As many members of the Michigan coaching staff have preached in the past, ‘We’re not for everybody.’ That’s not to say that the coaches are difficult to work with or refuse to engage with certain types of players, it’s just the way modern basketball works these days with the transfer portal.
The Wolverines recently suffered attrition in the portal with point guard Frankie Collins recently announcing his decision to transfer to Arizona State.
Assistant coach Phil Martelli, who appeared on WTKA 1050 on Friday, was asked about Collins’ decision to transfer.
“When you look all the way back, he commits and DeVante ‘comes on,” Martelli said. “So, OK. You have to follow before you can lead. He had to get time with Howard Eisley. When he gets here, he’s competing. For a long time, you compete against somebody. Then, when the rotation is formed, it’s We competing against our first opponent. He competed. DeVante ‘won the job. Frankie was in the rotation. Now, you want that to grow.
Had he not accepted coaching, there would’ve been no Tennessee game unless he does what he does in the Colorado State game. “
“What I appreciated about that was, there was never panic. What do you mean? I get where everybody was coming from. DeVante ‘was going through a concussion protocol. How could we speak about that? Joel Embiid. He’s been ruled out, now he might play tonight. You can’t mess with that kind of stuff. Frankie was very calm and very confident. Almost cocky that, ‘I got this.’ And he did. His play at the end of the first half turned that game against Colorado State. Then against Tennessee, DeVante ‘tries it and can’t get it going, health reasons. There is no Villanova game without Frankie. “
As for what happened that prompted Collins to leave, Martelli hinted at it simply being a decision of opportunity.
Sometimes the best opportunity to grow as a player isn’t at the original school a player commits to, so it’s up to the player to find that opportunity.
There’s no hard feelings about Collins’ decision to leave and the entire program wishes him well moving forward.
“When the season ends, nothing in this program is given to anybody,” Martelli said. “So when the season ends and they had their individual conversations with Coach, I’m sure there was discussion about moving forward. At the same time, you look at our team, you say, OK, how can we keep growing this? When a guy like Hunter says he’s coming back, he’s coming back for one reason. The pursuit of championships, multiple championships. Not Big Ten, Big Ten Tournament. He’s talking about championships. Keep looking and say, well, where can we — not upgrade but where can we change how this team fits together?
“When the opportunity arises — and there were other guys along the way whose names pop up because there are no longer secrets. I do think that people wonder. His family would ask a question. Full transparency in this program, they got answers. As it moved forward with the young guy Jaelin coming, it’s going to be, OK, there’s going to be a hard conversation. I was not involved in that conversation, Saddi was not involved in that conversation. That conversation occurred with Juwan and Frankie or Frankie’s family. “
“I’m sure that they asked questions, which, in this program, you’re welcome to ask that question. One of the tenants of this staff is college basketball should be the greatest experience of these young guys’ lives. Everyone wants to play at the next level, but that’s not guaranteed to everybody. He wants to have a great college experience. So, straight up, eye-to-eye, what gives you the best chance to have a wonderful college experience? It’s not, just as an aside, everything is alright, you’ve got 35 minutes. We’re not accountants, we’re coaches. And it truly is for competitors only. Not that he ran from competition but going and finding something that gives you the great college experience that will impact 30 years from now, that’s what we hope for. We’re delighted for him. There’s no closing the door and throwing darts. Nope. This isn’t for everybody nor is everybody for us. That’s how I would put it. “
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