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February 13, 2006 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-13

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

Nick Roy helps wrestling cruise past
rival Ohio State

Sharad Mattu discusses Michigan
football's recent coaching changes

Women's gymnastics falls just
short against No. 2 Utah

February 13, 06
be d3an Thi


PURDUE 84, No. 22 Michigan 70




best Cagers
By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Editor
WEST LAFAYETTE - Just two weeks ago,
it appeared that the Michigan basketball bus was
heading straight for Bracketville.
But Saturday's 84-70 loss to Purdue - Mich-
igan's third in a row - made it clear that the
wheels have fallen off.
The injury-plagued Wolverines were out-shot,
out-hustled, out-defended and out-smarted by a
last-place Boilermaker team. Although a desper-
ate late-game Michigan run made the final score
appear less lopsided, there was no doubt who was
the better team at Mackey Arena.
"They showed a lot of savvy beating us, because
they're going through the same thing we're going
through, losing starters, and they lost even more,"
Michigan center Courtney Sims said. "So you've
got to give them a lot of credit."
For a brief moment, it looked like Michigan
stood a chance. After the Wolverines controlled
the opening tip, forward Graham Brown posted up,
drew a double-team and dished the ball to Sims for
the wide-open slam. On its first defensive posses-
sion, Michigan hounded the Boilermakers, forcing
an awkward miss by Purdue forward Matt Kiefer
as the shot clock expired.
Those first two possessions would be the Wol-
verines' highlights. And that 2-0 lead would be
their last.
During the rest of the first half, Michigan may
have played its worst basketball of the season.
Offensively, the Wolverines struggled to convert
open looks and committed eight first-half turn-
overs. Defensively, Michigan looked even slop-
pier. Purdue's undermanned squad blew by the
Wolverines and took advantage of a seemingly
never-ending supply of open lay-ups and jumpers

Michigan coach Tommy Amaker did his best to motivate his
team, but for the third straight game, his defense failed him.
by shooting 65 percent in the first half.
"I thought we had good shots - we just didn't
make them," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
said. "When those baskets weren't going in, you
could just see the energy being drained from our
defense. Having said that, we've got to get tougher
and fight against that."
With the Boilermakers asserting their superior-
ity on both ends of the floor, it didn't take long for
their lead to balloon. The situation already looked
bleak when Purdue held a 30-19 lead with six min-
utes to go in the half.
It looked bleaker once Purdue super-sub Marcus
Green took over.
The freshman caught fire in the last 5:27 of
the half, drilling three triples and outscoring the
entire Wolverine squad, 13-8, during that span.
The coup de grace came in the closing seconds.
With the shot-clock winding down, Green drove
from the top of the key, stepped back, and swished
a 17-footer, giving Purdue a 47-27 halftime lead.
"We sort of beat ourselves on defense," Sims

takes job
with Jets
By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Editor
The coaching changes promised by Lloyd
Carr are finally becoming a reality.
Jim Herrmann, Michigan's defensive coordi-
nator for the past nine years, has accepted a job
with the NFL's New York Jets. His departure
opens the door for Ron English to step in as
defensive coordinator.
English left the team last Monday to take ajob
as the Chicago Bears' defensive backs coach, but
he reneged three days later to rejoin the Michigan
coaching staff. The athletic department would
not confirm reports that he returned to become
the defensive coordinator, but yesterday's move
created a void English is expected to fill.
Michigan will also enter the 2006 season with
a new offensive coordinator. Mike DeBord, last
season's special teams coach and one-time offen-
sive coordinator (1997-99), was promoted to his
old post when incumbent offensive coordinator
Terry Malone left to coach tight ends for the New
Orleans Saints.
Yesterday, Carr told The Detroit News he
was sad to see his longest-tenured assistant
coach leave.
"(Herrmann) is a great football coach and a
great person'" Carr said. "I hate to lose him, but
it's something he has wanted to do. He's got a
great career in front of him, and he'll do a great
job in the NFL,just as he did at Michigan."
Herrmann, a Michigan graduate who spent 20
years on the sideline as a football coach in Ann
Arbor, begins his duties as linebackers coach
today in Hempstead, N.Y.
Although he said he is excited to begin coach-
ing in the professional ranks, Herrmann told
The Detroit News that he'd always remember his
"This place will always have a place in my
heart," Herrmann said of Michigan. "Every
Saturday afternoon, I'll be preparing for a
game, but deep down I'll be pulling for the
Herrmann was promoted to defensive coordi-
nator before the 1997 season, the year the Wol-
verines won their last national championship. He
coached six All-Americans during his tenure and
received the Broyles Award as national assistant
coach of the year in 1997.
But Herrmann - who earned three let-
ters as a linebacker when he played for
Michigan in the early '80s - camne under
harsh criticism during the past few years
for the defense's performance. In both the
2004 and 2005 seasons, the Wolverines
struggled mightily at times on defense.
In 2004, the unit's was unable to stop mobile
quarterbacks. Michigan State's duo of Drew
Stanton and Damon Dowdell, Ohio State's Troy
Smith and Texas' Vince Young rushed for a com-
bined 449 yards against Michigan that year.
This past season, the defense had problems
finishing games. Michigan allowed late scores
against Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio State and
Nebraska - all losses for the 7-5 Wolverines.
According to The Detroit Free Press, the team's
worst performance in nearly two decades brought
Carr to tell his staff that "changes were coming."
More than a month later, those changes are
finally being implemented. There may not be
many new faces filling the voids at the coordina-
tor positions, but the current personnel are assum-
ing new roles at nearly every critical assistant spot
on staff.

Purdue forward Marcus White dunks the bail as Michigan guard Ron Coleman looks on.
The dunk was part of Purdue's first-half burst where they out-scored Michigan by 20.

Clock tckng for veteran Cagers to turn iy around

0at a difference a week makes.
Seven days and three defensively
1 acking losses before this Saturday's
84-70 defeat at Purdue, Michigan must have
had dreams of the NCAA Tournament dancing
in its head.
One hundred and sixty-eight hours later,
the bubble has not yet burst, but it sure is
deflating quickly.
In some ways, things are starting to look
a lot like they did last year. Perhaps luck has
once again claimed the Wolverines as victims.
Exhibit A: The injuries. First it was Lester
Abram. Then it was Abram, again. Jerret
Smith was next, followed by Dion Harris. And,
for a few minutes on Saturday, it seemed like it
was Daniel Horton's turn.

Exhibit B: A crushing road defeat in West
Lafayette. Although not quite as bad
as the Wolverines' loss at Purdue
last year, this was not exactly a game
that makes for a fun ride home.
But there is one piece of evi-
dence, permissible as Exhibit C,
that exonerates the defendant, oldx
Lady Luck.
These players are all one year"
older - and, hopefully, wiser. A
veteran squad shouldn't leave its
fate to the basketball gods.
. A veteran team like this needs HE
to take a proactive approach to O
dealing with the injuries and all
the adversity they bring.
In the cliched world of sports, Purdue is one

of those teams players and coaches say you
can't count out and can never look
past. The Boilermakers might be
last in the Big Ten, but they always
hang in there. Last time, they took
Michigan right down to the wire.
And this year, for all Big Ten
teams, every conference game on
the road is a tough win.
But let's be honest. If Michigan
plans on making a run in the tour-
CK nament, it can't lose to a team that
was 8-14 overall and 2-9 in confer-
MAN ence. And, if Michigan plans on
Tap even making the tournament, it
certainly can't.lose like it did on
Statistically, the Wolverines were walloped.

Purdue, ranked 10th in Big Ten scoring,
dropped 84 points on a helpless Wolverine
defense. It became the third-straight Michigan
opponent to light up the net by shooting more
than 60 percent from the field.
Things were just as grim, if not more so,
for the Wolverines' offense. The key word was
"worst." The Boilermakers held Michigan to
just 35.3 percent field-goal shooting; its worst
performance all year, and it happened against
the worst defense in the Big Ten.
Every time down the court, it seemed as
though the Boilermakers' offense was always
one step ahead, one millisecond quicker than
Michigan. At times, it looked like a game
of six-on-five: Somehow a Boilermaker was
always open.
See HERMAN, page 5B


Skrba tries, but can't
" carry team alone

Blue survives
must-win game

By Daniel Bromwich
Daily Sports Writer
Trailing 50-47 to No. 7 Ohio State
with 11 minutes left in the game, the
Michigan women's basketball team
finally got tired.
The shots
finally EHIEN
stopped fall-
ing, and the Wolverines (0-12 Big
Ten, 6-18 overall) finally fell to
the Buckeyes (20-2, 10-1) by a
score of 74-55 on Friday night.
But it took a lot longer than
anybody expected.
Freshman Stephany Skrba, who

Cheryl Burnett said. "We did
become a bit stagnant. I'd like
to think that if you have 10 to 12
(players) and you can sub freely,
you don't have those lapses. But
we don't, and we just accept it and
try to fix it."
Skrba did as much as she could,
finishing with 17 points and 13
rebounds in playing all but one
minute of the contest. Michi-
gan needed her to play all those
minutes, as the roster shrank to
seven players for Friday's game
with sophomore Katie Dierdorf's
season-ending hip injury and for-
ward Ta'Shia Walker's impend-

By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer

Playing in what the team considered to
be a must-win game, Michigan captain
Andrew Ebbett and fellow senior alter-
nate captain Bran-
don Kaleniecki A*r 'i$Iro
stepped up big
time for the No. 7 LAKE S$BK£ %
Wolverines. The
two combined
for three goals and three assists in the
first period of Michigan's 4-2 win over
No. 19 Lake Superior State at Yost Ice
Arena on Saturday night.

Berenson said. "We should be desperate
every game we play from here on in."
Four minutes into the game, Ebbett
took advantage of a Lake Superior turn-
over. The captain found Kaleniecki open
in the right slot, and the senior sent the
puck off sprawled-out Laker goalie Jeff
Jakaitis to give Michigan a 1-0 lead.
Midway through the first period, the
two were at it again, taking advantage of
another Lake Superior State giveaway.
Ebbett stole the puck at the blue line and
sent a pass to Kaleniecki, who was alone
in front of the net. Instead of unleashing
his famous wrist shot, Kaleniecki threw
Jakaitis for a loop when he fell flat on his

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