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January 07, 2008 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-07

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MEN'S GY MNASTICS SEASON PRE
With eight freshmen and talented leaders, the men's gyrr
team looks to return Michigan to national glory. Page 4B

The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I January 07, 2008

Beilein After six-week
toughest hiatus, frosh

gigyet
WEST LAFAYETTE - Michi-
gan coach John Beilein doesn't
know what he's gotten himself
into.
Five times in the second half
of Saturday's
loss at Purdue,
the Wolverines
came within
three points,
only to let the
Boilermakers
re-extend their
lead.
Michigan DAN
lacking a killer FELDMAN
instinct? What
a surprise. Chicka
But things chicka
were supposed yeah
to be different
under Beilein.
He's won at every stop - Erie
Community College, Nazareth,
LeMoyne, Canisius, Richmond
and West Virginia.
Well, almost every stop. Not
Michigan. The Wolverines (4-10)
are the Big Ten's worst team.
When Michigan hired Beilein,
eight seasons separated the cur-
rent team and the program's last
game vacated by NCAA sanctions.
Michigan won a semi-respectable
54 percent of its games in those
eight years, the last six under
Tommy Amaker. But the Wolver-
ines rarely showed a competitive
streak.
Against ranked teams:10-49.
On the road: 22-61.
NCAA Tournament appearanc-
es: zero.
Amaker admirably moved the
Wolverines past the Ed Martin
situation, but when it became clear
he couldn't take Michigan to the
next level, he was fired.
See FELDMAN, Page 3B

returns to
lineup for Blue

By ANDY REID
Daily Sports Writer
When Louie Caporusso
crashed into the boards during a
practice in early November, noth-
ing seemed out of the ordinary
except a slight stinger in his right
knee.
But as the freshman tried to
pick himself off the ice, he real-
ized the injury was much more
serious.
After a magnetic resonance
imaging scan the following day,
Caporusso learned he had slight-
ly damaged his medial collateral
ligament, an injury that would
sideline him for at least a month.
After six weeks, 10 games and
a painful rehabilitation process,
Caporusso
was finally
ready to
strap on the
skates again
with just one
team practice
remaining M
before winter
break.
"When CAPORUSSO
I found out
what hap-
pened, I was a little taken aback,
but that's life," Caporusso said.
"You know, knock on wood, but
everyone at some point in their
career is going to get injured and
have to sit out a couple weeks.
That's normal. It's more mentally
tough than even physicallytough,
so you have to stay mentally
tough."
In the weeks leading up to
Caporusso's return to practice, he
worked extensively with trainer
Rick Bancroft to bring his knee
back to full strength. Bancroft
emphasized stimulation, balance,
weight and bike training, but
nothing replaces actual ice time.
While isolated from the Wolver-
ines, who were continuing nor-
mal practices, Caporusso had to
find the mental toughness to fight
through the rehab process.
When he was finally cleared to
practice, the forward found just
how far he had fallen behind the
rest of the team.
Donning a bright red sweater
and socks to warn his teammates
againstbeingtoo rough with him,
the Woodbridge, Ont., native
couldn't quite keep up with the
pace set by the rest of the Wolver-
ines. He often favored his right
knee, which was still slightly ten-
der.
"The first few practices, you go
into those practices and all those
guys have been practicing for
the past four weeks and are high

tempo," Caporusso said. "You can
work out and do as much as you
want, but it's nothing like a real
practice and being out there with
the guys."
Michigan coach Red Beren-
son said before winter break that
Caporusso still didn't have the
endurance or stamina to com-
pete in the Great Lakes Invita-
tional.
So while most of his team-
mates enjoyed their break, Capo-
russo hit a Toronto gym - the
same gym he trained in over the
summer - to try and get back
in shape in time for the annual
holiday tournament.
In Toronto, Caporusso worked
with trainers and the local junior
hockey team to get quality ice
time even though he was away
from his teammates. He didn't
focus on his knee during break,
confident in Bancroft's rehabili-
tation job.
Caporusso said his main goal
while training in Toronto was to
keep skating, which helped him
catch up with the Wolverines
who hadn't skated over break.
"I saw a kid that couldn't wait
to play," Berenson said of Capo-
russo's extracurricular train-
ing. "But he didn't realize how
quickly he was going to get tired.
Hockey's a game of condition-
ing. If you're going to go out and
work hard the first shift, the next
shift, you've got to be recovered
and I thought his endurance was
slipping."
With just two team practices
before their first-round game
against Providence, Berenson
pushed Caporusso to get him
game-ready. Under Berenson's
scrutiny, Caporusso focused on
the "little things," like improv-
ing faceoffs, keeping up with the
pace and backchecking.
The extra work helped Capo-
russo regain the rhythm and
flow he was missing before
break, and never was that more
apparent than when he tallied a
goal on the first shift of his first
game in six weeks.
"(Scoring against Providence)
felt good," Caporusso said. "The
guys were all happy for me, too.
There was definitely some added
excitement coming from the
bench when I scored."
But even though his knee
finally feels 100 percent, Capo-
russo knows there's still room to
get better.
"I have to learn one new thing
everyday," Caporusso said. "It
was nice scoring on my first shift
back, but there's still a lot of
improvement, a long road ahead
for me."

CHANEL VON HABSBURG-LOTHRINGEN/Dai
Senior Ron Coleman and the Wolverines' second-half comeback wasn't quite good enough to overcome a 14-point deficit.

M' can't finish comeback

By H. JOSE Bosch
Daily Sports Editor
WEST LAFAYETTE - With
less than three minutes remaining
in the game, the Michigan men's
basket-
ball team PURDUE 65
came MICHIGAN 58
within
three points on three separate
occasions.
And for the third straight con-
test, the Wolverines' best wasn't
good enough.
Michigan fell to Purdue, 65-58,
Saturday, and lost its eighth game
in the last nine.
"We definitely see an improve-
ment because we're getting bet-
ter," sophomore DeShawn Sims

said. "We hung in there longer
than we ever have before, and it's
just going to be that way. It's not
going to be like this every game,
but we just grow from this."
While the only thing that seems
to be growing is the loss column,
Michigan put forth its best road
effort this year. Facing a 14-point
halftime deficit, the Wolverines
stormed out of the gate in the sec-
ond frame.
Sims opened the scoring with
a baby hook. Then redshirt junior
C.J. Lee deflected a Boilermaker
pass into Sims's hands and got the
ball back for an easy breakaway
layup to cut the Purdue lead to 10,
34-24.
Four Manny Harris points later
and Michigan's 14-point deficit

was six points just two minutes
into the half.
"I think our kids at halftime
were a little bit in shock," Michi-
gan coach John Beilein said.
"There wasn't any Knute Rockne
stuff going on at halftime but (I
said), 'We're better than this.'..
All of a sudden we get two and it's
contagious and that's what really
makes things go."
Harris scored 15ofhis game and
career-high 25 points in the sec-
ond half. The Detroit native was
all over the court, driving aggres-
sively to the basket and pulling up
quickly for long jumpers.
Sims also contributed in a big
way in the second half. He scored
11 of his 15 points in the second
frame.

The duo's play kept Michigan
(4-10 overall, 0-2 Big Ten) in the
game late.
With more than two minutes
remaining, Sims collected Kelvin
Grady's missed shot and made a
tough basket while drawing a foul.
He completed the 3-point play to
pull Michigan within three.
Following a Purdue (10-4, 1-0)
bucket, Harris made the Wolver-
ines' deficit three again, 56-53, on
a jumper over strong defense.
The freshman notched his final
two points of the game on a pair
of free throws with 43 seconds
left which made the score 58-55.
Michigan failed to pull any closer.
The Wolverines might have
See PURDUE, Page 3B

Queen's 12 points off bench, strong defense fuel
fast conference start for young Wolverine squad
By ANTHONY OLIVEIRA "We had good shots in the first half," shot over 25 percent from the field. And fident. She was taking it to the rack,
Daily Sports Writer Borseth said. "They were all in rhythm. to prove its shots were in rhythm, all posting up, getting rebounds."
Everything was in rhythm. I don't know eight Michigan field goals had an assist The Wolverines (2-1 Big Ten, 9-4over-
Nobody ever said winning had to look why the ball doesn't go in the basket attached to them. all), reached their biggest lead (20) with
good. when you need it to." The second stanza again started slowly 3:31 to go, but the game was effectively
But after a MICHIGAN 54 Despite the early miscues, Michigan for the Wolverines, who took about three over at 7:50. Following one of Michigan's
first half ugli- NORTHWESTERN 42 was the aggressor on defense. A major- minutes to produce their first points. But 10 steals, a quick outlet to Minnfield led
er than . Don ity ofthe Wildcats' possessions ran down unlike inthe first half, Michigan took off, to a fast-break lay-in by senior captain
Imus, it was a relief when the Michigan the shot clock without scoring baskets. thanks to Wildcat killer Melinda Queen. Ta'Shia Walker, pushing the lead to 15.
women's basketball team pulled away Borseth was pleased with the Wolver- Like in last year's contest against Meshia Reed led the Wildcats (0-3,
in the second frame for a 54-42 victory ines' intensity. Northwestern, the Oak Forest, Ill. native 4-11) with a game-high 24 points, includ-
over Northwestern yesterday at Crisler "Coach called a timeout and he told us recorded a career high in points. This ing 19 of her team's 23in the second half.
Arena. he doesn't care if we missed just as long time it was 12, one more than last sea- She was just one of just three scorers for
"I don't know how pretty that was, but as we make stops on the defensive end," son's mark. And even more impressive, Northwestern. Michigan, on the other
we wanted to win the game, so that was junior Jessica Minnfield said. "And that all came in the second half. hand, had 10 players in the points col-
pretty big," Michigan coach Kevin Bors- gave us confidence to keep shooting the "Maybe it's an Illinois thing," Queen umn.
eth said. ball." said. The Wolverines finished the contest
Both teams struggled to find the bas- The Michigan defense eventually Queen was largely responsible for the shooting18-55 fromthe field. Itis the first
ket from the opening whistle. The Wol- allowed the law of averages to play out in Wolverines' domination in the second time in almost a year that Michigan reg-
verines took eight shots before getting the Wolverines' favor. Toward the end of half. With the Wildcats within six early istered a win without making 20 shots in
on the scoreboard. And while the Wild- the first half, Minnfield and junior Carly in the period, Queen orchestrated a 7-2 a game. But the Wolverines were lucky to
cats held the lead for most of the half, it Benson combined for three triples in a run to keep the game out of Northwest- find a team as cold as the Wildcats were.
took them more than10 minutes to reach span of 2:20. The Wolverine surge pro- ern's hands. All her baskets during the Michigan will need stronger starts to
double digits. duced their first lead of the game (18-16). run were off the drive. One, in particular, compete with the Big Ten's best.
As frustrating as it is to miss shots, They took a two-point advantage into was a swift back-door move for the layup "We have to try and get ourselves out
includingthe easy lay-ins, it's even more halftime. and a foul. of that hole, starting off slow," Minnfield
troubling when a majority are smart Despite putting the Crisler crowd in "Queen stepped up big time," Min- said. "We've had that problem for a cou-
shots. a bit of a lull, both squads surprisingly nfield said. "She did good. She got con- ple years now. Hopefully that changes."

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