UM football enjoying basketball brothers’ NCAA run

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — It was NFL Pro Day at Michigan on Friday, and while the former Wolverines have been busy preparing themselves for workouts and scrutiny, they also have been watching the Michigan basketball team’s NCAA Tournament run.

Quarterback John O’Korn, who transferred to Michigan from Houston, was particularly grateful for Jordan Poole’s game-winning shot with no time left against Houston on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16.

“That made my day,” O’Korn said Friday after Pro Day. “I would never have lived that down if Jordan didn’t hit that shot. I sent him a message to let him know I was very thankful he made that shot. They’re looking great. I was really happy watching the game last night. Probably could have got a little more sleep before pro day, but I was glad the game came on a little earlier.

“Coach (John) Beilein’s the best. Really rooting for all those guys, Muhammad (-Ali Abdur-Rahkman) and Moe (Wagner) and the whole squad. Really proud and happy for them.”

Michigan's basketball team walloped Texas A&M on Thursday night and has advanced to the Elite 8 to face Florida State on Saturday.

Linebacker Mike McCray said he has a personal interest because his godbrother Jaaron Simmons is on the team.

“I’ve got to watch him,” McCray said, smiling. “It’s crazy. That Houston game, it was like 1 o’clock (in the morning) here almost, my fiancee was asleep and my dog was sleeping next to me and I’m wide awake watching the game. I seen the first (Houston) free throw miss, I’m like, ‘All right we’ve got a chance.’ The second free throw (misses) I’m like, ‘He about to make the shot.’

“I tweeted ‘be great’ in all caps and (Poole) ended up hitting the shot and I jumped up screaming and my dog jumped up barking and my fiancé woke up, she was scared. She thought something happened. It was crazy. They were on fire last game and wasn’t missing. I called that, too, by the way. I said it the day before they would come out hot.”

The Michigan football team lost to Florida State, 33-32, in the Orange Bowl, Dec. 30, 2016, which McCray hasn’t forgotten.

He had no doubt Michigan will beat the Seminoles and advance to the Final Four.

“For sure,” McCray said. “They’ve got to get revenge for them beating us.”