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January 17, 2003 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-17

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Frday
January 17, 2003
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

ibe £idRiguuSail

10

By N
Daily
Al
supr
seas
majo
ball
from
cone
row
On
Ten,
shout
the V
Valu

Can Michigan
bumpth
strealk t 1
aweed Sikora with it Wednesday night, but it won't
Sports Editor work every night.
"It was very difficult," said Blan-
fter putting forth its most chard of having to sit down so early.
eme defensive team effort of the "I don't know how much I played
on and coming away with another then, but the guys really stepped up in
r road win, the Michigan basket- my absence, and that really speaks for
team must swallow the emotion the family atmosphere we have -
1its 10th-straight victory and that I could go out with foul trouble
entrate on getting No. 11 tomor- and they can pick it up and do fine."
afternoon at Northwestern. Poise and self-control on defense
paper, Northwestern (0-3 Big should correct Michigan's first-half
8-6 overall) at Welsh Ryan Arena troubles. But the Wolverines must
Id be a much easier opponent for maintain the intensity that allowed
Wolverines than Ohio State at them to pull away from the Buckeyes
e City Arena. But this is still the late in the game.

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Writer

recent work ethic will carry over to the
games. But that is easier said than
done.
"There might be some people that
are struggling a little bit with their con-
fidence" Guevara said. "I've just tried

In an effort to take better care of the
ball, Michigan women's basketball
coach Sue Guevara has implemented a
new system in practice.
"We have a ball rack,
and we have 18 balls," for- CRISLr
ward Tabitha Pool said.
"Throughout the whole Who: Michig
practice, she throws away a Ten, 9-5 ove
ball every time we get a When:24)
turnover." Latest: Mic
When the team is out of cut down on
balls, it spends significant per game in
time running. play) agains
This new practice policy Big Ten chan
is a result of Michigan's
second mid-season collapse in a row.
The Wolverines opened the season by
winning eight of their first nine games,
but have since lost four of their last
five. During the slump, turnovers have
been a problem for the Wolverines,
who are averaging 23.7 per game over
their last three. Michigan will need to
take better care of the ball against Indi-
ana if it hopes to come out on top.
"We're never going to play a game
where we have no turnovers," Guevara
said. "But aggressive turnovers, I
understand. You're driving to the basket
and maybe it goes off your foot. Well,
okay, we can work on ball handling."
But Guevara believes her team is
committing too many sloppy turnovers
and not enough aggressive turnovers.
Overall, Guevara is happy with the
way her team has been practicing with
the new policy. She is hoping that the

ER ARENA
gan (0-3 Big
ral) vs. Indiana
M.
higan hopes to
nturnovers (22
conference
t the defending
mps.

Guevara taking cagers
to the rack for Indiana

to be very positive, and to
let this team know that I
have a lot of confidence
in each one of them. I
have faith that we can
pull it together and cut
down!on our mistakes."
Michigan will have an
opportunity to gain some
confidence and its first
win of the Big Ten season
when Indiana comes to
Crisler Arena on Sunday.

'#1

Big Ten, and it's still away
from home. In a game 10 0
sandwiched between a WELSH RY
statement win over the -
Buckeyes and competitive h: Michiga
home games against Min- western 0-3,
nesota and Michigan wen(0-3,
State next week, the Latest: TheW(
Wolverines' minds could are riding the
be wandering. of a 10-game
Both teams are head- streak after be
ing in complete opposite season 0-6.
directions as they pre-
pare to butt heads in Evanston tomor-
row. Michigan (3-0, 10-6) is still
flying high, with confidence at a pre-
mium. The Wolverines haven't been 3-
0 in the Big Ten since 1993-94, when
Michigan rattled off nine consecutive
conference victories. The last time the
Wolverines won 11 straight games
was 1992-93, when the team went 12
straight without losing.
So what must Michigan do to keep
the ball rolling and come back home
with the winning streak intact?
The first thing is to stay out of
foul trouble. This was the one area in
which the Wolverines got into trou-
ble in Columbus, and early on it
seemed that it was going tocost
them the win.
7Michigan can't afford to sit lead-
ing scorer LaVell Blanchard less
than two minutes into the game
because of foul trouble anymore. The
Wolverines managed to get away

YAN ARENA
n(3-0 Big
rall) at North-
8-6)
Nolverines
momentum
winning
eginning the

Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker's strategy of wip-
ing the slate clean after the
0-6 start has sparked an
incredible run, and he must
maintain his fire on the
bench to keep his players
motivated for tomorrow.
"I think Coach Amaker
has shown a lot of enthu-
siasm in practice and for
the team in the games,"
Blanchard said. "Every

RYAN WEINER/Dary
Michigan senior forward LaVell Blanchard goes to the hole. Blanchard has been
a key part of the Wolverines' current 10-game winning streak.
[Chumps to Champs?

"Winning helps everything," Gue-
vara said.
Indiana is 9-4 overall, including a 2-
1 record in Big Ten play. Last Sunday,
Indiana defeated Ohio State 54-50 in
Bloomington.
Another key for the Wolverines will
be center LeeAnn Bies, who has been
quiet recently. After averaging 14.2
points and 6.3 rebounds over the team's
first nine games, Bies has put up just
half the points and half the rebounds in
the team's last five.
Guevara believes Bies' struggles
have been due to a loss of intensity,
and she went so far as to not start her
last weekend in Purdue.
According to Guevara, she hoped
"to get Bies a little bit hungrier. To get
her a little bit more aggressive, calling
for the ball, wanting the ball, scoring
and rebounding."

aspect of the team and the family
atmosphere that has grown has been
important for us."
Nortwestern coach Bill Carmody
has a completely different situation
on his hands. He must figure out how
to dig the Wildcats out of their con-
ference slump before it's too late.
Freshman point guard T.J. Parker,
who is averaging 12.9 points per
game, has been one of the lone bright
spots for the Wildcats so far this sea-
son. Senior Winston Blake, who
played an instrumental role in North-
western's win over the Wolverines last
year at Crisler Arena, hasn't lived up
to his billing.
Bl ake is, averaging just under eight
points in 30 minutes of playing time
per game.
The last time these teams met, the
Wolverines soundly defeated the
Wildcats in the first round of the Big
Ten Tournament, 72-51.

Tony Kornheiser and
Michael Wilbon on
ESPN's Pardon The
Interruption predicted
10 straight wins will
propel Michigan to the
NCAA Tournament this
season. While the
streak may not magical-
ly lift the self-imposed
sanctions, it does give
fans reason to celebrate
the future at Crisler.
Record
Points-per-game
Opponents
points-per-game
Horton's game
like.
Amaker "virtues"
on display
Can brag about ...

Rutherford helped by
all-Athlete, high school

First 6 Games Last 10 games
0-6 10-0

63.5
76.3
Dirty diaper
Be Michigan
Temperature in the
Virgin Islands

75.4
62
Diaper Dandy
Passion, patience
Wins over Wisconsin
and Ohio State

Grapplers getting closer to full strength

By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan wrestling team is
closer to full strength than it's been
all year, and it couldn't come at a bet-

"It feels real good to be back with
the team," the fifth-year senior said.
"It was hard at first - I didn't even
know if I was going to be able to
come back. But now I'm healthy and
ready to go.

ter time.
When the ninth-
ranked Wolverines head
to Columbus this week-
end for the Cliff
Keen/NWCA National
Dual Meet Champi-
onships, Ryan Bertin,
Ryan Churella and
Mike Kulczycki will all
be back in action, giv-
ing the Wolverines their
full lineup for the first
time this season.

COLUMBUS
What: The National Dual
Team Championships
Who: Michigan (3-1) vs.
Boise State (2-1)
When: Tomorrow and Sun-
day
Latest: If Michigan
advances, it faces the
winner of Central Michigan
against Iowa.

"We're at about the
halfway point in the sea-
son and our real big
matches are coming up.
This weekend is going to
be a good test for us with
so many good teams
there."
Michigan opens the
tournament against No.
20 Boise State. One
matchup to watch will be
between No. 7 A.J. Grant

To do well at the National Duals,
Michigan will need a good weekend
from 133-pounder junior Foley
Dowd, who is having a great year
with a record of 18-1.
Every year, the top 16 teams are
invited to the National Duals, so the
field is always deep. Michigan will
be one of eight top-10 teams in
Columbus this weekend.
The field also includes a number
of familiar foes for Michigan - No.
2 Iowa, No. 3 Minnesota, No. 5 Ohio
State and No. 22 Michigan State.
Should the Wolverines prevail against
Boise State, they will likely face the
Hawkeyes in the second round.
With five Big Ten teams in the
tournament and the conference
schedule starting next week, Michi-
gan would like to use this weekend to
send a message to its rivals.
With wrestlers returning from
injury, Michigan coach Joe McFar-

Kulczycki, sidelined since October
with a knee injury, can hardly wait to
begin his final season in maize and
blue.

of Michigan and No. 4 Ben Vombaur
of Boise State at 125 pounds. Grant
is 17-4 for the Wolverines this year
and is one win shy of 100 for his
career.

land will also use the weekend to find
a lineup that works. Last year, Kul-
czycki and Bertin wrestled at 149 and
157 pounds, respectively, but this
year, they will split duties at 157 and
165 pounds.
McFarland hasn't decided yet
where the two will wrestle for the rest
of the season. Churella will wrestle at
149 pounds this weekend.
"I'm going to weigh in Kulczycki
and Bertin at 157, but we will be
moving both those guys around this
weekend," McFarland said. "I know
all three of them are excited to get out
there and wrestle. They've really been
itching to get back in the lineup."
Michigan has been inconsistent so
far this season, but now that the
Wolverines have their full roster
healthy, they hope they can generate
momentum this weekend to carry
them through what will be a demand-
ing conference season.
The season started with an impres-
sive win in the final match in
Lehigh's Grace Hall. In front of a
raucous crowd, Michigan took a com-
manding 23-0 lead and capped it
when No. 6 Kyle Smith upset then-
No. 1 Jon Trenge.
Since then, the Wolverines have
had their share of struggles, finishing
seventh at the Cliff Keen Invitational
and 10th at the Midlands Champi-
onships. Their last meet was a 19-13
loss to Central Michigan on Jan. 5.
But now the team is healthy and
rested.
"The team isn't at 100 percent as
yet, but we're right there," Kulczycki
said. "I think the team is going to be
more ready to go knowing that every-
one is back."

By Jake Rosenwasser
Daily Sports Writer
Imagine a high school made up
entirely of athletes. No Screech-like
characters anywhere in -sight. It's
tough to do.
For Leanne Rutherford of the
women's tennis team, this high school
was a reality. She
attended the NationalW
Sports School in Cal- VARSTY TE
gary, Alberta. The
establishment was set Who: Michigan
up for Canadian ath- ChicagoandDe
letes who train to 1hen:tomorro
achieve the finest per- 1..:toMcrrg
formance at the build on itsexc
Olympics, other major performance in
games and world cham- Michigan Invita
pionships.
"The classes and curriculum are just
like any other high school," Rutherford
said. "They just give you more flexi-
bility with your schedule so you can
travel and compete when you need to."
An average day for her was similar
to that of a normal high school stu-
dent athlete. After waking up, she
would go to classes until 1 or 2 p.m.
Then she would hit the courts to train,
condition and work on her strokes.
Sounds comparable to your average
high school, but there is at least one
big difference.
"Some of my friends are trying to get
into the Olympics," Rutherford said.
"It's been their goal for a long time."

dNS
on
;an t
,elle
las
tio

The school was-very accommodat-
ing to the diverse schedules of its
athletes.
"Kids who played other sports-
might train earlier and go to school
later," Rutherford"said. "Fo nie
though, it wasn't like that:'"
Rutherford followed in the foot-
steps of another family member. Her
brother attended the
National Sports School
CONTER two years before her. He
now plays tennis at Wis-
.Illinois- consin.
iau "He really liked it,"
ight and Rutherford said. "That
hopesto helped me to make the
ant decision to go. I really
st week's enjoyed it also."
nal. Last year, Rutherford
made an immediate impact
on the team. Playing primarily No. 4
singles, Rutherford compiled a record
of 18-15 in her initial season. In dou-
bles play, Rutherford teamed with
Michelle DaCosta to amass a 19-15
record primarily at No. 1 doubles.
This year, expectations are high for
the sophomore duo, as they are cur-
rently ranked eighth in the region.
The tandem will begin competi-
tion in dual matches against Illi-
nois-Chicago and DePaul this
weekend.
They are going in with momen-
tum from the Michigan Invitational
last weekend, where they both com-
piled a 3-0 record.

0

A

Women's
Tenn~is
Fri., Jan. 17
Michigan vs1.
Illnois-Chicago
68pm
$ix#, Jan. 1'
Michigan vs.
DePauI
1 P.M.
hen's Tennis

Women's
Basketball
Sun., Jan. 19
Michigan vs.
Indiana
2 p.m.
Crisler Arena
Featuring the
Mascot Basketball
Game at halftime!
Tickets are $4 for adults and
$2 for children & senior
citizens. U-M students
admitted FREE with a
valid ID.
To order tickets in advance,

Wo men's
Gymnastics
Fri., ,Jas. 17
#7 Michigan vs.
#12 Minnesota
7 p m.
Pick up your copy
of the 2003 Women's
Gymnastics Calendar!

Men's
Swimming &
Diving
Fri., Jan. 17
#1 Michigan vs.
Purdue
6 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 18
#1 Michigan vs.
Indiana
1 p.m.
Home meets at
Canham Natatorium
Admission is FREE!
Men's &
Women's
Track & Field

BRETT MOUNTAIN/Daily
Michigan sophomore Leanne Rutherford went to an all-athlete high school.

Sat., Jan. 18
Michigan vs.
Western Michigan
1Q a.m.
Sun., Jan. 19

Sa., Jan. 18
Michigan vs.
Oklahoma
7:30 p.,
Cheer on the Wolverines

Coed Service.

There's nothing we don't do.

ii U U

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
How to Protest
if you truly wish to prevent
war, then do protest. Demand
that Saddam Hussein disclose
the status of his wennons of

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