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January 11, 2007 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-01-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 5A

Protecting the glass
key to Cagers' defense

By DANIEL LEVY
Daily Sports Writer
You can't make the shots you don't take.
That has been the philosophy the Wolver-
ines' defense has followed while holding its
opponents to just 56.9 points per game this
season (third in the Big Ten).
The reason? Rebounding.
TheWolverinesallowapaltry28.6rebounds
per game, good for first in the conference in
rebounding defense. Not surprisingly, Michi-
gan is near the top of the list - just behind
Michigan State and Indiana - in field goal
attempts allowed per game.
"Being a good defensive team, you're going
to have to keep teams from getting second
chances," senior Brent Petway said. "Anytime
you give somebody more chances, they're
going to have more opportunities to score."
The commitment to rebounding and
defense is an attitude preached by Michigan
coach Tommy Amaker, who knows his team
can consistently control the effort it brings to
crash the boards.
"We're very pleased with (our rebound-
ing)," Amaker said. "I think it's a function
of our defense, first of all, and I think it's a

function of our kids being able to block out
very well. That's one of the things that we've
harped on a great deal with our team."
When Michigan's big men talk about the
team's approach to rebounding, it's clear
Amaker is getting through. They understand
the importance of every possession and are
willing to concentrate on rebounding every
time down the floor.
This commitment can be as mental as it is
physical.
"It's just our goal as ateam to be one of the
best rebounding teams in the Big Ten," Pet-
way said. "You got to have that mindset, every
time a shot goes up, you got to go box out."
The funny thing about this Michigan team
is that it lacks that one dominant rebounder
who can be counted on to snatch nearly 10
boards a game. Senior Courtney Sims leads
the team at 6.7 rebounds per contest.
Without one big man controlling the glass,
the entire team must buy into the concept of
boxing out and getting its hands dirty in the
paint.
Petway is just behind Sims at 6.6 rebounds
per game, while freshman Ekpe Udoh and
senior captain Lester Abram also contribute
to the cause (averaging 4.5 and 4.4 rebounds

per game, respectively).
It's not just the big men who help control
the glass. Amaker expects his guards to pull
their own weight as far as rebounding is con-
cerned, something that isn't easy for a smaller
player.
"It's tough (to adjust to)," the 6-foot-3 Dion
Harris said. "When you know the point guard
on the other team is not going in, you have a
tendency to just stand out there and watch
and wait on everyone else to rebound.
"(Amaker) gets on us in practice every time
we don't help box out weakside - the point
guard is supposed to box out weakside. He
emphasizes it most to the point guard in try-
ing to help somebody else box out, because
nine times out of 10, the point guard for the
other team will go to the glass."
However tedious it may be to box out on
each possession, Harris and the Wolverines
realize how crucial every rebound can be,
especially when it comes to the particular
style of basketball that Michigan will contin-
ue to see in conference play.
"That's what guys have to look at," Har-
ris said. "One play can change a whole game
because it's such a slow, grind it out game in
the Big Ten."

JEREMY CHO/Daily
Senior Courtney Sims's team-high rebounding helps Michigan stifle its opponents.
From Brazil
to Michigan,
Schultz a winner

TREVOR CAMPBELL/Daily
David Rohlfs keyed Michigan's offense in a 5-0 win over Bowling Green onTuesday. The senior scored two goals with new linemates Tim Miller and Brandon Naurato.
1 sihb

By AMBER COLVIN
Daily Sports Writer
When senior David Rohlfs
dinged a slapshot off the crossbar
at the beginning of Michigan's
5-0 blanking of Bowling Green
Tuesday night, the Wolverines
accidentally let some premature
celebrations slip out.
The puck didn't go in, but
Rohlfs earned a real celebration
later with a goal that got some
cheers and some chuckles.
Less than two minutes into the
second period, the Falcons tried
to clear the puck from their zone,
only for it to meet Rohlfs's stick
at the blue line. Rohlfs fired it
straight ahead to the net, but the
puck fluttered like a knuckle puck
straight out of "D2: The Mighty
Ducks."
The sailing puck fooled Bowl-
ing Green netminder Jimmy
Spratt and drifted right over the
top of his glove to give Michigan

By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Writer
In another hemisphere, Andr4
Schultz is a national champion. But
5,100 miles from his hometown, he
is in a pool where he isn't quite sure
how fast he's swimming.
"I've never swam in yards all
that much," Schultz said. "I don't
even know what I can go in yard
times. All my times are converted
from meters."
Luckily, competitive success is
measured the same in every pool -
by victories. The standout freshman
from Sao Paulo, Brazil has made an
immediate impact for Michigan,
earning two first-place finishes and
two NCAA consideration times dot-
ing the first half of the season.
Schultz was named Brazilian
National Champion as ahighschool
senior and was the South American
Junior Champion as a junior. He
swam for Brazil in the 2006 Pan-
Pacific Championships and will
again compete for his country in
the 2007 Pan-American Games.
He lived in San Diego his fresh-
man year of high school to train
with a California swim club. As
he neared the end of preparatory
school in Brazil, he fielded schol-
arship offers from Stanford, Pur-
due, Auburn and Michigan. The
Wolverines' success with Olympi-
ans and emphasis on international
development made Michigan the
school most compatible with his
future goals.
"In Brazil, things don't work
like they work here," Schultz said.
"You don't swim for college at a
high level. That's why I came to
the United States, to combine high-
level swimming with a good school.
I decided to go to Michigan because
they really consider international
meets and long-course swimming a
lot higher than other schools."
Michigan coach Bob Bowman
first learned of Schultz's talent
after the swimmer trained in San

Diego. Bowman then visited Schul-
tz's home in Brazil as part of the
international student recruiting
process.
"Andre was just such a great stu-
dent and a good swimmer that he
really attracted us," Bowman said.
"We usually look first in the United
States, and then if we have a special
case, we certainly take an interna-
tional student."
Before moving to the United
States, Schultz was most concerned
about living alone in an unfamiliar
place. After one semester, he has
found his greatest challenge in Ann
Arbor has been adapting to the
intense workouts of his new team.
"I stepped up to a whole differ-
ent level in training," Schultz said.
"Reeping up with these guys has
been pretty hard. Bob changed my
stroke a little bit and that's always
hard to work on. When you change
the little things, it's hard and it
takes some getting used to."
Schultz said his strongest events
are the 200-meter freestyle, 200-
meter individual medley and
200-meter backstroke, but he has
competed in 10 different sprint
and mid-distance events for the
Wolverines. He regularly swims
on the 400-yard freestyle relay and
has raced in individual events that
range fromthel00-yardbackstroke
to the 500-yard freestyle.
Schultz earned his first victory
in his second meet as a part of the
200-yard freestyle relay and his
first collegiate individual victory
against Georgia in November.
The swimmer does not have spe-
cific Big Ten or NCAA goals for his
freshman year, simply hoping to
"swim at meets and do well" while
training for success on the interna-
tional stage.
"I'm just looking to do my best,"
he said. "I never followed college
swimming before I came here, so I
don't really have times or expecta-
tions. I just want to place as high as
I can and score."

its second tally of the night.
"I just kind of laughed about
it, because it wasn't even close to
half as hard as his first shot that
hit the crossbar," sophomore Tim
Miller said. "It just went off the
goalie's glove. It was pretty funny
- but it was a big goal for us."
The score came after a first
period the Wolverines dominated
- outshooting Bowling Green 13-
1- but had just a 1-0 lead to show
for it. When Rohlfs lit the lamp,
he secured the Michigan lead.
"Let's face it, Rohlfs's goal
was a pretty lucky goal," Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson said.
"It wasn't even a good scoring
chance. ... We got lucky on that
one."
Michigan never looked back
from there, and neither did
Rohlfs, who slipped the puck past
Spratt again in the third stanza.
The two-goal output was an
impressive demonstration of
Rohlfs's success on a new line

with Miller and sophomore Bran-
don Naurato.
Rohlfs had spent most of the
first half of the season on the top
line with senior T.J. Hensick and
junior Kevin Porter. The three
gelled well - so well that they.
accounted for just less than half
of Michigan's offensive output.
But Berenson didn't like having
such a one-dimensional offense,
and has been shuffling lines
since mid-December. He bumped
sophomore Travis Turnbull up to
the top line and tried Rohlfs on
the second line with junior Chad
Kolarik and sophomore Andrew
Cogliano.
But it seemed like Berenson
struck gold Tuesday night when
he moved Rohlfs, a hulking 6-
foot-3, 239-pound right-winger,
to the third line, debuting the
Naurato-Miller-Rohlfs combina-
tion for the first time.
"There's no question Rohlfs
adds a dimension on any line he

plays on," Berenson said. "So,
when he plays on a line with Nau-
rato and Miller, that gives you
another line that can score. ... We
have to be more than a one-line
team."
Though his line assignments
have been changing, Rohlfs has
enjoyed the consistency of play-
ing up front all season. During his
junior year, a shortage of defense-
men required that he move back
to the blue line for 23 games.
The Northville native has said
he appreciates being able to play
forward for a full season.
After his performance Tues-
day night, his new linemates are
pretty appreciative, too.
"He gets in the corners so fast,
and he can take two guys on by
himself," Miller said. "When
we're working together in the
corners, we create a lot of oppor-
tunities. Then we have Naurato
up front who can bury the puck,
so it's working out perfectly."

'M' has eyes set on dunks, wins

By DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Writer
After winning its first Big Ten
game in almost two years, the
Michigan women's basketball team
seems poised to reach new heights
- figuratively.
But it may not be too long until
the Wolverines are soaring to new
levels - literally.
With a slam.
No Michigan player says that
0 she can dunk, but it may be a pos-
sibility for at least three players -
sophomore forwards Ashley Jones
and Stephany Skrba and freshman
center Krista Phillips.
Phillips slammed a wiffle ball in
May.
Skrba dunked a tennis ball in
10th grade and worked her way up
to a dodgeball. But after she was
injured during her senior year of
high school, Skrba's dunking aspi-
rations have been on hold.
"I would say I'm closer than
most people," Skrba said.

Jones was more reserved about
her dunking ability. She said that
if she were to practice dunking, it
would be when she is alone in the
gym.
Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett
comparesthe3-pointerinthewom-
en's game to the dunk in the men's
game because of the way it affects
momentum and excites fans.
But even for those who feel
dunking is a way of life, a dunk in
the women's game would have no
parallel to its male counterpart.
"I would probably just be
shocked," said men's basketball
player Brent Petway - who attends
as many women's home games as
his schedule permits - on what his
reaction to a Michigan women's
basketball player dunking would
be.
But even if the Wolverines could
dunk, would they?
"Oh, yes!" Skrba said. "I would
do it all the time. I would be like
Brent. I would throw it down all
the time ... if I could be like him.

I'm not. But if I could, I would."
Skrba said that in addition to
the three aforementioned players,
freshman guard Kalyn McPherson
is the next most likely Wolverine to
dunk, even though she is just five-
foot-seven - tied for the second
shortest on the team
"You shouldn't sleep on Kalyn,"
Skrba said. "Kalyn has a vert. She
has a really high vert. She can
jump. She's so surprising. She can
jump. Because I remember on the
vert test, and she just stood there.
And all of a sudden, she was just up
the (wall)."
McPherson said that although
she can jump well, she is still six
inches short of touching the rim,
and that's without the ball. But she
is considering participating in a
jumping program this summer that
would raise her vertical jump 12 to
20 inches.
If any of the four throw it down,
they would join elite company.
West Virginia's Georgeann
Wells became the first woman to

dunk in a college basketball game,
doing it twice in 1985.
Since then, four more women
have dunked in10 different college
games.
Tennessee sophomore Candace
Parker is the most recent dunk-
er. She has the all-time women's
record for dunks (six), doingit most
recently last Saturday at Connecti-
cut.
No Big Ten women's basketball
player has ever dunked.
And while it probably won'thap-
pen this season for any Michigan
player, Phillips seems the most
set on getting done it in the near
future.
"After this year, I plan to," Phil-
lips said.
So don't expect to see the Wol-
verines dunking tonight when they
host Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Their
focus will be elsewhere.
"I'll try some things (with dunk-
ing)," Jones said. "But right now,
we're just focused on winning ball
games.

9,

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