Wolverine Captain contributes but doesn't play much

11:10 PM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WZZM) - The stars who make the clutch shots are one reason the University of Michigan men's basketball team is in Atlanta for the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

But there are a few players on the 15-man roster who don't play much who the coaches say are also critical to the team's success.

"I know how important they are," agrees head coach John Beilein.

Senior Josh Bartelstein is one of the so called "benchwarmers." He says it's a role he embraces.

"One-hundred percent," he says. "We are all about the team, the team, the team. It's kind of our motto and concept."

Bartelstein says he turned down offers from smaller schools and came to Michigan without a basketball scholarship. He tried out and made the team.

He believes he could be a starter at other schools.

"But I wouldn't be playing in the Final Four," he says. "I wouldn't have a Big Ten Championship. Do I miss playing in games? Sure, all the time. But I would never change my decision."

Although he doesn't get into many games, Bartelstein is considered a team leader.

"He's a captain of the team," points out Coach Beilein. "He's a really good player."

"He finds a lot of ways to contribute to this team, not just on the basketball court," adds teammate Trey Burke.

"Everyone has to know their role," says Bartelstein. "Whether you are the 15th guy or the first guy, you do what you do and you do it well and good things are going to happen. I'm so lucky to be part of something bigger than myself. Being able to represent this great school and try to bring home a championship."

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