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December 05, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-12-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


SPORTS

michigandaily.com/sports
sportsdesk@umich.edu

WEDNESDAY
DECEMBER 5, 2001

9

. ............. .

Blue blasts Mastodons
back to the Stone Age

Foote wins Big Ten's
defensive MVP award

By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Editor

By Jon Schwartz
Daily Sports Editor
If there's one person associated with
IUPU-Fort Wayne's basketball team
who can't be blamed for the
Mastodons' 91-62 loss to Michigan last
night, it's the coach who scouted the
Wolverines.
Before the game, Fort Wayne
preached a
need to take IUPU-FW 62
care of the
ball, control MIcHIGAN 91
the tempo
and "rebound at a championship level."
So at least one person was prepared.
The Mastodons met few of their
goals last night, and a Michigan team
that played an above-average game was
able to run away with the 29-point win.
"We're very pleased with our effort
for 40 minutes," said Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker, who upped his record
at Crisler Arena to 3-1. "I thought we
played well against a dangerous team,"
On a three-game losing streak, the 3-
3 Wolverines were looking to last
night's matchup with IUPU-Fort Wayne
as an opportunity to get back on track.
Against a Fort Wayne team that
came in 0-6 and was playing just its
seventh game as a Division I program,
Michigan's sluggish play in the first
9 half was still good enough. Relying on
16 Fort Wayne turnovers and 30
chances from the free-throw line,
Michigan sent the Mastodons home
with a seventh loss.
The Wolverines, who have had prob-
lems all season holding onto the ball,
gave it up just nine times, their lowest
number of turnovers this season. Much
of the credit belonged to Avery Queen
and Bernard Robinson - two players
often accused of being turnover-prone
--who gave it up just three times com-
bined.
"We had to take care of (the ball),"
Amaker said, "and I think we did that.
And a lot of that had to do with Avery."

On the other side of the court, Fort
Wayne coach Doug Noll knew that
turnovers cost his squad any chance at
the upset win.
"They were all unforced," he said.
"Sometimes, this team just amazes
me."
Michigan was led all game by senior
center Chris Young, who set a career-
high with 22 points. Young's previous
high was 19 points, which he tallied
against Eastern Michigan on Dec. 30 of
last year. Young's presence in the paint
made Fort Wayne's Baboucarr Njie
miserable, as the Mastodons' center
fouled out late in the game with no
points and six rebounds.
"My teammates are looking to me on
every possession,"Young said. "When I
get the ball I'm being patient with it
and if I've got to kick it out, I'll kick it
out and if I have to move, I'll make my
move. It's just confidence in my game."
"There's no one more valuable to our
team than Chris," Amaker said. The
coach was pleased by Young's points,
but more impressed with his 10
rebounds and 4-for-5 clip from the
charity stripe.
Fort Wayne made Michigan work in
the first half, which ended with Michi-
gan up 44-34. With three minutes left
in the half, Michigan was up just three.
The Wolverines took over the lead for
the first time 7:27 into the game.
"We had a good chance to go in
close at halftime," Noll said. "And we
allowed them to make a spurt."
Fort Wayne senior Nick Wise kept
the Wolverines-in check early, but was-
n't effective later in the game. He
scored his team's first nine points, but
finished the game with just 13.
"He's our go-to-guy, and when he's
going you've got to get him the ball,"
Noll said.
"We weren't necessarily disappoint-
ed with the first half because we
thought we could do a lot better," said
Robinson, whom Amaker credited with
giving the Wolverines a shot in the arm

Throughout the season, senior line-
backer Larry Foote was the anchor of
Michigan's vastly-improved defense.
Yesterday, Foote was recognized for his
efforts when he was named Big Ten
Defensive Player of the Year.
Foote amassed a team-leading 73
tackles - including a staggering 26
tackles for loss - along with six sacks
on the season. He teamed with senior
Eric Brackins and junior Victor Hob-
son to create one of the top linebacking
groups in the country.
Foote's stellar play was a major rea-
son for the Wolverines' defensive turn-
around. A year ago, Michigan's
defense was maligned throughout the
season. Plagued by youth and inconsis-
tency, the Wolverines blew big leads in
games at Purdue and Northwestern,

which cost Michigan an outright Big
Ten championship.
Michigan finished the 2000 cam-
paign with the second-worst defense in
school history, so improvement for this
year was a top priority for defensive
coordinator Jim Herrmann and his
players.
The Wolverines responded, due in
large part to Foote. His intensity and
leadership ability enabled the Wolver-
ines' defense to climb out of the cellar.
Michigan led the Big Ten in rush
defense and total defense and finished
second in pass defense to Ohio State.
The Wolverines were the only Big Ten
team to give up fewer than 100 yards
per game on the ground.
Foote was joined on the All-Big Ten
first team by senior wide receiver Mar-
quise Walker, senior left guard
Jonathan Goodwin-and junior defen-
sive end Dan Rumishek.

RYAN LEVENTHAL/Daily
Michigan center Chris Young scored a career-high 22 points and dominated Fort
Wayne all night in the paint while leading the Wolverines to a 91-62 win yesterday.

in the first half with his 14 points and
five boards. The sophomore finished
the game with 16 points and seven
rebounds.
In the second half, Michigan took
over. The Wolverines went to the line
18 times in the half and connected on

12. For the game, Michigan nailed 22
free throws, compared to Fort Wayne's
12.
Over the final 20 minutes, Brad Noll
and Jeremy King kept the Mastadons
moving, but Michigan moved about
five steps faster.

Linebacker Larry Foote led Michigan's defensive resurgence this year with 73 tackles.

Michigan duo to take part in World Juniors

By Naweed Sikora
and Seth Kempner
Daily Sports Writers

Last week, the Michigan hockey team learned that
junior Mike Cammalleri was invited to try out for a
chance to play on Team Canada at the World Junior
Championships this December.
Yesterday, the Wolverines learned that they would be
losing two more players during the World Junior Cham-
pionship tournament, this time to the U.S. Team.
Michigan defenseman Mike Komisarek and forward
Dwight Helminen confirmed yesterday that they have
been named to the U.S. Team for the 2002 World Junior
Championship, to be held in Prague. The two said they
hadn't heard from the U.S. coaches, but that Michigan
coach Red Berenson informed them during practice.
"I think (the U.S. coaches) will call each player indi-
vidually," Komisarek said. "But coach (Berenson) just
told me today out on the ice."
The official announcement will not be made until
tomorrow when the full roster is released.
Komisarek, a sophomore, will be playing on the U.S.

Team for the second consecutive year.
"I think anytime you have a chance to represent your
country it's a great opportunity," Komisarek said. "Last
year was a great experience playing against the top
players in the world - it doesn't get any better than
that"
Komisarek has taken on a bigger offensive role for
the Wolverines this season. Currently ranked third on
the team with 14 points (six goals and eight assist§),
Komisarek has already scored two more goals than he
did all of last year and is two points away from tying his
total from the 2000-01 season.
Helminen, a freshman, played with the U.S. Under-
18 National team last year and currently leads all
Michigan freshmen with six goals this season. The cen-
ter has come on strong of late after a slow start.
"I'm looking forward to this opportunity," Helminen
said. "There are a lot of guys who work really hard to
earn a spot on this team, and it's an honor."
Said Berenson of Helminen: "Dwight has quietly
been a very consistent freshman from day one. He's
earned our trust as a penalty killer, is a good two-way
player, and puts the puck in the net when he gets the

chance."
Tryouts for the team were held this past summer in
Lake Placid, N.Y., and Team Finland was brought in to
compete against the U.S. players for one week.
"We had a week of tryouts and then a week of scrim-
mages against Finland," Komisarek said. "They made
some cuts there, and from that point on they just said
they would follow each player's progress with their
teams."
Training camp, which will be held at the Ice Cube in
Ann Arbor, will get underway on Dec. 16 and last for
three days. At that point, the team will leave for the
tournament, which begins on Dec. 25.
The two will miss the Great Lakes Invitational held at
the end of December at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, and
could possibly be out for Michigan's two-game series
against Notre Dame on Jan. 4 and 5.
Although its difficult for Michigan to cope without
some of its best players, Berenson feels that playing in
this tournament is a positive experience for his players.
"It makes you feel like you are playing in the Stanley
Cup Finals, only with kids your own age, and for your
country," Berenson said.

ALSSAWOOuDaily
Michigan's Mike Komisarek will try to make the U.S. team for a second time.

'M' swimmer perseveres, finally succeeds

Ashley's Restaurant & Pub
is currently
19 Hiring Cooks
for all shifts

By Courtney Liwis
Daily Sports Writer

Yes, there was pain. Rehab was
tough. And not contributing to the team
or meeting lofty expectations was frus-
trating. But for Michigan senior swim-
mer Jason Mallory, the worst part of his
roller-coaster comeback from a knee
injury was the waiting.
His knee had healed and he'd been
training hard, but the results just weren't
there. Doubts started to creep in.
"It's a really hard thing when you
look perfectly healthy and you feel per-
fectly healthy and no matter what you
do you can't go faster," Mallory said.
"After a while you start to doubt your-
self and think 'am I ever going to be the
same?"'
In January of 1999, Mallory was a
freshman aiming for the NCAA Cham-
pionships in the 400-yard individual
medley when his promising career was
put on hold.
He'd had a couple minor injuries to
his left knee, and during his warm-up
for the Penn State meet "it finally just
popped and gave way," Mallory said.
He swam that day but knew the rapid

Michigan win the Big Ten Champi-
onship in February of 2000, he failed to
qualify for NCAAs and the year ended
in disappointment.
A dual meet against Texas at Canham
Natatorium last fall looked to finally be
the turning point.
"I swam really well and was right
next to my best times," Mallory said.
"That kind of showed me I was back on
track."
But the vicious cycle of highs and
lows continued when he again missed
NCAAs.
"That was a very disappointing time
because the No. 1 goal is to win Big
Tens and the number two goal is to get
to NCAAs," Mallory said.
Both goals went unfulfilled, leaving
him frustrated but even more deter-
mined. A voracious work ethic kept him
going.
"I've always just had a drive to push
myself as hard as I can," Mallory said.
"I like the feeling of leaving practice
knowing I gave it as good an effort as I
could and there was nothing I could
have done to make myself better that
day."
Although he sometimes felt like he

So he just kept working, pushing for
team goals and leading by example.
The persistence finally paid off this
past weekend when Michigan traveled
to Austin, Texas for the Texas Invitation-
al. Mallory had his best weekend since
1999. He finished just outside of the top
10 in both the 200-and 400-yard indi-
vidual medley, and he swam an NCAA-
consideration time of 4:26.58 in the 500
freestyle.
Siciliano said he could see everything
coming together for Mallory in Austin.
After Mallory "slammed" him in pre-
lims, Siciliano thought to himself,
"Wow. He's back. He's back for good"

Mallory hopes that's the case and that
he can finally go where he feels he
should have been before - the NCAA
Championships. But his grueling come-
back has taught him that a collegiate
career is about more than just competi-
tion.
"Whether you win or lose a swim
meet isn't the most important thing,"
Mallory said. "But just the fact that you
go out and try hard and you give it all
that you can, that's what really matters.
"Things don't always come easy. You
have to work for stuff, and if there's
something you want, just keep working
and don't give up."

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