Despite growing up in the basketball hotbed state of Indiana, neither Stu Douglass nor Zack Novak received a scholarship offer from any Big Ten school other than Michigan.
Douglass was ranked merely as a two-star prospect by Scout.com. Novak wasn't even ranked that high.
But here they are, about to play in their final home game for the Wolverines Saturday night against Purdue, the heart-and-soul duo that has put Michigan basketball back on the map over the last few seasons.
"I wish I could say I was this accurate at all recruiting," coach John Beilein said.
Beilein has a reputation for identifying diamond-in-the-rough recruits, and Douglass and Novak are two of his best.
Beilein took over the Michigan program after Tommy Amaker was fired following the 2006-07 season. In his first season, the Wolverines went 10-22 and played before crowds of fewer than 10,000 for many of their home games.
High-end recruits weren't showing interest. Beilein had to settle for a couple of gym rats...