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December 06, 2006 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-12-06

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0

8A - Wednesday, December 6, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Petway fills void as
Cagers' spark plug

40

By DANIEL LEVY
Daily Sports Writer
Even the most casual Michigan
basketball fan knows one name:
Air Georgia.
The 6-foot-8 senior, named
Brent Petway, was expected to
provide a spark off the bench last
season with one of his trademark
head-above-the-rim slams, pow-
erful blocks or timely charges to
shift the momentum in the Wol-
verines' favor.
But the Wolverines are ask-
ing more out of Petway this sea-
son. The graduation of big man
Graham Brown has left a void in
the paint, which means the team
needs Petway to be a steady con-
tributor alongside Courtney Sims
as opposed to merely an X factor.
More important, Michigan
coach Tommy Amaker and the
rest of the players considered
Brown the heart and soul of last
year's squad. Every night, they
knew they could count on him to
provide the physical defense, flat-
tening screens and hustle plays
that could swing the momentum
of a game.
Now the burden falls on the
extremely vocal Petway. Despite
concerns about his ability to han-
dle such a role - he played in just
22 games last season after being
declared academically ineligible
for the fall semester - Petway has
willingly embraced his new role.
"t've got that personality to
step in and fill that spot as that
hustle guy who gives his all every
night," Petway said. "(Amaker)
said it was going to be rough.
(Brown) did some of the little
things that most people weren't
doing on the team, and somebody
was going to have to step up and
do that for us to be successful. I
just took it on myself tobe able to
step into that roll."
A month into the season, it's
safe to say Petway's efforts to lead
Michigan have been successful.
Amaker pointed out just what the
McDonough, Ga., native means to
this team.
"Brent is the heart and soul of
our team this year," Amaker said.
"His teammates respond to him
and they respect him. He's led
us in a lot of different things that
may not show up in a scoring cat-
egory like rebounding and hustle
plays. He's a vocal leader."
Part of what has allowed Pet-
way to step into this new roll is
his ability to walk the fine line
between getting on players to
play harder and still treating
them a way a teammate deserves
to be treated.
"You have to be one of those
players that has respect for your
teammates, first of all," Petway

TREVOR CAMPBELL/Daily
Defenseman Jack Johnson will be the lone Wolverine competing for the United States at the IIHF World Junior Hockey
Championships at the end of the month.
Stars and Stripes
choose Johnson

Junior Brent Petway has averaged nearly five more rebounds per g
already surpassed his block total from last season. He and the Wol
take on Miami (Ohio) on Thursday night.

0

By NATE SANDALS
Daily Sports Writer
Jack Johnson was the Cana-
dian fans' public enemy No. 1 dur-
ing last year's IIHF World Junior
Championship tournament in
British Columbia. He drew their
wrath with a late hit after a Cana-
dian game-winning goal.
At least Johnson had fellow
Wolverines Kevin Porter and Mark
Mitera with him for support when
the hounding got serious.
While he doesn't know if he'll
draw as much ire from the home
Swedish fans, Johnson will be the
only Wolverine on the U.S. squad
during this year's tournament,
which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Though he'll be the lone Michi-
gan representative sporting red,
white and blue, Johnson is looking
forward to the opportunity to play
against the world's best.
"I'm definitely excited," John-
son said. "I think we've a good shot
at it this year."
He will count on his experience
to take a bigger leadership role on
this year's team.
The Ann Arbor native is one of
just eight players returning for last
year's squad.
While he is not necessarily a
vocal leader, Johnson sets his best
example with his effort on the ice.
"Part of leadership is what you
do," Michigan coach Red Berenson

said. "If you want to measure Jack
on what he does, that's a big part
of leadership, and he does that. So
obviously players look up to him
and they respect his passion for
the game and how hard he works
and how hard he competes every
day in practice."
Berenson also points to John-
son's improved discipline regard-
ing penalties as a sign of the
defenseman's increasing maturity
and leadership capabilities.
Porter knows what a difference
a year can make.
There's the obvious advantage
of experience, but it's also impor-
tant to take a leading role in the
locker room, Porter said.
The Northville native knows
what it takes to be a leader, hav-
ing been named captain of the U.S.
team last year.
"It's tough, because you're going
into a team where you don't know
many guys," Porter said. "Jack
could be one of the leaders and
should be one of the leaders this
year. It's just a tough situation and
guys who can do it are born lead-
ers."
For his part, Johnson isn't going
to force himself into a leadership
role on this year's squad.
"I'd like to think of myself as
tryingto be a leader on that team,"
Johnson said. "But I think I'm just
going to go in and be myself, play
the way I know I can play, and

hopefully everything will turn out
for the best."
Johnson not only stands to ben-
efit from last year's tournament,
but also from his experience play-
ing overseas as a member of the
U.S. National Team Developm~sent
Program Under-18 squad.
While he's excited for the tour-
nament, Johnson admitted he's
disappointed his good friend
Mitera won't be playing with him
this holiday season.
"It's going to be tough out there
without Mark, because he's been a
guy I've had with me for the past
four years," Johnson said.
Along with Johnson, sophomore
Andrew Cogliano will attend the
Canadian junior team's training
camp in the hopes of making the
tournament roster.
If Cogliano makes the roster,
the two Wolverines competing in
the tournament mark the smallest
Michigan contingent since 2000,
when Andy Hilbert and Jeff Jill-
son skated for the U.S.
NOTES: Johnson said he was
progressing well with rehab of a
shoulder injury suffered in last
Saturday's 6-5 win at Western
Michigan. The sophomore said the
injury was the result of a shoulder-
to-shoulder hit with a Western
Michigan player. Berenson refused
to speculate about Johnson's avail-
ability for this weekend's series
against Notre Dame.

said. "You've got to be a player
that goes out there and works
hard every day, because if play-
ers don't see you working hard,
they're probably not going to lis-
ten to you."
Beyond filling in as one of
team's leaders, Petway has given
the Wolverines exactly what they
needed in the lane.
Through nine games, he's
averaged 8.3 rebounds per game
- a full rebound more per contest
than Brown, who led theteam last
season. Along with keeping oppo-
nents off the glass, the senior has
19 blocks this season, equaling his
entire output from last year.
Petway is also scoring more
than he ever has. He continues to
prove his critics wrong by flash-
ing a few post moves and show-
casing the ability to knock down
open jumpers.
Equally important is his effi-
ciency. His field-goal percentage
(.620) is as high as it's been since
his freshman season, when he
played less and could conserve
his energy.

Petway's ability to step up may
come as a shock to those who
thought of him as immature.
But it hasn't been surprising
to the man himself, whose big-
gest challenge so far hasn't been
blocking out or scoring buckets,
but merely playing so much bas-
ketball. Petway has averaged
almost 26 minutes a game com-
pared to last year's 16.1, and the
increased playing time has been
an adjustment for him.
"After playing a 30-minute
game, you have a real apprecia-
tion for it because I come back the
next day at practice, and I'm not
used to being that sore," Petway
said. "It's definitely a good feel-
ing during the game because you
know coach wants you in there at
the end, and that shows his con-
fidence in you. But the day after,
you definitely feel it."
The Wolverines hope they can
continue to count on Petway to
spark the team night in and night
out. If the first nine games are any
indication, they have nothing to
worry about.

From pain to promise:
Injury becomes chance
of lifetime for brothers

for more information call 734/615-6449
The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science,
and the Arts presents a public lecture and reception

By COLT ROSENSWEIG
Daily Sports Writer
Last year, Justin Laury was
disappointed.
Due to shoulder and knee inju-
ries, the now fifth-year senior was
forced to redshirt the season.

Myth and Memory in Classical Greece

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It turns out his stroke of bad
luck was a blessing in disguise.
Because of his medical red-
shirt, the Marietta, Ga., native
can compete on the same team as
his brother, freshman Torrance,
for one season.
"I just thank God for giving me
the opportunity to have my final
year with my little brother," Jus-
tin said. "It couldn't have worked
out any better."
Justin was the first of the
brothers to get involved in gym-
nastics. He flipped all the time -
in the house, in the backyard, at
school. Soon his teachers began
calling home to report his flips
to his mother, who then enrolled
him in gymnastics.
Torrance, after watching Jus-
tin practice and compete for sev-
eral years, decided to follow in his
brother's footsteps. He proved to
have a similar gift for gymnastics
- he's a three-time all-around
state champion, and he finished
third on rings and 10th in the all-
around at the 2006 Junior Olym-
pic Nationals.
Although they're aggressive
competitors inthe gym, the broth-
ers have never competed against
each other. Instead of a sibling
rivalry, their years together in
gymnastics have been marked by
mutual support for each other's
endeavors. At Torrance's com-
petitions, Justin would follow
his brother from event to event,
shouting encouragement.
When it came time for Tor-
rance to choose his college,
Michigan was always No. 1. It had
a great team, a good mix of school
and sports - and Justin.
"I felt like it would be kind of

like old times when we used to
train together in Atlanta," Tor-
rance said. "I was really excited to
find out that he would be compet-
ing here one more year and that
I'd be competing here as well."
But while they are both
extremely skilled gymnasts with
positive, friendly attitudes, the
brothers have distinct personali-
ties.
"Justin is more the wild one,"
said freshman Joe Levine, who
has known the Laurys for several
years and rooms with Torrance.
"Torrance is more reserved to
himself, very quiet, very polite.
In the gym sometimes, if we
(accidentally) get in the way ... he
won't say anything. We're trying
to change that a little bit, get him
to speak up a little bit."
These same differences apply
to their gymnastics.
"He's more the type of guy
where you have to egg him on in
the gym to do a skill," Justin said.
"I'm the kind of guy you have to
be like, 'Hey wait, slow down!
Take it a little slower.'"
Both Justin and Torrance will
be keys to Michigan's success this
season.
With Justin redshirting for the
year, the team finished eighth last
season - the first time Michigan
had missed NCAA team finals
since 1998. The brothers will
add some much-needed depth on
pommel horse and parallel bars,
and both hope to compete in the
all-around by the time the major
meets roll around.
With their talent - by season's
end, the Laury brothers may
share one more thing: an NCAA
Championship.

Richard Janko
Gerald F. Else Collegiate Professor
of Classical Studies

Wednesday
December 6, 2006
Rackham Amphitheater
4:10 PM

LSA

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