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January 27, 2004 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-27

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Tuesday
January 27, 2004
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

9

Petway finds way
back into lineup

Kidds these days
what'll they do next?

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Editor
In Michigan's second game of the
season, an 84-49 rout of High Point,
freshman Brent Petway played 18 min-
utes, recording 12 points and seven
rebounds.
Over the next four contests, Petway
saw the court regularly, playing at least
17 minutes in all of those games.
Since then, the forward's game action
has dwindled significantly, to the point
where he didn't even play in the
Wolverines' loss at Michigan State on
Jan. 17.
But with the Wolverines stuck in a
three-game losing streak, and needing
some energy to get over the hump
against Penn State, Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker turned to Petway.
And the youngster responded.
After Penn State had trimmed a sec-
ond-half Michigan lead from 14 to
nine, Petway abruptly halted the run
with an emphatic alley-oop dunk.
Four minutes later, Petway flew to
the rim again, perfectly timed a miss by
teammate Bernard Robinson, and threw
down a one-handed putback slam.
"On the road, I'm probably my most
juiced up," Petway said. "I actually like
any kind of crowd - but if it's on the
road, I'm more energized."
Petway also grabbed a defensive
rebound, blocked two shots and forced
the Nittany Lions to rethink a number
of shot attempts in the lane.
"He was able to change and block
some shots," Amaker said. "I thought
the way Petway finished down the
stretch was critical for us. His 11 min-
utes were very valuable."
Petway's incredible leaping ability
means that he's always a threat to come
through with a show-stopping block or
dunk.
Case in point was the alley-oop
tossed by Daniel Horton to Petway on
Saturday, which effectively ended any
comeback hopes the Nittany Lions had.
"Coach drew that play up for me,"
Petway said. "It was basically a

momentum play, an impact play to get
us fired up."
Earlier in the week Petway had said
that, despite the lack of playing time
recently, he was able to avoid becoming
frustrated, realizing that his talents are
best utilized when the matchups are
favorable.
On Saturday, that was the case.
"(Amaker) has been telling him to
just be ready," Michigan sophomore
Lester Abram said. "And then today he
got in and had some pretty productive
minutes. That was pretty big for Brent."
Petway's improved play could prove
to be a huge boost for the Wolverines
during the conference season.
With the grind of the Big Ten often
testing a team's depth, Petway's contin-
ued contribution would simply make
the Wolverines that much deeper.
"We need each and every last one of
these guys," Robinson said. "Teams
can't focus on all of us, so it's important
to have everyone ready to play and pro-
ducing for us."
Petway also helped in shutting down
Penn State's leading scorer, Jan Jagla.
The Wolverines employed a defense-
by-committee attack on Jagla, using the
quickness of Petway, J.C. Mathis,
Robinson and Abram to defend against
the 7-foot center.
In the end, all of the efforts on both
ends of the floor allowed Petway to do
something he hasn't always been able to
do - enjoy a win that he had played a
big part in.
"It feels real good to contribute to a
big win," Petway said. "It was big to
have some momentum coming back to
take our home court back."
CRAWFORD DECMESK
Detroit Renaissance High School sen-
for Joe Crawford gave a verbal com-
mitment to Kentucky coach Tubby
Smith yesterday, theinsiders.com
reported late last night. Crawford, one
of the top guard prospects in the coin-
try, had previously committed to
Michigan last year, but then reopened
his recruitment this past summer.

KYLE O'NEILL
The Daily Janitor
From the pretty-pretty-princess
diary of Kyle O'Neill, pee-wee coach
extraordinaire.
January 27, 2004: You aren't going
to believe this. I was named head
coach of a District V Little League
team. Its mascot is the Mighty Ducks
- go figure - and we're sponsored
by the local Hooters restaurant ... talk
about boo-ya with a side of boo-ya.
Tryouts are in a couple of weeks. This
is gonna be awesome.
February 21, 2004: Well, the Hoot-
ers Mighty Ducks' roster is complete
and I've already been given a total of
175 free chicken wings. I'm so look-
ing forward to doing this. I mean, if
that Steve Bartman guy can coach,
I've gotta be able to do a decent job.
Besides, this district hasn't been to the
state playoffs in 34 years. There's no
pressure on me to produce a winner
that early.
I do think my team will be compet-
ing with the other top teams in the
league, though. This pitcher I picked
up is fantastic (he can swing the lum-
ber pretty well, too). He went 14-1
last year and had 12 homeruns. But
during the offseason, the little tyke -
his name is Mason Lidd - beat up
his girlfriend. This prompted his for-
mer team, the Keith Hafner Karate
School Wildcats to drop him from its
team. The surprising thing was that
Lidd was never punished more than
that. He did apologize, though, and
bought his girlfriend a brand-new
Prada bag. Kids are so cute these
days. Well, anyway, when Hafner
asked if anyone wanted him in the
fifth round of our draft, I had to say
yes. He's the best player, and a pitch-
er/clean-up hitter combo is like find-
ing the best point guard in the NBA.
March 17, 2004: What a great first
day of practice. My assistant coaches
are fantastic, too. Charlie Crenell and
Romeo Weis are their names, and
they're already getting so much out of
my team with their New England-
style of coaching. We might have
enough to really contend in this
league. Mason keeps giving me these
weird looks, though.
April 15, 2004: We had our first
game and we won 10-0. Other coaches
are really impressed with what I've
done. Most think I overwork these
guys, but I don't. I was a Little League
player once myself. I wasn't anything
special, but I got a few trophies out of
it. I know all these guys need is an
opportunity to have fun. Mason
pitched a complete game, but he's still
looking at me funny. He might have
given me the middle finger. His girl-
friend is now wearing a mink coat to
our games. These kids today.
May 28, 2004: We're in first after
the break! My assistants are getting
incredible props as well. I think they'll
be head coaches by the beginning of
next season. The newspaper even did a
story about Mason and how he's been

so good despite the rough offseason.
June 29, 2004: We won our dis-
trict, and we're going off to our
regional competition. Four wins and
it's off to states! Mason keeps mut-
tering stuff about player-coach under
his breath, but I don't think he's seri-
ous. Besides, I've got a clean past, I
don't think I could be fired. And he's
only in Little League two more years
after this season.
August 14, 2004: What a fantastic
run! We won states, and we were one
out away from getting out of the United
States Regional. Unfortunately the
umpire (bless him for working in 100-
degree heat on his day off from work)
miscalled a play at the plate. Mason slid
into home, knocking the ball out of the
catcher's glove. The ump still called
him out, though. He apologized to me
after he saw the tape. I accepted it, as
it's only a game and mistakes will be
made ... even big ones. After the game,
I thought my players' parents would be
waiting outside the dugout. But they
were all gathered around an old Dodge
with baseball bats. I think it was tradi-
tion to get an ugly car and pulverize it.
Weird that I never saw that umpire
again - he lent me his pen, went to the
bathroom and never came back.
September 6, 2004: I can't believe
it! The Pita Pit Blue Jays replaced
Rick Piston with Larry Auburn. I
mean, Auburn is a legend in this area,
but Piston turned that team of losers
into District VII's champion. He even
beat Auburn's team. It's weird, my
assistants are being turned down for
new coaching spots. District V has
decided to hire Teve Turrier - a for-
mer coach in the T-ball leagues - and
Moe Flibbs, a 98-year-old retired
coach from the 1960s. I mean, I'll be
happy that my assistants will return to
my side, but I felt they deserved a
chance and shouldn't have been turned
away because they had never been
head coaches at any level.
January 21, 2005: Well, I'm prepar-
ing for a new season. Lots of weird
rumors about Mason not wanting to
play for me anymore, but he doesn't
want to leave Hooters either. I mean,
they can't fire a state champ, can they?
May 20, 2005: I've been fired! Our
team is a respectable 9-5 and in third
place in the league. We'd be better, but
one of our players had to sit out this
season after he got a disease in his
stomach. Everyone liked him, and it
was tough to play without him. But as
we lost, Mason's parents kept pressur-
ing the District V manager, who is
thinking about making a change and
moving my team's sponsorship to
T.G.I. Friday's. Then, after we had
defeated Auburn's and Piston's new
teams - the best in the district - I
was fired.
June 28, 2005: Mason's girlfriend
will have her own television show at
her elementary school and wears real
diamond earrings, saying that true love
has conquered all the problems with
Mason from her past.
These Kidds today.
Kyle O'Neill wishes Jason Kidd the best
as the Nets will be ousted in thefJirst
round of the playoffs. He is already look-
ing forward to the Pacers-Pistons East-
ern Conference Final. Kyle can be
reached at kylero@umich.edu.

TONY DING/Daily
Michigan freshman Brent Petway slams home a Bernard Robinson miss against Penn
State. Of Petway's 19 field goals this season, 16 have come on dunks.

Dest brings more than just a game-winner

By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer
It's official: Michigan freshman defenseman
Jason Dest has gone on the offensive, and he has
done it in style.
Dest, a Fraser native, made his presence felt
with a game-winning goal against Western
Michigan on Friday. Following the goal, which
was the first of his collegiate career, Dest threw
his arms straight up into the air in celebration
and sported an ear-to-ear grin on his face.
"That was a huge goal," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said following Friday's 4-1 victory. "If
that's the only goal he gets all year, it could be
the one that gets us where we need to be."
Many people might look at Dest's goal and use
it to make the argument that the freshman has
finally started making an impact on the team.
But this type of perspective is wrong when
evaluating a defender.
"Defensemen can have a great game, and no
one can even notice them out there," Dest said.
"A defenseman can never touch the puck ... and
truth is, he played a hell of a game."
Such is the case with Michigan captain Andy

Burnes. The senior has been the most consistent
defender for the Wolverines in the past two sea-
sons, but has scored just 21 points, including
three goals, over his four-year career.
Burnes noted a defenseman's game should not
be judged by individual statistics, but rather by
the score when the clock reads zero.
"The scoreboard is the biggest indication of
how you're playing," Burnes said. "If you're
shutting the other team's top line down and
doing all the little things - like getting the puck
out and playing safe and giving your goaltender
a chance every night - it shows up on a score-
board."
The plus/minus statistic is one thing on a
score sheet that is helpful when evaluating a
defenseman.
Positive values indicate that the team has
scored more goals than it has given up when a
certain player has been on the ice, and negative
values indicate the opposite.
So far this season, Dest's plus-minus is the
highest on the team at plus-six. Burnes attributes
Dest's performance to one particular change that
the freshman has made.
"I think the biggest improvement he's made is

his confidence with the puck," Burnes said. "You
see him go back there, pick up the puck in the
corner, and he starts wheeling with it. He's got
his head up, and he's not afraid to carry it. He
gives himself a lot of options."
Junior Eric Werner, Dest's linemate, notes that
the chemistry between the two of them has
helped make them effective on the ice.
"(At first) we had some ups and downs, but
the last couple of games we've been playing real
good together," Werner said. "We're improving
every game."
Berenson's opinion is probably the best indica-
tor of how Dest has been doing, because he ulti-
mately decides who gets to play, and how much
they play.
Berenson reiterated Burnes' comments about
how Dest had improved from when he first
donned the maize and blue in September.
"He's a hard-working, focused player," Beren-
son said. "He's been more consistent, particular-
ly since the (winter) break.
"When he walks into the rink, he's not think-
ing about whether or not he's playing. He's
thinking about how much the team needs him to
play well."

'MV3'
JOSH HOLMA
ON WOMEN'S
Thursday's game agains
will mark the halfway poi
Ten season for the Michig
basketball team. The Wolv
Big Ten, 10-10 overall) ha
larly mowed through any1
schedule and yet their lon,
streak is just three games-
occurred entirely on the r
So now that first-year h
Cheryl Burnett finally has
as a Wolverine under her 1
this kind of .500 performa
ed with this corps of playe
To say that Michigan ur
its prior two seasons woul
understatement. Two year
Wolverines were picked t
conference's top three, but
a 6-10 conference record

needs some help,
version of the Wolverines probably in
AN would have folded. But Burnett's crew1
did not. pl
HOOPS Senior center Jennifer Smith scored 14 loa
of Michigan's 16 points in one span, set- no
st Ohio State ting up a jumper by junior Tabitha Pool ing
nt of the Big in the final minute that sealed the deal in sh
an women's a 63-60 win. be
verines (3-4 The comeback win in Madison is one
ve not particu- of many games this season that shows sc
part of their that what is working for Michigan is the lo
gest losing same thing holding them back - star wh
- a skid that power.I
oad. Without Smith, Pool and senior da
ead coach Stephanie Gandy, Michigan could very pl
some games well be 0-20 right now. The three have
belt, should scored 902 of Michigan's 1,226 points be
ince be expect- this year - almost 75 percent. For two ha
ers? straight games against Indiana and Penn in
nderachieved in State, they were the only Wolverines to1
d be a gross make a field goal. yo
s ago the Simply put, they are the most valuable toi
a finish in the three players on the team - the 'MV3.' of
t ended up with "We want to get a lot of opportunities l
and a first for four players," said Burnett, referring go

and fast
a 67-33 loss.
Freshman Kelly Helvey is one of those
ayers who has tried to ease the scoring
ad by firing up more shots than any
n-'MV3' Wolverine. But she's shoot-
g just 25.8 percent from the field and
e knows how dependent Michigan has
en on the trio.
"When Smith is not scoring, Tab's not
oring and Steph isn't scoring, no one
oks to do anything, and no one knows
hat to do," Helvey said.
The 'MV3' couldn't produce in Sun-
y's loss to Iowa either, when Smith
ayed only 20 minutes due to foul trouble.
"I talked to our players about not
ing in an offensive rhythm, and that
ad something to do with Jen not being
there," Burnett said.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, if
u don't have rhythm, no one is going
invite you to the Big Dance at the end
the year.
Even if the Wolverines are only as
ood as their top three players, it

THREE'S COMPANY IN SCORING
Rest of
team
26%
Pool
Jennifer Smith, Stephanie Gandy and Tabitha Pool combine
for nearly 75 percent of the Michigan women's basketball
team's total point production this season. The Wolverines
have struggled in games where one of their three top scorers
has had a poor game or has gotten into foul trouble.

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