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December 04, 2007 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-12-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 - 9

Bowl sellout fastest
in 62-year history

By SCOTT BELL Michigan (8-4). The Wolverines
Daily Sports Editor won the only head-to-head match-
up in the two schools' history four
It's not the Michigan football years ago when they defeated the
team's ideal bowl, but apparently Gators in the Outback Bowl, 38-30.
fans are still excited about it. This year's game takes place Jan.1
Just 13 hours after the Michi- at 1:00 p.m. and will air on ABC.
gan-Florida match- Despite the sellout, student tick-
up was announced NOTEBOOK ets are still available. The tickets
Sunday night, the in the designated student sections
Capital One Bowl reached a sell- went on sale yesterday and will be
out, Steve Hogan, the executive available until Friday at 5p.m. They
director of Florida Citrus Sports, must be ordered online using your
announced yesterday. student online ticket account.
Temporary bleachers were HUNGRY FOR SECONDS: Defen-
added after the sellout (65,438 peo- sive coordinator Ron English will
ple) was announced, but those seats meet with Michigan for a second
subsequently sold out, too. interview, according to ESPN.
"This record sellout is evidence The same report also said Eng-
that Orlando is a hotbed for college lish would interview with Arkan-
football," Hogan said. "Marquee sas for the Razorbacks' vacant head
matchups like Michigan and Flor- coaching position.
ida and their tremendous fans are English was unavailable for
what make the Capital One Bowl comment, but he did talk about the
the top non-BCS bowl game in the prospects of being a head coach
country." following Lloyd Carr's retirement
The Capital One Bowl pits No. press conference on Nov. 19.
9 Florida (9-3) against unranked "Certainly, who wouldn't?" Eng-

lish responded when asked if he'd
have interest in the head-coaching
job. "I love Michigan, I love being
at Michigan and it's been a great
opportunity for me."
HOPING FOR HARDWARE:
With the Heisman Trophy cer-
emony happening Saturday night,
most Michigan fans' attention will
be on the fact that Mike Hart won't
be there. Once a Heisman front-
runner, Hart fell out of contention
for the nation's most prestigious
award when he missed three games
because of to an ankle injury mid-
way through the season.
But even though the senior run-
ning back won't be at the Down-
town Athletic Club this weekend,
it doesn't mean he and a couple of
his teammates will walk away from
this season empty-handed.
Hart is a finalist for the Doak
Walker Award, given to the nation's
top running back. The nation's
fifth-leading rusher will be pitted
against Arkansas' Darren McFad-
den, and Rutgers' Ray Rice.

ALLU
PETER SCHOTTENFELS/ Daily
Defensive coordinator Ron English has been granted a second interview for the Michigan coaching job, according to ESPN.
Senior offensive lineman Jake defense combined). with the Biletnikoff Award as the
Long has a chance to bring home Junior Mario Manningham nation's top receiver.
two awards. He's a finalist for both hopes to garner more votes than All awards will be presented
the Outland Trophy (best offen- fellow finalists Michael Crab- Thursday at the Home Depot Col-
sive lineman) and Lombardi Award tree (Texas Tech) and Jordy Nel- lege Football Awards Show in Lake
(best lineman - both offense and son (Kansas State) to walk away Buena Vista, Fla.

'D' to go on offensive

By ANDY REID
Daily Sports Writer
Just as quickly as it found
its stride, the Michigan hockey
team's power-play unit lost all of
its momentum last weekend.
Against Ohio State, the Wolver-
ines made due
on just one of NOTEBOOK
13 total power
play opportuni-
ties. By anyone's standards, that's
a frustrating weekend, but for
Michigan, which boasted a 24.3-
percent conversion rate with a
man advantage, the unit's output
was dismal.
But the weekend's less-than-
stellar performance may have had
more to do with what the Buckeyes
did than what Michigan didn't.
"Yeah, our power play is no
secret," freshman Max Pacioretty
said. "I mean, they've been watch-
ing the film, so we've got to change
it up. We're working on changing
it up right now. We're getting it
going. We're going to start work-
ing on it more in practice, I think."
Ohio State, when working with
a man disadvantage, crashed
down on the Wolverines' potent
forwards, leaving defensemen like
freshman Chad Langlais alone at
the blue line. Langlais, who has yet
to tally a goal this season, couldn't
convert his opportunities into
goals. His shots were often blocked
by the Buckeye defense.
"One of our concerns is teams
are doing a better job of block-
ing shots," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "So, we've been
working with our D, trying to
get their shots through or make
smarter plays, so they're not get-
ting their shots blocked. We're get-
ting plenty of attempts from our D,
but they're not getting through to
the net."
Berenson said he doesn't care
if his defensemen score goals, but
they need to create scoring chanc-
es for the forwards. Langlais and
the other blue liners - only defen-
semen Mark Mitera and Steve
Kampfer have notched goals this
season - need to work on getting
the puck past the opposing defend-
ers and to the Michigan forwards.

Rebounding woes follow
Beilein to Michigan

ZACHARY MEISNER/Dais
Sophomore Chris Summers will be returning to the forward spot this weekend.

"Who's open? The defense is
open," Berenson said. "So we get
the puck back to the D, we try to
get (the forwards) up to the net
and then we have to be able to get
the puck through. Those are the
things we have to improve on."
DO THE SHUFFLE: Last sea-
son, Berenson decided to try now-
sophomore defenseman Chris
Summers at forward. The Milan
native impressed at his new posi-
tion and stayed up front for more
than half the season.
Berenson, looking for an offen-
sive spark, spoke to Summers after
the Wolverines' weekend series
split with Ohio State about trying
out the position again.
"He's aguythatcouldjumpstart
a line," Berenson said. "He can give
us that forechecking speed. You
know, when we put him up there
last year, he just gave our team a
lot of energy, a lot of speed.
"He's a high-end player as a for-
ward. I think our defense is at a
point where maybe we can play a
game or two without him. He's so

versatile, and it'sjustoneweekend,
but we're goingto watch him."
Neither Berenson nor Summers
could say how long the switch
will last, but both seemed excited
for this weekend against Bowling
Green.
"It's fun (playing forward),"
Summers said. "There's still a few
more tweaks to work out, and we'll
see what happens."
Summers will practice all week
at the position, and he said the
thing he'll need to work on most is
getting used to the additional skat-
ing required of forwards.
NOTES: After sitting out a
month with a knee injury suffered
in a Nov. 5 practice, freshman for-
ward Louie Caporusso will skate
during the Wolverines' pregame
skate Saturday. Berenson said
Caporusso should be game-ready
for the Great Lakes Invitational on
Dec. 28. ... Freshman Max Pacio-
retty picked up CCHA Rookie of
the Week honors after his two-
goal, three-point performance
against Ohio State.

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Writer
Losing to a coach it cautiously
criticized before the season was
bad enough for the Michigan men's
basketball team.
But when the Wolverines looked
at the stat sheet, things were even
more humiliating. Besides going 6-
for-7 from the free-throw line, no
statistic was pretty in their 62-51
loss to former coach Tommy Amak-
er and Harvard.
Michigan shot a dismal 32 per-
cent from the field, including just
5-for-20 from 3-point range. Its
assist-to-turnover ratio, a stat
Michigan coach John Beilein
emphasizes, was awful. The Maize
and Blue committed 13 turnovers to
just six assists.
All that can be attributed to
youth in a new, complicated system
and the fact the Wolverines had just
finished a stretch of five games in 11
days. But being outrebounded by a
Crimson squad that played just two
players above 6-foot-7, the tallest
being 6-foot-9?
Amaker's teams were never
outmuscled on the boards like
Michigan has been this season.
The latest rebounding discrepan-
cy came just three days after thex
Wolverines were manhandled
by Boston College on the glass,
giving up 17 offensive rebounds
- several of which came off of
free throws and doomed Michi-
gan down the stretch.
"We were just playing soft
down there," sophomore
DeShawn Sims said after Michi-
gan lost the rebounding battle,
50-32, to the Eagles. "Basically,
they just outworked us."
But Michigan's troubles on the
boards should come as no sur-
prise. Beilein is not a coach who
emphasizes rebounding. His suc-
cessful West Virginia teams rare-
ly beat its opponents on the glass.
It led some of his former play-
ers to comment on the change in
style when new coach Bob Hug-

gins took over for Beilein in Mor-
gantown, W.Va.
"We were never really a good
rebounding team - our technique
was bad," Mountaineer senior Dar-
ris Nichols said at Big East Media
Day in October. "It wasn't a big
thing with Beilein. We never con-
centrated on it."
It might need to become a point
of emphasis now that Michigan
has lost five of its last six games
after beginning the year with two
straight wins. The Wolverines have
been beaten on the glass in three
of their five losses this season and
barely outrebounded Butler, a team
that boasts no starters taller than
6-foot-7.
Unlike Beilein's Mountain-
eer squads, which were carefully
recruited and molded to fit into
his unique style of play, this year's
Michigan squad is full of players he
never envisioned in his system.
In the past, West Virginia over-
came its deficiencies on the glass
with pinpointpassingand quality3-
point shooting. Judging from their
3-5 record so far, the Wolverines

don't have that luxury just yet.
But the principles of rebounding
can't be lost on the team, Just a year
ago, under Amaker, the Wolverines
had a rebounding margin of plus-six
per contest. Part of the problem can
be blamed on the graduation of play-
ers like Brent Petway and Court-
ney Sims, who both averaged more
rebounds than any current player.
But even now-departed wing
Lester Abram, a player not noted
for any sort of prowess on the
glass, averaged more than the 3.6
rebounds per game that starting
center Zach Gibson is averaging
this season.
Whether he teaches it properly
or not, Beilein can't be on the court
and hitting the glass for his team.
After the embarrassment of this
past weekend, players are begin-
ning to realize, new coach or not,
the onus falls squarely on them.
"Defensive rebounding, that's
just something you want to do,"
sophomore K'Len Morris said. "You
have to have a drive in you. You
either going to box out or not. We
just have to clean that up."

_

Not time to jump on Blue's bandwagon just yet

By ALEX PROSPERI
On Women'sBasketball
It's been a long time since the
Michigan women's basketball
team was good.
The Wolverines haven't won
20 games in a season this millen-
nium.
But the 2007-08 campaign may
change that. The Wolverines have
jumped out to a nice start, winning
four of their first seven games
So here's the question: Is it time
to jump on the bandwagon?
The program's last winning
season was before Cheryl Burnett,
Michigan's previous coach, even
stepped foot in Ann Arbor.
But this year's squad has a new
attitude, led by first-year coach
Kevin Borseth.
Here's why you should, and
shouldn't, be too quick to judge
the Wolverines.

WHY YOU SHOULD: Because
the team says so.
"Oh that's not happening,"
sophomore Krista Phillips said in
response to last year's team win-
ning just six more games after a
4-1 start.
Said junior Jessica Minnfield,
"Well, this is a new season. We're
not worried about last year. We're
going to go game by game, day by
day."
This is a new Michigan pro-
gram. Borseth, who spent the
last nine years at UW-Green Bay
compiling a 216-62 record, brings
a winning tradition to a Michigan
program that last made it to the
Big Dance in 2000-01.
Don't forget that all five of the
Wolverines starters are upper-
classmen. Sixth-man Stephany
Skrba is playing solid defense and
rebounding well, and Phillips has
shown glimpses of dominance,

like her 21-point outburst against
Iowa State a few weeks back.
WHYYOU SHOULDN'T: Michi-
gan has faced three good teams so
far, Iowa State, No. 12 Texas A&M
and No. 16 Notre Dame, and lost
by a combined 83 points.
Yes - 83.
Then there's the schedule.
Michigan has three games left
before Big Ten season.
It wraps up the non-conference
slate at home against three teams,
that finished at least four games
above .500 last season - Ken-
tucky, Southern Cal and Ohio.
Already on a two-game skid, it
is conceivable that the Wolverines
could go into conference play rid-
ing a five-game losing streak.
And just when you thought the
tough part was over, it gets tough-
er.
The Big Ten features two
ranked teams - No. 19 Ohio State

and No. 23 Michigan State. Min-
nesota, Purdue, Penn State and
Illinois have all received votes in
the AP Top 25 Poll at some point
this season.
Michigan plays those six teams
a combined ten times.
"We have a very, very, very
vigorous regular season," Phil-
lips said. "Our biggest thing is we
need to get better as a team col-
lectively so when Big Ten season
rolls around we're ready to go."
Added Borseth: "The party is
over. It gets really difficult for us
now. At some point in time, we've
got to be able to step in and play."
Five days ago, the bandwagon
seemed like a good idea. But then
the Wolverines lost to Texas
A&M by 28, and followed up with
a similar performance against
Notre Dame on Sunday, losing by
31.
For now, I'll stay off.

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