Often the camera’s favorite subject on the Michigan bench, Will Tschetter is much more than just a hype man. The 6-foot-8 forward out of Stewartville, Minnesota spent his first year in Ann Arbor redshirting, a decision that has become rarer in college hoops of late.
Tschetter recently spoke with Brian Boesch on the Defend the Block podcast to talk about his freshman year and how it changed him as a person and player.
“I feel like that was huge for me,” said Tschetter. “Being able to come into my actual freshman year with, really, a year of learning and development and knowing the culture of the program. I feel like that’s going to be super beneficial in the long run, for not only me but the program in general. Part of me is wishing I could’ve played, but another part of me is super happy with the decision and what’s to come.”
In the one-and-done era of college basketball we’re currently in, it’s relatively rare to see players redshirt. However, an underrated aspect of redshirting is the ability to lift weights more often and with different intentions than those athletes who are in-season. Tschetter took full advantage of what strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson had to provide.
“My game has developed a ton, (specifically) with the physical aspect. When I first got here, I was fairly skinny. I was not able to do things that I can do now,” he said. “The physicality has really developed. Defensively, I was very poor coming in. I feel like I’ve developed that a ton, just getting in so many extra reps with the scout team. You’re literally playing 30 minutes of scrimmage every day against that starting five. That was super beneficial.”
Tschetter was not the only Wolverine to redshirt this past year. Fellow freshman Isaiah Barnes took the same path. He touched on the bond he and Barnes were able to form.
“(It’s) the same boat Isaiah and I were in, that really brought us together. We were on a separate lifting plan than everyone, so before games we were lifting together. Obviously, spending a lot more time with him, both on the practice squad. We were always together. Those conversations we had were like, ‘This is good for both of us.’ We were both really happy for the decision that went into it.”
With Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate both electing to remain in the 2022 NBA Draft, playing time is suddenly up for grabs at the wing and power forward spots for Michigan. Tschetter hopes to put his name in the ring this upcoming season on what will be an extremely young team.