10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 12, 2005
By Megan Kolodgy a force for Michigan thus far - he current-
Daily Sports Writer ly leads the Wolverines in rebounds and is
second on the team in blocks. But Amaker
Tonight, Courtney Sims may have the believes that Sims's formidable reputation,
toughest matchup of any Wolverine when as well as the absence of other dominant
Michigan (1-0 Big Ten, 10-5 overall) takes frontcourt players, has made him a target
on Northwestern. This trial comes at a time on other teams' scouting reports.
Deiley stands tall
for 'M' tumblers
when the 6-foot-l1 center is -
not quite living up to the inun-
dation of preseason hype that To
was part and parcel with his Mic
25-pound weight gain and his Nor
68 blocked shots that placed
him at the top of the Big Ten7
last year in that category. Cris
Sims must battle Wildcats ES
center Mike Thompson, a _
Duke transfer who Michigan
coach Tommy Amaker described as a "big,
strong post player who is highly regarded
and who was highly recruited."
And on the night of this considerable
task, Sims could be without his usual
frontcourt counterparts. Sophomore Brent
Petway and junior Chris Hunter both sus-
tained injuries in Saturday's game against
Fairfield and may not be able to take the
court this evening against Northwestern
(1-1, 8-6). With the health status of junior
captain Graham Brown still uncertain,
Sims could be the lone usual starter getting
knocked around in the paint.
This is not to say that Sims has not been
"I think what we have
to do with Courtney is that
he has to make quicker
decisions," Amaker said.
"I think he's taking too
much time on the post. We
have a saying around here
that sometimes you have
to make the shot before
you take the shot. He has
to have that kind of prepa-
ration as he's posting."
While Sims and Thompson match
muscles down low, sophomore Dion Har-
ris and junior Daniel Horton will split time
at point guard. Horton is still working his
way back into the lineup and, according to
Amaker, may return to his starting posi-
tion tonight. Horton is in no particular
hurry to be on the court at tipoff.
"If I start, I start," Horton said. "If I
don't, I'd feel fine coming off the bench.
Those guys have played well for over a
month without me being in the starting
lineup or playing at all."
Michigan will have to cope with North-
Sophomore Courtney Sims faces a tough matchup against Northwestern tonight.
western's Princeton-style offense, which is
an anomaly in the Big Ten. The Wildcats
beat Indiana last week but then suffered
quite a blow when they traveled to East Lan-
sing and were crushed by Michigan State.
The Wolverines will also have to deal
with junior forward Vuksic Vedran, who
averages 16.3 points per game.
The Big Ten has already proven to be
an evenly matched conference - Indiana
has beaten Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio
State have beaten previously No. 14 Iowa,
and, last night, Wisconsin toppled the Buck-
eyes. Only No. 1 Illinois and No. 15 Michi-
gan State have 2-0 conference records.
In a league where it is abundantly clear
that no win is a gimmie, the Wolverines must
operate under just one motto tonight in their
opening Big Ten game at Crisler Arena.
"That's one thing that we always strive
to do since I've been here is protect our
home court," Horton said. "We had one
disappointing loss at home this year, and
we're trying to make that the only one."
By Katie Niemeyer
Daily Sports Writer
At 5-foot-5, junior Jenny Deiley
is tall for a gymnast. But Deiley
uses her height, which is normally
construed as a disadvantage in her
sport, to accentuate her artistic per-
"She has such a flair for the dra-
matic," coach Beverly Plocki said.
"She's very beautiful to watch. I
think the artistry of her gymnastics
is one of her strengths. It's very cap-
tivating to watch her."
Deiley started her career as a Wol-
verine with a bang. As a freshman,
she made the NCAA All-America
first team in the all-around. After
setting a Michigan record for most
all-around scores of 39.000 or higher
(out of a possible 40) in a single sea-
son, Deiley suffered an ankle injury
"I'm very consistent, but one of my
weaknesses is that I get very frus-
trated," Deiley said. "Last year, over-
coming an injury was frustrating, but
it was a very good learning experi-
ence for me. I think I've completely
recovered, and I feel a lot stronger
coming in. I'm more confident and
ready for the season."
Deiley debuted at Michigan with
an incredible freshman campaign,
and, after two years at the college
level, she has learned the college
system and settled into a routine.
Deiley said her experience has added
to her calm approach to competition.
"I think that this season has even
more potential than her freshman
year because she has a great deal
more experience," Plocki said. "Her
maturity and her ability - the way
she approaches competition - will
be a great asset to her. She's very
levelheaded. She has a very calm
demeanor when she approaches com-
Along with experience comes
responsibility. Because of Deiley's
maturity and ability to consistently
perform well, Plocki will be looking
for her to step into a leadership role
for the younger gymnasts.
"I think I contribute most through
how I present myself," Deiley said.
"I always come calm and ready, and
I think that relaxes people with less
experience. I hope to lead by example
with my work ethic and how I come
prepared for things."
Like every gymnast, Deiley knows
what it's like to feel pain. Often
bothered by a sore ankle or tendon-
itis in her knees, she still competes
and practices every day and fights
through the pain.
"When she's not feeling good, she
can take a landing and it's like she's
going for an academy award," Plocki
said. "And then she'll shake it off
and three minutes later, she's back up
there doing another tumbling pass. I
know that when she's hurting, I know
she's really hurting. But she's always
able to walk into the corner, shake it
off and get back up there and do what
she knows she needs to do."
Because of her love for the dra-
matic, it's no surprise that Deiley's
favorite apparatus is the floor exer-
cise, where she can let the inner per-
former and dancer out.
"She's just a great, funny kid and
she's an absolute pleasure to coach
and be around," Plocki said. "I think
that this could be a great year for her.
She could accomplish an awful lot in
a lot of different areas."
After placing fourth in the all-
around against Nebraska this past
weekend, even with a fall on the
floor exercise, Deiley hopes that this
season will end with a good finish
at the NCAA Championships and a
team national title.
c WOMEN'S SWtMMdNGe
Richardson, team travel to train and recover
By Dan Ketchel
Daily Sports Writer
Not everyone can multitask like the Michigan
women's swimming team can. During the last week
of winter break, the Wolverines took on many dif-
ferent roles: They were athletes, competitors and,
most importantly, ambassadors.
Every year around this time, the team takes a trip
to somewhere tropical for about a week to concen-
trate entirely on getting into top shape for the final
grind of its season. This year, the Wolverines' annu-
al winter training trip took them to the island of St.
Lucia in the Caribbean. There they participated in
five days of rigorous training, swam in an exhibi-
tion meet against both Notre Dame and some St.
Lucia locals and managed to fit in about two days
Michigan swimming coach Jim Richardson plans
these types of trips every year with two main focuses
in mind: intense training and recovery. He loves the
idea of having his athletes give complete attention to
their conditioning and nothing else. When put into
this relaxing environment, they are able to eliminate
many stresses they face on an everyday basis dur-
ing the semester, including going to class and stay-
ing up late studying or writing papers. Richardson
also gets their undivided attention for a week and
can push them to work their hardest and get into the
best physical shape.
"We can do a lot of very focused work," Richard-
son said. "We are able to do some things technically
with people that they can apply without thinking
about this exam tomorrow or wherever else their
mind may be normally."
Richardson also emphasizes the team bonding
that is an important part of these trips. The athletes
travel together and spend a week away from home,
living very close to their teammates. They are
together constantly for the entire trip, which means
they see each other on a much more frequent basis
than during the semester. Richardson claims that
this sort of intimate and prolonged team exercise
gives the Wolverines their identity; it defines them
as a team and helps them operate as a team.
Richardson is most proud of the cultural impact
that his players had on the people of St. Lucia and
the lasting effects the people of St. Lucia had on his
"Our kids get to see a different place in the
world," Richardson said. "They see people from
different parts of the world who don't live the way
they live in some respects. It also gives those people
a glimpse of students at Michigan and what they're
about and what this institution is about."
The people of St. Lucia have a.swimming pro-
gram of their own that helps train native children
and teenagers to become more dominant swimmers.
Richardson hopes that a visit of this nature could
encourage some of these swimmers to be interested
in becoming future Wolverines.
This was Michigan's first time venturing down
to St. Lucia, where both Richardson and his swim-
mers marveled at the extensive swimming facility.
Mertha, a popular company that produces pools for
the U.S. Olympic trials, manufactured the impres-
sive pool where the Wolverines swam during the
week. The resources available in St. Lucia made it
a very attractive location for Michigan's swimming
program, but that was not the only incentive for this
At the exhibition meet in St. Lucia, the Wolver-
ines also got a sneak peak at the Notre Dame swim-
mers, and they hope it will help this weekend at the
Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend.
A calm demeanor and maturity makes
junior Jenny Delley a leader for Michigan.
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