The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 14, 2005 - 5B
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"You can't lose players - no
matter what anybody thinks -
and be the same kind of team."
- Michigan State coach Tom
Izzo on the Wolverines.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Michigan State 64
Anderson scored six of Michigan
State's final 10 points. The senior
forward finished with 16 points on 7-for-
13 shooting and grabbed six boards.
Harris scored 22 points and con-
verted 4-of-6 3-point attempts. The
sophomore added three assists and
mirrors teams plight
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Editor
It appears as if freshman Ron Coleman has become
a "canary in the mine" of sorts for the Michigan men's
basketball team - the caliber of his game performances
have consistently coincided with the overall quality of the
Wolverines' play. In other words, the freshman's problems
appear to be indications of trouble for the entire team.
Coleman - who was expected to be little more than a
"role player" in most preseason publications - averaged
10.4 points per game in the Wolverines' stretch between
the preseason National Invitational Tournament and
Michigan's win at Penn State. Coleman contributed 12
points in that game, Michigan's most recent win.
Those were, comparatively, high times for Michigan.
By the end of that period, it was 3-0 in the Big Ten and
12-5 overall. Things were looking up, and Coleman was
on top of his game - his season scoring average hit its
peak at 7.4 points per game, and he was averaging about
three rebounds per game.
Since then, Coleman's scoring has exceeded his
7.4 average just once - when he put 10 away at
Michigan State. In the past five games, he has scored
four, seven, six, zero and seven points, which sets
his average for those games at a much lower 4.8
points per game. He could not manage to put up a
single point in Michigan's close loss to the Fighting
Illini last Tuesday. On Saturday, three of his seven
points came in the final seconds of the Wolverines'
14-point defeat at the hands of the Spartans, when
Michigan State knew it had clinched the victory and
its defense was less than stellar.
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker attributes Coleman's
recent struggles to the lack of experience that comes with
the territory of being a freshman.
"(Coleman) got one rebound in the minutes he played,"
Amaker said of the freshman's performance in 35 min-
utes on the floor in Saturday's game. "That's not very pro-
ductive,... But sometimes, (being a freshman), that can
Coleman himself is taking his midseason slump in
"Sometimes the shots aren't falling, or the game isn't
going my way," Coleman said. "I don't want to go out
there thinking that I've got to be a key player on this team.
I want to go out there to help out the team."
But since Michigan began its now-eight-game losing
streak, the freshman has been less and less helpful in
terms of offensive production. His rebounding average
has dropped to 2.6 from a season high of 3.0 at Iowa, and
his turnover average has jumped from 1.1 turnovers per
game to 1.4.
Despite these statistical slips, he remains a regular in
the starting lineup, having not missed a start since Mich-
igan's Dec. 7 win over High Point. And he now averages
26.4 minutes per game.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo commented on the
prevalence of the trials of being a go-to freshman and
being thrust into the spotlight early on.
"You look at a guy like Coleman," Izzo said. "Fresh-
men hit the wall this time of year. There's a kid who was
shooting the ball so well and hasn't been shooting so well
lately. That's all part of it."
The freshman's philosophy on his situation is a fairly
"I don't want to go out there and be a hog," Coleman
said. "If the game comes to me, then it comes to me."
Michigan State 64
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Ager 26 1-5 4-4 0-1 1 1 6
Anderson 31 7-13 2-2 3-6 1 1 16
Davis 31 5-7 0-0 2-6 1 2 10
Neitzel 15 0-1 0-0 0-1 2 3 0
Brown 26 7-8 0-0 1-3 2 2 14
Hill 25 4-10 0-0 0-1 3 2 11
Torbert 23 1-3 5-5 1-3 3 1 7
Trannon 9 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 3 0
Rowley 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Naymick 5 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 0
Bograkos 5 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0
Totals 200 25-4911-1111-28 1417 64
FG%: 51.0 FT%: 100 3-point FG: 3-14,
.214 (Hill 3-8, Anderson 0-1, Brown 0-
1, Neitzel 0-1, Torbert 0-1, Ager 0-2).
Blocks: 2 (Davis, Naymick). Steals:
7 (Brown 3, Ager 2, Davis, Trannon).
Turnovers: 12 (Davis 4, Ager 2, Torbert
2, Anderson, Bograkos, Brown, Neitzel).
Technical fouls: None.
0-T A F PTS
0-1 0 0 7
1-4 3 2 2
2-2 1 3 6
0-0 3 1 22
0-1 0 0 3
0-2 0 1 2
0-0 0 2 0
0-2 0 0 0
1-5 0 1 7
0-0 0 4 0
5-18 7 14 49
Freshman Ron Coleman has averaged 4.8 points per game during Michigan's past five contests. That
performance is down significantly from earlier in the season, when Michigan was winning.
FG%: 42.1 FT%: 83.3 3-point FG: 7-14,
50.0 (Harris 4-6, Coleman 1-2, Harrell
1-2, Petway 1-2, Hunterr0-1, Sims 0-1).
Blocks: 6 (Sims 2, Andrews, Coleman,
Hunter, Petway) Steals: 4 (Harris 3,
Wohl). Turnovers: 17 (Hunter 4, Coleman
2, Harris 2, Petway 2, Sims 2, Andrews,
Bell, Brown, Harrell, Wohl). Technical
Michigan State....30 34 - 64
Michigan ............20 29 - 49
At: Crisler Arena
ties school record
Guard Dion Harris has averaged 21.5 points per game the past two contests.
Continued from page 1B
After failing to score in double digits for a
three-game stretch last week - including a
zero-point night against Minnesota - Har-
ris has found his touch and has led Michigan
in scoring the past two games, both against
the solid defenses of top-25 teams.
"I feel really confident right now," Har-
ris said. "I feel that I play better when my
early shots start to fall. I just start to play
The loss is Michigan's fourth straight to
Continued from page 1B a Spai
Harris - who runs the offense watch
for a majority of the game - has switch
shown extreme discipline in keep- the sti
ing the game slow. He's resisted "C
the temptation to play up to the and w
speed of the Fighting Illini or the tem),"
Spartans, and it has made Michigan rell sa
more competitive. who w
But is there a difference between worke
disciplined follower and brainwashed day),
minion? At one point in the second Am
half on Saturday, Crisler Arena col- style,
lectively screamed at Harris to run gan's
a clear 3-on-1 fast break. After a consin
moment of recognition, Harris real- the ga
ized it might be OK to speed things Wolve
up, just this once. But by then, it was either.
tn late He nrnmntly turned the hall If M
Twelve of the last 13 matchups since
1998 have gone in favor of Michigan State.
Amaker's lone win against the Spartans
came in 2003 at Crisler Arena, where the
Wolverines won 60-58. Izzo maintains that
Amaker will help increase the prestige of
this rivalry and that it still can become one
of the best in the country.
"It's been a strange, strange rivalry the
last 10 years," Izzo said. "It's getting to
where we want it, and it still will get there.
Things have just happened over the past few
years (to keep the rivalry one-sided)."
By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Editor
Sherrod Harrell said his "worst nightmare is here."
Fire-breathing dragons are no match for tying a
Michigan basketball record for consecutive losses
in a season - now at eight games.
"It is definitely frustrating," Harrell said. "You
can't get to the point where just, you ... just give in,
stop your fight and give up. We can't go there."
During the Wolverines' losing streak, the team
has averaged just 53 points per game. Michigan
averaged 67 points per game before the skid.
"We didn't get much from a balance perspec-
tive or anyone else on the inside to help us, and we
couldn't expect (Dion Harris) to carry the entire
load for our team (on Saturday)," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said.
Michigan has scored over 60
points just once during the pastedO
eight games. It tried to slow the g0
tempo down considerably against
the Spartans, taking a majority of
its shots late in each possession.
"We go down and are wasting 25 seconds and
then we don't get anything," Harris said. "That's
deflating when you are trying to come back and you
are wasting time again."
NEON DION: Harris has accounted for 43 percent
of Michigan's points during the past two games.
"Without (Dion's scoring), we were really strug-
gling (on Saturday)," Amaker said. "Obviously, we
struggled, but it would have been at a higher degree.
For us, right now, he did all he could do from the
Harris notched 22 points on 6-for-I1 shooting
against the Spartans. He created most of his shots
off the dribble or off screens from teammates,
approaches the team worked on in practice.
Amaker said Harris contributes most when he
finds an early offensive rhythm. The sophomore
scored 12 of Michigan's 20 first-half points against
Forward Brent Petway said Harris's game
catches fire when Michigan is able to get him
easier looks like layups rather than forcing him
to self-ignite from the perimeter. But against the
Spartans, Harris converted on four 3-pointers,
knocked down a perimeter jumper and scored just
Week 13 (Feb 7. - Feb. 13)
2. North Carolina
4. Boston College
6. Wake Forest
10. Oklahoma State
-' 11. Washington
13. Michigan State
one basket in the paint.
MENTAL DUNKING: Seven of the Spartans' first
eight field goals in the game were either dunks or
layups, as were their final three possessions in the
"We are having a bunch of little mental break-
downs - beginning, middle and the end," Petway
said. "Give them a 3-pointer here and a dunk there.
And those are big plays."
When Michigan trailed by just eight following
the last media timeout, Amaker said the team had
to gamble if they were going to catch the Spartans.
"Sometimes when you gamble you leave some
openings," Amaker said. "If you don't steal it, you
hope that someone thinks that they are open, and
they shoot it quickly and, obviously, hope they
miss. Those are the cards you have to play at those
moments in the game."
The Spartans closed the game on a 10-3 run dur-
ing the final 2:41.
NOTEs: Freshman guard Alex Brzozowicz
sprained his right ankle during practice last
week and did not dress against the Spartans ...
Guard Daniel Horton's second pretrial hearing
on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge is
scheduled for today at 1:30 p.m. at the Washt-
enaw County Courthouse.
BIG TEN STANDING
Big Ten Overall
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS:
INDIANA 71, Minnesota 56
ILLINOIS 70, Wisconsin 59
Michigan State 64, MICHIGAN 49
OHIO STATE 66, Penn State 56
Iowa 64, NORTHWESTERN 54
Texas A&M Corpus Christi at Northwestern 7 p.m.
Indiana at Ohio State 7 p.m.
Minnesota at Michigan State 7 p.m.
Iowa at Purdue 8 p.m.
Illinois at Penn State 8 p.m.
Michigan at Wisconsin 9 p.m.
Michigan State at Purdue 12 p.m.
Penn State at Northwestern 1:30 p.m.
Ohio State at Minnesota 4 p.m.
Illinois at Iowa 11:15 p.m
Junior starter Sherrod Harrell played 16 minutes against
the Spartans on Saturday.
Indiana at Michigan
nderdog manual of creating
just wasn't applicable against
rtan team - and coach - that
ed Michigan make the offensive
h on film and was prepared for
oach is the leader of this squad,
e have to buy into (the sys-
junior tri-captain Sherrod Har-
id. "You can't have followers
won't follow the leader. And it
-d against Illinois. And (Satur-
we tried to do the same thing."
raker may tinker with his new
especially considering Michi-
opponent on Wednesday is Wis-
n, a team renowned for slowing
me down. But don't expect the
erines to speed it up anymore
Michiyan has truly accented the
AP TOP 25
beat Wisconsin, 70-59
beat Connecticut, 77-70
beat Colorado, 89-60
lost to Notre Dame, 68-65
beat Georgia, 60-51
beat Florida State, 87-48
lost to Maryland, 99-92
beat Villanova, 90-75
beat South Florida, 65-57
beat Texas A&M, 66-59
lost to Oregon State, 44-37
beat UCLA, 83-73
beat Michigan, 64-49
beat Loyola-Marymount, 61-58
beat Colorado State, 64-50
lost to Missouri, 68-65
beat Mississippi, 71-45
beat Notre Dame. 68-66
Points the Spartans converted
off of 17 Michigan turnovers,
most of them resulting in fast-
Wisconsin thumped the Wolverines 72-61 on Jan.
22 behind a 28-point, 15-rebound performance
from forward Mike Wilkinson. Alando Tucker
- who leads the Badgers with 14.9 points per
game - shot 0-for-9 against Michigan in the
first meeting If Mirhioan Intel in Wkronmin nn