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February 09, 2006 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

February 9, 2006
sports. michigandaily. com

OERTllSiigan tii



Buc s
brin N y
it into
By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Editor
Coming into last Saturday's
matchup with Iowa, the Michigan s
men's basketball team was seldom
reminded of its disastrous 2004-
05 season. At the midway point of . .
the Big Ten season, the Wolverines ALEX DZIADOSZ/Daily
boasted a 6-2 record, already claim- The duo of Dion Harris and Daniel Horton average a combined 28.6 points per game.
ing two more conference wins than up point guard Jerret Smith (con- The defeat was the Wolverines'
they totaled in 2004-05. And unlike cussion) didn't make the trip to most lopsided since they fell by 29

Boring sports month on

the horizon


I'll fix that



last season, Michigan
had largely avoided the
injury bug, with only
Lester Abram missing
time during conference
But the Wolverines'
trip to Carver-Hawkeye
Arena brought to mind
some unpleasant paral-
lels to the previous sea-
Abram (ankle sprain)

No. 22Michig~n.
Crt ~Ai

Iowa City, forcing
third-stringers Sher-
rod Harrell and Hayes
Grooms to play a
combined 25 minutes.
With two members of
its backcourt rotation
out, and a third, Dion
Harris, in foul trou-
ble, Michigan played
its worst game of the

points to Purdue on Jan. 30 last sea-
"I honestly haven't tried to think
back too far with things," Michi-
gan coach Tommy Amaker said. "I
haven't even given (last season) that
kind of consideration or thought.
We're just full-steam ahead, and we
want to see where we are and what
we can do to get better for the next
After the debacle against Iowa,
See BUCKS, page 10A

et's be honest folks, it could be a rough few recently, which is promising, especially considering
weeks for the average sports fan. the past few years. Student ticket sales dropped by 40
There's already a bad taste left in most percent this year, with fewer than 1,000 students buy-
people's mouths following the "Super" Bowl. Aside ing season tickets. It took 10 home games for Crisler
from the 50 or so people I saw walking around cam- Arena to finally sell out. But at least we're at the point.
pus on Monday with yellow busses on their heads, where Crisler is full.
(I'm no fashion expert, but I don't really Now that people are coming, Michigan
see that catching on in the near future) fans need to continue to support, not bail
Sunday's game left many of us dissatisfied. on, the team when it needs their presence
It was a sloppy game, sloppy officiating the most.
and no sloppy wardrobe malfunctions. Even though some of my professors
Sorry, but that just isn't a winning combi- may suggest otherwise, I'm not stupid. I
nation for me. realize that just as fast as the bandwagon
So the football season officially ended filled up, it can empty.
- unless you're one of the six people in Last Saturday was ugly - really ugly.
the world who plans your schedule around We're talking Barry-Alvarez-in-a-wet-
Arena Football telecasts or actually watches SCOTT t-shirt-contest ugly. But it was just one
the Pro Bowl. The Super Bowl is in the past. BELL game.
For those college football enthusiasts out Too Soon? The players were surprisingly even-
there, recruiting classes were finally set in keeled both after Saturday's game and at
stone. Even the chance for diehards to roadtrip to Loui- practice on Monday. There was no sense of panic - they
siana and talk Jai Eugene into exploring Ann Arbor's realized it was just one of those nights. Iowa put up
daycare facilities has come and gone. season-highs in almost every offensive category. Daniel
So that brings us to the Winter Olympics. Yes, even Horton went as far as to say "I don't think anybody could t
I can admit, I'm excited for a couple things. Watch- have beaten them (Saturday)."
ing hockey will be fun and watching figure skaters So if the team still hasn't given up hope on winning
fall is always entertaining. And the prospect of Bode its first Big Ten title in 20 years, then you shouldn't
Miller doing a keg stand right before skiing down a either.
steep grade definitely piques my interest. But there's Michigan remains just one game out of first place.
a reason the Olympics happen only once every four It seems almost certain that, barring a massive col-
years. Nobody cares about biathlons. The average lapse (knock on wood), this year's team has at least
person doesn't know the difference between luge and guaranteed itself a spot in the Big Dance. Unlike
skeleton. And I'm guessing no more than a handful Michigan teams in the past, though, just making the
of people know what in the world a triple salchow is. dance isn't good enough. From day one, this year's.
The Olympics will be fun ... for about a day. team has said one of its goals is to win a Big Ten title.
Then there's NBA basketball. But who are we kid- That's why the remaining home games are so cru-
ding? The next four months will be like reading a cial. As Michigan found out last weekend, winning on
400-page book where all that matters is in the last the road - especially against the conference's elite
five pages. Everyone knows that when we get to June, teams - is nearly impossible. Going 8-0 in league
the Pistons and the Spurs are going to be battling for play at home is a must for a team who wants a confer-
the title once again. Unless Larry Brown magically ence title.
reappears in Auburn Hills and tries to run the Pistons Today, Ohio State enters Crisler Arena.
into the ground again, or if Amare Stoudamire really If seeing your school battle one of its biggest rivals
brings Phoenix up to the next level when he returns, isn't incentive enough to go out and watch the game,
there's no reason to watch another pro game until the then here's another reason:
NBA Finals roll around in June. That is, unless you're This year, the game actually means something. All
a compulsive gambler. of the rest do.
Oh yes, it could be a very rough February.... Maybe it won't be such an ugly month after all.
But this year, there's an exception. If you want a team to cheer on once March Madness
Considering we're wedged between the Super Bowl actually does roll around - and not just a team that
and March Madness, arguably one of the biggest lulls is happy with showingup - then you have to do your
in the sports calendar, it shouldn't take much to come part during February.
out and support a winning team. Yes, for the first And it starts tonight. Four home games left. Any-
time in recent memory, the Michigan men's basket- thing fewer than four wins is unacceptable.
ball team is playing well and playing for something
that counts. Scott Bell hopes John Cooper magically replaces
I know that not everyone on this campus needs a Thad Matta as Ohio State's coach before tonight's
lecture about cheering them on. Support has been up game. He can be reached at scotteb@umich.edu

season, losing 94-66 to a red-hot
and back- Hawkeye squad.

Tking" te b step, Montville
lumps up from club to varsity
By Daniel Levy Blue and White game they brought to make the team, he definitely couldn'
Daily Sports Writer up a couple club guys. I thought that anticipate the playing time he would


With the school year about to begin,
Michigan sophomore Jon Montville
was getting set for another year of club
hockey. A few weeks later, he and a
handful of other players were invited
to skate with Michigan's varsity hock-
ey team in the annual Blue & White
Intrasquad game. He managed to wow
the coaching staff with his phenomenal
stat line - zero goals, zero assists and
a -2 rating.
"At the beginning of the year, I was
planning on being on the club team,"
Montville said. "I was on the club team
for a couple weeks, and then for the

would be the end of it."
And that was the end of it - at least
the end of Montville's club hockey
experience. After the scrimmage, the
Michigan coaching staff asked him
and a few other players to join the var-
sity practice squad. With several roster
spots still open, the coaches wanted to
get a better look at some of the club
players who filled out the lineups in the
Blue and White game. Apparently, they
liked what they saw from Montville.
"One thing led to another, and I
eventually made the team," Montville
said. "I wasn't planning on it at all."
If the Novi native wasn't expecting

get during the stretch run of the season.
But Michigan coach Red Berenson's
decision to move junior David Rohlfs
to forward, in an effort to bolster a
slumping offense, left an open slot on
defense. Montville took advantage.
"Once I made the team, I was hop-
ing to play in the (Great Lakes Invi-
tational) once all the guys left for the
World Juniors," Montville said. "I
wasn't planning on playing in the sec-
ond half of the year. Then they moved
Rohlfs up, and, luckily, I got some
playing time."
As a new face on the ice, the sophomore
See MONTVILLE, page 10A

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