8A - Thursday, November 30, 2006
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Spann excels in
By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Writer
Last Wednesday, surrounded by
teammates, Wolverine Scott Spann
dove from the blocks and swam 100
meters. He was one-tenth of a sec-
ond shy of the pool record.
Just two months into his colle-
giate swimming career, the fresh-
man was already about to make his
mark on the Michigan record board
- during a practice swim.
Spann's goals for his college
career are not limited to setting
records at Canham Natatorium. By
the time he leaves Ann Arbor, he
plans tobe an Olympian, a two-time
NCAA champion and a four-time
Big Ten champion in individual
"Every meet, I've been trying to
knock off time, and I've done that,"
Spann said. "I'm keeping pace for
what I'm trying to do. Right now,
I'm on pace to break the team
record, but I have to be even faster
Influenced by his father, who
held five U.S. and world records,
Spann began swimming at 5. The
younger Spann's list of high school
achievements - including three 18-
and-under national records and a
Texas High School Swimmer of the
Year award - proved he could be a
contributor for a collegiate swim-
ming powerhouse. Spann decided to
swim for the Wolverines after field-
ing serious offers from other top
"Scott decided to come to Mich-
igan after he had some very strong
ties with Texas," Michigan coach
Bob Bowman said. "I watched
Scott swim as a younger swimmer,
coming up the ranks, and I knew
he had great talent. He had all the
ingredients that would go into a
great swimmer, so when we were
looking for a breaststroker, his
was the first name that stuck in my
Spann added: "There were a lot
of people who doubted my decision
to come here, people who thought
that I wasn't going to do very well
here for different reasons, but that
made me work that much harder. I
thought this was going to be a long
process, but I'm actually doing a lot
better here than I ever thought I
In four meets this season, Spann
has wonthe 100-yard once and 200-
yard breaststroke twice. He earned
an NCAA consideration time (2:18.5)
last month in the 200-meter breast-
stroke. Teammate and roommate
Charlie Houchin said that Spann's
specific goals have helped Spann
succeed early in the season.
"He stays reallyupbeat and that's
led to him being able to stay more
focused in practice, which leads to
better results in the pool," Houchin
said. "I don't think there's any ques-
tion that he'll be able to reach his
With the majority of the season
remaining, Bowman believes that
Spann can significantly impact the
outcome of this spring's champion-
"He's going to be one of the best
swimmers in the Big Ten, and I
think he has the talent to swim at
the very top of the NCAA this year,"
Bowman said. "He works very hard
andhe deserves success."
Senior T.J. Hensick has made hirmself an early-season contender for the Hobey Baker Award by totaling 28 points so far this season.
Hobey in Hensick'fure
Over 2 million sold!
By AMBER COLVIN
Daily Sports Writer
Watching highlights from Sat-
urday's 8-2 blowout loss at No. 1
Minnesota is enough to make any
Wolverine feel queasy - except for
The clip begins with the Golden
Gophers on the power play. Senior
alternate captain T.J. Hensick then
picks up a loose puck at the blue
line. The forward swoops down the
left wing, fends off a defender and
quickly cuts right as he approaches
the net. Minnesota goalie Kellen
Briggs takes the bait, allowing Hen-
sick to slide the puck past Briggs's
left ankle for Michigan's second
score of the night.
If that short-handed beauty
doesn't quench your thirst for
highlight-reel goals, just look at
tapes from a night earlier in Madi-
son. Hensick fired a one-timer on
the power play that left Wisconsin
netminder Brian Elliott stunned.
Three days earlier it was Michi-
gan State's Jeff Lerg between the
pipes. Lerg left Hensick just inch-
es to work with, but a spinning
Hensick chipped it in no sweat.
The Howellnative is already gar-
nering Hobey Baker Award buzz.
Last week's goals alone would be
enough to jumpstart his campaign.
Perhaps his biggest selling point
lies in another offensive category:
Hensick has always possessed
the raw talent to string together
dazzling goals. But this season, the
center has extended his game by
tapping into his playmaking abili-
ties and setting up linemates, too.
He leads No. 6 Michigan with 21
helpers this season.
"He's been a little of an indi-
vidualist in his career at times,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"Because he's so good, he could go
through everybody with the puck.
So he didn't rely on passing the
puck, even last year, as much as he
is now. He's really blossoming as a
total player and as a total center-
Picking up assists along with his
goals in each game last weekend,
Hensick moved up Michigan's list
of career assist leaders into a tie for
seventh place (122).
He also leads the NCAA in career
assists and points among active
players. Nebraska-Omaha's Scott
Parse is far behind in second with
101 assists, and Hensick's 181 points
trump Parse's 162.
Hensick's mentality on the ice
has changed since his "individual-
ist" days of years past. These days,
he's looking for a teammate before
he's looking at the net.
"I usually get more thrill on set-
ting guys up than scoring my own
goals," Hensick said. "For me the
decision is usually pass, and then if
the pass isn't there I'll shoot. Most
guys think to shoot first and then
pass. I seem to be backwards, but it
seems to be working out."
Hensick's linemates have reaped
dividends fromhis playmaking abil-
ity. His two wingers, junior Kevin
Porter and senior David Rohlfs,
are finding the back of the net with
ease. Porter leads the team with 12
goals this season, and Rohlfs isn't
far behind with nine.
Porter and Rohlfs complement
Hensick well, so if one of them goes
to the net, chances are Hensick will
"He makes plays that you
don't think are possible," Rohlfs
said. "Sometimes he makes the
AN AMERICAN REVOWI1ON
.888.3$5.8388 COmer of Jacks and Wagn Rd.
extra pass that you don't expect,
which throws off the goalie and
the defensemen. It creates more
chances, because the goalie
thinks he's going to shoot because
he looks like he's going to shoot.
But then he makes an extra little
quick-second pass, and then you
just tap in an easy goal for our
Because of his prolific talent,
Hensick plays as a marked man.
Each night, the opponents' top play-
ers shadow him. But Hensick zips
through them, moves past them
and ignites the offensive fireworks
just the same.
Scoring highlight-reel goals,
racking up assist after assist and
developing into a complete player
make Hensick a consistent and
indispensable asset for the Wolver-
ines. He has a point in all but one
game this season.
So grab your posterboard and
start sketching those "T.J. for
Hobey" signs. Hensick was a final-
ist for the award his sophomore
year, and people are rallying for
him to top that this season.
"Everybody's hoping," Rohlfs
said. "It'd be nice."
WE REALIZE THAT
YOU NOW PLAY IN
OHIO, AND THAT
CAN GET KIND OF
MEAN YOU NEED
TO GO OFF AND GO
AFTER POOR OL'
YOU NEED TO
THINGS IN A
FULL SENSE. YOU
COULD BE PLAYING
FOR ART SHELL.
OR WORSE, YOU
JOHN L. SMITH.
SO BUCK UP
WILL BE IN
THE PROS IN A
Serious support for serious leaders
This year The Ohio State University Moritz College of
Law will award more than 75 full or partial, three-year
scholarships to high achieving candidates who demon-
strate strong leadership potential. We are creating a
community of leaders who want to maximize their legal
education and leadership potential through specialized
coursework, unique experiences, and contact with
The confluence of your potential and Moritz Resources
is the ideal environment for serious leaders. We invite
you to realize your full potential at the Moritz College of
Law. To apply, complete the short essay on the financial
aid form accompanying the Moritz application at: