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January 08, 2008 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-08

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:I

8 - Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

"Manny Fresh" and "Air Gordon" square off

By IAN ROBINSON
Daily Sports Writer
"Fit in before you stand out."
That's what Michigan men's bas-
ketball coach John Beilein tells his
freshmen when
they join his pro- Indiana at
gram.
And tonight's Michigan
7:00 p.m. match- Matchup: No.
up between 10 Indiana
Michigan and (12-1 overall,
No. 10 Indiana 1-0 Big Ten);
(1-0 Big Ten, 12-1 Michigan
overall) at Crisler (4-10, 0-2)
Arena pits two When: Tonight
standout fresh- 7 P.M.
man against each Where:
other: Indiana's Crisler Arena
Eric Gordon TV'
and Michigan's ESPN
Manny Harris.
The hype lead-
ingup to the game isn't affecting
Beilein. He doesn't like to put the
focus on individuals, particularly
with freshman.
"I'm not crazy about the idea of
how people put so much impor-
tance into how freshmen are
doing," Beilein said. "I think what
happens is that it makes normal
freshmen feel like they are no good
when they continually talk about
the so-called 'diaper dandies."'
Whether the Michigan coach is
focusing on it, the matchup is tough
to ignore.
Gordon leads the Big Ten in scor-
ing with 23 points per game, while
Harris is sixth in the conference
with 16.4.
While their impacts on the stat

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7 p.m.

I
I

I

Eric Gordon (left) and Manny Harris (right) lead their teams in scoring as freshman.

line are clear, both of their coaches
prefer to talk about their impact in
the gym and off the court.
Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson
said Gordon earns his accolades
and doesn't expect special treat-
ment. The Indianapolis native
frequently stays after practice to
refine his shooting - an aspect of
Gordon's game Sampson described
as "inconsistent." Beilein also
praised Gordon's skills and matu-
rity, sayingthe freshman star plays

years beyond his age.
Beilein has repeatedly described
Harris as a player he enjoys coach-
ing, one who continually wants to
improve his game.
Harris has displayed a toughness
rare among freshmen. The 6-foot-5
guard leads the team in rebound-
ing (4.6), despite being the second
shortest member of the starting
lineup.
The opposition has taken note.
When Wisconsin was scouting

Michigan (0-2, 4-10) for last week's
contest, Badgers assistant Greg
Gard said he thought Harris was
the best freshman in the confer-
ence. ,
"He's going to be a heck of a play-
er in this league," Wisconsin coach
Bo Ryan said. "He already is."
Tonight's game won't be the
first time Gordon and Harris have
crossed paths. At the Nike Peach
Jam Invitational when they com-
peted on opposing AAU teams,

Harris's team edged Gordon's by
two.
Harris is looking forward to the
rematch. The Detroit native said
Gordon is the type of player he was
excited to compete against when he
committed to Michigan.
Harris-Gordon II doesn't excite
Beilein too much, though.
He prefers that the freshmen try
to fit in before standing out as indi-
viduals - even when they're two of
the best.

Is 0#

Ohio State drops second
straight in BCS title game

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Too
easy.
No. 2 LSU danced, dodged and
darted its way into the end zone
lastnight,turningtheBCSnational
cham-
pion- LSU 38
ship OHIO STATE 24
game
into a horrible replay for No. 1
Ohio State. It was over early, with
Matt Flynn throwing four touch-
down passes in a 38-24 win.
Playing at their home-away-
from-home in the Big Easy, LSU
(12-2) became the first two-loss
team to play for the title.
Shouts of"SEC!SEC!" bounced
around the Superdome as the
Tigers won their second BCS
crown in five seasons. They are
the first school to win a second
title since BCS rankings began
with the 1998 season.
"My team is the No. 1 team
in the land," said All-American
defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey,
who passed up the NFL draft to
return for his senior season.
And in a season of surprises,
this was hardly an upset: Ohio
State once again fell apart in
college football's biggest game.
A year after the Buckeyes were
routed by Tim Tebow and Florida
41-14 in the Arizona desert, they
barely did better.

"We just didn't do the things
you need to do to win a ballgame
of this nature. We're very aware
that LSU's a deserving champi-
on," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel
said.
Jacob Hester bulled for a short
touchdown, Early Doucet wiggled
loose for a touchdown and Dorsey
led a unit that outplayed the top-
ranked defense in the nation.
Ohio State (11-2) had little to
celebrate after Chris "Beanie"
Wells broke loose for a 65-yard
touchdown run on the fourth play
of the game.
Yet while LSU coach Les Miles
got to hoist the $30,000 crys-
tal trophy, certainly many fans
around the country were peering
into their crystal balls, wonder-
ing if someone else was worthy
of the title. Southern California,
Georgia, West Virginia, Kansas
and Missouri all put on impres-
sive shows in bowl games, and
will be among the favorites next
season.
LSU, whose two losses both
came in triple overtime, became
just the fourth favorite to win in
10 BCS championship games. The
Tigers added to the crown they
won in 2003 - their other title
came in 1958.
Miles probably got a little
extra satisfaction, too. Though he

turned down a chance to return
home to Michigan, he did some-
thing his alma mater hasn't done
recently - beat the Buckeyes.
The loss left Ohio State at 0-
9 overall in bowl games against
teams from the Southeastern
Conference. The SEC delights in
whipping Big Ten teams in what's
become a rivalry that steams up
fans on both sides.
The Tigers rallied from an
early 10-0 deficit, taking a 24-10
halftime lead that held up. Two
big plays on special teams kept
them ahead - they blocked a field
goal, and later took advantage of a
roughing-the-kicker penalty.
Ohio State was trying to win its
second BCS title in six years, and
add to the one that Tressel cap-
tured by upsetting Miami 31-24
in double overtime for the 2002
championship.
The Buckeyes were perhaps
the most-maligned No. 1 team
in recent memory, with critics
attackingthem all season. Tressel
gave his players a 10-minute DVD
filled with insults hurled at them
by television and radio announc-
ers, hoping it would motivate his
team.
Instead, the Tigers ravaged the
nation's best defense and showed
that maybe all those naysayers
were right.

A4

RODRIGOcGAYA/Daily
Current Michigan sophomore Chris Summers skated for the U.S. National Team Development Program in
2006 against Michigan.
Two teams, two different
meanings of exhibition

Jaeger finds place at Michigan
after transfer, sets Big Ten record

,

By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sparta Writer
For the Michigan hockey team,
tonight's game is an exhibition.
But for the
other team, it's US-NTDP at
the Stanley Cup.
That's how Michigan
senior Chad Matchup:
Kolarik, four US-NTDP; No.
years removed 1 Michigan
from playing on (11-1 CCHA,
the U.S. National 18-2 overall)
Team Devel- When: Tonight
opment Pro- 7:35 P.M.
gram, described Where: Yost
tonight's match- Ice Arena
up with his for- Video'
mer squad. But M oBlue.com
there's still pride
at stake for the
Wolverines.
In almost a decade of playing
against the Ann Arbor-based pro-
gram, Michigan hasn't lost. But
last year, the Wolverines pulled out
the win with just .4 seconds left in
overtime.
Freshman Matt Rust was on the
visiting bench last season at Yost
Ice Arena, and, even a year later, he
still considers the last-minute loss a
"heartbreaker."

Rustlhadalready committed
to the Wolverines and vsed the
game as a first opportunity to
play in front of Michigan coach
Red Berenson and the rest of the
coaching staff.
"I just wanted to prove to them
that I wanted to come there for
a reason," Rust said. "I was good
enough to come here, and I didn't
want to let them down. So, I defi-
nitely had a little bit of extra juice
playing in the game."
Two future Wolverines - for-
wards Robbie Czarnik and David
Wohlberg - will play against
their future teammates tonight.
In 26 games with the U.S. NTDP,
Czarnik is fourth on the team with
17 points. Wohlberg has 11 points in
23 games.
The exhibition also gives the
Wolverines a chance to knock of
their rust in their first game of the
new year. Rust, freshman Max
Pacioretty and sophomore Chris
Summers played for the U.S. team
in its fourth-place finish at the
IIHF World Junior Championships
in the Czech Republic during Win-
ter Break. Summers is also a U.S.
NTDP alum.
Those players didn't practice
yesterday after their equipment

was lost at the airport on the return
trip, hut Berenson expects them to
play today.
"For Summers and Rust, it'd be
easy for them to take the day off,
but they're products of the pro-
gram," Berenson said. "They need
to go out there and show those kids
who they are."
Freshman Carl Hagelin, who
earned a silver medal with Sweden
at the World Juniors, is not expect-
ed to play in the exhibition after
returning to Ann Arbor yesterday.
Berenson also said junior Travis
Turnbull, who scored the winning
goal at the Great Lakes Invitational
last weekend, is questionable for
tonight's scrimmage after injuring
his ankle in the title game.
Freshman goalie Bryan Hogan
is expected to make his third start
of the season tonight, but Beren-
son said Sauer will still start Friday
against Western Michigan.
And even though Michigan
won't have a complete team tomor-
row night, the game will be an indi-
cation of the team's resiliency after
Winter Break.
"Youhave to expectthey'regoing
to give their best game," Rust said.
"They've got everything to gain and
we've got everything to lose."

By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Writer
Before she jumped into the
pool for the
first time as
a Wolverine
this season,
Melissa Jaeger
had already J
demonstrated
an incred-
ible amount of JAEGER
dedication to
the team - 47
credit hours worth. As a transfer
from Oakland University, Jaeger
was required to complete those
hours in a single academic year
between September 2006 and
August 2007 tobe eligible.
Redshirted for the 2006-07
season, the fifth-year senior spent
meets sitting poolside waiting for
her chance to compete.
"She wanted to come to Michi-
gan so badly and gave up a lot to
do it," Michigan coach Jim Rich-
ardson said. "There have not been
very many athletes at Michigan
that have had to have done that in

order to be eligible."
Jaeger earned a slew of acco-
lades during her three years at
Oakland. An Honorable Mention
All-American in 2006, Jaeger was
also named the Mid-Continent
Conference Swimmer of the Year
and received multiple Mid-Conti-
nent Conference Swimmer of the
Week honors. She was even named
team captain as a junior.
But despite Jaeger's success
at Oakland becoming a Wolver-
ine was a natural decision for the
Ann Arbor native, who had always
dreamed of swimming with the
Block 'M' across her chest.
"I actually thought about trans-
ferring after my freshman year,
but loyalty and friendships with
a few folks were pretty strong,"
Jaeger said.
After her junior year, Jaeger
swam with the Michigan team
over the summer and felt an
instant connection with the.Wol-
verines.
Jaeger knew that swimmingfor
Michigan would allow her to com-
pete at the highest level with some
of the fastest, brightest swimmers

in the country.
"I got along with them so well,"
Jaeger said. "They wanted to bet-
ter themselves in swimming and
they were focused on their aca-
demics. It was a perfect fit for
me."
Jaeger has already made a
name for herself in the Big Ten.
In just the fourth meet of the sea-
son, she smashed conference and
Michigan records in the 200-yard
breaststroke by more than a sec-
ond. Her dazzling efforts were
rewarded with Big Ten Swimmer
of the Week honors for the week
of Nov. 20.
In her short time in the Michi-
gan pool, Jaeger has found a place
among No. 13 Michigan's power-
ful arsenal of swimmers and div-
ers. Her speed and strong work
ethic in breaststroke and butterfly
will play a key role for the Wol-
verines as their season restarts
at the Notre Dame Invitational
this weekend after a 40-day break
from competition.
"She's just a joy to have on the
team, Richardson said. "It's like
she's been here all along."

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