Caris LeVert sat at the head of the table and did not flinch.

After announcing his return for his senior year at Michigan on Tuesday, LeVert was confident, thoughtful and gave detailed answers.

It was a flip from the shy figure his freshman year who was eager to avoid the spotlight, hiding his skinny frame and braces in the shadows.

By returning, he made a figurative statement that the 2015-16 season would be on his increasingly broad shoulders and that he was ready for responsibility.

Then he said it verbally, without coach John Beilein at his side for reassurance or guidance.

"The chance to be a senior (with) leadership on this team, that's just a blessing," LeVert said in his voluntary opening remarks, another move he wouldn't have made three years before. "I'm humbled to be in that situation, with Spike (Albrecht) as well. We're ready to take on that challenge."

Though he and Albrecht were co-captains last season, it was almost by default, as two of the three oldest players and certainly the most experienced. Both spent the early part of the season learning on the job, calling team meetings after devastating losses, like NJIT, and trying to bring along the younger players.

It wasn't enough. U-M still lost to an average Eastern Michigan team the next game. LeVert and Albrecht were still finding their voice.

Everything became more muddled when LeVert suffered a broken foot in mid-January, ending his season on the court. Then he could only lead from his crutches.

"As I was on the bench, I had a different view and a different voice," he said. "It's different when you're hearing things from the coach. When I'm telling them things, they listen to me. It's not like they don't listen to Coach (Beilein), but it's a different voice coming at them. I tried to stay a positive voice to keep their confidence up."

There's clear respect as LeVert was voted second for the team's leadership award and third in the MVP voting despite missing the second half of the season.