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January 09, 2002 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-09

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be 1Miiiau aiIy
PORT

michigandaily.com/sports
sportsdesk@umich.edu

WEDNESDAY
JANUARY 9, 2001

9

i ~ n S ylqGoph ers height may cause troubles
Michigan must overcome rebounding woes and avoid fouls to stay on top

By Steve Jackson
Daily Sports Writer
A big game and an even bigger
opponent will be waiting for the
Michigan men's basketball team
tonight at 7 p.m. in Minneapolis.

ting a body on people and getting
the ball."
The Wolverines have been espe-
cially weak on the defensive glass,
and Minnesota senior Dusty
Rychart is among the nation's best
rebounders, posting more than three

Minnesota's top five
scorers are each at least
6-foot-7, and that size
advantage could shed a
bright light on some of
Michigan's shortcom-
ings this season.
The Wolverines (2-0
Big Ten, 6-5 overall)
have beaten just two
teams on the boards this
season, and those teams
(Oakland and IUPU-

MINNEAPOLIS
Who: Michigan (2-0 Big
M NEh:M ciTen, 6-5 overall) vs.
Minnesota (1-1, 8-5)
When: 8 p.m.
TV: ESPN+
Latest: The Gophers are
coming off an upset win at
home against then-No. 19
Michigan State.

offensive boards per
game.
In Saturday's 79-75
win over Purdue, the
Wolverines lost the bat-
tle on their own glass
18-17.
Minnesota (1-1, 8-5)
uses plenty of zone
defense, allowing its
talented 6-foot-10
freshman, Rick Rickert
(11.7 points, 5.2
1.5 blocks), to patrol the

victim to the "road curse."
"Road games expose weakness-
es," Minnesota coach Dan Monson
said. "It's easier to stay together and
fight adversity with 15,000 people
behind you."
Fortunately for its fans, Michigan
will enter the hostile territory of
Williams Arena with its highest
confidence level of the season.
"I'd like to think and hope that we
have some momentum," Amaker
said. "We're hoping that more than
momentum, we can sustain some

confidence."
No MOORE SCHOOL?: Rumors con-
tinue to swirl about the possibility
of Moore transferring to another
school.
The last time Moore spoke with
Amaker, he was leaning toward
staying at Michigan. Moore has not
registered or attended any classes
this semester.
"Josh has some things that he has
to do, in terms of meetings with
some deans and administrators,"
Amaker explained.

AP PHOTO
Jennifer Smith (left), Susana Jara (right) and the rest of the Michigan women's
basketball team spent an entire practice working on defense yesterday.
* Wo-men back to the
basics after 1-3 start

Fort Wayne) have seen just two
complete years of Division I com-
petition combined.
Michigan is currently last in the"
Big Ten in rebounding, averaging
32.8 boards per game.
"We just weren't doing a good job
of boxing out. They were getting
three and four shots at it. It's really
frustrating," senior center Chris
Young said. "It's as simple as put-
BIG TEN STANDINGS

rebounds,
lane.

By Jim Weber
Daily Sports Writer

After a 1-3 start to conference play,
Crisler Arena might need to add more
handicapped parking spots for its
women's basketball players as its
become apparent that both of the
team's Achilles' heels have been rup-
tured.
After reeling off a school-record 10
straight wins, both of its weaknesses
- turnovers and defense - have been
exposed during the Big Ten season.
Michigan now finds itself in ninth
place, looking for ways to stop a
downward spiral.
Two days after the Wolverines
allowed Wisconsin to score 89 points
and hit a school-record 11 3-pointers,
coach Sue Guevara spent the entire
two-and-a-half hours of practice work-
ing on defense. There were no new
defensive schemes, just the basics:
Boxing out, communicating, reacting
quickly to passes and defending shots.
"We aren't contesting the shot,"
Guevara said. "I can be a great shooter
if no one is going to play on me, keep
their hands down and stay two-arms
length away from me and I'm a horri-
ble shooter. I'm a passer."
The absence of Raina Goodlow, out
for the season with an infection, is a
large part of Michigan's defensive
problems. Without their second-lead-
ing shot-blocker from last season, cen-
ters LeeAnn Bies and Jennifer Smith
have been forced to play nearly the
entire game (they played a combined
71 minutes against Wisconsin). Gue-
vara plans to give them more breaks in
the future so they can have fresh legs
at the end of the game.
"I need to give (Katrina Mason) a
little more time early, and then maybe
give her a little more time in the sec-

ond half (to) make a substitution for
(Smith)," Guevara said.
Mason has earned the opportunity
to play. She hasn't turned the ball over
(11 turnovers all season) and she's
proved she can score, recording six
points against Notre Dame and 11
against Oakland.
Unlike the defense, Michigan's
turnovers aren't a new problem -
they've handicapped the Wolverines all
year. But it caught up with them against
top competition like Illinois, No. 14
Purdue and No. 9 Wisconsin. The
Wolverines average 19 turnovers a
game this year, six more than their
opponents, including 20 turnovers
against Wisconsin and 23 against Pur-
due.
The Wolverines like to push the ball
up the court but, surprisingly, that is
not where the turnovers come from.
"Our turnovers are happening in a
half-court," Guevara said. "So are we
going to slow down in transition? No.
We want to run. Actually, that is when
we are at our best."
She said the team must execute the
fundamentals: Communication, pass-
faking, moving to the ball and having
"target hands" to catch passes.
Guevara decided to move Ingram
back to shooting guard. Former walk-.
on Susana Jara will start at the point
on Thursday night against Ohio State.
Jara has scored just 31 points all sea-
son, but she doesn't turn the ball over
often. Also, Ingram has had some of
her best games with Jara at the point,
scoring 25 points against Syracuse on
Nov. 25.
Despite Michigan's 1-3 conference
record, it has history on its side. Gue-
vara has always exceeded expectations
during her six years at Michigan.
She's not likely to allow the pro-
gram to take a step backward this year.

Conference
Team W L
Ohio State 2 0
Indiana 2 0
Michigan 2 0
Illinois . 1 1 1
Iowa 1 1 1
Minnesota 1 1
Wisconsin 1 1
Northwestern 0 1
Michigan State 0 1
Purdue 0 2
Penn State 0 2

Overall
wL
10 2
9 5
6 5
12 3
12 4
8 5
8 7
8 4
9 5
8 8
4 9

If Michigan wants to start the Big
Ten season 2-0 on the road for the
first time since 1992-1993, it will
need to avoid foul trouble on its thin
front line and continue its strong
outside shooting.
During the Wolverines' first two
conference wins, just one player
picked up more than two fouls; the
team totaled just 20 in both games.
"Don't jinx us," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said after the Pur-
due win. "We are making it a point
of emphasis in our practices. That is
going to be a key for us throughout
this whole year."
After the academic suspension of
7-foot-2 center Josh Moore, Young
is the only Wolverine over 6-foot-7
that has seen significant playing
time this season.
But regardless of the opponent,
Michigan must shoot well to sur-
vive.
The Wolverines have shot 52.8
percent from the field in their victo-
ries and just 39.7 percent in their
losses.
Michigan's Dommanic Ingerson
could spread out Minnesota's zone.
Despite the freshman's propensity
for extra-long "Dom Bombs," he
still sits in second place in the con-
ference with a 3-point percentage of
55.8.
But the rims in the Big Ten have
not been kind to visitors. This sea-
son, the conference is 69-12 with
the home-court advantage.
This past Saturday, all five home
teams were victorious and all three
of the Big Ten's ranked teams fell

Saturday's results:
MICHIGAN 79, Purdue 75
INDIANA 61, Penn State 54
MINNESOTA 70, No. 25 Michigan State 67
OHIO STATE 72, No. 13 Iowa 62
WISCONSIN 72, No. 9 Illinois 66
Yesterday's game:
INDIANA 83, No. 25 Michigan State 65
Tonight's games:
Michigan AT MINNESOTA, 8 P.M.
Ohio State AT MASSACHUSETTS, 7 P.M.
No. 7 Illinois AT PURDUE, 8 P.M.
Wisconsin AT PENN STATE, 8 P.M.
Northwestern AT No. 9 IowA, 8 P.M.

BRENDAN O'DONNELL/Daily
Michigan junior guard Gavin Groninger and his teammates will need to shoot well
if they want to beat Minnesota and stay on top of the Big Ten standings.

Cardplaying, gag gifts help M'
swimmers gain team chemistry

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's swimming team took a
two-week trip to Arizona during winter break and
while the Wolverines held training camp and
faced two strong opponents, another important
purpose was building chemistry.
Swimmers compete individually, except in
relay events, but Michigan believes unity is still
valuable.
"We try to do a lot together as a team," fresh-
man Andrew Hurd said. "We try to be one."
Unlike last season, when Michigan spent most
of its time on the road, the Wolverines have been
away from home just one other time this year -
for the three-day Texas Invitational.
They dropped meets to Arizona and Arizona
State last Friday and Saturday, but deemed the
trip a success, largely because it gave them a
chance to grow closer.
"I loved this trip," Hurd said. "I got to know
everyone a lot better, and I think everyone got to
know me better."
Even with the intense training - Michigan did
10 workouts a week in Flagstaff's high altitude -

there was some time for the team to have fun
together. The Wolverines went on a couple day-
trips, including one to the Grand Canyon. But
mostly they stuck to activities that required little
or no energy.
"We spent a ton of time playing cards because
we were too tired to do anything else," senior cap-
tain Eric Wilson said.
Junior Justin Drake's family took on the daunt-
ing task of hosting Christmas dinner for the entire
team at its Phoenix home, where the Wolverines
hung stockings and exchanged gag gifts.
Hurd was lucky enough to receive a book about
fish and an inflatable swan.
Wilson said that the gathering made it easier to
be away from home for the Holidays because "the
swim team is your second family."
That strong relationship is also essential in
practice:
"Everyone else is counting on you to be there
and you're counting on them to be there," Wilson
said, adding that when he has tried to swim alone
during the summer, it was almost impossible to
stay motivated without teammates to push him.
The Wolverines encourage competition between
members of the team, but acknowledge that

Head first
After showing promise in his
freshman season,
sophomore,diver
Jason Coben is
taking advantage
of his last season
with the legendary
coach Dick Kimball
- who will retire at ,.
the end of the season
after 43 years as Cb
at Michigan. Jason Coben
BRENDAN o'DONNELL/Daily
Coben has dominated both the one-meter
and three-meter events in dual meets.
Last Saturday against Arizona was the first time he
finished out of the top two in either event all season.
knowing when to back off can be tricky - espe-
cially for guys who like to talk trash in workouts.
"When they're all talk and don't back it up,
then it gets a little annoying," Wilson said.
In the beginning of Wilson's career at Michi-
gan, some Wolverines crossed the line and con-
siderable conflict broke out, but he thinks this
year's squad has found the right combination of
competition and chemistry.
"I definitely think this year we're having a
much better time together," Wilson said. "This is
definitely a close team."

BRENDAN O'DONNELL/Daily
Michigan's Andy Hrovat has rebounded from a preseason loss to secure the No. 2
ranking in the country in his 184-pound weight class.
Hrovat's homecoming
. sweet in rout for Blue

I

By Eric Chan
Daily Sports Writer

Michigan traveled to Ohio this past
weekend to wrestle Cleveland State. It
may have been an away match for the
Wolverines, but it didn't seem that way
for senior 184-pounder Andy Hrovat.
A high school match between St.
Edwards and rival Walsh Jesuit was

uncles and other relatives, who haven't
really seen me wrestle too much, to
come out and watch."
Then, Hrovat gave his friends and
family something to cheer about, as he
dominated Cleveland State's Joe
Phillips en route to a 3-0 victory.
At the preseason Michigan State
Open, Hrovat suffered a crushing loss
to Ohio State's Blake Kaplan. Hrovat

I

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