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March 11, 2004 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-11

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March 11, 2004



Gu d play integral

Guard play integ
in Cagers' success

Unsatisfied Burnett
excited for 'M'future

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer

For Michigan to make a run at an
NCAA Tournament bid this weekend
in Indianapolis, many things must be
clicking for the Wolverines. And it
starts with the players who touch the
ball first.
It's no secret that Michigan's guard
play has not lived up to expectations
this season, as last year's Big Ten Fresh-
man of the Year Daniel Horton and for-
mer Michigan Mr. Basketball Dion
Harris have not thrived as much as
many predicted. Horton has seen both
his scoring average and shooting per-
centages drop, while Harris has failed
to emerge as a consistent threat as the
conference season has progressed.
Both players seem to spend a lot of
their time on the offensive end shoot-
ing beyond the 3-point arc instead of
* penetrating in order to create shots. For
a team with a free-flowing offensive
plan like Michigan, that's an even big-

ger problem.
But there's still a chance for Hor-
ton and Harris to help the Wolver-
ines accomplish what they had set
out to do this season. Both played up
to their potential on Saturday in
Michigan's win over Northwestern.
Horton, instead of settling for 3-
pointers, drove inside, scored 14
points and looked like the player he
was last season.
"I think I'm just going to go out
there and play like I've done the last
two games," Horton said. "(Against
Northwestern), I thought I was more
assertive - I went to the basket and
was just more aggressive."
After a season when Horton has
gone from being Big Ten Freshman of
the Year to not even being an All-Big
Ten honorable mention selection, Hor-
ton has started to change his role in
practice, attempting to take more con-
trol of the team.
"He's shown more leadership, not
for the guards, but for everybody," said

Dion Harris made the Big Ten All-Freshman team this week, and his play could be
vital to Michigan's chances at the Big Ten Tournament this weekend.

sophomore guard Ashtyn Bell, who
works with Horton and Harris in prac-
tice. "He tells the guys what to do
more often now."
While Michigan leads the confer-
ence in both steals and blocks, it will

have fewer chances to create scoring
opportunities through its defense as
tournament play tends to favor a half-
court game. So Horton's ability to cre-
ate will be paramount.
See GUARDS, Page 8A

Kelemen shoots for first NCAA appearance

Goin' to Work
heryl Burnett sighs when she's
asked if her first season as coach
of the Michigan women's basket-
ball team was a success.
It was a season that saw the Wolver-
ines double their Big Ten conference
win total from last year, set the single-
game attendance mark for the program
and upset then-No. 12 Minnesota.
For Burnett, that's not good enough.
"It's very easy," she said. "We didn't
make the NCAA Tournament, so I don't
think we've done what we need to do. I
will take total responsibility for that. I
believe our staff could've, should've
done something more or something dif-
ferent for us to have gotten there.
"So we're behind (expectations) -
we didn't make the tournament."
Burnett took over the Michigan pro-
gram after a tumultuous 2002-03 cam-
paign for the Wolverines that
culminated with the unpleasant resig-
nation of former coach Sue Guevara.
Expecting an NCAA Tournament
berth in her Michigan debut might
seem unreasonable, but it's exactly the
type of thinking that quietly makes
Burnett one of the best coaching hires
the Michigan athletic department has
made in recent memory.
At her former post, Southwest Mis-
souri State, Burnett made two appear-
ances in the NCAA Final Four and
another one in the Sweet 16, while
orchestrating 13 consecutive winning
And while that winning r6sum6 is
nice, what's more valuable to the
Wolverines is Burnett's passionate
belief that the same success can be
achieved in Ann Arbor.

"Everything that I thought Michigan
potentially could be, the answer is a
resounding yes,"Burnett said."This job
and the potential of this program is a
national-caliber program. It has every-
thing we will need to succeed."
The situation Burnett entered was
not all that dissimilar to the one men's
basketball coach Tommy Amaker was
hired into in 2001.
Minus the scandals and probations,
Burnett needed to not only stabilize a
struggling program, but also to teach the
Wolverines how to win again.
"I definitely believe there's a mindset
(involved in winning)," Burnett said. "I
definitely believe that a pride of tradi-
tion carries itself a long way. I just call it
the intangibles - how we compete,
how to win. Did we make tremendous
strides in those things? I think we made
astronomical strides."
Those intangibles are something that
Burnett is hoping will also rub off on
the Michigan fans. At Southwest Mis-
souri State, Burnett's teams often played
in front of packed arenas. At Michigan,
Burnett is faced with building a fan base
from the ground up.
If the record-setting crowd of 4,611
that showed up for the Wolverines game
against Michigan State on Feb. 12 is any
indication, Burnett's on the right path.
"That's really important to me and
our staff," Burnett said. "There's so
much more that we know we're going to
have in place that will impact attendance
incredibly in the future.
"I'll use the Ohio State game as an
example. We lost that game, but the
people that were here at that game
were giving us a standing ovation
when we left. Our style of play, people'
appreciate, because our kids are play-
ing their guts out."
. Present at that Ohio State loss on Jan;
29 were the Bluenatics (rhymes with
lunatics), the growing student section
that Burnett is confident will continue
backing the program in the future.
"It's something that I'm used to hav-
ing, but the students approached me
See BURKE, Page 84

By Anne Uble
Daily Sports Writer

Senior diver Tealin Kelemen has placed in the top
25 in every event in the last four Big Ten Champi-
onships. She's been named Big Ten Diver of the
Week five times. Two weeks ago, she provided the
point difference that sealed a 14th Big Ten title for
the women's swimming and diving team, placing
fourth in the platform event. But, Kelemen wants one
more thing before she ends her collegiate career. She
wants to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
"She's never qualified," Michigan diving coach
p Chris Bergere said. "So, that's the goal this year.
It's up to her to block out the pressure and concen-
trate on what she has control over, and that's her
diving. We're all pulling for her. She has clear shot
at making it."
This weekend at the NCAA Diving Zones, Kele-
men will get her final opportunity to qualify for the
NCAA Championships. Divers around the nation

will be sent to regional zones where they must fin-
ish within an allotted number given to their site.
Michigan will be competing at Indiana, and if Kele-
men places in the top 11, she will compete at the
championships next weekend in College Station,
"It's a little stressful, but it's mostly because I've
worked so hard this year," Kelemen said. "This
could be my last meet and if it's not, that's great. If
it is, then I just want to end my career having fun
and diving well."
While the meet will be bittersweet for Kelemen if
she doesn't qualify for the championships, Bergere
hopes to watch an athlete that he's coached since
middle school end her collegiate career in style.
Regardless, he knows he'll have a huge void to fill
on the team next year. The future of the team rests
primarily with freshman Ellen Van Cleve and junior
captain Alexis Goolik. Both will join Kelemen at
Indiana this weekend.
"Kelemen and Goolik have had experiences with

this meet," Bergere said. "But for Van Cleve, this
will be her first appearance. I think it will be a good
learning experience for her."
Van Cleve, who graduated from Pioneer High
School last year and was named 2002 Michigan
High School Diver of the Year, has become a inte-
gral part of the squad. She finished among the top
20 in the one-meter, three-meter and platform
events at the Big Ten Championships.
"She has a lot of potential," Bergere said. "Fresh-
man year is usually pretty difficult, because you're
just learning how to balance everything. Ellen is
getting adjusted and still working on technique."
Even if Bergere doesn't have any of his divers
qualify for the NCAA Championships, he whole-
heartedly believes that the season has been one of
most enjoyable and rewarding.
"This has been the best women's team I've
coached, no matter where I've been," Bergere said.
"They have gone beyond where they thought they
could go. It's been a dream season."

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