February 21, 2006
Utbe 1litkiwu EDiI
Petway razzed by
loud State crowd
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Editor
They started long before the game
They took the form of catcalls, chants
The Michigan State student section,
the Izzone, had waited three weeks to
unleash its fury on Michigan junior Brent
When the Spartans traveled to Ann
me," Petway said. "You can't let that
On several occasions, the crowd's hos-
tility got under the forward's skin.
Following a Shannon Brown alley-
oop dunk midway through the first half,
Michigan senior Daniel Horton drove
into the lane and dished the ball to a
wide-open Petway. The junior rose to
slam the ball emphatically through the
hoop, attempting to silence the roaring
fans. But the dunk caromed off the back
Arbor on Jan. 25, Pet-
way incidentally elbowed
Michigan State's Mau-
rice Ager while fighting
for a rebound. To Spar-
tan fans, the blow was
not an accident, and they
let the 6-foot-8 forward
After the Michigan
win, Petway received
countless pieces of hate
No. 8 Illinois at
of the rim, much to the delight
of the crowd.
"I pride myself on being a
good finisher," Petway said.
"And I didn't finish well (on
Throughout the season,
Petway's dunks have served to
lift the Wolverines to greater
emotional heights. But in East
Lansing, Petway and the Wol-
verines couldn't convert what
mail from the Spartan faithful. All the
while, the McDonough, Ga., native main-
tained that the attention could only moti-
vate him to jump a little higher.
But Saturday, the Michigan State fans
got the better of the high-flying forward.
During pre-game warm-ups, chants
of "hooked on phonics" echoed through
the Breslin Center. One Spartan fan even
held up a sign that read, "If you can read
this, you're not Brent Petway."
Then the game began.
And the Izzone upped the ante.
Every time Petway checked in at the
scorer's table, the Spartan crowd stood
waiting in anticipation. With mocking
cheers and chants of "Petway sucks," fans
let Petway know that they hadn't forgot-
ten or forgiven his actions in Ann Arbor.
"I knew it was going to be a hostile
environment coming in, especially for
should have been easy points.
"Those are usually automatic two
points," junior Courtney Sims said. "It's
like having a lay-up and just missing it."
With more than 14 minutes left in
the second half, junior Dion Harris
stole the ball and started a Michigan
fast break. As he crossed the 3-point
line, he lobbed an alley-oop to a streak-
ing Petway. Petway rose above the rim
but couldn't cleanly collect the pass,
and the ball found its way to Michigan
State's Paul Davis.
"Sometimes, that's my problem," Pet-
way said. "I can get a little bit too amped
and maybe try to do too much."
Just one minute later, Petway let his
emotions get the best of him when he was
involved in a shoving match with the Spar-
tans' Marquise Gray. Officials charged
each player with a technical foul.
Brent Petway struggled with taunts from the Breslin Center crowd on Saturday.
Tonight, Petway and the Wolverines
will look to erase Saturday's mistakes and
the memory of Breslin's hostile environ-
ment when they take on Illinois at 7 p.m.
Michigan has the opportunity to
avenge an earlier 79-74 loss at Assembly
Hall and to quickly rebound from a tough
defeat at Michigan State.
"We just need to bounce back, because
we need to win this game," Sims said.
"We're still in the thick of things, so we
need to win our next game."
Even though the Wolverines boast a
5-1 conference record at home, defeat-
ing Illinois won't be an easy task. The
dangerous duo of Dee Brown and James
Augustine continues to lead the Illini,
who sit atop the Big Ten standings tied
Michigan needs to return to the defen-
sive form it exhibited in its last home con-
test, against Minnesota, to have a chance
at knocking off Illinois.
"We know we have to come out and
keep the defensive pressure up for the
whole game," Harris said.
And a few Petway dunks wouldn't hurt
the Wolverines', cause, either.
NOTES: Rivals.com reported that senior
forward Chris Hunter will miss three to
six weeks with a knee injury suffered in
the first half of Saturday's game.
r _ - 1
A few weeks ago, I was casually watching SportsCenter
when something on "BottomLine" caught my eye.
The tidbit said that the ACC
suspended three officials for one game
following a technical foul called in the
Florida State-Duke contest.
I couldn't comprehend what I'd just
seen. I've witnessed countless suspen-
sions for drug use, team-rule violations,
fighting, drunk driving and jumping into
the stands to beat up fans (Ron Artest
and Antonio Davis know exactly what I
But referees? WRIGHT
Suspended? The Sixth Alan
For a bad call?
I never thought I would see the day when the zebras would
lose pay for costly mistakes. But apparently John Clougherty, the
ACC coordinator of men's basketball officials, deemed their call
so bad it warranted a suspension.
Ever since the dawn of organized sports, one group has always
been there to take the blame for a loss. Whether the anger comes
from fans, players or coaches, those poor souls who choose to
officiate sporting events for a living take it on the chin every day.
After all, it's easier for fans to accuse the referees of cheating
or favoring the other team than chastising their favorite squad or
player for a poor performance. Sports leagues even draw atten-
tion to their officials through enforced dress codes. Black and
white striped shirts may not be the newest fashion trend, but
they sure do stand out nicely on the basketball court and football
Now, I'll admit, I've never been the biggest supporter of ref-
erees. During my last year of varsity high school basketball, I
probably agreed with about five calls officials made against me
(My dad even dubbed me the next Bill Laimbeer for the way I
whined about calls). But that doesn't mean those referees should
have been suspended.
In that Florida State-Duke game, the officiating crew of Mike
Eades, Ray Natili and Ed Corbett made the decision that Florida
State's Alexander Johnson fouled the Blue Devils' Shelden Wil-
liams a little too hard.
And they really paid the price for it.
In an age when officiating is becoming more of a science and
less of an art, the timeless "mistakes will be made" logic just
doesn't cut it anymore. Questec governs MLB's strike zone. In
the NFL, instant replay has introduced red as an alternative flag
color to the traditional yellow. The NBA has replay to review
shots taken at the buzzer.
Gone are the days when superstars like Michael Jordan can
push off Bryon Russell in Game Six of the NBA Finals.
Gone are the days when a third-strike mechanic can alter the
outcome of an American League Championship Series.
Gone are the days when Sun Belt officials can trot off the field
before a bowl game has even been completed.
Instead, we've entered an era in which referees can be sus-
pended for making incorrect judgment calls. In addition to the
boos, death threats and general verbal abuse that those who blow
the whistle absorb, officials can now enjoy losing their money,
It's not bad enough that NFL refs are afraid to stop a play in
case it might need to be reviewed or that MLB umpires have a
computer that grades how well they judge whether or not a 100-
mile-per-hour fastball or 12-to-6 curveball crosses the plate in
the strike zone.
Now, they can finally join the ranks of the athletes who abuse
their privilege to play professional sports and receive honorary
suspensions for their errors.
In the world of sports, two things are guaranteed: clich6s and
I have never seen a professional athlete suspended for missing
a game-winning free throw, dropping a touchdown pass, striking
out looking with the bases loaded or getting beat glove-side. Why
should we form a different system of penalties for officials' mis-
takes? They're just doing their job.
True, some referees think they controlthe universe when they
don the stripes, but for the most part, each official is trying
to call the game as best he can. They study the rulebooks and
undertake the difficult task of reading fast-paced games. Then,
they're expected to establish order in a tornado of chaos.
Ask any coach and he'll adamantly claim that officiating never
determines the winner or loser, except for the few who cling to
conspiracy theories, such as Kansas football coach Mark Mangi-
no. In his mind, Lee Harvey Oswald runs the BCS.
Ultimately, each team has to adjust to the way the referees call
a game and focus on winning instead of whining.
But in the end, it's often easier to blame the referees. After all,
if officials can be suspended for judging a foul to be too forceful,
then why can't they take responsibility for winning and losing?
By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
Ugly trends tend to become more glaring during
tough times than when a team is winning.
After last weekend's disappointing winless effort at
Nebraska-Omaha, Michigan's lack of offensive consis-
tency came to the forefront.
The offense couldn't put good scoring chances
together for more than a few minutes at a time. And if
you look closely at the situation, it's clear why Michi-
gan only produces in spurts.
There's one peculiar thing. Looking at the leaders
of the team, this consistency issue does not seem to
be a problem.
Senior captain Andrew Ebbett, senior alternate cap-
tain Brandon Kaleniecki and sophomore Chad Kolarik
- the three Icers that compose the top line - all have
more points through 34 games this season than they
did at the same point last year.
The trend holds true for the second line of junior
alternate captain T.J. Hensick, sophomore Kevin Por-
ter and junior David Rohlfs. All three are ahead of the
point pace they set last season. In fact, Rohlfs has more
points this year despite playing most games on defense,
and Porter has already exceeded his entire point total
from last season.
So if the offensive veterans have all stepped up their
games, what might the problem be?
The rest of Michigan's lineup appears to be the cul-
prit. The Wolverines' third and fourth offensive units
have been producing at an anemic pace during the
season's second half.
For example, the third line of freshmen Andrew
Cogliano, Travis Turnbull and Tim Miller accumulat-
ed 35 points in the season's first 17 games. After the set
with the Mavericks, the trio has collected just 19 more
points in the same number of games.
Cogliano's statistics are especially troubling.
Through the first 17 contests, he had 19 points - the
1 * - r
ot iacxmg tor young
third-highest total on the team, trailing only Hensick
and freshman Jack Johnson. The forward was one of
the catalysts for the Wolverines' early success.
But in the last 17 games, Cogliano has notched
just six points. And three of those came in one game
against Bowling Green on Jan. 21.
"He's getting chances, and, when you don't get
chances, that's when you start worrying," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "The first 10 games were
maybe a bit of a fairytale type of thing, almost too
good to be true.... Now, we're back to the reality."
The third line has produced sporadically throughout
the season, but the fourth line has had offensive issues
Even when the team was playing well at the begin-
ning of the season, the fourth line of freshmen Danny
Fardig, Brandon Naurato and the interchangeable
Tyler Swystun and Zac MacVoy didn't produce much
in the way of offense. The same has held true during
the team's struggles. The four players have combined
for 25 points this year.
The fourth unit appeared to break out of its scor-
ing slump two weeks ago against Lake Superior State,
when it combined for a goal in both games of the
series. But in two games against Nebraska-Omaha,
they failed to produce a single point.
Because of the struggling third and fourth lines,
the Michigan coaching staff has experimented with
In yesterday's practice, Cogliano switched places
with Rohlfs so the freshman could play alongside Hen-
sick and Porter in the hopes of reigniting the unit's
scoring prowess. Because Hensick is a center, Cogli-
ano moved from his natural position of center to the Freshman Andrew
"Hopefully we can work well together, get on the while, but theya
board and get my confidence going," Cogliano said. threats," Berens
The coaching staff understands the young forwards' is, and that's the
limitations and is adapting to them. have two scoring
"I think they are capable of scoring once in a hopefully hold th
- ! -- AA
Cogliano has 25 points this season.
are not bread-and-butter offensive
on said. "That's the way our team
way we have our lines set up. We
lines and two other lines that can
- Kevin Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 . .11
MENS SWIMMIN'G AND DIVING
Freshmen key to
for more information call 734/998-6251
The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science,
and the Arts presents a public lecture and reception
By Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writer
The freshmen really have to be ready to go all-
out in their first event. If they set a good tone in
their first race, the rest of the meet will be much
easier to handle."
Many of the conference championship banners
hanging in Canham Natatorium have faded over
the years from a brilliant blue to a sun-stained
purple. The most recent flag, in honor
of Michigan's 2003 Big Ten Champi-
onship, is beginning to look like the
rest of the aged banners. Wolverine THIS WA
coach Bob Bowman hopes to make Mich
an addition to the rafters this week- Big Ten Ch
end and bring home a new banner to Thursday
liven up the pool's ambience. Counsilma
The Big Ten Championships open Aquati
this Thursday in Bloomington. The
seventh-ranked Wolverines are in the
hunt for a conference title after plac-
ing second two years ago and third last year.
Minnesota, the 2005 Big Ten champion, is
favored to win in the team competition, but Bow-
man believes that if most of the Wolverines hit
to ensure the best racing from his
Bowman built his team's training
around this meet since the begin-
Lemuel A. Johnson
-ning of the season.
In January, Bowman scheduled a
KEND dual meet with Indiana in order to
at get a feel for the pool atmosphere
ionships in the Hoosiers' Counsilman-Bill-
urday ingsley Aquatic Center. He used the
.lingsley meet as an opportunity for his team
nter to experience the walls, the blocks,
the lighting and the layout of the
pool deck so there would be fewer
surprises in the championships.
"We've worked towards the Big Ten Cham-
onships since day one," Bowman said. "Now
Bowman hopes will handle his first conference
meet with the confidence of a veteran. Savulich
has NCAA consideration times in both the 200-
and 500-yard freestyle events and will hopefully
be a huge asset to the team in the middle-dis-
tance events this weekend.
"I'm a little nervous," Savulich said. "But I
feel prepared because I've put in a lot of hard
work this season.
"It's our team goal to win the Big Tens, so
we're going to go out there and try and get it.
This meet is different from other championships
I've swum in because I'm not just doing it for
myself. I'm doing it for my teammates, and I'm
doing it for Michigan."
The pressure may rest on the freshmen to
perform, but the expectations are through the
roof for senior captains DeJong, Tarwater and
Vanderkaay. All three swimmers have won indi-
vidual titles at previous conference meets, and
Bowman is counting on them to do the same this
it's time to put it into action. I think everyone's
training has gone well, and we've put in a lot of