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January 23, 2008 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-23

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8A - Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

M hope s tuneup
ON TH E VERGE will spark season
Maravic leads Blue to ment didn't count for team records,
the matches count for individual
strong weekend with player's statistics.
Senior captain Matko Maravic
dual meets ahead won all three singles matches he

Daily Sports Writer
With the dual-meet season
looming, the Michigan men's ten-
nis team needed a spark at last
weekend's Duke Invitational.
Next Saturday, Michigan begins
the relentless regular season, start-
ing with two dual meets against
Western Michigan and Ball State.
Both will be played in Muncie, Ind.
So, going into the weekend, the
Wolverines wanted momentum.
They wanted to start the sea-
son with fiery serves, impeccable
groundstrokes and consistency.
They wanted to win.
No. 21 Michigan traveled to Dur-
ham, N.C., to take on East Coast
competition and tune up for the
regular season, and they did just
what they went to do - win.
Win a lot.
"It's good to play a lotof matches
the week before the season starts,"
junior Peter Aarts said. "It sharp-
ens everyone up."
The Wolverines fared well in the
three-day tournament. They start-
ed strong, taking nine of 11 singles
matches and three of five doubles
matches on Friday against No. 10
North Carolina.
Building off its first-day success,
Michigan picked up six singles vic-
tories and swept all four doubles
matches against No. 16 Duke Sat-
No Wolverine lost on Monday, as
the team piled up nine singles and
five doubles victories over players
from Elon and UNC.
While the round-robin tourna-

played against some of the nation's
toughest competition, and he
wasn't the only one to go undefeat-
ed. Aarts and juniors Scott Bruck-
mann and Andrew Mazlin didn't
lose all weekend.
The No.23 doubles teamoffresh-
man Jason Jung and sophomore
Mike Sroczynski rolled through
all three of its matches, cementing
the bond between the players. They
look to make an impact in the dual-
meet season and make a run at the
NCAA doubles title at the end of
the season.
"At this point, we're going to
start with them," Michigan coach
Bruce Berque said. "You never
know what's going to happen, but it
looks like they'll be ateam."
Berque said Maravic and sopho-
more George Navas will pair up to
be another doubles team, but the
coaches are still experimenting
with the roster to create a third
team. Maravic and Navas collected
two victories in the tournament.
While next weekend's back-to-
back meets will test their endur-
ance, the Wolverines' first real
challenge won't come until the first
weekend in February, when they
take on No. 17 Pepperdine and No.
1 Virginia inAnn Arbor.
But after the way it handled
top-20 competition this weekend,
Michigan is confident it can com-
pete with the nation's best.
"We set the bar pretty high,
doing really well this weekend,"
Aarts said. "Everyone's really con-
fident mentally and that's really
important against tough teams.
It's a good way for us to start the


Freshman Manny Harris posted a career-high 26 points against the 11th-ranked Badgers in Madison.
Harris's career game not enough in loss

'Manny Fresh'
shakes off toe injury
in return to form
Daily Sports Writer
MADISON - In a disappoint-
ing season for the Michigan
men's basketball team, freshman
guard Manny Harris has risen
above the anguish time and time
So it was a bit strange when
a media relations official told
the Wolverines' leading scorer
to stand up for interviews after
last night's 64-61 loss at No. 11
Wisconsin (6-0 Big Ten, 16-2
After all, the Detroit native
had already done plenty to make

his presence felt.
Even before Harris poured in
a career-high 26 points, he domi-
nated the pre-game locker room.
"Play with heart."
"C'mon, we can do this."
"We can win."
Michigan coach John Beilein
said that kind of talk sometimes
seems like lip service. But not
with Harris, who showed last
night he's back - and maybe bet-
ter than ever.
The freshman was one of
Michigan's top two scorers in all
but one of this season's first 16
But last week he tallied a
career-low five points at Illinois,
a game in which he injured his
right big toe. Then, Iowa held
him in check during Saturday's
68-60 loss.
Harris said he tried to cruise

too much through those games,
not testing his toe enough.
But after losing to the Hawk-
eyes, he decided not to do that
anymore. The team needed his
And shooting 11-of-19 in 38
minutes last night, he provided
just that, hitting his jumpers
and pounding his way to the
Harris's effort helped the
Wolverines play their closest
game of the season. Wisconsin
had runs of 10-2, 7-2 and 11-3. In
most games, any of those would
have put Michigan away. But the
Wolverines showed a resilience
rarely seen this year.
Wisconsin didn't have a com-
fortable cushion until junior
Marcus Landry nailed a 3-point-
er with 23 seconds remaining
to give the Badgers a four-point

lead. That bucked the recent
trend in this series.
The Badgers had won their
last six home games against
Michigan by an average margin
of 19.5 points. They beat the Wol-
verines by 16 earlier this month
at Crisler Arena.
Even though this latest defeat
guarantees Michigan (1-6, 5-14)
will have more losses than last
season, the team appears to be
finally showing progress.
"We turned the corner," Har-
ris said. "We (didn't) really help
our wins and losses. Even if it's
getting us better next year, or
the Big Ten Tournament or any-
thing, I just feel like we made a
big improvement."
But on this night, improve-
ment didn't spell a win for Mich-
igan - even with the efforts of
its rising freshman.

Sophomore Chris Summers' ejection Friday led Michigan to start seven blueliners.
Blue dresses extra
defenseman in win

Michigan frontCourt gets tough' on the glass

Daily Sports Editor
MADISON - The Michigan men's bas-
ketball team may not have won the war
against No. 11 Wisconsin, but it did claim
victory in the rebounding N
battle, and that's some- NOTEBOOK
thing the Wolverines
aren't used to doing.
Even more surprising, Michigan had a
20-9 edge on the offensive boards.
Following a flat performance against
Iowa Saturday, the Wolverines concentrat-
ed on increasing the energy level against
Senior David Merritt said that focus was
the reason for the team's better play under
the boards.
Sophomore Ekpe Udoh said it more
"We just learned that we have to be
tougher," he said.
Offensive rebounds have been hard to
come by for Michigan since coach John
Beilein instituted his offensive system.
With players spread out, even the forwards
are rarely in position to collect a missed
For a team with the worst field goal per-
centage in the Big Ten heading into last
night's contest, that's not good news.

But with their added intensity against
the Badgers, Udoh and sophomore
DeShawn Sims forced their way into posi-
tion on several plays and gave Michigan
valuable second- and third-chance oppor-
With less than a minute and a half
remaining in the game, Udoh worked his
way under the basket to tip in a missed
Even though he needed a second attempt,
his persistence on the glass helped pull
Michigan within one point, 59-58.
The extra effort is something Beilein
would like to see more of.
"I think (the energy level) comes and
goes with us because we're learning about
this (offense)," Beilein said. "You can sus-
tain more energy than you think you have.
You can create energy just by making that
extra play."
'D'-VELOPMENT?: Before last night's
game, Beilein said his biggest concern was
the Wolverines' defense. Opponents were
shooting 46 percent from the floor against
Michigan and 41 percent from beyond the
It was no different against Wisconsin.
The Badgers, who came in shooting at a
35 percent clip from long distance, shot 52
percent from 3-point range - including 60
percent in the second half.

But Beilein was still satisfied.
"I tllought at times it was really good,"
Beilein said. "The middle penetration is
what really hurt us and we're working on
that. ... But I was really impressed."
The Wolverines' biggest problem has
been their inability to make key defensive
stops. With their streaky offense, the Wol-
verines have had difficulty keeping pace
with teams when they're forced to trade
baskets for long periods of time.
INJURY UPDATE: After clocking 11 min-
utes on the floor in his last two games,
senior Ron Coleman dressed but didn't
play against Wisconsin. The forward is still
rehabilitating his sprained ankle, working
alone and with trainers to get back into
playing shape.
The decision to sit out was a game-time
decision. Coleman said he'll approach each
game that way until his ankle is completely
"It's getting better," Coleman said.
"We're just trying to be cautious with it
right now so I can get it healed and get
back for the next game."
Coleman sprained his ankle against
Indiana on Jan. 8 and wore street clothes
for Michigan's win at Northwestern.
He's tried to play the last two games
against Illinois and Iowa, but was unable
to contribute on the stat sheet.

Daily Sports Writer
AUBURN HILLS - After sopho-
more defenseman Chris Summers
was ejected Friday of early in the
third period night's game for check-
ing from behind,
the Michigan NOTEBOOK
hockey team was
left with just five defensemen.
But for Saturday's against Notre
Dame, Michigan coach Red Beren-
son wasn't going to risk letting that
happen again. For the first time this
season, he chose to start a seventh
defenseman, Tristin Llewellyn,
instead of a complete fourth for-
ward line.
Summers's penalty -the Wolver-
ines' fourth major of the year - was
the first committed by a blueliner.
Though his penalty didn't doom
the Wolverines - Michigan eked
out a 3-2 victory Friday- it left
Berenson in a difficult position
with nearly 18 minutes left in a tied
But the top-ranked Wolverines
successfully killed off a five-minute
penalty to revive the largest crowd
at Yost this season and turn what
seemed like animpossiblydeephole
into a game-changing moment.
"There's the game right there,"
Berenson said. "Those are points in
the game that don't really show up
in the stat sheet, but they're really
As a result, the incomplete fourth
line didn't see as much ice as usual
(it played primarily on the penalty
kill) and the defensive pairings
rotated more frequently.
JAGGED ICE: There's a certain
prestige surrounding the Palace at
Auburn Hills, whether it's because
of, the numerous Detroit Pistons
NBA Championships or the many
concerts that have taken place
there. So when the No. 1 hockey
team in the country goes to play
there, you expect the highest qual-

ity of competition.
Well, that wasn't quite the case.
Instead, the choppy temporary
ice installed for the showdown
between the two top-10 teams
ended up stealing the show.
Playing right after a game
between Wayne State and Niagara,
the Wolverines hadto deal with the
challenge of playing on a new rink
that had already been chewed up
for 60 minutes.
"The ice was not good at all,"
junior Tim Miller said. "It was like
playing pond hockey."
Berenson expressed concern
about whether there was enough
ice on the sheet for the Zamboni to
take off each time it cleared the ice
between periods.
Strategically, it was just a mat-
ter of "trying not to overhandle the
puck," puttingasmanyshotsongoal
as possible and hoping for a lucky
bounce - something senior Chad
Kolarik got about seven minutes in
on a shorthanded opportunity. The
deflectedthepuckaway withhisleg
pad, but instead of rebounding out-
wards, the puck oddly redirected
into the goal to give the Wolverines
an early 1-0 lead.
"I thought both teams were more
sloppy tonight than they were last
night," Berenson said Saturday.
"The ice was rough, so it turned
into a different kind of game."
weekend's play, the shape of the
conference standings is starting to
The four top teams, Michigan,
Miami (Ohio), Michigan State and
Notre Dame, each have at least 23-
points, with the Wolverines and
RedHawks leadingthe packwith30
points apiece. The two teams meet
for a series at Miami Feb. 8. Michi-
gan also faces the Spartans, who are
just four points behind, four times
this season. The first matchup is
this weekend.



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