By: Terry Foster
Big mistake. That is what I keep hearing from Michigan fans with the announcement that Tim Hardaway Jr. is leaving the school and entering his name in the NBA draft.
I disagree. It is the right move if the NBA team that selects him allows Hardaway to become more of an athlete instead of a jump shooter. Hardaway was criticized for being an inconsistent shooter. He shot 37 percent from the three-point line and 44 percent in two point shots at Michigan. He is a streaky shooter who can get as hot as anybody.
But being a stand still shooter is not his game. Hardaway is an athlete who settled for jump shots. My guess is the NBA will figure out he is an athlete that needs to push inside most of the time and shoot outside some of the time. Michigan’s offense was simple. Trey Burke penetrated inside and dished to the outside. Mitch McGary became a nice passer from the paint also and their main focus was to find Glen Robinson III, Nik Staukas and Hardaway on the perimeter for open jumpers.
These guys never turned down a shot they did not like. The offense was patterned to set people up for open three-point shots. That is why Hardaway got so many opportunities to shoot outside and forgot his strength. The Hardaway you see in the NBA won’t be the Hardaway you saw at Michigan.
The other big difference is he started at Michigan. I believe he will be a rotation for at least two years in the NBA. But he will still play.