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September 02, 2003 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-02

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UESDAY

September2, 2003

13A

Knight-time for Richmond; defenseman puts 'M' career to sleep

By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer

For the fifth consecutive season, the
Michigan hockey team will be starting its
season without one of its key players.
Sophomore-to-be Danny Richmond
decided to play with the London Knights of
the Ontario Hockey League a few weeks
ago.
The move comes as a surprise because
Richmond had a sporadic freshman year.
An offensive defenseman, he struggled
with consistency, and by the end of the
year, he was making mistakes that were
expected to be corrected by that point in
the season.
One area that might have been a reason
for his departure was the battle that Rich-
mond would have faced for playing time
this season. Michigan's incoming freshman
class includes three defenseman, and there
are several other defensemen who have a lot
of experience. In spite of the competition
that surely would have taken place, Rich-
mond said that was not on his mind.

"I knew I was probably going to play a lot
again this year, and the incoming players
didn't really have anything to do with (the
decision to leave)," Richmond said. "I know
how I can play, and I think I would have fit
in pretty well this year, and even the coach-
es told me I would have had a good year
this year, but that didn't really come into my
mind at all."
Richmond also said that he left mainly
because he wanted to play more games
and get more experience than he did at
Michigan. The Knights will play 74 games
this season, compared to the 38 games
Michigan will play (not including the
postseason).
Richmond also noted that he was in no
way unhappy with his one year of experi-
ence at Michigan.
"It wasn't anything about Michigan that I
didn't like," Richmond said. "It was more
about an opportunity (with London) that I
thought that I needed to explore, and think I
it is a better situation for me."
Michigan assistant coach Billy Powers
was disappointed by Richmond's decision,

saying that Richmond "has thrown away a
great opportunity to graduate from the Uni-
versity of Michigan."
At the same time, Powers indicated that
Richmond's departure will not greatly affect
the team and has more impact on Rich-
mond's future than the future of Michigan
hockey. He said that Richmond has to do
what is in his own best interest, and that if it
means that the Wolverines are short one
defender, then that's the way it is.
Richmond can play two years in the OHL
before he will exceed the age limit and be
forced to take another path. His plan is then
to go on to the National Hockey League and
play for the Carolina Hurricanes, who draft-
ed him with the first pick in second round
of the NHL Entry Draft that took place in
June.
"(The Hurricanes staff) said that they
want me to get there as fast as I can ... so I
think they want me to be there, and if I'm
ready they'll take me there," Richmond
said.
This might be a bad move for Richmond.
See RICHMOND, Page 22A

TONY DING/Daily
Would-be sophomore Danny Richmond (7) won't be celebrating with goaltender Al Montoya
anymore. The defenseman left Michigan to play major-junior hockey for the London Knights.

MICHIGAN 45, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 7
jumpstart

Offense flourishes behind Perry

0.

By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
Chris Perry has heard all the doubters.
He's not durable enough. He fumbles too much. He
can't break big runs, and he's certainly no Anthony
Thomas.
But with the help of a determined and experienced
offensive line Saturday at the Big House, Perry took a
giant first step toward having a senior season to remem-
ber. He led the Wolverines to a 45-7 thumping of Central
Michigan, and in the process, silenced his critics, if only
for a moment.
Perry abused the Chippewas for 232 yards and two
touchdowns on 22 carries, giving him an average of 10.5
yards a pop. His dazzling performance setthe all-time
Michigan record for rushing yards in an :opening game,
and it was the first time since Thomas' performance in
the Wolverines' 35-31 win over Illinois in 2000 that a
Michigan runner hit the 200-yard mark in a single game.
"I think we had a great time running the ball because
our offensive line and receivers kept the holes open for
us all day long," Perry said. "I had no other option but to
... but defense str

run the ball through the holes they made."
The difference between Perry 2003 and Perry before?
Even when there wasn't a sign that read "The hole is
right here, Chris," Perry created room to run with
improved vision and patience. He broke eight runs of 10
yards or more, including gains of 63, 33 and 26 yards.
"He's our back," offensive tackle Tony Pape said.
"He's a major part of this offense. (Because of his suc-
cess), teams are going to try and respect the run and that
opens up the pass for John (Navarre)."
After a 92-yard touchdown drive brought the Chippe-
was to within 17-7 and sucked the life out of the Big
House to begin the third quarter, it was Perry and the
offensive line - which did not allow a sack or a lost
yard all game - that ended any hope of a Central come-
back.
The fifth-ranked Wolverines embarked on a seven-
play, 70-yard drive, highlighted by Perry hurdling two
Central Michigan defenders for an 11-yard gain. Perry
finished the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run, as he
darted through a huge hole up the middle and kicked it
outside to beat several Chippewas to the left pylon for a
See CHIPPEWAS, Page 18A
uggles to stop run

KYLE O'NEILL
The Daily Janitor
Faulting a defense when it gives
up just seven points usually
means an overcritical eye is
nitpicking over minute details that
mean absolutely nothing in the long
run.
In that case, paint me overcritical
and nitpicky.
On the surface, Michigan gave up
368 yards in a home opener that fea-
tured one team destined for great-

ness and the other for a mediocre
finish in the.Mid-American Confer-
ence. And for most who just read
the box score, it would be easy to
think that most of Central Michi-
gan's yards came when the Wolver-
ines' first-team defense was off the
field. In reality, the Chippewas
exploited some weaknesses in
Michigan's defense and possibly
uncovered some new ones.
Before I begin with the bad,
though, there were some good sur-
prises seen from the defensive half
of my pick to be national champ.
First, the secondary survived
without Marlin Jackson. I know it's
true that Central Michigan hardly
boasts the best passing offense in
the nation, but no big plays were
allowed. Coverage was so good that
anything over 20 yards was not even

attempted. So credit the Marlin-less
crew of Jeremy LeSueur, Markus
Curry, Jon Shaw, Willis Barringer
and Jacob Stewart for stepping up
and showing that there is life with-
out the preseason's Big Ten Defen-
sive Player of the Year.
And if that crew with Marlin can
keep plays of 20 or more yards
from happening, then it will make
my first gripe of the defense
futile.
Inside position was lost to Central
Michigan's receivers much too easi-
ly. And too many short passes were
completed on second or third down
to keep drives alive (eight times by
my count). While there are a number
of reasons why this could have hap-
pened - possibly zone or soft cov-
erage to prevent any deep balls - it
See O'NEILL, Page 16A

TONY DING/Daily
Senior running back Chris Perry hurdles two Central Michigan players on his way to an 11-yard gain in the third quarter
Saturday. Michigan scored a pivotal touchdown on that drive, taking a 24-7 lead and control of the game.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
After a year's vacation, Cheryl Burnett's dream has come true

By Megan Kolodgy
and Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writers
Judging by the appearance of the
office this summer, Michigan's
women's basketball team looked as if
it was without leadership. The shelves
were empty except for dust collected
over the summer. The desk and sitting
area were stark with few signs of use
- no magazines, playbooks or tro-
phies. Pictures from last year's team
lined the walls. Appearances, howev-
er, can be deceiving.
Chervl Burnett had long since

of the summer. Not on vacation, but
on recruiting trips and marketing
campaigns to promote the coming
season. In a two-week span, Burnett
and some of her coaching staff trav-
eled to Virginia Beach, Va., Indi-
anapolis, Koko Beach, Fla., Orlando,
Fla. and Washington, D.C.
Burnett was hired last April after
former head coach Sue Guevara
resigned following a less-than-pristine
2002-03 season (3-13 in the Big Ten,
13-16 overall) that included friction
between her and some of her players.
Burnett comes to Ann Arbor with
an impressive resume - she is for-

Missouri State in 2001, and was hired
at Michigan in the Spring of 2003 The
Michigan Daily sat down wyith the
new coach to discuss her year off and
her plans to get the Michigan program
back to the top of the Big Ten.
The Michigan Daily: You
resigned as coach at Southwest Mis-
souri State in 2001, and it took you
over a year to find a job.
Cheryl Burnett: That was my plan
actually. When I resigned, the perfect
scenario was: Have one year out, and
then hopefully my resume was good
enough to get a wonderful job - and

coached for 21 years on the fast
track in Division I. (During the
break) I did a lot of basketball stuff,
but different kinds. I went and
watched a lot of men's practices -
(former Kansas men's head coach)
Roy Williams being one of them. I
went to the lake and spent time with
family. A perfect scenario.
TMD: Why did you decide to move
on from Southwest Missouri State?
CB: I think at some point you take
a program as far as it's going to go,
and I did, and I was so emotionally
tied there. I'd been there for 18 years,
loved it, loved the people that built the

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