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April 12, 2002 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-12

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michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich. edu

FRIDAY
APRIL 12, 2002

10.

Eyes will be on the wideouts
at Blue's spring 'scrimmage'

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

Mercury Hayes. Tai Streets. Mar-
quise Walker.
All three former Michigan wide
receivers had
breakout seasons FOOTBALL
in their final year Notebook
in the maize and
blue, making
huge plays and key catches when the
Wolverines needed them the most.
But none of these split ends will be
running crisp routes in tomorrow's
spring "scrimmage" at the Big House,
and as a result, Michigan coach Lloyd
Carr will be keeping a close eye on
the development of his receiving
corps.
Carr said that new offensive coordi-
nator Terry Malone will cut down on
what he usually would do in terms of
gameplan because he doesn't want to
show everyone the new, and "signifi-

cantly" changed offense. But there's
no question. that Carr will be looking
to find a playmaking receiver who
can "do something with the ball."
The problem is that Michigan does-
n't return any proven wideouts from
last year. With Walker's departure, the
Wolverines lost his 86 catches, 1,143
yards and 11 of Michigan's 19 receiv-
ing touchdowns. No other receiver
stepped into a complementary role
with Walker last season, as Calvin
Bell, Ron Bellamy and Tyrece Butler
combined for just 39 catches and two
touchdowns.
But Carr said he's been impressed
with what he's seen this spring.
"I think our receivers have made
tremendous strides this spring," Carr
said. "Ronald Bellamy is much
improved, one of the fastest guys on
our team. He's got wonderful hands.
Braylon Edwards has also had a very
good spring. So, I'm very pleased
with where we are with our

Who's the man?
The graduation of Marquise Walker has left a big void at wide receiver, with
other wideouts like Tyrece Butler, Ron Bellamy and Calvin Bell left to pick
up the slack. Here's the skinny on the the likely candidates for breakout
seasons:
Ron Bellamy 6-foot, 199 pounds Senior WR
One of the fastest Wolverines, Bellamy is primed to follow in Walker's footsteps and
improve on his mere 14 catches and 252 yards last year.
Tyrece Butler 6-foot-3, 206 pounds Junior WR
Butler, has proven big-play ability, averaging 24.8 yards on his four catches last year.
But its the nitty-gritty, short yardage routes that Butler needs to get used to.
Calvin Bell 6-foot-1, 192 pounds Junior WR
Mostly known for his big plays on reverses, Bell scored four touchdown's last year, but
just one came in the air. Bell could make his mark by being a possession receiver.

receivers."
It was definitely an interesting
spring as far as position changes go,
as Jermaine Gonzales and Ernest Sha-
zor spent some time at wideout before
returning to their usual posts at quar-
terback and safety, respectively. Andy
Mignery, another quarterback, has
switched to tight end to work opposite
Bennie Joppru.
The Wolverines have notoriously
made good use of their tight ends, and
this year should be no different -
especially if none of the wideouts
steps into a lead role right away.
Joppru had 17 catches last season,
and along with tailback/fullback B.J.
Askew, he formed a secondary option
for quarterback John Navarre -
when he actually looked off his pri-
mary target in Walker.
"Bennie Joppru has had an out-
standing spring," Carr said. "He is a
guy who can get up the field. Bennie
has wonderful hands. In terms of get-
ting open, working linebackers,
defeating man coverage, if Bennie
can work on his strength,.he has the
talent to be a top-notch tight end."
WHO'S RUNNING THE SHOw? But
who will be the one connecting
with Joppru on those infamous roll-
out passes? Carr didn't say too

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Purdue sophomore Stuart Schweigert returned this John Navarre interception for 58 yards during last year's homecoming
game. Michigan senior receiver Ronald Bellamy hopes he does not have to run down as many cornerbacks this year.

much about the quarterback situa-
tion, calling the duel between
Navarre and Spencer Brinton a
"competition" instead of a contro-
versy. The usually stoic coach joked
when asked about using both quar-
terbacks this season.
"I know there is going to be one of
them in there," said Carr with a
chuckle. "That decision is going to be
predicated on what we feel is best for
that team. We play to win and that
will predicate the decisions that we
make there."
LINING up: No matter who's taking

the snaps, another key question for
the Wolverines will be how much pro-
tection can Michigan's inexperienced
offensive line give?
Carr said that left tackle Tony Pape
could be moved to the right tackle
spot to make room for impressive red-
shirt freshman Adam Stenavich.
"Adam Stenavich reminds me some
of (former Michigan tackle Jeff
Backus," Carr said. "He is going to be
a very good football player. I'm not
putting him in Backus' status yet ...
but I mean, he's playing some at left
tackle."

With Pape's fate yet to be decided,
Carr doesn't have ope offensive line
slot set. Matt Lentz, David Baas,
Courtney Morgan and former defen-
sive lineman Dave Pearson could
crack the starting lineup at guard,
with Pearson and Lentz possibly
anchoring the line at center.
"I think in the next two years we
are going to have a great offensive
line," Carr said. "At what point in
those next two years, it could be 24
months from now or 12, months, I
really like the makeup of this young
offensive line."

6

Tourney expansion
appears more likely
By Seth Klempner

Pitching duel may
await Young at home

0

By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Writer

Daily Sports Writer
The month of March may have even
more madness for college hockey fans.
On Tuesday, the- NCAA Division I
Management Council passed a proposal
to expand the NCAA Tournament from
a 12 to a 16-team format. The approval
is the largest hurdle in the effort to
expand the NCAA Tournament.
But before the proposal can be put
into affect, it needs to be passed by the
NCAA Board of Directors when they
meet on April 23.
Fortunately for the proposal, which
has been through the approval process
several times before but has never
reached this level of endorsement, the
Board of Directors typically agrees with
the Management Council and is likely
to approve the proposal.
"No question, I think (expansion)
will be an improvement," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "The other
side of it is that there will be no (first-
round) byes, which was one of the rea-
sons the coaches supported (the
proposed format)"

The expansion would add four more
teams to, the tournament and increase
the number of automatic bids from five
to six, meaning an addition of three at-
large bids to the existing seven. It would
also change the regional format by
adding two more regional sites with
four teams at each regional. The current
system allows for two six-team regional
sites with two teams advancing to the
Frozen Four from each region.
"I think there were some pretty good
teams that didn't make the tournament
this year and more at-large bids would
give them a chance," Berenson said.
"It is a must, and I think it is a long
time overdue."
The proposal went through the
process last year but fell short of
approval. Had it been in place, it is like-
ly that teams like Alaska-Fairbanks,
who had been on the bubble of making
the NCAA Tournament, would have
likely gotten an at-large bid.
The Nanooks finished the year with a
22-12-3 record and a No. 12 finish in
the pairwise rankings, which mimic the
NCAA selection process. Alaska-Fair-

Michigan coach Red Berenson looks forward to possible NCAA expansion.

U y Enjoy a night with an improvising orchestra on Saturday
c April 13th featuring:
The University of Michigan
Sound Painting Ensemble
Show starts at 8 p.m.
Admission iss$5,$3 for students, with proceeds benefiting
the Ann Arbor Hunger Coalition
Sunday evening Jazz Mass at 5 p.m.
Alternative worship featuring live music by Stephen Rush and Quartex

banks may not have made the tourna-
ment because Harvard, a team that like-
ly would not have received an at-large
bid, clinched the ECAC's automatic bid
by winning its conference tournament.
The CCHA, which had several other
teams on the bubble received just two
bids - one automatic and one at-large
-- despite having five teams in the top
15 in the nation.
Many coaches and administrators
feel the new format would give the
regionals more of a tournament field as
just one team advances to the Frozen
Four from each regional.
"As a coach, I'd like to go to four
regionals to have regional champi-
ons," NCAA Championship Commit-
tee member and Wayne State coach
ICOREKEEPERS
E~~~4 Pick ~~r6

Bill Wilkinson said at a town meeting
during the Frozen Four in St. Paul. "If
you win your region, you have some-
thing to hang your hat on. Now, if you
lose you go away with a negative feel-
ing, and not until later do you realize
what a great season you had."
The college hockey community has
been trying to expand its tournament
for several years now. This year's
tournament grossed a record $1 mil-
lion in profit, which is exceeded by
only the men's basketball tournament.
Such profit makes expansion feasible
on an economic level and easier for
the Board of Directors to accept.
"The Budget Committee hasn't
made it a priority and particularly
they haven't budgeted for (an expan-
sion)," Berenson said. "And even
though they are going to make money
on it, the Committee just looks at how
much it is going to cost them to run
another site."
If approved, it would be the first
expansion of the NCAA hockey tour-
nament since the field expanded from
eight to 12 in 1988.
Stayin' alive
Several teams in college hockey
could have benefited from the pro-
posed 16-team field if it was in
effect last season. Here are two
CCHA teams whose dreams were
deferred when tournament selection
day came around.
Northern Michigan
Rick Comley's Wildcats overcame the

Classic pitching duels don't %ap-
pen too often anymore.
But today at Alumni Field, one
will most certainly take place when
Michigan's Marissa
Young will face either
Minnesota's Piper ALUMP
Marten or Angie Recknor Who: No. 12
to 'determine which Big Ten, 29-7
pitcher most deserves to No. 25 Minni
be mentioned among the 13)
nation's elite. When: 4 p.m
When looking at sta- 2 p.m. Satur
tistics alone, Marten Lentphe\
and Young are nearly oftheBig Te
identical. ing staffs.
Young has an ERA of
1.03, has held opponents to a .149
batting average and has struck out
196 batters. Marten has an ERA of
0.97, second best in the Big Ten.
Only Penn State's Marisa Hanson,
who shut out the Wolverines earlier
this year, has a better ERA (0.96).
Marten has also held opposing bat-
ters to hitting a .159 average and has
recorded 201 strikeouts in. five more
mound appearances than Young.
But the edge may go to Young (16-
5) as she has an offense to back her
up. No. 12 Michigan (5-1 Big Ten,
29-7 overall) is in the Big Ten's top
offensive.tier, while the No. 25 Gold-
en Gophers (3-3, 26-13) are in the
cellar in every major offensive cate-
gory.
Revenge will also be on the
Wolverines' minds, as they lost to
Minnesota 7-0 at the Seminole Clas-
sic early last month. Michigan man-
aged just three hits against Recknor
as Young allowed six runs in just
three innings pitched.
"(We're) going to need to hit the
ball like we've been hitting," junior
Lisa Mack said. "The first time we
played Minnesota we didn't hit very

INI
M
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ieso
n.tc
da
Wo
m's

well. But this time, if we attack,
there will be some good games this
weekend."
The Wolverines. will also play the
Golden Gophers tomorrow, when
Minnesota will most likely send
whoever doesn't start today to take
on Michigan freshman
Nicole Motycka.
[FIELD Motycka saw the
lichigan (5-1 Gophers once, this year
verall) vs. and allowed just one run
ota (3-3, 26- in four innings of
action. She also had a
omorrow, solid outing in her last
vy appearance on Wednes-
verines and day against Central
best pitch- Michigan. The 13-game
winner gave up three
runs, mainly because
her defense wasn't able to get key
outs at critical times.
"The important thing for us will be
to play defense," Michigan coach
Carol Hutchins said. "We can't be
giving (Minnesota) bases. We can't
be giving them walks or bases, we
need to play defense. If we happen to
get runs, great. We need to be
aggressive at the plate and take our
cuts, but the most important thing is
to play defense. That's the key to the
series."
Michigan has had a lift from its
offense during the past four games,
averaging more than seven runs dur-
ing that stretch. But it is not likely
that the Wolverines will be able to
keep such a pace through this week-
end.
"You go into a game like this, and
you don't expect that kind of offen-
sive performance because Minnesota
has the best pitching staff in the
league," Hutchins said.
Michigan plays Minnesota at 3
p.m. today and 2 p.m. tomorrow and
will play Wisconsin (4-4, 21-13) on
Sunday in a doubleheader at noon.
All games are at Alumni Field.

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