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January 16, 2003 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-16

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January 16, 2003


8A '

Is Shantee ready Orr not?


By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Writer

Michigan defensive end Shantee
Orr has declared himself eligible for
the 2003 NFL Draft.
Orr, a redshirt junior, is on pace to
graduate this spring with a degree in
movement science.
"He came to graduate and play foot-
ball," said Steven Fishman, Orr's attor-
ney. "And he's done both of those
If Orr does not sign with an agent,
he has the option to return to school for

his senior season.
Orr's last football season didn't pro-
duce a storybook ending to his career
as a Wolverine. The Detroit native hurt
his right knee in the Utah game Sept.
21, and did not play again until Oct. 19
against Purdue.
Orr came back to help the defensive
line in the second half of the season,
but he was not the same player as
before the injury. In 11 games, Orr
racked up 24 tackles and six sacks,
tying his career-high from the 2001
season. He was named to the All-Big
Ten Honorable Mention team this sea-

son by the coaches after making the
second team in 2001.
"He's doing what's best for him,"
Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson
said. "He'll do fine (in the NFL)."
Next year's Michigan defense will be
without six starters from this season's
unit. But Jackson isn't worried about
the defense without Orr and the five
seniors that will graduate with him.
"We'll be fine," Jackson said. "We
still got (juniors) Larry Stevens and
Alain Kashama."
Orr could not be reached for com-

Orr's decision to leave
should not bother fans





Blue defense clamps down
on dismal Buckeyes' attack

By Naweed Sikora
Daily Sports Editor
COLUMBUS - Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker's message is sim-
ple: success all begins with
Michigan M MICHIGAN 61
listened to
this mes- OHIO STATE 50
sage, and
played one of the best defensive
halves it has played this entire sea-
son, and probably in several sea-
sons. But most importantly, this
Blanchard 27 4-9 3-3 0-2 1 4 13
Robinson 30 4-7 4-4 1-6 1 3 12
Brown 21 2-2 1-3 1-5 2 2 5
Abram 34 3-6 0-0 2-4 2 2 8
Horton 40 4-15 6-6 0.1 5 3 17
Groninger 10 0-1 3-3 0-0 0 1 3
Hunter 28 0-2 1-2 1-4 0 1 1
Bailey 6 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 2
Harrell 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 18.43 18-215-23 1116 61
FG%: .419. FT%: 857. 3-point FG: 7-16_ 438 (Hor-
ton 3-8, Abram 2-3, Blanchard 2-4, Groninger -0-1).
Blocks: 2 (Blanchard, Hunter) Steals: 5 (Robinson
2, Abram, Horton, Hunter). Turnovers: 15 (Horton
6, Robinson 5, Abram 2, Brown, Hunter). Technical
fouls: none.
Ohio State (50)
Jenkins 38 4-11 4-4 4-10 0 3 12
Williams 24 4-5 0-0 1-2 0 4 8
Radinovic 10 1-1 2-2 0-2 0 4 4
Connolly 40 1-7 0-0 0-1 4 2 2
Darby 40 2-12 8-8 1-7 4 3 12
Jernigan 27 4-8 0-0 1-2 0 2 10
Marinchick 8 0-0 2-2 0-0 0 2 2
Sylvester 13 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Totals 200 16s45 1616 7.25 8 21 50
FG%: .356. FT%: 1.00. 3-point FG: 2-17 (Jernigan
2-6, Darby 0-6, Jernigan 0-5). Blocks: 2 (Sylvester.
Jenkins). Steals: 4 (Jernigan 2, Marinchick, Jenk-
ins). Turnovers: 17 (Darby 5, Jenkins 5, Radinovic
2, Williams 2, Connolly, Marinchick, Jernigan).
Technical fouls: none.
Michigan................... 29 32 - 61
Ohio State... ..............32 18- 50
At: Value City Arena, Columbus
Attendance: 16,085

effort came after one of the tough-
est halves of the year, in which
senior LaVell Blanchard was forced
to sit before any points had even
been scored because of foul trouble.
Michigan outscored Ohio State
16-4 in the final eight minutes of
the game, and allowed just one
field goal in that time. The Wolver-
ines displayed the kind of aggres-
siveness, tenacity and poise on
defense that they haven't shown in
years - especially away from
Crisler Arena.
With just under eight minutes to
play and the Wolverines trailing by
one, they buckled down. All of a
sudden, Michigan was making
stops and creating steals that it
could only manage to do in the first
half by fouling. It was a compete
Amaker said Michigan was able
to stay active, stay in front of peo-
ple and take advantage of Ohio
State's miscues, which is what most
good teams do to win.
"Tough teams win on the road,"
Amaker said. "After the first half,
we didn't hold our head down.
Instead, we went out and made a lot
of hustle plays, and that was the
difference in the game."
Hustle was the key for Michigan.
Daniel Horton chased down a loose
ball, kept it from going out of
bounds, then found an open spot
and hit a 3-pointer. Freshman Chris
Hunter's block on a 3-pointer by
Ohio State's Brent Darby ignited a
key fast break opportunity for the
Wolverines. It was a team effort for
Michigan, inside and outside.
The key matchup for the night
was Michigan junior Bernard
Robinson on Darby. Although

ome tragic events can make you
grow up quicker than you would
For attorney Steven Fishman, his
painful fast-forward into maturity
came while he was a sophomore bas-
ketball player at Michigan in 1967. In
the middle of one practice, he was told
that his father had passed away.
Fishman's grave personal loss
changed his life, but also helped him
bond with his client - Michigan red-
shirt junior defensive end Shantee Orr
- who also lost his father early in his
college years.
"When something like that occurs, it
forces manhood on you at an earlier
time than you could ever imagine,"
Fishman said.
Orr definitely understands how
quickly something important can be
taken away in an instant. And he appar-
ently doesn't want to take anything else
for granted.
Orr's decision this week to leave the
Wolverines and make himself eligible
for the 2003 NFL Draft may have sur-
prised many people.
But it shouldn't bother anyone.
Orr is expecting to graduate in April
with a degree in movement science.
He's not abandoning the Wolverines to
play in the minor leagues, nor is he
leaving the school empty-handed.
He's actually leaving Michigan in
plenty of good hands.
Orr may have been Michigan's sack
leader this year, but the Wolverines still
have the "Sack Master" in junior Alain
Kashama. Kashama showed flashes of
his potential in a couple of game-
changing plays at the Outback Bowl.
Along with Larry Stevens, Pierre
Woods and a very deep defensive line,
Kashama should help wreak havoc on
opposing quarterbacks - much like
Orr did during his better moments.
At his best, Orr showed brilliance
- his four sacks against Michigan
State two years ago and his constant
pressure on Rex Grossman in this
year's Outback Bowl. But other
times, Orr would disappear, leaving
fans wondering which Shantee will
show up - man or myth?
Continued from Page 1A
that LaVell Blanchard had picked up
two fouls in a 30-second span, sending
him to the bench after 1:30 of play.
Michigan's foul trouble would only
worsen from there, as its players picked
up seven fouls in eight minutes.
By the end of the half, four Michigan
starters had two fouls apiece. But the
Wolverines fought back by tightening
up on defense and taking what opportu-
nities they could get from Ohio State.
Michigan cut the lead to one just
before the intermission on a shot from
Graham Brown, but surrendered an
uncontested layup to Ohio State guard
Brent Darby to end the half, making it a
32-29 Buckeyes' lead at the break.
"We went with different options,"
Amaker said. "You go in with a game
plan and sometimes things go in a dif-
ferent way, and changing defenses gave
us the confidence that we could fight
through and make a game of it."
Darby, who was averaging 18.8
points per game, scalded the Wolverines
for 10 in the first half. Amaker elected
to use a series of switching defenses to

But We did spend four years at the
Universty, establishing himself as a
solid defensive lineman - he was
named to the All-Big Ten Honorable
Mention team this year - and will now
leave to potentially fulfill his lifelong
dream of playing in the NFL. Not to
mention he'll have a chance to help his
loved ones out financially.
"I think Shantee Orr, like most
young athletes, is concerned about the
economic future of his family," Fish-
man said.
Orr won't be a first-round pick - he
may not even be selected until the fifth
round or later. At 6-foot-1, 255 pounds,
Orr will likely be an undersized defen-
sive lineman if he's not moved to-line-
backer. But some team will pick up Orr
- a talented, relentless player with a
4.6 40-yard dash - on his pure athleti-
cism and potential.
At least Orr, who missed two games
this season with a knee injury, can now
go into the combine healthy next month
and take his chances. Even if he came
back to Michigan next fall, trying to
slightly improve his draft stock, it could
be even more of a risk.
That is, the risk of getting hurt.
Miami's Willis MaGahee's horrific knee
injury in the Fiesta Bowl - which
probably cost him $10 million and near-
ly cut his career short - was just one of
a string of unfortunate reinforcements
this season for Orr that he's playing
Russian roulette every time he takes the
He watched teammate and friend Zi-
Combs' career end in an accidental col-
lision with Ernest Shazor. He held his
breath as Cato June lied motionless for
several minutes just two weeks later.
"You're just a play away from disas-
ter," Fishman said.
Orr is just a few months away from
completing his degree and achieving
his dream of being handed a NFL jer-
sey on draft day.
And for Orr, that's one event that
probably can't happen quickly enough.
Joe Smith can be reached at
guard Darby, but primarily defended
him with junior Bernard Robinson in
hopes of wearing him down.
The strategy would work, as Michi-
gan held Darby to two points and three
assists in the second half.
"We wanted to keep him on his heels
instead of him keeping us on ours,"
Robinson said. "Force him to go one
way, or take a 3-point shot, make him
dribble a little and slow him down. In
the second half, we moved well and
made it difficult for him."
The Wolverines started the second
half as poorly as the first, giving up four
quick points and allowing the Buckeyes
to extend their halftime lead to seven.
But a 12-point run, highlighted by a
NBA range 3-pointer from Blanchard,
gave Michigan its first lead since the
opening minutes of the game.
Michigan had one of its best defen-
sive efforts in the post this season, often
forcing Ohio State's big men to kick the
ball out to a guard.
"We just had better positioning,"
freshman center Chris Hunter said. "We
weren't getting on guys' hips so that
they could set us up and force us to play
a little more up and down the line."


Michigan freshman center Graham Brown draws a critical charge against Ohio
State point guard Brent Darby in the second half.

Darby seemed to be having a rare
off-night, shooting just 2-of-12
from the field, Robinson's intense
defense played.a crucial role in
throwing Darby way out of his
"We wanted to put Robinson on
Darby because he is our best
perimeter defender," Amaker said.
Overall, the Wolverines held the
Buckeyes to 29 percent from the
floor in the second half and just 25
percent for the game.
As Amaker said, they played a

tough opponent, but tough teams
win on the road.
But how, and when, did this
Michigan team become tough
enough to beat the defending con-
ference champions away from
home and win its 10th consecutive
game? Where did this toughness
come from?
"It comes from within our-
selves," Michigan sophomore
Chuck Bailey said.
Hopefully, for the Wolverines,
there's more where that came from.

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