The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 8, 2004 - 5B
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"We think the world of their
program - their championship
- Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
on Michigan Tech
M Michigan Tech
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
With standout Josh Buettner
stepped in as leading scorer,
putting up 13 points.
Horton had a quiet, but complete,
showing against Michigan Tech,
with 13 points, seven assists
and six rebounds on the day.
It's just preseason
Michigan Tech (43)
Easy folks - it's only an exhibi-
But you wouldn't know it from
the way the sparse crowd at Crisler
Arena cheered yesterday. The 9,861
listed fans in attendance -although
there was nowhere near that amount
- were excited to see the return of
I know it's tempting, but don't
read too much into the numbers from
this win against Michigan Tech. The
numbers don't count - it's like it was
never played, really. So Michigan
didn't shoot 60 percent in the first half.
Daniel Horton didn't score 13 points,
drop seven dimes and grab six boards.
Courtney Sims didn't go 6-for-7 from.
the floor and block three shots. If you
ask the players, they were just happy
not to face another replay of the Maize
and Blue intrasquad.
"I was getting sick of playing
against players on our team," Sims
joked after the game yesterday.
But what you can take away is the
bigger picture on the upcoming season.
Specifically, how this year's team looks
much more confident before the season
officially tips off a week from today
against Binghamton. Now the team needs
to show it is worthy of the ridiculous lev-
els of hype surrounding it this year.
About 45 minutes before tipoff,
before most Maize Rage fans were in
the building, Brent Petway electrified
the crowd during the pregame warmup.
But this time, it wasn't from one of
his earth-shattering dunks. It was the
public debut of his rap single, in which
he mentions that Michigan is the most
underrated team in the country. (FYI
- it's definitely worth it to arrive early
just to listen to him rap about every
player on the team to the SportsCenter
But he makes a valid point - Mich-
igan flew under most of the national
radar last season, and this year is
shaping up to be a breakout year for
Tommy Amaker's club. Winning the
NIT helped raise the prominence of the
program at the end of last season, and
it looks to be carrying over to the start
of this season, as well.
Michigan is one of the teams in the
"others receiving votes" category of
the preseason coaches' poll (techni-
cally the No. 28 team in the country),
and it looks like the players are doing
their part. Horton looks like his game
is returning to the form that won him
the Big Ten Freshman of the Year
award two years ago. It appears he
has worked on cutting down on what
Amaker calls "silly" turnovers, while
still maintaining the ability to make
the difficult pass. Most importantly,
he has begun to feel the need to be one
of the leaders on this team, despite not
being named one of the tri-captains
In the frontcourt, Sims adding 25
pounds of muscle, and a hook shot
to his repertoire makes him a better
two-way player. Early in the game, it
was clear that the whole offense was
revolving around feeding Sims the
ball in the post, and he made the most
of it. Graham Brown kept doing all
the little things - like taking charges
and playing tough defense on Michi-
gan Tech's best player - that make
him the unsung hero of the team.
Add Petway's steadily improving
all-around game and a healthy Chris
Hunter and Michigan should have one
of the most formidable rotations of
forwards in the conference.
All that aside, there is still work to
be done. The one thing both Amaker
and the players mentioned as a problem
in this game was the inability to finish
shots. Countless times Michigan found
good looks on the floor but couldn't
bury the shot. Hunter was a perfect
example: He missed (or didn't miss)
all six of his shots from the floor, but
four out of those shots should have
gone down. In games against Illinois
or Michigan State, those easy missed
shots will be the difference between a
win and disappointment, and perhaps
the difference between the NCAA
Tourney and the NIT.
But the sky is the limit for this year's
team, and yesterday's game showcased
a team that has the talent, and, more
importantly, the confidence in itself to
make a serious run in the NCAA Tour-
nament this season.
Perhaps the most promising sign for
the upcoming season is that Amaker
has returned to the mock-tutrleneck
and jacket combination on the sidelines
yesterday, ditching the white polo
shirt. Way to keep it classy, Tommy.
Brian Schick can be reached at
M-A 0-T A
0-0 1-3 1
0-0 0-7 1
0-0 1-5 0
0-0 0-2 3
0-0 3-3 0
0-0 0-0 0
0-0 0-1 0
1-3 0-0 1
0-0 1-1 0
0-0 0-0 0
Totals 200 17-56 3-7 8-33 7 17 43
FG%: 30.4. FT%: .42.9. 3-point FG: 6-
24, .250 (Richardson 1-2, Buettner 0-3,
Marcotte 2-8, Makela 1-3, Wabiszewski
1-3. Korskey 1-2, Fors 1-3). Blocks: 0
Steals: 5 (Richardson 1, Marcotte 1,
Wabiszewski 3). Turnovers: 12 (Richard-
son 3, Marcotte 3 Buettner 2, Makela 2,
Wabiswewski). Technical fouls: None.
Junior forward Chris Hunter went 0-for-6 from the field, but he and the rest of the big men did their job on Michigan Tech's
National Preseason Player of the Year, Josh Buettner.
Defense stands tall;
By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer
It's always hard to forecast a team's
ability from just one exhibition game,
especially when that game is against
a Division II opponent like Michigan
Tech. Are the Wolverines really as
good as they looked in some areas, or
were the Huskies just that outmatched
in Michigan's 60-43 victory yesterday
at Crisler Arena?
Whatever the case, Michigan's
defense*still did its job in the opening
contest of the season, and the Wolver-
ines are probably capable of continu-
ing that trend.
"I thought our pressure - constant,
relentless pressure, which is something
that we're hoping to be able to sustain
as we continue to go into our season
- was a key for us," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said.
The numbers don't lie. The Wolverines
held the Huskies to 37 percent from the
field on just 17-of-56 shooting. Michigan
Tech is a team that relies on its outside
game, but it shot a dismal 6-of-24 from
beyond the three-point arc.
Maybe the most impressive stat
came from the defensive job on Michi-
gan Tech's Josh Buettner. The 6-foot-9
forward was selected as the National
Preseason Player of the Year for Divi-
sion II. He averaged 22.3 points and 6.6
rebounds per game last year in leading
the Huskies to the regional semifinals
of Division II's NCAA Tournament.
Yesterday, Buettner managed just
eight points on 3-for-16 shooting.
Junior forward Graham Brown, who
was matched up with the quicker
Buettner most of the game, can take
most of the credit for the lockdown.
"I have to be able to go out there and
guard their smaller forward or medium
forward," Brown said. "You have to be
able to go ourtthere and guard the guy
on the perimeter, and that's something
that I have to deal with."
Brown also got some help from his
fellow big men, who each had their
Senior center Courtney Sims had three
blocks, along with his team-high eight
rebounds. Sophomore forward Brent
Petway also had two emphatic swats by
way of his ridiculous vertical jump - on
the same possession, no less.
"We have a good group of big men
this year," junior forward Chris Hunter
said. "We're coming in with a lot of
For the moment, it looks as if the
Wolverines will be able to quell any
defensive doubts lingering from the
departure of Bernard Robinson, their
defensive stopper last year.
"I think we'll be just as good, if
not better than last year," Brown said.
"Everyday we try and improve and get
better and today we went out there and
played great defense pretty much the
But again, it's not like every aspect
of Michigan's play was perfect. For
starters, Amaker wasn't totally satis-
fied with his team's rebounding effort.
Michigan was outrebounded in the
first half. It didn't pull down an offen-
sive rebound until the second half and
finished the game with just four.
But given the level of competition,
Michigan still delivered as much as it
was expected to. It may just take a few
real games to figure out how much should
really be expected from this squad.
Totals 20023-50 9-15 4-34 14 13 60
FG%: .460. FT%: .600. 3-point FG: 5-
15 (Abram 2-4, Horton 3-7, Harris 0-3,
coleman 0-1). Blocks: 6 (Abram, Sims 3,
Petway 2). Steals: 4 (Brown, Horton, Har-
ris 2). Turnovers: 9 (Horton 3, Abram 2,
Petway 2, Sims). Technical fouls: none.
Michigan Tech......24 19 - 43
Michigan.....................33 27 - 60
At: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
Nov. 10 Wayne State
Nov. 15 Binghamton
Nov. 17 Second round (if advance)
Nov. 17 Sacramento State
Nov. 24 Semifinals
Nov. 26 Championship Game
Nov. 30 at Georgia Tech
Dec. 4 Notre Dame
Dec. 7 High Point
Dec. 11 South Florida
Dec. 14 Boston University
Dec. 18 at UCLA
Dec. 29 Delaware State
Dec. 31 North Carolina-Asheville
Jan. 5 at Iowa
Jan. 8 Fairfield
Jan. 12 Northwestern
Jan. 15 at Penn State
Jan. 19 at Indiana
Jan. 22 Wisconsin
Jan. 27 at Michigan State
Jan. 30 at Purdue
Feb. 2 Minnesota
Feb. 5 at Ohio State
Feb. 8 Illinois
Feb. 12 Michigan State
Feb. 16 at Wisconsin
Feb. 20 Indiana
Feb. 23 Penn State
Feb. 26 at Northwestern
Mar. 5 or 6 Iowa
Big Ten Tournament
Mar. 10 First Round
Mar. 11 Quarterfinals
Mar. 12 Semifinals
Mar. 13 Championship Game
Freshmen make Crisler debut
By Josh Holman and
Daily Sports Writers
With a little more than a minute and a half remaining
in yesterday's game, Ron Coleman hit a jumper from the
side, bringing the Wolverines' lead over
Michigan Tech to 14 points. The more
seasoned players, who were sitting on
the bench after helping Michigan secure
' that advantage, leapt out of their seats
and cheered wildly.
Why all the fuss over the seemingly
It was Coleman's first game wearing the Maize and
The freshman wing had some minutes earlier on in
the game, but it was not until the dwindling minutes of
the second half when he notched his first points in a
"I felt good out there," Coleman said. "We had a lot of
energy, and we put in a lot of effort. That helped me to play
better and feel more comfortable out there. It was a good
experience for me."
His 12 minutes on the floor gave him the chance to calm
his first-game butterflies.
"Before the game, I was a little bit nervous," Coleman
said. "Then when I got out there and got into the rhythm of
the game, it went away."
Freshman walk-on Alex Brzozowicz also received his
first chance to step onto the court as a Wolverine. He played
for the final 30 seconds yesterday.
CHANGING LANES: The court in Crisler Arena may not
have looked as clean and pure as it normally does during
yesterday's game between Michigan and Michigan Tech.
Fans may have been a little confused by the white tape
surrounding the free-throw lane and the three-point line.
The changes were part of an approved experimentation
by the NCAA. For any certified games played before Janu-
ary 1, 2005, lanes and three-point lines will sport the pro-
The three-point line has been moved out from its origi-
nal distance of 19-feet-9 to a new distance of 20-feet-6;
roughly the same distance used in international play.
The free-throw lane is now three feet wider, gaining one-
and-a-half feet on each side, making for a much more spa-
cious 15-square-foot area to roam.
In response to requests by coaches, an an arc has been
drawn underneath the basket to assist referees on charging
calls. The arc is two feet from the center of the hoop, and
any defensive player that plants his foot within the arc will
be called for blocking if he attempts to take a charge.
NOTES: Sophomore Amadou Ba did not dress in yester-
day's game due to a.knee injury. Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker expects Ba to be available for the season opener
next Monday against Binghamton ... Yesterday's atten-
dance, listed at 9,861, was actually calculated by the amount
of tickets sold to the game ... With the victory, Michigan
remains undefeated versus Upper Peninsula teams. It is 9-
0 against Northern Michigan, and now has two exhibition
victories over Michigan Tech.
Freshman Ron Coleman played his first game in a Michigan jersey yesterday.
Continued from page 1B
threat down low," Sims said.
While Sims performed well
in the scoring department, he
had zero defensive boards on
the game. The team's four total
offensive rebounds also left
something to be desired. Mich-
igan coach Tommy Amaker
attributed this low number to an'
early-season assumption that he
hopes will dissipate in upcom-
paredness for their games.
"One of the things we talked
about is that I think we need to get
into better game shape," Amaker
said. "That will be another stage
for us. You go from preseason to
practice, and we've had strength
and conditioning programs... so
you know we're in pretty good
condition. But then when we
started practicing, we had to
get in basketball shape. Now we
need to go from being in pretty
good practice shape to being in
. -- - - - --., L Tl,' ., ,.
Week 1 Preseason Poll
2. Wake Forest
3. North Carolina
4. Georgia Tech
8. Oklahoma State
10. Michigan State
14. Mississippi State
Last year's record:
TODAY COACHES POLL
11/19 vs. Vermont
11/15 vs. George Washington
11/19 at Santa Clara
11/19 vs. Alabama State
11/19 vs. Delaware state
11/11 vs. Northern Colorado
11/20 vs. Buffalo
11/19 vs. Northwestern State
11/20 vs. Coppin State
11/19 vs. Florida A&M
11/16 vs. San Diego
11/20 vs. Tennessee Martin
11/22 vs. Iowa
11/11 vs. Fairfield
11/19 vs. Texas State
144 I9 a ac. 1,tznn nf
The Wolverines will host Wayne State on Wednes-
day evening in thier second and last exhibition
game of the season. The Warriors will come into
Crisler Arena untested, but ended last season
with a loss to Southern Indiana in Division 1i's
Sweet 16. Michigan will look to improve its
offensive boards, as well as its "game shape" in
The following Monday, Binghamton will roll into
Ann Arbor for the first round of the Preseason NIT
Tournament. Although the Bearcats dropped their
first exhibition game against St. Rose, they have
a shot at redemption tonight, when they face
Sixteen teams will square off in the annual
preseason tournament. The semifinals and finals
will take place at Madison Square Garden in New
York City over Thanksgiving Break.
Thu-A ecnT NIT