The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 12, 2005 - 5B
MICHIGAN 68 - SOUTH FLORIDA 47
Freshman duo gains quality minutes late
By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Writer
TAMPA, Fla. - At times it was pretty; at
others it was ugly. But one thing was evident
on Saturday afternoon at the Sun Dome: The
young players for Michigan are getting closer
to finding their niche on the team.
For freshmen Jevohn Shepherd and Jerret
Smith, Saturday provided some much-needed
minutes to help break them in. The duo was
forgotten in Michigan's last away game - a
71-67 victory over Notre Dame - when Shep-
herd and Smith saw a combined five minutes
of play. But in Saturday's contest, they saw
more time on the court than they've seen as
"It was nice to see Jevohn and Jerret
give us quality minutes," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said. "They did some really
Smith saw extensive time at point guard dur-
ing the later stages of the first half. Along with
fulfilling his duties as primary ball handler, he
also showed a flair on the scoring front.
After South Florida scored to break Michi-
gan's 19-0 run, Smith was there to make sure
the Bulls didn't start a run of their own. Fol-
lowing a Graham Brown rebound, the Wol-
verines reversed the ball around the key until
Dion Harris found Smith open in the right
corner of the hoop. The freshman calmly
sank the 3-pointer - just his third in seven
games. The shot brought him to five points
in the half after hitting two free throws a few
But Smith's passes weren't as crisp as usual
in the early stages of the half. He was incon-
sistent and shaky when he first stepped on the
court. Smith was stripped twice and threw
a post entry pass away, accounting for three
first-half turnovers. The bright spot in his
passing game was his chemistry with Lester
Abram. The duo connected twice in the half,
including a nice one-handed pass by Smith. It
knifed through the defense and found an open
Abram for a lay-up at the end of the period.
"Jerret made some nice passes when he was
pressured;' Amaker said. "At times, he looked
like a freshman out there and turned the ball
over a couple of times, but I was impressed
and pleased with some of the poise he showed
The real highlight of the afternoon for Smith
came on the defensive end. After visibly strug-
gling on defense in prior games, Smith made
several veteran-like plays on Saturday.
He held South Florida point guard Chris
Capko scoreless during his time in the game,
and also picked up two rebounds and a steal.
But his biggest play of the day didn't show
up in the box score. Midway through the first
half, Capko tried to dribble down the right side
of the court. Smith stayed in front of him and
could never get around him. He was eventual-
ly whistled for a five-second violation, which
triggered an emotional Smith to pump his fist
and yell, "Let's go, baby."
"Coach told us, if we don't play defense,
we don't get into the game," Smith said. "I
hadn't been playing the best of defense the
last couple of games, so I knew I had to pick
the intensity up."
Shepherd didn't find his way into the game
until the second half, but he did manage eight
minutes of playing time. After a forgettable
beginning - Shepherd miscued on an alley-
oop attempt from Horton less than a minute
into his time on the floor - the freshman
Like Smith, Shepherd had five points, start-
ing with a 3-pointer from the right wing.
His second hoop happened after an inter-
esting series of events. During the possession
prior to his basket, Shepherd got into a scuffle
with South Florida wing Roodly Prophete.
After being separated by officials, Shepherd
went down on the offensive end and let his play
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Horton provided the spark for
the Wolverines in the first half
with four steals. On the game,
the senior finished with five
steals and 16 points.
The Ypsilanti native came to
play against the Wolverines. He
dropped a game-high 20 points
and kept the Bulls in the game
for the first five minutes .
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"Guys were dancing around ... and we
felt disrespected. That gave us a little
more motivation to come into this game
... and send a message to them and to
the rest of the country."
- Senior guard Daniel Horton on South Florida's
The number of consecutive points
scored during Michigan's first half run.
Freshman Jerret Smith made strides on the defensive end of the court after recent struggles.
Brown 25 1-3 0-0 4-10 2 1 2
Abram 28 5-10 7-7 0-2 0 2 18
Sims 18 6-8 1-3 7-7 0 4 13
Horton 29 6-12 1-1 0-2 5 3 16
Harris 37 3-12 0-0 0-5 3 1 7
Smith 18 1-2 2-2 0-2 3 1 5
Grooms 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Shepherd 7 2-3 1-1 0-0 0 0 5
coleman 16 0-4 0-0 4-6 0 0 0
Hunter 21 1-6 0-0 1-5 0 2 2
do the talking. He received a pass at the right
wing again, but instead of pulling up, he blew
past defender Melvin Buckley and exploded
down the baseline for an easy lay-up.
"Jevohn has shown the explosiveness
from the wing position for us," Amaker
said. "It was nice to see the aggression out
of Jevohn. We need that out of him."
Bell'sfantasy team widens gap on
overall lead; three tied with two
(Last game's points, overall points, single-game wins)
1 e "
By Kevin Vdght
Daily Sports Writer
TAMPA, Fla. - Just under four
minutes into the game, junior Court-
ney Sims - Michigan's leading scorer
and rebounder at that point - sat on the
FG%: 41.7 FT%: 84.6 3-point FG: 7-20, .714 (Horton 3-8,
Harris 1-6, Smith 1-1, Shepherd 1-1, Abram 1-3, Hunter 0-
1). Blocks: 2 (Abram, Sims). Steals: 10 (Horton 5, Harris
2, Abram, Smith, Hunter). Turnovers: 15 (Sims 5, Smith 3,
Harris 2, Horton 2, Brown, Shepherd, Hunter). Technical
(D. Horton, J. Shepherd,
B. Petway, T. Sanchez,
(21, 121, 2)
Going into this week, I honest-
ly didn't believe that I could pull
out a victory in either game, but
because Shepherd really stepped
up on Saturday, I had a chance.
Once again, Horton main-
tained his consistent point pro-
duction, and Shepherd showed
On Saturday, he scored five
points with a 3-pointer. Even
though he missed a dunk, five
points is definitely an improve-
ment from previous weeks.
Luckily, this league only counts
scoring, because besides points,
Lester Abram is noticeably absent
from the box score each week.
On another positive note,
I'm glad coach Amaker used
the blowout to give some of the
younger players time. Freshman
Jerret Smith took advantage of
his 18 minutes of play, dishing
three assists and scoring five
Richardson 13 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Buckley 28 2-12 1-2 3-12 1 3 6
Jones 33 4-8 0-0 1-3 2 3 8
Capko 38 0-0 2-2 0-3 6 0 2
Holmes 38 8-17 2-3 0-1 1 1 20
Mattis 33 2-7 2-3 3-5 1 2 6
Prophete 6 0-0 0-0 1-1 1 2 0
cann 11 2-3 1-2 0-1 0 5 5
South Florida 47
Michigan men's basket-
ball bench. After pick-
ing up two quick fouls,
Sims had to leave the
game and did not return
in the first half.
Tommy Amaker had
200 18-48 8-12
FG%. 37.5 FT%: 66.7 3-point FG: 3-14, .21.4 (Holmes 2-6,
Buckley 1-6, Cann 0-1, Mattis 0-1). Blocks: 8 (Jones 5, Mat-
tis 2, Buckley). Steals: 6 (Holmes 3, Capko, Jones, Mattis).
Turnovers: 20 (Capko 6, Jones 4, Mattis 4, Buckley 3, Hol-
mes 2, Richardson). Technical fouls: none.
to turn to his bench - specifically senior
forward Chris Hunter - to fill Sims's
And Hunter delivered.
"We definitely want Courtney out there,
but we have confidence in guys coming
off the bench, like myself and Ron Cole-
man," Hunter said. "We can come in and
do a good job ourselves. I just came in and
tried to do my job."
When the Gary, Ind., native entered the
game with 16 minutes left in the first half,
he immediately made an impact on the
defensive side of the court.
In 11 minutes of play, Hunter grabbed
three defensive rebounds during the Wol-
verines' 19-0 run. His key boards kept
South Florida's players off the offensive
glass. The Bulls could muster just two
offensive rebounds during Hunter's time
on the court.
"I was just trying to bring a little energy
off the bench," Hunter said. "I was just
trying to keep up the defensive intensity
and hold them to one shot. I think that we
did a great job of that for a long stretch of
the first half."
Junior guard Dion Harris also chipped
in on the defensive glass while Sims had
to sit and watch the game from the bench.
The 6-foot-3 guard ran down loose balls
and collected them for the Wolverines. In
the first half, Harris grabbed five defen-
"Dion did a phenomenal job of
(attacking the glass)," senior forward
Graham Brown said. "You have to con-
tinue to have that."
South Florida... 19
29 - 68 At: USF Sun Dome
28 - 47 Attendance: 5,845
(L. Abram, R. Coleman,
I. Smith, K. Price)
(23, 129, 2)
Senior Chris Hunter filled the void left by Courtney Sims, who got in foul trouble.
RETURN To SENDER: After a week, Brown
finally missed a shot. In fact, he missed
In the Wolverines' previous two games,
Brown hadn't missed a field goal. On Sat-
urday, against South Florida, Brown fin-
ished the night 1-for-3.
But it wasn't that the senior suddenly
lost his touch around the basket.
Instead, South Florida's Solomon Jones
kept swatting his shots away.
The 6-foot-10 forward came into Satur-
day's game against the Wolverines leading
the Bulls with 23 blocks, and he currently
stands third in the Big East with an aver-
age of 3.8 blocks per game.
Looming in the lane, Jones made his
presence felt early and often, and Brown
found out firsthand.
With a little less than four minutes left
in the first half, Brown took the ball on
left block and turned to lay it off the glass.
Jones had other plans, sending the ball
sailing out of bounds and into the first row
Later in the frame, Brown attempted
a little floater in the lane. Jones soared
to deflect the ball and met it at the height
of the shot. He promptly swatted it away
from the basket.
On the night, Jones finished with five
blocks and altered Michigan's field goal
percentage in the first half. The Wolver-
ines shot just 36 percent in that frame.
"He's an outstanding shot-blocker"
South Florida coach Robert McCullum
said. "If you drive in there without shot
faking, he's probably got a pretty good
chance of blocking it."
PUTTING A LID ON rr: South Florida
had just scored five straight points and
seemed poised to gain some much-needed
momentum going into the locker room at
But Lester Abram had other plans.
With 41 seconds left in the first half,
Abram took the ball on the wing, faked
a dribble drive to the baseline and drove
inside. He converted the lay-up while South
Florida's Zaronn Cann fouled him. Abram
made the free throw to silence the raging
Sun Dome crowd and send Michigan to
halftime with all of the momentum.
"I was just trying to attack," Abram
said. "I just tried to stay on the attack
because they only played like six guys, so
we knew that getting them in foul trouble
would be big for our team."
Courtney Sims became my
hero on Wednesday, leading me
to a blowout win. My team had 35
points, while the other three man-
aged just 34 combined.
But foul trouble killed me on
Saturday. Sims still dominated
when he was in, but the problem
is it's hard to score with Sims on
the bench in foul trouble and when
Graham Brown won't shoot.
Sims 7 26.4 16.4 8.0 0.4
Horton 7 33.3 15.1 2.6 5.1
Abram 7 30.7 12.9 2.9 0.6
Harris 7 29.4 9.1 2.9 3.4
Hunter 7 15.9 5.1 3.3 0.6
Brown 7 25.7 4.4 8.7 1.1
Coleman 7 13.7 3.1 2.7 0.6
Shepherd 6 8.8 2.5 1.3 0.1
Smith 7 14.6 2.4 1.0 3.1
Ba 4 2.8 0.5 0.5 0.0
Grooms 3 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Harrell 3 1.7 0.0 0.7 0.1
(C. Sims, G. Brown,
S. Harrell, A. Brzozowicz)
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Big Ten Overall
There are two steps to scoring
points in basketball. First, you have to
attempt a shot. Then, in order for the
basket to count, the ball must actually
travel through the cylinder.
After some quiet performances
to begin the season, my team finally
seems to have step one down - Hunt-
er and Harris hoisted 18 shots against
South Florida. It's step two that really
needs some work. Seven games in,
my team is shooting 36 percent from
the floor. They'll need to pick that stat
up for my team to have any hope.
Illinois 0-0 10-0
Michigan 0-0 7-0
Ohio State 0-0 4-0
Wisconsin 0-0 7-2
Mich. State 0-0 7-2
Indiana 0-0 5-2
Minnesota 0-0 5-2
Iowa 0-0 7-3
Northwestern 0-0 4-3
Penn State 0-0 4-3
Minnesota 72, UNLV 67;
Penn State 54;
Ohio State 81,
SAINT JOSEPH'S 74;
SOUTH FLORIDA 47
Indiana 79, KENTUCKY 53;
MICHIGAN STATE 83,
Wichita State 64
Illinois 89, OREGON 59
(D. Harris, C. Hunter,
A. Ba, H. Grooms)
(9, 102, 1)
Continued from page 11B
Wolverines returned to their man-to-man defense, hoping to
drcareae the numhr of nnen looks for Holmes.
received the ball in the corner with the shot clock running
down. His ensuing shot ricocheted off the side of the back-
board, no where close to the cylinder.
During the remainder of the game, the Wolverines rotated
between a full-court press. man-to-man halfcourt defense and a
Continued from page 1B
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
MONDAY'S Norfolk State at Ohio State, 8 p.m.
GAMES N.C. Wilmington at Wisconsin, 8 p.m.
WEDNESDAY'S Illinois-Chicago at Northwestern, 8 p.m.
GAMES Alabama-Birmingham at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Belmont at Ohio State, 8 p.m.