know that many places open,” says Peretzman, a junior at the University of Michigan and a student manager for the Michigan basketball team. “I had to go find a can of Pringles somewhere.”
He used a couple of bucks from his per diem to buy a can of Original Pringles at “a really shady corner store,” he says. Then, he dutifully delivered them to third-year Michigan assistant coach Bacari Alexander, unwittingly supplying the centerpiece of one of the most entertaining pre-game speeches of the season.
Alexander loves talking to his players before games, and he loves having props. He says he’s inspired by everything – words on a billboard, offhand comments made by other coaches, anything – when he’s coming up with new ones.
Prior to the Wolverines’ Elite Eight matchup with Florida, it was something tasty.
“I saw a student manager eating some Pringles, and I had an ‘Aha!’ moment,” Alexander says. “In that particular game, we needed to play with an edge. So how do you drive that point home?”
Literally putting a chip on the players’ shoulders.
Bacari wore rubber gloves to keep the chips sanitary, and none of the players grasped the concept until he’d placed about four chips on players’ shoulders. Laughter broke out, and Alexander turned to Michigan coach John Beilein and said, “Coach, let’s eat!”
Alexander’s goal with his pre-game speeches is to get his players to loosen up. The first three speeches they sit through every game are serious. Alexander is always last coach to talk, and he’s always entertaining.
“I see what void might be left out there by the previous three speeches,” Alexander says, “and then I kind of insert what is needed.”
Two seasons spent with the Harlem Globetrotters didn’t hurt, either.
“I always like to say I became a Globetrotter because I was theatrical,” Alexander says. “For me, it’s been one of those things where you’re just trying to find the right creativity based on the audience you’re with.”
Players say the “chip on the shoulder” act may … [For more on Wolverines have chips on their shoulders -- literally, click here.]
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