Michigan freshman point guard Dug McDaniel revealed in his media availability on Wednesday morning he came down with a sickness and had to be hospitalized before the Michigan State game.
“I didn’t have enough fluid in my body, I was very, very, dehydrated,” McDaniel said over Zoom. “I didn’t practice for three days. That was tough coming off three days getting a lot of rest and fluids before playing in that type of environment.”
The Michigan Wolverines are coming off of a six-point loss to in-state rival Michigan State in a game that was uglier than the final score entails. McDaniel didn’t have his best performance in that game (0 points, four rebounds, four assists in 26 minutes), but, we now know that he was feeling far from 100%.
McDaniel was very appreciative of the support he received from his teammates leading up to that game. He actually met up with them that day after being in the hospital that morning, and he loved the grit his team played with in that loss.
“I thank my guys for believing in me,” McDaniel said. “They didn’t tell me to sit one off. When I showed up in the conference room, the film room, they all clapped it up. We had a good rejoining, it was very great.
“That game just showed our toughness, the fact that we came there and we weren’t at 100% and we can still compete at a very high level. We know the next time we see them, it’s going to be a better game than that.”
When asked if he’s feeling better now, McDaniel said that he’s “getting there.”
Dug’s improvements as a point guard
McDaniel is the type of guy that always plays really fast, but he’s showed an improvement in terms of figuring out the pacing for a game and finding his reads. He attributes that improvement to his preparation in practice.
“I feel like in practice, we have a lot of moments when we’re in 5-on-5, that’s a great time to practice change-of-pace,” McDaniel said. “We do a lot of fast break stuff, full-court stuff. I start off with the ball all the time. As I’m moving the ball up the court, I work on being fast right there and if there’s nothing there, I pull back out and try to run a set. Just little things like that can translate to the game very well.”
Hunter Dickinson was also complementary of McDaniel’s improved change of pace, as he loved how the young point guard went to his floater a lot in the win over Penn State last week. He also says that since joining the starting line-up, he’s gotten a lot better as a leader on the offensive end.
“He’s gotten a lot more comfortable and confident there,” Dickinson said. “Most of the guys are young as well, so it’s a good spot for him to lead guys his age. I think me and T-Will are trying to help him as much as we can, but he’s done a great job taking command of the team as a point guard.”
The Wolverines have another Big Ten road test this week, as they’re taking on Iowa Thursday evening. That game will be broadcast on ESPN2, and is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. ET.