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December 02, 2005 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-02

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December 2, 2005
sports. michigandaily.com



After Tuesda 's big victory
Cagers aim or road win

By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer

They're hoping that history won't
repeat itself.
In 2003, the Michigan men's basketball
team improved to 4-0 with a
defeat of NC State at home in the
ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Then,
the Wolverines went on the road. TO
and lost in embarrassing fashion;
at Vanderbilt 83-63.
Fast forward two years,
and Michigan faces.a similar
situation. Tuesday, the Wol-
verines defeated Miami in the
ACC/Big Ten Challenge rais-
ing their record to 4-0. Now
Michigan turns its attention to Notre
Dame in South Bend.
The contest looms as a critical game in
the Wolverines' young season. Building
on its emphatic defeat of Miami, Michi-
gan would enjoy nothing better than to
go down to South Bend and pick up an
important road win at the Joyce Center.
Last season, the Wolverines staved off
the visiting Fighting Irish, capturing a 61-
60 victory. Following the exciting victory,
Michigan rolled off eight wins in the next
10 games before entering the tumultuous
downward slide to end the season.
"We're playing a good Michigan
team," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey
said. "We're playing (basically) the same


team as last year. This group of (Michi-
gan) seniors wants to make a statement."
The Irish enter Saturday off a disheart-
ening loss to NC State in the John R.
Wooden Tradition, where they shot just
37 percent while committing 15 turn-
overs. Returning home,
Notre Dame will hope to
rebound against a Michi-
ORROW gan team that, this season,
finally has all of its weap-
ons available.
"Daniel Horton, Dion
Harris and Lester Abram
are a heck of a perimeter,"
Brey said. "They're big
and athletic."
The Wolverines will face
a similar Irish team from last year with
one key member missing - standout point
guard Chris Thomas who graduated. Now,
Notre Dame relies even more heavily on
guard Chris Quinn to lead the team as a
captain and scorer. The senior is averaging
a team-leading 14 points per game and acts
as a catalyst for the Irish offense.
In order to limit Quinn's ability to shoot
from deep, the Wolverines will have to
rely on the stifling perimeter defense that
held Miami's Guillermo Diaz to just six
first-half points.
Michigan will also look to continue
the dominance that it showed on the
offensive glass against Miami, doubling
the Hurricane total. Although the Irish

have a more formidable frontcourt with
senior Torin Francis - who is averaging
a double-double this season - Michi-
gan coach Tommy Amaker will look to
use his team's depth to counter Francis's
knack for cleaning up the glass.
Junior Courtney Sims and senior Gra-
ham Brown will look to build on their
strong showings on Tuesday night. In that
game, the duo combined for 17 rebounds,
including eight offensive boards.
The Wolverines have already proven
their ability to win on the road by defeat-
ing Boston University. But Michigan
played sluggishly at Boston and traveling
to South Bend will create a heightened
"We're going to have to go down there
and fight as hard as we can and try to get
a victory," Brown said.
NOTES: Saturday's contest will also
mark a reunion between former Duke
assistants Brey and Amaker. Brey and
Amaker served five years together on the
Blue Devils' bench. Amaker holds the
all-time edge with a 3-0 record against
Brey, but two of those wins came when
Amaker coached at Seton Hall. Though
the former associates dismiss the person-
al rivalry, they emphasize that the game
should be more than just about them.
"Tommy's a good friend," Brey said.
"Notre Dame vs. Michigan is more
important than Tommy Amaker vs. Mike

Courtney Sims and Michigan hope to repeat last year's victory over Notre Dame.

B erenson,
reunited a
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
The year was 1984. Harrison Ford was a whip-
wielding super hero Indiana Jones while Kenny
Loggins was tearing up the airwaves with "Foot-
But there is another reason that 1984 was so
special - coach Red Berenson coached his first
CCHA hockey game as the head coach of the
Michigan hockey team.
"It's as clear in my mind (today)," Berenson
said. "We started the game (against Miami) and
I couldn't believe it - it was an absolute war. I
couldn't believe the hockey - the high-sticking and
the cross-checking across the head. And I called
the league commissioner after the first period."
Now, 21 years later, Berenson and his third-
ranked Wolverines will return where it all began
- Goggin Arena, the home of the RedHawks.
This weekend's series will mark the last time
Berenson and the Wolverines will play in Goggin
Arena. Miami is playing their final season in the
old arena before it will move into the new Miami
Ice Arena next season.
"Goggin Arena is an exciting place, and we've
had some exciting games in there," Berenson said.
"I think it's time, and it'll be a great move for their
program and school to build a new building and
Michigan (5-1-1 CCHA, 9-3-1 overall) will play
No. 8 Miami (8-1-1, 9-2-1) this weekend in what
could be a preview of the Mason Cup champion-
ship in March.
Currently, Miami sits in first place in the con-
ference with 17 points while the Wolverines are in

Kaiser has throwers
ready for new season

By Bryan Hamilton
Daily Sports Writer

Like mentor, like student.
The relationship between a coach and
a player is often put in such terms. No
better example of this is the relationship
that is beginning for men's track and field
throwing coach David Kaiser and first-
year thrower Sean Pruitt. As Michigan
prepares for its 2005-06 season, Pruitt
will be just one of several talented fresh-
men transitioning into the program this
year - a transition that will be met by
a coach that went through a similar situ-
David Kaiser is by no means a "fresh-
man" of the coaching ranks, but he is
in just his second year as a member of
the Wolverines' coaching staff. Before
coming to Michigan, Kaiser was coach
at Big Ten rival Purdue for four seasons.
He also had prior coaching stints at East
Carolina, DePaul, Clemson, Wake Forest
and Kansas. With a breadth of experi-
ence at other schools, Kaiser knows how
to make a transition into a new program
while maintaining high expectations.
"I love the challenge," Kaiser said.
"When I came in last season, there was
already a lot of talent here, but I wasn't
sure what the expectations were. My goal
is to build the program up and help Mich-
igan win a Big Ten title."
In Kaiser's first season, he certainly
inherited some stars. Junior Brad Miller
and sophomore Michael Whitehead led
the way for Michigan field events. Both
Miller and Whitehead claimed top-seven
finishes at the Big Ten Championships in
their respective events last season. But
as this year's campaign gets under way,
Kaiser believes the talent pool is now
even deeper than before.

"Last year, we certainly had some
international level-type talent, especially
with runners like Nate Brannen," Kaiser
said. "But this season we are just better
across the board. With the class we have
coming in, we are a much more balanced
One new member of that balanced
team is Pruitt. As a high school throw-
er, Pruitt was a state champion and was
heavily recruited to several major uni-
versities. Yet, what finally made the
Wisconsin native decide to come to
Michigan was a talented and ambitious
coach in Kaiser.
"It's the perfect fit for me," Pruitt said.
"We have some of the best coaches in the
country here at Michigan, and I am really
looking forward to working with coach
Pruitt's high expectations for suc-
cess at the collegiate level - expecta-
tions that seemed to match his coach's
- might have been another factor that
led him to Ann Arbor. Despite the fact
that he is merely a freshman this season,
Pruitt's goals are set high.
"I expect to throw well this season,"
he said. "Maybe it's a lot to expect as a
freshman, but I don't hope to compete
in the Big Ten or at NCAAs - it's an
expectation that I have."
His coach certainly seems to agree. He
makes no bones about the fact that the
bar is set high for his freshman prodigy.
"I told him coming in that he is one of
the guys who are the future of Michigan
throwing," Kaiser said. "And that future
is now."
So just as the mentor came in last sea-
son looking to help make a name for the
Michigan throwing program, the stu-
dent arrives this year looking to be that

Andrew Ebbett had harsh words for his teammates after two disappointing losses in the College
Showcase. Ebbett and the Wolverines will look to bounce back against Miami (Ohio).

third - behind Ohio State - with 13 points. Both
teams come into the series after two completely
different Thanksgiving weekends. The RedHawks
are coming off a sweep of Bowling Green, outscor-
ing the Falcons 11-4. On the other hand, Michi-
gan is still feeling the sting of a College Hockey
Showcase sweep at home. The poor performance
prompted senior captain Andrew Ebbett to call out
his fellow teammates, and the team's performance
this week in practice indicates that the Wolverines
took his advice to heart.
"I think (the team) has responded well," Beren-

son said. "One of the reasons all these kids came
here is because they knew they would get a chance
to play. Now we need to play just a little better, and
I think they understand that."
One of the things the Wolverines worked on this
week was improving their power play, which had
been abysmal against then-No. 7 Minnesota and
then-No. 2 Wisconsin. Over last weekend, the team
went a combined 1-for-15.
Michigan will also have to improve its defense
by the blueliners and forwards.
See BERENSON, page 10


Wolverines searching

for solution to early problems

By Ian Robinson
Daily Sports Writer

Two teams enter tomorrow's contest at
Crisler Arena at 2 p.m. at a crossroads.
One team will leave hoping it has turned
the corner. The other team will leave wish-
ing it could turn the clock back two hours.
The Michigan women's
basketball team will host
Maine (2-2) tomorrow after-V
noon with both teams look- T01.
ing to end early-season "
losing streaks. f4.

55 overtime loss to Toledo.
In the past two games, Michigan has
struggled to convert against zone defenses,
going 5-for-38 from 3-point range. Michi-
gan coach Cheryl Burnett said she believes
that getting the post players more involved
will make the team less reliant on the 3-
point shot.
"We have some post (players)
that can really score, and some-
how we are not seeing them,"
Burnett said. "Getting the ball in
positions where they can break
Ft the zone down a little bit will

In Saturday's game, the Black Bears
trailed by two points with 1:43 remaining
but were outscored by the Big Green 9-4,
including a 7-0 margin at the free throw
After finishing 20-8 last season and
earning a berth in the WNIT, the Black
Bears were picked to finish second in the
America East Conference - behind unani-
mous first-place choice Hartford.
Following their last games, both Burnett
and Maine coach Ann McInerney said that
they needed to make adjustments for their
teams to get back on the winning track.

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