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January 20, 2005 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-20

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January 20, 2005
sports.michigandaily. com

UORe Sdigan atIg


Indiana still too
much for Blue

'11' still haunted
by familiar ghosts

By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON - Trailing by just
five with under two minutes remaining
in the game, the Wolverines were a pos-
session away from climbing back from a
10-point second-half deficit against the
Hoosiers. On the G I3
ensuing Indiana
possession, Indiana
guard Bracey Wright came off a ball
screen and launched a desperation 3-
pointer that clanged the front of the rim
as the shot clock hit zero.
But then Indiana freshman Robert
Vaden swooped in and tipped in the
Wright miss.
Poor backcourt performance, turn-
overs and undisciplined play in key
moments all contributed to Michigan's
62-53 loss last night at Assembly Hall.
"We can't become a good basket-
ball team if our guards play in a man-
ner they played (last night)," Michigan
coach Tommy Amaker said. "There is
no other way around it. It's not putting
(the weight) on their shoulders or (blam-
ing them). But we choose to use the word
'responsibility.' I think if our guards are
going to play the way they played and
turn the ball over, then we are not going
to be very effective, especially in the sec-
ond half."
Unlike the Michigan guards, Indiana
freshmen D.J.. White and Vaden did
deliver in the second half. During one
stretch, White scored 12 consecutive
points for the Hoosiers.

"(White) posts real hard and finishes
well around the basket," forward Gra-
ham Brown said. "That kid has a lot of
heart. He goes to the basket as hard as he
can, and you can't really teach that."
White finished with 16 points on 5-
of-8 shooting, but it was the clutch tip-
in by Vaden that sealed the win for the
"That was a big play for their team,"
Brown said. "That was the defining
moment for them. That was one thing
that kind of took the air out."
Vaden was left unguarded after soph-
omore Brent Petway - who played for
the first time since injuring his shoulder
on Jan. 8 against Fairfield - rushed
to defend against Wright's 3-point
attempt. That lapse in execution typified
a reoccurring theme for the Wolverines
throughout the game.
Horton said Michigan didn't value the
ball and rushed shots.
Brown said the Hoosiers just
played harder.
Freshman Ron Coleman said the Wol-
verines (3-1 Big Ten, 12-6 overall) didn't
handle Indiana's second-half press well.
"We struggled with the ball a lot on the
perimeter," Coleman said. "We couldn't
control the ball. We had a lot of key turn-
overs in the game that led to a lot of key
buckets for them."
The freshman also struggled to find
his shot, something Michigan had relied
on during its recent six-game winning
steak. Coleman scored just three points
and shot 1-for-8 from the field against the
Hoosiers (3-1, 8-7).

COURTESY OF ADAM YALE/Indiana Daily Student
After last night's 62-53 loss, Michigan has dropped eight straight In Assembly Hall.

"It was just one of those days when
your shots aren't falling," Coleman said.
"(The shots) all felt good. I was open
when I took them."
Riding 57 percent shooting in the first
half, the Wolverines took a 30-27 lead
into halftime but could not find an offen-
sive rhythm in the second frame, shoot-
ing just 7-for-28 from the field.
"Anytime you hold a team like that to
25 percent (shooting) in the second half,
it speaks volumes," Indiana coach Mike

Davis said.
But the difference-maker in the sec-
ond half proved to be Indiana's aggres-
siveness on offense and defense. Vaden
and White combined for 21 points, and
the Hoosiers made 26 of their 28 free-
throw attempts in the second half.
The Wolverines dropped their seventh
consecutive game to the Hoosiers. Their
last win against Indiana was a 70-64
decision on Jan. 9, 2001. Davis is 7-1 all-
time against Michigan.

Rohlfs improving at both ends of ice

Part Icon, Whole Man
point in the season, Michigan
coach Tommy Amaker might
do well to hire his team an exorcist.
After a 62-53 loss at the hands of
Indiana last night, the Wolverines
continued to be haunted by Assem-
bly Hall. Michigan has lost eight
straight games in Indiana's hallowed
arena, and its series performance
isn't all that impressive either.
This was the Hoosiers' seventh
straight win over the Wolverines
and their 10th victory in the last 11
meetings. Even Amaker had to give
in when asked if the Hoosiers had
Michigan's number.
"They've won seven in a row,"
Amaker said. "I guess they do."
But this demon is just one of the
problems Michigan might face now.
This loss - Michigan's first on the
road in conference play - has the
potential to spook the Wolverines
back to some of the old habits that
have haunted them in the past.
Last night's game was practically
a rehash of all the things that have
exasperated Michigan fans in sea-
sons past.
For example, the turnover mon-
ster reared its ugly head in full
force again.
Ever since Michigan squeaked out
a 65-63 win at Iowa on Jan. 5 - a
game in which it committed 25 turn-
overs - the Wolverines have slowly
cut down that number game by
game. At Penn State last Saturday,
the Wolverines had just eight turn-
overs, highlighted by junior Daniel
Horton's 10-assist, one-turnover
That was not the case last night,
when Michigan committed 21
unforced errors. There was a four-
minute stretch in the first half where
the Wolverines committed seven
turnovers and produced exactly zero
"The turnovers and the offensive
rebounds that we gave up tonight
have not been characteristic of the
way we've played lately," Horton
said. "We just have to focus on that
tomorrow in practice."
So how is a team supposed to
make up for so many turnovers?
Against Iowa, the Wolverines relied
on hot shooting in the first half and
bend-but-don't-break defense in the
second half.
Against the Hoosiers, Michigan
did neither of these things.
"We were impatient," Amaker
said. "I thought we turned (the ball)

over, and I thought we missed somei
shots. When you have all three of
those things wrapped up in there, it's
probably going to be a formula for
25-percent shooting (in the second
half), and that's what we shot."
While the Wolverines did manage
to go 12-for-21 from the field in the
first half, Indiana stuffed them in
the second half, holding Michigan
to just 25 percent from the field on
7-for-28 shooting.
Michigan reverted back to the
kind of offense that made people
cringe during last year's confer-
ence struggles. If the team finds
itself down, it abandons the low post
game, hands the ball off to Horton
or sophomore Dion Harris on the
perimeter and hopes one of them cat
strike gold.
Both members of the backcourt
tandem scored 11 points, but the
guards' play was far from heroic.
The lone hero on the floor of
Assembly Hall was Indiana fresh-
man D.J. White - a curious star
considering he was the only big man
Indiana could throw at Michigan's
seemingly superior frontcourt,
which was boosted by the return of
sophomore Brent Petway.
But instead of taking advantage
of Indiana's lack of size, it was
the Hoosiers who did the exploit-
ing. White's 12 second-half points
deflated the Wolverines and left
them shaking their heads.
With all the old basketball
demons haunting the Wolverines
once more, now comes the hard part:
finding a way to exorcise them.
Amaker called out his backcourt of
Horton and Harris after the game,
stating that Michigan could not
continue to win games if the guards
continue to play the way they did
last night. The last time Amaker did
that was after Michigan's 99-68 loss
to then-No. 4 Georgia Tech on Nov.
30. The duo responded with a qual-
ity game in a 61-60 win over then-
No. 19 Notre Dame five days later.
The best remedy for Michigan's
sudden woes may be to get healthy.
Horton is nowhere near 100 percent
after returning from his sprained
knee, and he was banged up again
last night. Michigan is also still
without junior forward Chris Hunter,
its third-leading scorer.
"Even this early after a loss, we
know what we did wrong," Horton
said. "That's a positive sign with
this team. I think if we come ready
to practice tomorrow - to focus
on that and get better - (we won't)
slide in the wrong direction."
When all those pieces do come
together, maybe Michigan can
finally shed the criticisms that have
haunted the teams that weren't quite
good enough for the NCAA Tourna-
ment in recent years.
Josh Holman can be reached at

By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Writer

Sophomore David Rohlfs isn't just a big bruiser,
just a strong skater or just a forward who can also play
defense. He's all of those things.
At 234 pounds, sophomore Rohlfs is the heaviest
player on the Michigan hockey team. And throughout
this season, the 2003 Edmonton Oilers draft pick has
tried to use his size to produce - something that the
coaching staff has continually stressed.
Last Saturday in Michigan's 5-2 win against Alaska-
Fairbanks, Rohlfs - who stands 6-foot-3 - used his
size to score what ended up being the game-winning
goal in the second period. He was parked in front of the
net when senior linemate Jason Ryznar passed up a shot
from below the right circle and fed Rohlfs, who had an
open shot. When he buried the puck, the Wolverines
went up 3-0. Alaska-Fairbanks coach Tavis MacMillan
said that Rohlfs's size is what made the play happen.
"We had a defenseman on him, and he didn't even
look like we were putting any pressure on him," Mac-
Millan said.
Michigan coach Red Berenson said that the Nanooks'
defenseman didn't try very hard and might have been
intimidated by Rohlfs's size.
"But that's something that you get with size,"
Berenson said. "He controlled that space and the
other guy didn't.
"That's the gift that he has. He's still a 19-year-old
kid inside. But on the outside, he's still a big-bodied
Gophers boas
By Jack Herman
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's basketball team returns fron
break tonight, and Janel McCarville will be there to welc
them back.
McCarville, Minnesota's accomplished senior center, stan
the Wolverines' way as the team looks to snap its eight-gam
ing streak against the Golden Gophers. Michigan
has had eight days to regroup but needs to come
out strong if it wants to compete with McCarville
and No. 12 Minnesota (4-1 Big Ten, 14-3 overall)
in Williams Arena tonight.
McCarville - a first-team All-American last
year - possesses a rare combination of both size
and athleticism. The 6-foot-2 McCarville leads
the Big Ten in both rebounds (10.3 per game)
and blocked shots (2.79 per game), and she ranks
among the top 15 in six other categories. McCar-
ville's 14.9 points per game make her the only player in the
ference averaging a double-double.
"I think she's very rare," Minnesota coach Pam Bo
said. "Even those kids that we're looking to recruit of
high school, there's not kids like Janel McCarville. I 1
she's one- of-a-kind."
Michigan (0-5,4-12) will most likely entrust freshman Ta
Walker with the task of covering McCarville. Walker perfo
admirably when trying to contain Ohio State center Lin
Davenport - a player with similar size and athletic abil
McCarville - in the Wolverines' 84-56 loss to the Buc
last week. But if the last game is any indication, and Mich
employs a collapsing defense on McCarville as it did a
Davenport, the Wolverines could be in some trouble. Daver
was able to find open shooters on the perimeter in last Tues
0 game, and McCarville - who averages 4.13 assists per g
----A-- ---h £r«.r I PT~ .2I ian

player. And he's a good skater for his size - he's an
exceptional skater for his size. He's not just a big player.
He's a big player who can skate."
Rohlfs has also been one of the more versatile
players on the team this season. At the Great Lakes
Invitational over winter break, Michigan was short
one defenseman. Sophomore Matt Hunwick was play-
ing with the U.S. national team at the World Juniors,
and senior Eric Werner was out with a knee injury.
Michigan was left with just five defensemen after
backup Reilly Olson filled in for Hunwick. To fill the
empty slot, Berenson looked to Rohlfs. The coach
approached the sophomore and asked him to fill in on
defense for the tournament. Rohlfs - who had spent
some time on defense when he first started playing
hockey - agreed.
"I obviously kept it simple," Rohlfs said. "I was
paired with (sophomore Jason) Dest pretty much, and
I felt I played pretty solid. I tried to minimize mis-
takes, just keep it simple and just keep the puck mov-
ing forward."
Rohlfs said that his time on defense during the
GLI has helped him improve his play in the defensive
zone. He explained that he has a better idea of whom
the defensemen may need help with. And when three
defensemen were whistled for penalties during a fight
on Friday night, Berenson went back to Rohlfs for the
last few minutes of the game.
"He gives us another option now," Berenson said
after Friday's game. "In a penalty-filled game, or when
a couple of guys are struggling or hurt or tired, we can

put Rohlfs back on defense. That's good. Right now, it
helps us."
But his big size has not always made things easier
for Rohlfs. Last week, after a particularly tough week-
end against Western Michigan, most of the icers got
Monday's practice off. But not Rohlfs. On Monday
afternoon, he was out on the ice with all of the play-
ers who were scratches from the weekend series. Rohlfs
said that he needed the extra practice because of less
ice time over the weekend. Berenson said that was only
part of the story.
"He's a young player, and he needs more work,"
Berenson said. "If he can't get as much ice time in the
games, then he needs to be on the ice in practice."
Ryznar, a big guy himself at 6-foot-4 and 211
pounds, realizes that big players often take more time
to develop.
"I think it's harder to stay in shape and get in shape
when you are bigger," Ryznar said. "A lot of bigger guys
are late bloomers."
Rohlfs's extra work has paid off. Early in the sea-
son, he had to compete for playing time with senior
forward Michael Woodford. Rohlfs wasn't on the ice
for Michigan's 1-0 overtime loss at Ferris State because
Berenson decided to sit Rohlfs in favor the senior. But
Rohlfs has gotten more ice time recently and has steadi-
ly improved.
"David is doing OK," Berenson said. "Again, he's
not a player you can measure with goals or points. He's
a player that has to play strong along the boards and
play physical."

multiple threats
etration to that," Burnett said. "It is very difficult to come up with
a game plan to shut one thing down because they can always
counter with something else."
s The Wolverines require more than just an improved defensive
effort against Minnesota. Michigan's offense has been stagnant
recently, shooting a combined 32.2 percent in the team's last two
i games. Walker - averaging 14.2 points per game - needs to
continue to solidify the team's presence in the offensive paint.
The Wolverines will also look to senior Tabitha
Pool to carry the spirit of her 16-point second half
f against Ohio State into Williams Arena tonight.
00 A renewed offensive effort will be no easy
undertaking against the Golden Gophers. Min-
nesota sports the third-best defense in the Big
f' Ten, allowing 52.5 point per game. The Golden
s AGophers showcased exactly what their defense can
do last Thursday against No. 24 Purdue, surren-
dering just 38 points to the Boilermakers.
Although it appears Michigan will have its
- hands full against Minnesota, Borton says her team is in no way
looking past the Wolverines.
i "I think what we expect is a very competitive Big Ten game,"
f Borton said. "Cheryl's always got her team out ready to play hard
: and to compete."


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