Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

February 18, 2008 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


2B - Monday, February 18, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Rodriguez's rst report card

Blue notches rainy
wins in Texas tourney

he ball's in your court, Rich
Now that the Michigan
men's basketball team has finally
toppled Ohio State, all focus shifts
to your newly inherited team's
struggles against the pesky Buck-
That's what four straight losses
will do. That's the weight that will
be on your back when you're fight-
ingto prevent Ohio State's first-ever
five-game winning streak in this
series whenyoutravelto Columbus
next Novem-
ber. That's the
nature of this
And though
you steered
clear of making
a Tressel-esque
guaranteewhen SCOTT
you addressed BELL
the fans at yes-
terday's basket-
ball game, you clearly understand
that you'll ultimately be graded
on your performance against "the
school down there."
But since you won't get your first
true set of grades for another nine
months, I figured I'd do my best
to give a progress report on your
first full month as Michigan's head
honcho. Don't worry about the
negative ones - my Anthrobio pro-
fessor tells me even a failing grade
around midterms can be salvaged
down the road.
We're not going to get Terrelle
Pryor. For those of you still stuck
in Denialville, read that sentence
again and move on. That's the
only reason this isn't an A+ class
- because the job Rodriguez did is
simply amazing.
Not only did he keep the class he
inherited from Lloyd Carr mostly
intact (he didn't lose anyone who
would have had a serious impact),
Rodriguez also nabbed some last-
minute recruits to give the Wolver-
ines a top-10 class in a transition
The speed and pure talent in this
class will excite a lot of fans and
may have taken away an entire year
of growing pains that often occur
when programs have to be retooled.

Daily Sports Writer
Rainstorms cut the weekend
short for the Michigan softball
team - but the Wolverines caused
enough rumble from the batter's
box at the Time Warner Cable
Texas Invitational to compensate.
Heavy rain poured into the Aus-
tin area Friday and Saturday, and
the conditions were soggy enough
to postpone Saturday's game
against Penn State and cancel Sun-
day's bracket play.
But the 12th-ranked Wolverines
battled the rain delay and respond-
ed withrelentless offense, finishing
3-0 on the weekend and earning
wins over their first ranked oppo-
nents of the season.
Michigan (7-1) beat No. 17 Cal
State Fullerton, No. 24 Texas and
Penn State, putting up a combined
28 hits, including a season-high 14
in its 6-1 win over Cal State in the
tournament opener.
"We definitely hit the ball better
throughout the weekend and had a
lot better at-bats, and better com-
posure all the way around," Michi-
gan coach Carol Hutchins said. "I
was pleased, and it's something
we'll continue to work on."
Against Cal State, senior out-
fielder Alessandra Giampaolo broke
a 1-1 tie in the third inning when
she singled home sophomore Molly
Bausher, jumpstarting a five-run
inning. First baseman Samantha
Findlay singled to shortstop. With
Giampaolo and Findlay on base,
sophomore Maggie Viefhaus laced
a triple down the leftfield line to
bring in the two seniors.
Sophomore pitcher Nikki Nemitz
contributed to the Wolverines'
impressive showing at the plate
with the best hitting performance
of her career. Nemitz went 3-for-4
From page 1B
"Whether we're that poor at
defense, I'm not really certain,"
Borseth said. "I do know if your
defense stops people, your offense
works better."
Michigan's offense didn't struggle
to put up points - the Wolverines
scored five more points than their
season average. Michigan just strug-
gled to keep up with the Hoosiers.
It didn't help that Indiana's
aggressive play led to early foul
trouble for Michigan, as one starter

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez, standing next to his daughter Raquel, spoke to Michigan fans at halftime of Sun-
day's basketball game against Ohio State.

Media openness: A-
Lloyd Carr was great, but
come on, toss us a freakin' bone
every once in a while. It's tough
for media and fans alike to get to
know a team when the doors of
Fort Schembechler are boarded
shut, padlocked and guarded by
military personnel.
Rodriguez seems set on opening
these up, though, and the program
should reap the benefits. Over
the past month, I've come across
Rodriguez speaking candidly on
the radio or on television more
than Carr did during his entire
time as head coach.
This would be an A, but pub-
licly crying on television the first
month on the job knocks you
down just a notch. It's football,
after all.
School image: C-
This is where Rodriguez
might want to hire a tutor. A lot
of this is out of control because
most of the negative press com-
ing from West Virginia was
unpreventable, but that doesn't

undo the whole situation.
It also doesn't help that he's
following Carr, one of the most
respected and controversy-free
coaches in recent memory. But
again, that's the situation he's in,
so no excuses.
With Rodriguez's personal-
ity (see openness above), this
perception should improve. But
first impressions are lasting, and
fair or not, Rodriguez's breakup
with West Virginia was far from
amicable. Rodriguez needs to
keep striving to improve his pub-
lit image, and as a result, restore
Michigan's reputation as one of
the more squeaky-clean schools in
the Big Ten.
Making appearances in public
without a wizard hat and snake oil
is also a plus.
Forming a staff: B+
Mike Barwis. Mike Barwis.
Mike Barwis. It's a name that
puts smiles on the faces of Michi-
gan fans and fear in the eyes of
Wolverine players. Michigan's
revolutionary new strength and

conditioning coach is exactly the
change this program needed to
get it up to speed (see what I did
there?) withthe moremodernpro-
grams in the NCAA. His intensity
and personality will not only help
motivate the strong and weed out
the weak, but it has also already
excited many potential recruits.
Most of Rodriguez's other assis-
tant hires seem solid, too. But the
inability to keep Erik Campbell
on staff knocks him just out of A
range (don't worry, I haven't been
there since high school.) Campbell
had strong Michigan ties and an
amazing track record, and I think
he was overlooked because Rodri-
guez may have been just a tad too
loyal to his old staff in Morgan-
But I'1 bump it from a B to a B+
to satisfy Mike Hart, who probably
loves the fact that defensive coor-
dinator Scott Shafer was stolen
from Jim "no longer a Michigan
Man" Harbaugh and Stanford.
- Bell can be reached at

at the plate against Cal State with a
double and an RBI.
"I was in a great opportunity and
I wanted to make the best of it,"
Nemitz said of her addition to the
offensive lineup. "Help my teamout
with the win and actually produce
on both sides of the field - defense
and offense."
Nemitz (4-0) complimented her
offense with solid pitching, shut-
ting down the Titans. She retired
nine batters in a row at one point 4
and finished with five strikeouts in
her complete-game effort.
Viefhaus continued her offen-
sive prowess in the Wolverines'6-2
win over Texas later that day. The
third baseman hita two-run single
in the fifth as part of another five-
run inning.
"We took advantage of their
errors, and we had this great
momentum hitting," Viefhaus said.
"It gave us a lot of confidence."
The rain postponed all of Sat-
urday's games, but the Wolverines
returned to action Sunday and eas-
ily earned a 6-2 win against confer-
ence rival Penn State.
"I think everyone was really
smart with their rain delay," Vief-
haus said. "It didn't really take
us out of the groove or anything.
We all came out the next day and
played like we had been playing all
Freshman pitcher Jordan Tay-
lor (3-1) threw six shutout innings
before Penn State showed life in
the seventh. After getting just one
hit in the first six innings, the trio
of Findlay, Viefhaus and freshman
leftfielder Dorian Shaw combined
for six additional hits in the last two
innings to close out the weekend.
"That's the thick of our lineup
right there," Hutchins said. "It's
tough for any pitcher to have to face
those three."
after another headed to the bench
because of fouls.
Borseth, who tends to stick with
his starting lineup, was forced to
rely on his bench in the first half.
The junior duo of Ashley Jones and
Stephany Skrba scored 14 of Michi-
gan's 30 points before the break
Down by O at halftime, Borseth
decided to go back to his starters,
hoping they could gut out a win.
Michigan came out of the locker
rciom strong, twice reducing the
deficit to five points, but Braun
and Thomas defused Michigan's
momentum with quick baskets.
Every time the Wolverines pulled
close, they were wracked by
fouls. Indiana shot 24 free throws
in the game and shot 0 percent
fromthe charitysripe inthe se-
ond half.
"We were in there for awhile,
until we broke down defensively
and fouled them," Borseth said.
The Wolverines rank ninth in
the Big Ten in points per game
and have leaned on their defense
to pull them through all season.
Michigan has just one loss whenit
holds opponents under 60 points,
and that was against a defensive-
minded Purdue team.
But defensive struggles have
doomed the Wolverines, and Sun-
day was no different.
"We just never stopped them,"
Borseth said.

January 27-
Career services April 5. 2008
from the
Alumni In the first week, UM iP: Anything metal
ALUMNIASSOCIATION can be placed in the
Association. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN was sst in the Big Ten! container bin, like old
nails and staplers!
But 80th overall for recyclables per person.
University of Michigan Waste Management Services
uE u www.recycle.umich.edu




T S I0
Thin n oVad1tion.


Introducing MacBook Air,
the world's thinnest notebook.

U-M Computer Showcase
Michigan Union
(734) 647-2537


Back to Top

© 2024 Regents of the University of Michigan