Ann Arbor — Andrew Dakich and Duncan Robinson, two of the chattiest members of the Michigan basketball team — just ask their teammates — have found the best way to be heard is to talk to everyone.
Well, at least to anyone who wants to listen
In the past week they launched “The Dak And Dunc Show” podcast, an entertaining look into Michigan basketball told from their points of view, along with their guests, including current and former teammates.
Michigan, the Big Ten tournament champion, will face Oklahoma State in an NCAA Tournament first-round game on Friday in Indianapolis, and they hope to continue providing podcast insight as long as the Wolverines keep winning.
“People make fun of us for how much we critique something, could be anything, food, television shows, a game,” Dakich said Wednesday as the team bused to Indianapolis. “We had this idea earlier on in the season but we never got fully committed to doing it. Finally, we had it set up before we went to the Big Ten tournament. It was a good way to start.”
The Michigan charter tried to take off in high winds last Wednesday a day ahead of the Big Ten turnament in Washington D.C., when it skidded off the runway and through a fence. There were no serious injuries. The team flew early the next morning, wore practice uniforms for the first game since everything had to be left on the plane, and then rolled through the tournament.
“I had brought all my stuff, the mic and computer. We were going to start it when we were down there,” Robinson said. “When we were in the plane and everything was crazy, we said, ‘Now we really need to start it.’ That gave us the ultimate content, not to mention the publicity playing in the practice uniforms, and winning the whole thing. It was perfect.”
Derrick Walton, the Big Ten tournament MVP, was an early guest. Moe Wagner also appeared and had an interesting discussion about being German and adjusting to speaking English. The podcast is now up to episode four, “Time to Dance,” featuring former Wolverine Caris LeVert in advance of the NCAA Tournament. Teammate D.J. Wilson was supposed to record Tuesday night, but he opted for a haircut, and Zak Irvin has skillfully steered clear just to annoy them.
“They been wanting me to be a guest on their show, but I keep prolonging it,” Irvin said, smiling. “I’m just messing with them, so I’ll probably get on there soon.”
Dakich and Robinson want the podcast to shed light on the lives of the Michigan players, what it’s like for them while giving them an opportunity to show their personalities on and off the court. It has several moments of silliness like introducing the “fact of the day.”
“We’d like to say our podcast is educational, too,” Dakich said, laughing.
The point, though, is a relaxed discussion. The most recent episode was recorded in a studio, but the previous three were recorded while they hung out in their hotel rooms.
“It’s away from the media,” Dakich said of the podcast. “It’s just kind of us talking. Derrick said stuff he wouldn’t normally say. We just say, say whatever you want, just don’t curse.”
Wagner said he was comfortable talking to his teammates on the podcast. At times, maybe too comfortable.
“You’ve got to watch your mouth a little bit, too, and hope not everybody takes everything so seriously what we say there,” Wagner said. “That’s a big challenge, I’m not going to lie, just sitting there with your teammates in a casual conversation, but you’ve got to remember other people are going to listen to it, too. It’s funny. I hope not everybody takes it so seriously.”
Robinson and Dakich like to argue with each other, but they are close friends and they balance each other on the podcast.
“He has no problem talking about anything whether he knows what he’s talking about,” Robinson said. “I try to be the voice of reason a little bit. There’s only room for one guy like Andrew on a podcast like that. You can’t have two of them. I try to be more of a mediator. He’s so energetic and funny and outrageous.”
Their reach in less than a week has been strong. Dakich said that as of Wednesday afternoon there were 8,000 listens on SoundCloud, but he was not able to determine how many have accessed the podcast via iTunes.
Robinson was blown away when he heard from a 70-year-old Michigan fan who said she and her husband enjoyed listening to the podcast.
“They listen to us knuckleheads,” he said. “That’s something I wouldn’t have expected. Michigan has a strong and committed fan base. I thought naturally we’d get some clicks, but it’s gone way past our expectations.”