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February 14, 2006 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-14

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Tuesday
February 14, 2006
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily. com

ORTeSuidiIga ild

9

z t g .Bios, profiles ad
.to OlMpiC Magic~
E~ o

If you haven't yet been exposed to
the Winter Olympics in Torino
either on TV, the Internet, word of
mouth or the 20th Winter Olympiad's
"official brain implant
chip" (I heard that
technology's on its way
for the Beijing Summer
Games in 2008) you're
probably living in a
wooden cabin in the wil-
derness without electric-
ity, water, sight, hearing
or a functional nervous
system.
This year's version of
the games, nestled in the GABE E

barrage of information - some use-
less, some relevant, some downright
ridiculous - so comprehensive, not
even the most intrepid investigator
could digest it all.
For example, did you
know that Lindsey Kildow
- the U.S. gold medal
favorite in the women's
downhill whose practice
crash was covered exten-
sively on the websites
yesterday - could speak
German? If reading that
fact isn't enough for you,
the "Worldwide Leader"
DELSON and the official Olympic

Er

RODRIGO GAYA/Daily

Struggling with injuries, Michigan counted on Coleman, Grooms and Shepherd to spark the Wolverines offense in the 84-70 loss to Purdue last Saturday.
Shepherd, Grooms fill in for Cagers

mountainous terrain of honest
northwest Italy, has inun-
dated homes around the
globe to an unprecedented degree. 1
I certainly never thought I'd hear]
so much about flying tomatoes and 1
speeding white sausages while
watching the world's premier sport-
ing event. But sure enough, I found
myself getting hungry after witness-
ing the performances of American i
snowboarder Shaun White and Ger-
man luge legend Georg Hackl, whose 1
respective nicknames hold to a simi-j
lar culinary theme.1
I've reached the point where I
know more about Michelle Kwan, I
Bode Miller and Apolo Anton Ohno t
than I do about Michael Jordan, Joe
Montana and George Herman Ruth 1
(As a matter of fact, I'm also aware1
that Hackl's second alias is "The c
Babe Ruth of Luge"). Chad Hedrick
is becoming a bigger name on cam- <
pus than Chad Henne, and pictures
of Tanith Belbin have become more 1
sought-after than images of Angelina
Jolie or Anna Kournikova. Alas, I
Belbin's ice dancing partner, Ben t
Agosto, has yet to receive the atten-
tion that Jolie's significant other has.
ESPN.com and NBCOlympics. j
com have teamed up to providet
followers of these Games with a

Gca be network even have a video
clip of Kildow speaking
about breaking her pole in
her first race of the season aufDeutsch.
Not to mention a childhood photo gal-
lery, a clip of her first-ever Olympic run
(2002 at Salt Lake City), a detailed bio
and life story, a question-and-answer
segment, career competition results and
five additional photo galleries, includ-
ing shots of Kildow and a cow she
won for a first-place finish in France
last year. Look hard enough, and you
might even discover that a "14-year-old
Kildow bought a replica U.S. Ski Team
uniform and passed herself off as a
team member who had lost her creden-
tial. She was able to get into various
athlete-only areas and got several auto-
graphs, including that of Bode Miller."
Bode who? I don't think I've ever heard
of him.
But Americans aren't the only
ones with detailed dossiers on the
web. A full 519 athletes have pro-
file pages on NBCOlympics.com.
While the total falls far short of the
nearly 2,500 total participants in
the games, it's pretty unlikely that
even a majority of those Olympians
with their own place in cyberspace
will generate much traffic. Unless,
that is, you have a burning curiosity
See EDELSON, page 10

By Jack Herman
Daily Sports Editor

When you shoot 35 percent, give up 84 points
to one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten and
lose to a team that had just two conference wins,
it's tough to find many positives in a road trip.
But if there was one bright spot in Saturday's
84-70 loss to Purdue Saturday, it was the play of
some of Michigan's less-heralded players.
With wing Lester Abram and guards Dion
Harris and Jerret Smith all remaining in Ann
Arbor, Michigan coach Tommy Amaker called
upon senior Hayes Grooms and freshman Jevohn
Shepherd to fill in.
The duo didn't disappoint.
"Different guys really came in and competed
hard for us," Amaker said. "I thought with Hayes
Grooms and Jevohn Shepherd, I can find some good
things with players that normally wouldn't have had
the opportunity, and I'm pleased with that."
Shepherd put forth a solid showing in his first
career start. Amaker often looks to the young
Canadian when he needs a defensive special-
ist. Shepherd's offense, however, usually leaves

much to be desired.
But Saturday, this was not the case, and Shep-
herd went for nine points. He showed toughness
and tenacity on the glass, grabbing six boards. On
one play, Shepherd pulled down three offensive
rebounds - the third on his own shot - before
finally finding the bottom of the net.
There was one action in particular that spoke
volumes about Shepherd's effort.
Many times this season, Michigan fans have
had to hold their breath when Shepherd receives
pass in the corner, because it usually means an
airball is on the way.
But his perseverance finally paid off.
Down 73-50 in the second half, Shepherd - often
seen working on the shot during practice - drained
a baseline 3-pointer.
Grooms also received a large increase in playing
time as a result of the trio of wounded Wolverines.
The senior logged 28 minutes of action, a significant
amount considering he has been on the court just 70
minutes all season, including Saturday's game.
Grooms didn't hit a field goal, but like every
other Wolverine that played, he managed to find
his way to the free throw line. His 4-for-5 shoot-

ing from the charity stripe contributed the four
points he needed to set a career high. The walk-on
also dished three assists and had two steals.
In addition, senior captain Sherrod Harrell
played a season-high eight minutes.
Harrell, Shepherd and Grooms all had a tan-
gible role in the game's ending. They helped the
Wolverines close the game on a 17-9 run, making
the final tally appear much more respectable.
"I certainly thought later in the second half,
we showed some fight there with some probably
unusual and unnatural lineups that we haven't
seen a lot this year," Amaker said,
NoTEs: The new top-25 rankings were released
yesterday, and, for the first time in two weeks,
Michigan was not ranked. The Wolverines
earned 18 votes in the Associated Press poll and
14 votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll.
Before joining the polls the week after it claimed
victories over Michigan State and Wisconsin,
Michigan had not been ranked in eight years.....
Ohio State's Jamar Butler was named Big Ten
Player of the Week yesterday. Against Michigan
last Thursday, Butler dropped a then-career-high
20 points.

M ICE HOCKEY
Wolverines future success hinges on
first-period offensive production

WRESTLING
New Blue Crew.
bolsters support'
By David VandeVusse
Daily Sports Writer
They badger referees, taunt opponents and applaud their team. They cause
home fans to smile and visiting parents to look on in disgust. They're Mich-
igan's newest student section - wrestling's Blue Crew.
The perennial success of the Michigan wrestling team has always attracted
fans of the sport to home meets. But the general student population doesn't
seem to have caught on.
"It seems like we have had full houses at some of our matches, but it
wasn't loud enough," Michigan coach Joe McFarland said.
McFarland attributes the subdued crowds to a lack of student involvement.
Other top-name programs, such as Iowa, Iowa State and Oklahoma State
have organized energetic student sections, but the third-ranked Wolverines
lacked one until just a few weeks ago.
McFarland's staff decided the atmosphere needed to improve.
"The coaches were talking to us about getting more crowd noise," red-
shirt freshman Kenny Halloran said. "They left it to us to come up with
something."
What the team produced made an immediate impact. A group of 20 to 30
fans, made up mostly of Michigan wrestling reserves, showed up at Cliff
Keen Arena clad in blue for the team's Jan. 28 match against Northwest-
ern. Behind their self-made banner that read "Blue Crew," section members
were comical, relentless and encouraging all in one. They pounded cowbells
and hounded Wildcat wrestlers. A few even boasted their dancing skills in
between matches.
The crew's energy stifled Northwestern and helped propel the Wolverines
to a 22-15 victory.
See BLUE CREW, page 10

By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan is doing exactly what it hoped to avoid at this time of year.
With just four games remaining before the CCHA playoffs begin, the Wolver-
ines are treading water.
With last weekend's split against Lake Superior State, Michigan com-
pleted a stretch of 11 games in 26 days in which it went 5-4-2. At no point
during that span did the Wolverines reel off more than two straight wins.
They have not had a weekend sweep since defeating Nebraska-Omaha on
Dec. 9-10.
But for all of its inconsistency, Michigan still sits at second place in the
CCHA. And if the Wolverines win out, a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs
awaits them. But they have yet to separate themselves from the middle of the
conference pack.
Michigan is just one point ahead of third-place Michigan State. The Wolverines
have a three-point lead over fourth-place Lake Superior State and Nebraska-Omaha.
But treading water seems to have a direct correlation to how Michigan begins
its games.
Nearly every time the Wolverines jump out to an early lead, they win.
And in games in which they allow the opposition to score first, they are far
more likely to lose.
To be exact, Michigan is 12-2-1 this season when it scores the first goal of
the game. When the opposing team gets the initial tally, the Wolverines are a
mediocre 6-9-2.
The series with Lake Superior presented a perfect example of what a good
start meant to the Wolverines. On Friday night, Lakers forward Steve McJannet
notched the game's first goal seven minutes into the first stanza and propelled
Lake Superior to a 3-2 overtime victory at Yost Ice Arena.
But on Saturday night, the Wolverines scored four first-period goals to put
the game out of reach early and cruised to a 4-2 win. The senior duo of captain
Andrew Ebbett and Brandon Kaleniecki highlighted the scoring outburst with
a combined three goals.
"They had a great first shift, and they were all over (Lake Superior)," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "That just translated into the rest of their games."
Throughout the season, scoring early has had a domino effect on other
players on the team. After Ebbett and Kaleniecki tallied their goals, the

fourth line of freshmen Danny Fardig, Tyler Swystun and Brandon Naurato
teamed up for a rare goal to cap off the first period for the Wolverines.
Quick starts were much more prevalent for Wolverines in the beginning of the
season. When Michigan started off the year 9-1-1, all but one of its wins began
with scoring the first goal.
The team has yet to grasp what made it a fast-starting squad in October
and November. The recent off-and-on struggles in the first period are some-
thing the players are concentrating on with just four games remaining in the
regular season.
"I'm not really sure if it's preparation, or other teams are just ready
for us," Ebbett said. "I think we really need to worry about ourselves and
focus on that consistency right now. Everyone has to put as much as they
can into that first period because, obviously, that's playing a huge factor in
the games right now."
In all sports, teams looks for a fast start because it sets the tone for the remainder
of the game. But in any given hockey game, only one team can start fast. Michigan
hopes that last Saturday's quick beginning is a sign of things to come.
"When we get off to a good start, we are a totally different team," Ebbett said.
"That's huge for the rest of the season for our team."
NOTES: Senior captain Andrew Ebbett's moved into a tie for 17th on the
Michigan forwards career assist list with 98. He is tied with David Oliver,
who played at Michigan from 1991 to 1994 ... With an assist in last Saturday's
game, junior defensemen Jason Dest set a career best by registering points in
three consecutive games.

I

Hey, Sophomores
and Juniors...

...Is your

,

simply not cU

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