How many favorite players have you had?

a. We have very few forum topics on this forum, so I don’t even know if Dylan allows new topics. Which means get your answers in quick before he closes it!!

b. I wanted to have one relatively chill place in this forum - I don’t object to doomerism (:heart: KT) and i’m prone to it myself right now, but I am realizing that I’m making myself miserable spending time here despite genuinely liking everyone who regularly posts here. that’s a sad combo and I thought the occasional topic to take our minds off “is steve bologna good enough to tamper with?” might help make it feel better.

c. I got this question from a great baseball writer’s newsletter. In order to encourage Dylan to stay its execution by 30 seconds, I suggest we limit it to Michigan Basketball players only, though if you want to sing the praises of, like, Bryant “Big Country” Reeves from his OK State days I will not yuck any yums. also this post is going to make it clear that i am a shameless front-runner always interested in the best player on the team. sorry!

  1. I had a Michigan Basketball #4 t-shirt when I was in kindergarten or so (~1995). I remember someone telling me he’d made some big mistake in a game, but I did not know who Chris Webber was, so I had no idea what he was talking about. I first started going to games in probably 1996/97, and the only memory I have is seeing Mateen Cleaves and showing up to a game where Robert Traylor had a big bandage on his arm from breaking the backboard before the game. Regrettably, I cheered for MSU in the 2000 tournament, because it seemed like they were totally unrelated to Michigan basketball and I liked Mo Peterson. I planned to conclude this with saying Traylor was my first favorite, but that doesn’t even feel accurate, so we’re still at 0.

  2. My dad got 1/3 season tickets starting with Amaker’s second year (I thought it was first, but apparently he had a year before Horton that I didn’t remember at all). I remember the student section, or some portion of them, made “Tommy’s Troops” shirts (2002 was a weird time). I remember going to a preseason game and thinking Lester Abram was cool, but after seeing Daniel Horton (1), there was really no hope for anyone else, especially after he led the comeback against Wisconsin, which I saw from Row 11 behind the basket.

  3. I was so excited about Manny Harris (2). I remember reading he’d scored 41 points in a game in HS and for some reason interpreted that as “averaged 41 points a game” and texted it to my dear friend, another poster here. Even though he never delivered on those Maravich numbers that I’d entirely made up, he was still so fun. One of my treasured memories is coming back into town after my first semester away at college and seeing the Duke game that night where he did the “flying” celebration.

  4. Stu Douglass (3) never seemed like his numbers reflected how good a shooter he was, but 1. his 3 against MSU helped make modern Michigan what it is and 2. his dunk against Tennessee is one of the funniest moments in history. Even he seemed surprised, and for good reason - how did he pick up enough speed for that dunk in shorts like these?

  5. Trey (4) will not be explaining this one

  6. Caris Levert (5) pulling off the “shoot the 3 and run back to the locker room before it goes in” move is surely one of the coldest moments in Michigan Basketball history. Also I’d moved back to Ann Arbor after leaving for college and was living downtown and saw him around a lot, frequently wheeling himself around on one of those Ryan Mallett scooters because his danged foot was always injured :frowning:.

  7. I think that Derrick Walton (6) is…my favorite Michigan player ever? I want every PG to be 2017 Walton. The perfect college player.

  8. Charles Matthews (7), Eli Brooks (8), Isaiah Livers (9): hot

  9. Kobe Bufkin (10): I’m going to be feeling sad about not getting another year from him for a long time. I remember seeing him being introduced at Midnight Madness or whatever it’s called his first year and saying “this kid has JUICE.” Very much looking forward to seeing him in the NBA.

Total of 10, over the course of 28 years, so players stay my favorite player for an average of ~3 years. The timelines have gotten shorter recently, but that’s probably because the teams were better (until recently) and so I was very very invested in the individual players, and I got to follow them for multiple years, which is, uh, not happening as much recently!


Great question. My sister was a freshman with the fab five and lived in their dorm so she was friendly with them, and as a 9 year old this was the coolest thing ever imaginable to me, obviously. Jalen’s been my #1 since then, through his stints in the NBA. I’m from Maryland, so I still worry I sold my soul for the Bullets trading for C-Webb and drafting Juwan. My prized possession to this day is a program that Juwan got the entire fab five to sign before a game against IU their Freshman year. My sister gave it to him expecting only him to sign, but he went out of his way to get the rest of the guys.

  1. Jalen

  2. Trey

  3. C-Webb

  4. Louis Bullock

  5. X

  6. Mitch McGary

  7. Nik Stauskas

  8. MAAR

  9. Darius Morris

  10. Spike


I gotta say you’re way older than I assumed based on your meme game @telekinetic


i’m the reverse @DMB43 in that way!

Jimmy King
Maceo Baston
Kevin Gaines
Lester Abram
Manny Harris
Stu Douglass
Trey Burke
Caris Levert
Derrick Walton
Charles Matthews
Isaiah Livers
He Who Shall Not Be Named


Not my favorite player but any means. But I just wanna give a quick shoutout to Chaundee Brown. His time here was brief but maaaan we felt his presence. Dude brought the ENERGY and left it all out there every chance he had off the bench.


I thought about mentioning him as I was consulting the rosters of every team since the late 90s. the vibes difference alone we’d get from Chaundee if he transferred in right now!

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I was soooo convinced that Kevin Gaines was going to be a star after watching an open run at U-M basketball camp as a kid.


I remember thinking Jerod Ward was going to be the start of a new dynasty. He went to bed one night thinking he was going elsewhere, and woke up believing that he had to go to Michigan. And ended up being the most disappointing player in program history, possibly.


I’m gonna go real detailed cuz I love this question.

  1. LaVall Blanchard (first game I saw in person he went off)

  2. Dion Harris (got a maize jersey of his for Christmas as a kid and I remember I always ran around the house saying neon Dion)

  3. Copperryale Manny Harris (first Mich player I remember watching and thinking we always had the best player on the floor)

  4. Darius Morris (first recruit I remember being REAL HYPE about and then when they beat MSU and he got into beef with Kalin Lucas it felt like a turning point of oh wow we can compete with them)

  5. Evan Smotrycz (absurd I know but after DMo left I loved Smot. Also modeled my pickup basketball abilities after his pick and pops)

  6. Trey Burke (duh, fun story I was a sophomore in college when The Shot happened. Had a new girlfriend at the time (my now-wife) and it was her friend’s birthday that night. I was real paranoid about missing the game but yaknow trying to win the girl and not seem like a CBB freak just yet. So we get a cab to this surprise party, I’m following the comeback on my phone. When we get to the apartment it’s on TV (thank god). As the Kansas player whose name escapes me was at the FT line, I hear “she’s coming! Be quiet be quiet!” Somebody was fussing for the remote to turn the tv off but hadn’t found it yet, so I sneakily kicked it under the couch and nobody turned it off. The birthday girl walked into the apartment and everyone yelled SURPRISEEEE literally as Trey’s shot was in the air. Insanity. Quite the hangover the next morning.)

  7. Nik Stauskas (of all my favorites, he was and still is my favorite favorite. Did not miss a game his two years once, no matter where I was or what I was doing. Felt a very real sense of “I’ll never enjoy watching a player more than this” at the time. The driveway videos turned 6 threes vs. Florida turned Kohl Center game winner turned blowing kisses at the Breslin turned first half buzzer beater vs Illinois and shushing the crowd. My dad surprised me and bought us two tickets to drive down to Indy the morning of for their Elite 8 loss to Kentucky, pops isn’t a bball fan at all but he knew how much I loved Nik. Will never forget that)

  8. Zak Irvin (don’t know that he ever overtook Stauskas but I always loved and appreciated how much he cared/how many different roles he played in stabilizing some bad teams and carrying them from one era to the next. And god that mid range was pretty)

  9. Jordan Poole (2nd favorite player ever to Nik. Was obsessed with his game in HS. Was obsessed with his swag. Ordered three different Poole jerseys with his name on the back in all three colors before he ever even played a game at Mich. Word vomited to everyone who would listen that he needed a bigger role and was special his freshman year. Then of course he hits that shot that leads to a magical run. Favorite Mich moment for me cuz it felt like validation for my belief and love of him. My mom FaceTimed me belligerently saying “you knew he was special!!!” over and over again haha

  10. Kobe Bufkin (#FreeKobe until the world ends)

  11. Dug McDaniel (I’d literally enter a decade-long coma for Dug McDaniel)


your trey burke shot story is absolutely one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. that is so awesome.


Thats unfair. Jerod had multiple knee surgeries amongst other injuries during his time at M.


Ward was pretty good his senior year


Don’t think I’ve ever actually had a player I liked too much… jokes aside I love this question and will have to think and give my younger perspective

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I remember as a kid my dad telling me about how good Jerod Ward was going to be so he was my favorite player going into his career but that quickly shifted to Maurice Taylor (of that era).

Others of note:

Jalen Rose
Louis Bullock
Manny Harris
Trey Burke
Nik Stauskas
Derrick Walton
Jordan Poole
Kobe Bufkin


I started attending games in 1987 and had season tickets from then until a few years ago.

This probably goes against the spirit of naming just a few favorites…I have many favorite players.

Gary Grant
Glen Rice
Loy Vaught
Terry Mills
Demetrious Calip
Juwan Howard
Jalen Rose
Lou Bullock
Maceo Baston (coolest name ever IMO)
Deshawn Sims
C.J. Lee and David Merritt (I love that C.J. and David came out of nowhere and were decent guards on Beilein’s first teams)
Zach Novak
Stu Douglass
Caris Levert
Trey Burke
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Nik Stauskas
Derrick Walton
Isaiah Livers
Franz Wagner

Of all these great players, the three players I enjoyed watching the most were Gary Grant, Glen Rice and Juwan Howard.


Over the years:

Mike McGee. He was the only Michigan player I’d heard of, so it wasn’t a strong favorite. I watched him play 1 game as a Wolverine. I think that may have been CBS’s first broadcast of college hoops.

Antoine Joubert. I loved his scoring and he looked a little like Prince.

Glen Rice. Still either my #1 or 1A. Still the best college shooter I’ve seen.

Loy Vaught. He worked hard, had vicious dunks, and got better every year.

I liked Kirk Taylor that bad season before the Fab 5. And Freddie Hunter. I had a friend who played on his IM team.

Chris Webber. The other 1 or 1A. Just so good. The best all-around player I’ve seen at Michigan.

Of the remaining Fabs, it was either Jimmy or Juwan.

Maceo Baston. He was plastic man.

Albert White. Reminded me of a mini Larry Johnson.

Louis Bullock. Great shooter.

Jamal Crawford. Way too short a stint. It would’ve been great to see more of him.

LaVell Blanchard. Pioneer guy!

I got excited about Lester Abram for a minute.

Daniel Horton. Great player. Deserved a March Madness run.

Petey Sims. Undersized, but strong.

Zack Novak. Speaking of undersized. Every team needs a Zack Novak. I wish he’d had a 5th year.

TIMMAY!!! I was a fan of his dad’s too. Big heart, first of Beilein’s gems.

Trey Burke. Lifted the program back up to 80’s-90’s level. Clutch.

Nikki Buckets. :arrow_left:That’s why.

Caris. I wish he’d stayed healthy. Same with Mitch.

JP fun and funny, plus the big shot.

Livers. Just a quality guy and a good player.

Iggy was fun.

Really liked Franz.

Adding Bufkin.

And Dug is the guy now.


He still had a solid 4 years. Just not the 2nd coming of Glen Rice. (Or even Sean Higgins)


Not sure who my first favorite Michigan player is. At the time I rarely got to actually watch games cause Michigan was bad and tv coverage isn’t what it was. There were maybe a couple M games on national tv per year so I had to use my dial up internet to follow the ESPN gamecast. Could maybe say Daniel Horton because I remember my brother explain to me that we have this awesome freshman on our team. But I might have to say Brent Petway cause he was from Georgia and had a sick nickname. But I pretty quickly realized he wasn’t actually good.

Overall, I liked Harris/Sims/Horton all pretty equally and simultaneously.

The first recruiting class I paid attention to was what turned out to be the Amaker/Beilein transition class. I was pumped for Harris and Legion and thought they were gonna lead us to new heights. And then had to deal with the heartbreak of a decommit for the first time. Also low key thought Kelvin Grady was gonna be nice too. Would probably have to say Manny was my first true favorite player. I was so irate when he got ejected against Purdue and Jay Bilas was going on and on about it.

Somewhat embarassingly now, I really liked Smotrycz. I got him to respond to me on twitter which I thought was so awesome. But THJ was probably my favorite until 2013 when Trey became my favorite.

Then my favorite player was Stauskas (was a huge fan of his as a recruit. his youtube videos were Mcguffie esque) and then Levert.

I didn’t have a clear favorite after that just cause I liked Irvin and Dwalt similarly. My favorite players usually are the ones that I identified as recruits as special and then came though and was always a bit sad cause Irvin didn’t quite live up to my expectations, even though he became such a solid steady guy. DWalt’s nuclear 2017 he probably deserved better from me.

After that it was definitely Mo. I’m generally a fan of big tall slow stretch bigs cause that’s what I am. I thought Donnal was gonna be awesome for us.

Then JP cause I loved him as a recruit and the SHOT against Houston and his insane leap to start the next season. my fun story is when JP hit that shot I had a 10 month old and my brothers and I went absolutely bonkers in my apartment and somehow she didn’t wake up in the room right next to us

Then it went to Franz as soon as he stepped on campus. no disrespect to X who is great. Then transitioned to ya know the big Kansas kid :frowning:

Generally as a rule my favorite player is the most exciting and/or best player. I’m not really the guy that calls the hard working overachieving 6th man my favorite. No offense to Eli Brooks or Chaundee Brown or Spike or even someone like Livers. I don’t want steady I want flashy!


So I got there in Fab Five 2 times (Freshman year was Fisher’s last). Jerrod Ward was a cool guy but those teams were most jerks.

First was Lavall Blanchard - local kid, huge hype, and a good guy. Maybe a functional program could have made him a star.

Next was Lester Abram, awesome start, just destroyed by injuries.

I liked seeing Dom Ingersson let it fly. But those teams were horrible.

I didn’t care for most of Amaker’s guys.

JMo was my first favorite player of the early Beilein era, I think it was his clutch free throws in a close win at Iowa in his first year of real time as Morris’ roll man that did it for me.

Next was Derrick Walton - always seemed liked a tough kid, and his final act was awesome.

I really really liked Charles Matthews - maybe even more than guys on this list because he brought a different vibe to the program, but he intersected with the guy who is my favorite, period, regardless of era…

Isaiah Livers. Loved his off court bravery to speak his mind, his on court maturity, his game. Just the best.