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December 11, 2006 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-12-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, December 11, 2006 - 5B

CRASHING THE BOARDS

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
"Jevohn can get up with the best of
them. Not with me, but with some of
the others he can get up. He's got to
dunk on somebody before I can put
him in my category."
- Senior BRENT PETWAY when asked about sopho-
more teammate Jevohn Shepherd's jumping ability.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Dion Harris
GUARD
Harris continued to shoot well from the
field on Saturday. He opened the game
with two consecutive 3-pointers, and
didn't cool off from long range, knock-
ing down four of his six attempts in the
game and tallying a team-high 16 points.

MAKING THE GRADE
The Wolverines may be out of class during basketball
games, but each week the Daily basketball writers will
grade the team and its fans.
OFFENSE
The Wolverines continued their
strong play on the offensive end.
. shooting 54 percent from the
field and 47 percent from down-
town. Michigan also sam three
Final grade players reach double figures, led
by Dion Harris's 16 points.

Saturday's game
MICHIGAN 70 - DELAWARE STATE 43
Rebounding revival
Big men dominate boards in easy win

A
Final grade
n r
Final grade
D
Final grade

DEFENSE
Michigan held the Hornets to just
6-of-26 shooting in the second half,
including 1-of-10 from three point
range. Delaware State scored just 17
points after halftime. Jahsha Blunt,
the Hornets' leading scorer, was held
in check and scored just eight points.
COACHING
Amaker challenged his team at
halftime, setting a goal of allow-
ing the Hornets to score no more
than 55 points in the game. His
motivational technique worked, as
the Wolverines played much better
defense, and the Hornets finished
with just 43 on the scoreboard.
CROWD
A press-row writer commented dur-
ing the game that what he saw was
the "worst student section ever." The
fans even failed to properly salute
Braylon Edwards, who was sitting
courtside, until the PA announcer
told the crowd he was there.

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Writer
With a little more than 10 minutes
remaining in the first half, and Michi-
gan off to a sluggish start against
Delaware State, senior Dion Harris
dribbled down the floor and pulled up
for a medium-range jump-shot.
The attempt clanked off the back of
the rim, but caromed just perfectly for
senior Brent Petway.
And he did NOTEBOOK
what he does
best: slammed it home with authority.
The dunk sent the Crisler Arena
crowd into a frenzy and helped propel
the Wolverines to a 70-43 thumping of
the Hornets.
Lost in the crowd's "Air Georgia"
chants was the rebound that made the
jam possible. Petway notched his third
double-double of the season, scoring
12 points and grabbing 10 boards.
But itisn'tjust Petway who has been
a menace on the glass lately.
The Wolverines have outrebounded
their opponents by nearly 10 rebounds
per game for the season. On Saturday,
Michigan more than doubled the Hor-
nets' rebounding total, 35-17.
"(Rebounding) has been a staple of
our identity," Petway said. "We want
to hold teams to one shot, and we want
to get extra shots on the offensive
end."
Rebounding hasn't come so easily
for the Wolverines in the past. Last
year, just one Wolverine (then-senior
Graham Brown) averaged more than
seven rebounds per game. Through 11
games this season, both Petway and
senior Courtney Sims are averaging
more than seven boards per contest.
The coaching staff has encouraged
the big men to hit the glass all season.
Ultimately, the coaches would like
double-doubles to become common
occurrences for each of the team's post
players.
It helps having long and lanky play-
ers like 6-foot-11 Sims and 6-foot-10

freshman Ekpe Udoh. Against the
Hornets, Udoh had his most impres-
sive rebounding totals of the 2006
campaign, grabbing eight rebounds
while playing just 21 minutes.
"My arms help me a lot," Udoh said.
"I can be on one side of the lane and
still get the ball if it falls on the other
side of lane."
Throughout Saturday's contest, it
was clear who was the more skilled
team. But the effort on the boards
indicated that the Wolverines also
outworked the Hornets.
"We know we have to be hungrier
and hustle more than the teams we
play," Petway said. "And rebounding is
where you can show you are winning
the hustle battle."
I AM COURTNEY, HEAR ME ROAR: Just
two minutes into the second half, the
Wolverines picked up their first tech-
nical foul of the season.
Who the technical was given to was
surprising.
Going for a loose ball, Sims and
Delaware State senior Troy Roundtree
got tangled up on the baseline. Sims
threw an elbow trying to wrestle the
ball free and received a technical for
his actions.
The normally reserved senior's out-
burst was a welcome surprise for the
Crisler Arena crowd, who cheered
loudly when Sims went to the bench
following the scuffle.
"It was kind of funny because they
never see me show emotion," Sims
said. "I just felt he was fouling me and
the refs weren't calling it. SoI was try-
ing to get him off me somehow and
threw the elbow."
Sims's teammates were pleasantly
surprised to see their leading scorer
getting more emotionally involved
in the game. Senior guard Dion Har-
ris, Sims's roommate, said he doesn't
ordinarily see the forward get so riled
up during a game, but that it was a
welcome surprise, especially on the
defensive end of the floor.
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker

KEY STAT
2 3 4 Delaware State's shooting per-
centage in the second half of
2 3 Saturday's game at Crisler.
SATURDAY'S GAME
MICHIGAN 70

Senior Courtney Sims has improved his rebounding so far this season.
even cracked a smile as Sims walked for his alma mater.
away from the fracas. But he made SittingcourtsideatSaturday'sgame,
sure to warn his big man about the Edwards offered his opinion on the
consequences of getting a technical BCS and the controversy surrounding
foul. which team - Michigan or Florida -
"I'm not advocating getting a tech- should be facing Ohio State in the BCS
nical," Amaker said. "But that's some- National Championship game.
thing that is going to happen in the "It's bullshit," Edwards said. "Until
course of a basketball game. ... It was the BCS gets a playoff system, the
nice to see his passion, and I'm hopeful BCS will always be a joke. I just don't
that we will continue to have that." agree with the whole make-up of it. I
BRAYLON DISSES THE BOWL CHAMPI- think over half the population of the
ONSHIPS SERIES: Although he now plays country would agree with me that it
for the NFL's Cleveland Browns, for- doesn't work." ... "I believe Michigan
mer Michigan wide receiver Braylon is the best team in the country with
Edwards still feels the need to stick up the exception of Ohio State."

Player

MINO TG I FT REB A F PTS

Petway 22 4-5 4-6 5-10 3 0 12
Coleman 24 3-5 0-0 0-0 1 2 8
Abram 29 2-3 1-1 0-4 3 2 6
Sims, C. 21 4-4 4-5 2-6 0 1 12
Harris 28 5-10 2-2 0-0 4 2 16
Smith 15 0-2 0-0 0-3 1 1 0
Udoh 21 3-5 0-0 1-8 0 0 6
Shepherd 17 3-9 0-0 1-1 4 1 6
Sims, D. 13 1-3 2-2 1-3 0 1 4
Baker 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
TEAM TOTALS 200 25-46 13-16 10-35 16 10 70
FG%: 54.3 FT%: 81.3 3-pointFG: 7-15,.467 (Harris4-6, Cole-
man 2-4,Abram 1-2, Shepherd 0-1,Smith 0-2) Blocks: 4 (Udoh 3,
Petway) Steals: 4(Harris, Petway, Smith, Udoh.). Tumovers: 15
(Harris 4, Smith 3, Abram 2, Coleman 2, C. Sims 2, Petway, D. Sims)
Technical fouls: C. Sims

Blue disagrees on who has it worse: bigs or littles

Delaware State 43
Player MIN FG
M-A

FT REB A F PTS

Fleetwood 11 1-4 0-0 0-1 0 4 2
Roundtree 40 0-3 2-2 2-4 2 2 2
Bright 37 9-14 0-2 1-3 0 0 21
Shine 32 2-7 2-4 0-1 2 3 6
Bluntt 36 2-14 3-3 1-3 2 3 8

Bush
Mosley
D'Agostino
Sandidge
TEAM
TEAM TOTALS

27
9
2
6
200

2-4
a-1
0-1
o-o
16-48

0-0
0-0
0-0
0-0
7-9

0-1
0-0
0-0
0-1
1-3
5-17

1
2
0
0
9

4
2
1
0
16

4
0
0
0
43

By H. JOSE BOSCH
Daily SportsEditor
The Michigan men's basketball team is deeply
divided over one issue.
Which is tougher: defending on the interior or on
the perimeter?
Against Delaware State on Saturday, the Wol-
verines' big men got a chance to play outside of
the paint. The Hornets lacked a post game, which
meant seniors Brent Petway and Courtney Sims
were forced to play outside of their comfort zone on
defense.
But both players contributed in stifling Delaware
State's offense, holding the Hornets to 33 percent
shooting. Even Petway showed his prowess on the
perimeter by notching a steal.
"It's rough," Petway said of playing perimeter
defense. "But we like to pressure (teams) as it is,
and we were able to keep the big men in front for
the most part."
Michigan's twin towers prepared for Saturday's
game by working on the perimeter with the guards
in practice. Senior guard Dion Harris said the inte-
rior guys played the guards well all week.
"I think that gave them confidence," Harris said.
"They were confident when they had to go out there
and guard those guys on the perimeter."
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker acknowledged
that Delaware State's style of play made matters
difficult for the forwards and gave them credit for
their hard work in chasing players down and play-
HORNETS From page 1B
focused because when you get up in a game and
you're at home, you might relax a little bit on
defense."
The Wolverines had no trouble relaxing on the
offensive end in the first half. Michigan's first six
shots came from 3-point land, and three different
players (Harris, senior Lester Abram and junior Ron
Coleman) combined to convert on allibut one of those
attempts.
Delaware State (2-8) then realized the Wolverines
were unlikely to miss from outside, and switched to
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team Big Ten Overall
Michigan 0 0 10 1
Wisconsin 0 0 9 1
Ohio State 0 0 8 1
Purdue 0 0 8 1
Illinois 0 0 9 2
Michigan State 0 0 9 2
Northwestern 0 0 5 2
Penn State 0 0 6 3
Indiana 0 0 5 3
Ioma 0 0 5 5
Minnesota 0 0 4 7

ing the entire court.
The Hornets' forwards went just 10-for-21 from
the field (3-for-9 from 3-point range) thanks in part
to Petway, Sims and freshman Ekpe Udoh.
Sims said the biggest difference for him was hav-
ing to worry about his own man more often out on
the perimeter. The Boston native explained that
instead of looking for the ball and watching for
players driving to the basket, he had to be more con-
cerned with playing defense on the ball and moving
his feet to stay out in front of the defender.
But even though the interior players got a taste of
what life is like on the outside, all of them swear that
post defense is tougher than perimeter defense.
"It's like boxing," Sims said. "You take body shots
in the post."
Sims pointed out that forwards have to run the
full length of the court, from post to post, while
guards only have to run from 3-point line to 3-point
line.
Petway agreed.
"We're taking a physical beating the whole
night," Petway said. "They get to hit all the jump
shots and be pretty out on the perimeter. We're the
ones that have to be in the trenches."
But if you take the issue up with Harris, he just
smiles wryly.
"No," Harris said in response to Petway's com-
ments that interior defense is harder than defend-
ing the perimeter. "I have to play 94 feet of defense
every time down. We always have that argument in
the locker room, and I disagree with (Petway)."
a new pressure defense on Michigan's guards. That
shift opened up the game. Harris pump-faked on a
three from the top of the key, and found freshman
Ekpe Udoh unguarded under the basket for an easy
lay-up to ignite a 13-2 run that put the game out of
reach.
Several possessions later, after a rare Michigan
(10-1) miss, Petway skied in for an offensive rebound
that he finished with a thunderous dunk. He soared
so high he nearly hit his head on the backboard after
the slam.
"That first (dunk) was - amazing," Udoh said.
Said Petway: "Our guards were hot today, and they
were doing a great job of finding each other. Once
those (3-pointers) start going in so much, the defense
won't even box out, they just look at the ball thinking
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
MICHIGAN 70, Delaware St. 43
lowA 77, Iowa State 59
KENTUCKY 59 - Indiana 54
Arkansas-Little Rock 67- MINNESOTA 66
SEToN HALL 69 - Penn State 59
Wisconsin 70 - MARQUETTE 66
ILLINoIS 71- Illinois-Chicago 66
OHio STATE 78 - Cleveland State 58
NORTHwEsTERN 77 - Western Michigan 75 (OT)
PURDUE 79 - Missouri 62
MICHIGAN STATE 76 - Brigham Young 61
'HOME TEAM IN CAPS

FG%: 33.3 FT%: 77.8 3-point FG: 4-15, .267 (Bright 3-6,
Bluntt 1-5, Fleetwood 0-1, Mosley 0-1, Shine 0-2). Blocks: 1
(Bright). Steals: 7 (Shine 4, Bluntt 2, Roundtree). Turnovers:
13 (Blunt 4, Shine 4, Team 2, Bush ,Fleetwood, Roundtree).
Technical fouls: None.
Delaware St.......... 26 17 - 43 At: Crisler Arena
Michigan............37 33 - 70 Attendance: 9,449

Player

GP Min Pts RI A

Freshman Ekpe Udoh helped shut down the Hornets' offense.
So which is tougher: interior defense or perim-
eter defense?
After Saturday's game, Delaware State can't tell
the difference.
it's going to go in, and it's easier to get in there (and
rebound)."
It was the third straight game in which Michigan
shot better than 40 percent from downtown. Harris
has been the main producer in this effort, and he fin-
ished with a team-high 16 points, going 4-of-6 from
beyond the arc.
"It's always good to get off to a good start like I did
today, because I can relax even more if I know my
shot is falling," Harris said. "I felt like I was in a good
rhythm."
Petway and senior Courtney Sims each finished
with 12 points for the Wolverines, and Petway added
10 rebounds.
Led by the consistent output of those seniors, the
Wolverines have been untouchable on their home
floor, where they are a perfect 9-0 this year. They
were so dominant on Saturday that just three avail-
able players - junior walk-on David Merritt, soph-
omore Phil DeVries and freshman Kendric Price
- didn't see action.
But there are just three home games left for Mich-
igan before the conference season begins, and the
Wolverines want to make sure that they handle their
business on their home floor before Big Ten season.
"We'are trying to be undefeated at home first, and
we want to take care of that so in March, we won't be
looking back and saying we should have gotten one,"
Udoh said.

i i i i i

Sims, C.
Harris
Coleman
Petway
Abram
Udoh
Smith
Sims, D.
Shepherd
Price
Baker
Morris
Merritt
DeVries

11
11
11
11
11
11
11
9
10
4
8
7
2
1

25.2
30.7
28.9
24.9
26.8
18.7
19.5
6.8
10.8
4.0
6.0
5.3
2.0
3.0

15.1
14.5
9.5
8.1
7.9
4.6
4.0
2.8
2.6
2.3
1.4
1.0
0.0
0.0

7.1
2.6
3.7
8.0
4.1
4.6
2.5
1.4
1.8
1.5
0.0
0.3
0.0
1.0

0.4
5.2
1.4
1.8
3.1
0.7
2.5
0.3
0.8
0.3
0.5
0.1
0.5
0.0

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