November 30, 2004
Injuries give 'M'
walk-on a chance
Navarre, NFL B?
Only in America
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
Late in the second half of the men's
basketball game against Sacramento
State, the crowd heard the announcer
shout something that it had
yet to hear this season.
"Johhhhhn Andrewwws TON
for two!" Mich
"It was great being out No. 3 G
there in front of the crowd 71
with my friends," Andrews Alexande
lot of little things for us, and had to guard
some tough guys down low."
Although Andrews didn't exactly put
up numbers like Abram, he did his share
in New York. He grabbed three rebounds,
served up two assists and nabbed two
Andrews's game experi-
ence has increased expo-
nentially in the last two
weeks, but there is no
doubt that he is still work-
ing out the kinks. This was
most evident in Michigan's
loss to Arizona when, with
fewer than five minutes left
in regulation, Andrews fell
The Wolverines were up
by nine points when Michi-
gan coach Tommy Amaker
made the decision to give the sophomore
walk-on his first opportunity to hit the
hardwood during gametime this season.
"John Andrews was a spirited lift,
contributing the things that he was able
to do for our team," Amaker said of the
sophomore's performance against against
This, lively beginning led to great
things for this non-scholarship player.
With Junior Lester Abram on the bench
nursing a shoulder injury, Amaker has
had to improvise by cycling less expe-
rienced athletes into the game. In the
Preseason NIT Tournament last week,
Andrews has made the most of this
chance while spending a total of 28 min-
utes on the court within the hallowed
walls of Madison Square Garden.
"We had strong contributions from
John Andrews, Ron Coleman and Sher-
rod Harrell, who started," Amaker said
after Wednesday's game. "At the same
time, you can't really replace a Lester
(Abram) ... (and) you can't expect them
to come up and win the game. They did a
By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Writer
short on two relatively attainable layups.
Last season, the green Andrews spent
just 11 minutes total on the floor.
On Nov. 19 alone, he played for 12.
While in the game, Andrews scored
two points and grabbed two rebounds,
one on each end of the court. He also
notched the first assist and steal of his
While these kinds of numbers would
be mediocre for junior Daniel Horton
or sophomore Courtney Sims, it was a
break-out performance for Andrews. Of
course, those stats would have marked a
slow day for Andrews when he was a high
school senior at Orchard Lake St. Mary's
in West Bloomfield, when he averaged 17
points and eight rebounds per-game.
His game did have a few lowlights
- namely a missed free throw oppor-
tunity and one turnover, but they were
far overshadowed by his more positive
Amaker was also quite pleased with
Andrews and the other players who came
off the bench to not only hold on to, but
TOM MASO GOMEZ/Da
With junior Lester Abram nursing a shoulder injury, Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
has relied heavily on sophomore John Andrews in the last three games.
increase the margin between the Wolver-
ines and the Hornets.
His playing time was pared down
from 21 minutes versus Arizona to just
seven minutes when the Wolverines took
on Providence in the Preseason NIT's
consolation game on Friday, and he still
managed to hit a jumper from outside the
But the feeling of accomplishment was
evident in Andrews's game-weary, yet
energized expression after the Wolver-
ines's matchup against Sacramento State.
"It was fun," Andrews said. "It's the
first time I've played in a situation like
that in my whole career at (Michigan).
So by far, the word that comes to mind
ip against old conference foe
Goin' to Work
Dust off those old Michigan No.
16 jerseys - John Navarre is
back in town. As of yesterday,
Navarre is the starting quarterback for
the Arizona Cardinals, and that means
that - come Sunday, when the Cardi-
nals travel to Detroit - Navarre will be
running the show.
And the move was announced in what
may well go down as one of the most
overly dramatic, blown-out-of-propor-
tion press conferences in the history of
American sports. You can thank Arizona
coach Dennis Green for that.
It wasn't enough for Green to say
Navarre was starting. It wasn't enough to
say Navarre had been doing a nice job on
the scout team for the Cardinals, or that
it'd be nice to have him play in front of
his fans from Michigan.
Nope - instead Green unloaded a
rant that would've made every American
politician from Bush to Washington grin.
"Isn't that the American dream?"
Green said in a press conference yester-
day. "Isn't the American dream all about
opportunity? If one guy hasn't worked
out and another guy hasn't worked
out, why shouldn't the other guy get a
Well, Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! Johnny
Navarre is getting a start! Ask not what
the Cardinals can do for you, Johnny, ask
what you can do for the Cardinals!
Man, Navarre thought he knew what
pressure was when he played for Michi-
gan? Now, he's the poster child for every-
thing America has stood for since it was
founded in 1776. Now that's pressure.
But before Green unfurls a 40-foot
American flag and bursts into "I'm a
Yankee Doodle Dandy," let me be one of
the first to toss my congratulations out to
In all seriousness, the guy endured all
sorts of criticism in Ann Arbor - and
broke just about every Michigan pass-
ing record before concluding his career
with a Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose
Bowl. And along the way, while every-
one was watching to see if he would
screw up, Navarre actually turned into a
pretty good quarterback.
So hopefully, Navarre will be able to
show off his strong throwing arm and
the moxie he developed while playing at
Michigan. With his first game coming
against the porous Lions' defense, he'll
probably toss four or five touchdowns and
get another start next week.
And, if not, he can always be Green's
On the other end of the rabble-rous-
ing speech spectrum, Texas coach
Mack Brown also put forth his best
I'm-running-for-president" effort while
lobbying to get Texas in the BCS after
the Longhorns' win over Texas A&M
"If you've got a vote, vote for us,"
Brown said. "I'm asking you to do that,
and I'm asking everyone across the
nation. This team deserves to be in the
BCS. They deserve to go more than
some teams that are being talked about."
After that, I think he mumbled, "I'm
Mack Brown and I approve this mes-
sage," but I can't be sure.
Regardless, someone needs to tell
Brown to lock up his mouth and throw
away the key. First off, Texas didn't even
win its conference championship - beat
Oklahoma and then we can talk BCS.
And secondly, Brown didn't do the
Longhorns any favor by popping open
the bottle of whine. It's not as if voters
across the country were sitting at home
thinking, "Well, I was going to vote Cal-
ifornia ahead of Texas ... but since Mack
begged, let's put Texas in the national
The whole BCS system is based on
the combination of two human polls
and several computer rankings. In both
cases, there are inherent flaws in the
way things are run - like the fact that a
loss in September doesn't reflect nearly
as much as a loss in November to the
human polls. So as long as this is the
system, then some teams are going to go
It'd be better if they didn't have to
go home embarrassed by their coaches,
To head back to the sight of Navarre's
pending debut - Ford Field - for a
moment, the organizers of the Motor City
Bowl cannot be too thrilled that North-
western decided to head to the islands of
Hawaii for a 12th game this season.
That's because the Wildcats got shred-
ded by quarterback Timmy Chang to
fall to 6-6 on the year, making them
ineligible for a bowl. Combine that with
Michigan State's implosion at Penn State
on Nov. 20, and it means that the Big Ten
won't be able to fill its seven bowl tie-ins
Last year's Motor City Bowl had an
attendance of 51,286 - the largest in the
bowl's seven-year history. And the atten-
dance numbers have increased every
year since the game's inception. But
that streak is now in jeopardy, thanks to
The 2004 version of the Motor City
Bowl will now pit the MAC champion
(Toledo or Miami OH) against an at-
large team - likely Boston College or
Connecticut out of the Big East. The
Boston College-Toledo Motor City Bowl
in 2002 drew more than 45,000 fans, but
I'd be surprised if Boston College's fans
would be thrilled with a second trip to
Detroit in three years.
Landing the Big Ten as an affili-
ate was a huge boon for the Motor
City Bowl last year - it's the only
bowl game easily accessible for Big
Ten fans and their teams. But with
Northwestern's fall, it's going to be quite
a challenge for the Ford Field execu-
tives to continue building this game this
year. It's looking like a step back for the
Motor City Bowl.
Maybe they should get Dennis Green
to tell people it's their American duty to
come to the game.
Michigan women's basketball coach Cheryl
Burnett is no stranger to tonight's opponent.
In her 15 seasons coaching at Southwest Mis-
souri State, Burnett compiled a 23-14 record
against Drake. So despite the Bull-
dogs' 73-54 loss to Marquette on Fri-
day, Burnett knows they are not easy TON
"It's a team I'm very used to play-
ing in the Missouri Valley Conference 71
- it was always Southwest Missouri Crisle
State and Drake," Burnett said. "I
have great respect for their program,
their fans and their coaches."
The Wolverines (2-1) have to look no further
than last season's game at Drake to understand
After a 5-3 start to the season - including
a surprise appearance in the preseason WNIT
semifinals - the Wolverines suffered a 70-55
loss to the Bulldogs in the first meeting between
the two schools last December. Drake held Mich-
igan to just 20-for-60 shooting in the game.
While recording impressive victories over
Washington and UC-Santa Barbara in its last
two games has given Michigan a shot of confi-
dence, Burnett feels the memories of last year
will be enough to keep her team focused.
"I hope our three upperclassmen share in the
_thought that we definitely want to
perform better this time," Burnett
[GHT said. "Drake is certainly a team that
vs. Drake we did not play well against last
I.m. Burnett believes her undersized
Arena team must continue to assert itself
_defensively in order to beat the phys-
ical and disciplined Bulldogs, who
list four players at 6-foot-2 or taller compared to
just one for the Wolverines.
"We'll want to get out and pressure - we'll
always want to do that," Burnett said. "We want
to extend the floor as much as we can during the
course of the game, using different press looks.
Our defense is always going to be our staple of
In its three games this season, Michigan has
out-rebounded its bigger opponents 124-122,
including a 91-73 edge on the defensive glass.
And a big part of the Wolverines' defensive
success has been because of senior forward
Tabitha Pool, who was named Big Ten Player
of the Week yesterday. Pool is averaging 15.3
points and 10.3 rebounds per game, one of just
two players in the Big Ten averaging a double-
double. Her rebound average ranks second in
"Tabitha's leading, she's hitting the big shot,
she's guarding the best player, she's communi-
cating, she's rebounding - she's just doing it
all," Burnett said. "I can't say enough about her
being the cornerstone of this team."
In Michigan's past two games, Pool has shot an
efficient 12-for-20 from the field and five-for-12
from beyond the arc. Burnett hopes that her team
- which is shooting .449 - will be able to take
advantage of a Drake team that allows its oppo-
nents to shoot .510 from the field.
"We always change our strategy a bit depend-
ing on our opponent," Burnett said. "But we cer-
tainly will implement some of (our) scramble
Wider ice surface frustrates
By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEA POLIS - An Olympic-
sized ice sheet, 15 feet wider than a pro-
sized rink, usually opens up the game,
allows for more play
in the middle of the
ice and rewards strong O
skating and passing. oo
But this weekend,
the Michigan hock-
ey team - which
normally plays on a pro-sized rink
- struggled mightily to keep up with
Minnesota on the larger sheet of ice
featured in Mariucci Arena.
The Golden Gophers constantly found
themselves behind the Michigan defense
and in open space during their 5-1 win
over the Wolverines on Friday.
"I don't think we were ready to play on
this sheet of ice," junior forward Jeff Tam-
bellini said. "They just skated tonight. They
moved their feet, and we just weren't able
to keep up to them. By the end of shifts,
guys were dying off, and it just wasn't the
performance we were looking for."
The trip to Minneapolis marked the
first time this season that the Wolverines
played on Olympic-sized ice. Minnesota
coach Don Lucia said his team was hop-
ing to take advantage of the adjustment
that Michigan had to make.
"We talked about how there might
be some room underneath," Lucia said.
"They like to send two guys into the
neutral zone, and we thought maybe we
could get one in transition. But it's an
Michigan coach Red Berenson said
that he didn't want to use the larger ice as
an excuse, and he was quick to give all the
credit to the Gophers.
"They looked very effective on the ice
- whether it was going wide or hitting
the late man coming up," Berenson said.
"But we didn't look good without the
puck, and they were a much better team
with the puck than we were without it. So
our defensive game couldn't handle their
offensive game. When they had the puck,
we were in trouble."
SAVING GOALIE RUDEN: Junior backup
goalie Noah Ruden saw his first real
action of the season on Friday against
Minnesota. Ruden - who had played a
total of 18 seconds this season before Fri-
day - came in for the third period after
starting goalie Al Montoya gave up five
goals in the first two.
"It wasn't (Montoya)," Berenson said.
"The team wasn't giving him any help.
He was holding us in in the second peri-
od, and I thought it would be a good time
to get him out, give him a breather and
think about tomorrow night."
Ruden looked solid, making 10 saves
- including a couple of difficult ones
- and holding the Gophers scoreless for
the entire third period.
Minnesota actually didn't score for the
last 38 minutes of the game. After start-
ing with four goals in the first 13 minutes,
Montoya kept Minnesota scoreless for
the last 18 minutes of the second period
before sitting in favor of Ruden.
NOTES: Michigan's loss to Minnesota
marked its first road loss in the College
Hockey Showcase. The Wolverines were
previously 5-0-1 on the road and 3-0-0 in
Mariucci Arena ... Michigan's two losses
marked the second time that the Wolver-
ines have been swept in the Showcase.
The only other sweep was last year at
Yost Ice Arena.
Chris Burke can be reached at
John Navarre, who set many Michigan passing records during his tumultuous time
in Ann Arbor, will start for the Arizona Cardinals in Detroit on Sunday.
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