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October 12, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-12

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SPORTS

michigandaily.com/sports

FRIDAY
OCTOBER 12, 2001

9A

Amaker poised for tonight's first practice

By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
There was an easiness and familiarity in
Crisler Arena yesterday - one that has not been
present there for some time. Gone are the loom-
ing questions about firing coaches, off-court
mischief and on-court failure. Instead, yester-
day's Michigan basketball media day was a
chance for a fresh start for a team with recent
difficulties, and a clean slate for the relationship
between the local media and the Wolverines'
new head coach, Tommy Amaker.
"I'm not privy to all of the things that may or
may not have transpired," Amaker said. "I've
talked to our kids from day one -- we start now.
It's a good time to-start fresh, to start (with) a
clean slate."
Amaker spent a little less than an hour fielding
questions from reporters, ranging from his prog-
nosis of Big Ten powers to the welcome he has
received in Ann Arbor. The new coach was calm
and confident, but was hesitant to make too
many broad predictions on the potential success
of his team. He talked instead of his excitement
at beginning anew, and the anticipation of the
fast-approaching season.

"Certainly we're very excited about the
prospects of our basketball team finally hitting
the floor," Amaker said. "We feel very good
about the progress of our program, and we're
looking forward to putting the next phase in,
which is to start officially (practicing), which
will start for us (tonight)."
Amaker went on to discuss problems facing
his team. The lack of depth in the Wolverines'
frontcourt was a reccurring question yesterday,
and will likely remain so all season. Amaker was
not clear as to how that challenge would be
resolved.
"We've tried to identify some strengths and
some weaknesses of our team," Amaker said.
"Right now we are not as deep up front - we
have a ways to go with our frontline. We need to
make sure that Josh Moore and Chris Young are
healthy, which right now, they aren't completely
100 percent. They need to be healthy and we
need to keep them out of foul trouble, and I think
that's going to be one of the keys for us - how
our frontline can stay healthy, and stay on the
floor."
When asked whether sophomore Bernard
Robinson might support his teammates by play-
ing up front during the season, Amaker was care-

ful not to say what would necessarily be his
offensive plan of attack. He stressed the impor-
tance of Robinson's health (the guard contracted
mono this past summer), and said that the
offense would start with sound defense.
"I think this ball club will be a team where
we're going to try to start on the other end of the
floor - with our defense," Amaker said. "We're
going to try to be a halfcourt, man-to-man defen-
sive team. If we can strive to have that identity, I
think our offense will flow.
"I think our margin for error is going to be
very small."
Amaker and his players were happy to talk
about not only on-court strategy, but their enjoy-
ment of this "new leaf" in the program. Senior
Chris Young, who will experience the change for
his final year, was excited for and supportive of
the change.
"There is such a renewed enthusiasm for
everything that we do," Young said. "I definitely
think there's a renewed interest among the stu-
dents.
"The change was definitely needed - we
weren't having any type of success (in previous
years). And now, with coach Amaker, we're
going to have tremendous success."

MARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily
Michgan's new coach Tommy Amaker has instituted some new changes in the
basketball program in an attempt to revive the Wolverines.
Football Saturday '01:
No. 12 Michigan mV
No. 16 Purdue
TOMORROW, 12:05 P.M., ESPN
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3 Deeign s ee F n o t symPuduafe r stga yeagr'spect
Pudu ine4-0 thiet esvea, btehas nthaednee.
opnet Theseekense WPerdesand Joiller
barsoughtlefsrwtdeopnspyo tonthe Big Teni 99-
Find out how new quarterback Brandon Hance fits
into the system. I
As always, Football Saturday contains matchups, a
preview of the game and recaps of the teams' efforts
last week.
That and more in this week's Footba// Saturday. So if
you haven't found it yet, look down, it is probably at
your feet. If it isn't there you can also pick one up at
Michigan Stadium tomorrow. Enjoy!

'M' heads west for
wide-open tourney

By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
This weekend the Michigan hock-
ey team is forming a posse and
heading out west to play in the Mav-
erick Stampede tournament in
Omaha. Michigan will face Hockey
East preseason favorite Providence
in tonight's game. In its second game
of the event tomorrow, Michigan
will either face WCHA cellar-
dweller Minnesota-Duluth or CCHA
rival Nebraska-Omaha.
Providence, ranked No. 5 in the
nation, has a fast style that typifies
East Coast college hockey.
The success of Michigan will
depend on Mike Cammalleri, its
John Wayne, to carry the offense.
Cammalleri - with his quick shot
and pinpoint accuracy - can force
teams to play Michigan honest,
keeping its defensemen back.
In last week's Michigan-Michigan
State game, Cammalleri had two
goals against Hobey Baker Award
winning backstop Ryan Miller. This
performance added to his growing
reputation as the best offensive play-
er in college hockey this year.
Cammalleri missed practice the
week before the "Cold War" and
took the early part of this week off
to rest his hip. With him back in the
lineup, Michigan is a much more
threatening team with a first line
Falcons u
By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer

that is both fast *and physical.
Another key for Michigan this
weekend will be the play of its blue-
line. Mike Komisarek will continue
to be a force for the Wolverines, but
it is unclear with whom he will be
paired.
The 6-foot-4 defenseman has
lined up with three other defenders
this season -- senior Jay Vancik and
freshmen Brandon Rodgers and
Reilly Olson.
Komisarek teamed with Olson in
Tuesday's U.S. National Develop-
ment Program exhibition game, and
both seemed to thrive. Olson netted
his first goal of the season on a slap
shot from the point while making
smart plays on the defensive end.
Providence is an offensive jugger-
naut and will play at Michigan's
pace. Its run-and-gun offense will
open things up on the ice.
The Friars finished second in
Hockey East behind eventual nation-
al champion Boston College last
season, scoring 3.17 goals per game
in conference play.
The Friars also return 12 forwards
from last season's team and five of
their top scoring forwards. Among
them is Devin Rask, who had more
than 50 points last year.
Also shoring up Providence is All-
American goalie Nolan Schaefer,
who had a 2.47 goals against aver-
age to go along with a .915 save per-

DAVID KATZ/Daily
Captain Jed Ortmeyer and Michigan will be challenged by No. 5 Providence as the
Wolverines head to Omaha for the Maverick Stampede.

centage last season.
But a depleted blueline will hurt
the Friars and Schaefer's stellar
numbers. After losing their top two
defenders from last season (Matt
Libby and Jay Leach), Providence
has a huge void to fill.'
"Jay and Matt played an awful lot
of hockey for us last year," Provi-
dence coach Paul Pooley said. "They
kind of led the way, so guys have to
step up their year. We don't have a
choice."

Pooley stressed the need for his
team to play intelligent defense and
create odd-man rushes off of oppo-
nents' mistakes while avoiding those
same mistakes on its own end.
"I think we need to continue
emphasizing defense as a team and
create some good offense from play-
ing good team defense," Pooley said.
"If we don't do that, then it is going
to be a wide-open hockey game and
we are going to get in a shoot out."

)set M' soccer 1-0 in downpour

PLYMOUTH.- Playing in a downpour at Salem
High School's soccer field, Bowling Green (4-4-1
overall) held off Michigan's (1-2 Big Ten, 7-3-1)
numerous offensive forays, then pounced on its own
golden scoring opportunity with just under 20 minutes
left in the game.
Off a seemingly harmless one-touch pass from the
right sideline, Bowling Green midfielder Matt Leardini
attacked a crease in the Michigan defense and drilled a
hooking shot from beyond the penalty box. The sizzler
curved away from diving Michigan goalkeeper Joe
Zawacki into the upper right corner of the goal, lifting
the Falcons to a 1-0 win over Michigan.
Given the slippery, muddy field conditions, the Fal-
cons' one-goal lead appeared impenetrable. Yet, the
resilient Wolverines, playing without sweeper Kevin
Taylor (red card), would not lose without battling back.
Shortly after Leardini's goal, Michigan generated scor-

ing opportunities, but could not finish.'
With 18 minutes left, forward Jody Keeling gath-
ered a long cross-pass, streaked up the right side, then
shot a threatening ball just over the goal post.'Keeling's
opportunity would not be Michigan's last. With less
than 15 minutes left, defender J.J. Kern headed a cross
from the middle of the goal box that beat leaping
Bowling Green goalkeeper David Degraff, but sailed
over the cross bat.
In this defensive struggle, Degraff did an admirable
job negotiating the slippery conditions to control the
space in front of his goal. With an ominous mud pud-
dle about 10 feet in front of his goal in the second half,
Degraff still managed to find the footing to harmlessly
bat away every difficult shot he faced.
Perhaps his most crucial save came on a breakaway
from Knox Cameron. Slicing through themiddle seam
of the Bowling Green defense, Cameron juked several
defenders. From the top of the penalty box, he fired a
hard shot that Degraff punched out of harm's way.
With time winding down, Degraff's teammates

joined him in choking off any substantial Michigan
chances in the last five minutes, occupying the ball in
the Wolverines' end and bleeding the clock.
Although his team was shut down in the rain,
Cameron's offensive play was not unnoticed. Follow-
ing the game, a drenched Steve Burns pointed out that
Cameron's teammates are starting to learn how to ben-
efit from his play-making skills.
"Knox had a special game, he almost made the dif-
ference tonight," Burns said.
. As the Wolverines lick their wounds from last
night's defeat, they know that this Sunday's game
against third-place Michigan State will hold a greater
significance in the Big Ten race.
"Michigan State is playing real well right now,"
Burns said. They "beat Ohio State, so the door for
third place (in the Big Ten) is open."
Michigan "is a confident team period. We realize
Michigan State is not Indiana or Penn State," Burns
said. "The longer it can go scoreless or tied, the better
chance we have."

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