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March 13, 2008 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-03-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Thursday, March 13, 2008- 5A

looks to
end strong
Daily Sports Editor
During what could have been his final pre-game
press conference this season, Michigan men's basket-
ball coach John Beilein told reporters yesterday the
story of when he thought he was calling sophomore
Ekpe Udoh for the first time.
Unbeknownst to the first-year coach, he'd already
called and talked to Udoh - thinking he was another
"After about five minutes, he said,
'Coach, you know you just called me Iowa VS
five minutes ago?"' Beilein said. "And Michigan
that's how it all started." Matthup:
The mistake early in his tenure Iowa 13-a
was just a sign of how long it would Michigan 9-21
take before Beilein became fully
acclinated to the program. When: Noon
But since then, Beilein has formed Where:
a unique relationship with all of his Conseco
players, one that has kept the Wol- Fieldhouse
verines from losing all hope during a TV/Radio:
woeful 9-21 season. Big Ten Network
"We're playing for him," sopho-
more DeShawn Sims said. "We're playing for the team,
(but) mostly coach Beilein because he put a lot of work
and gave up a lot to come over here to Michigan."
The mood around the team is a far cry from last sea-
son, when the tension was palpable enough to make the
players, coaches and the media tread lightly during the
final weeks of the season.
And that squad won 11 more regular season games
than this year's.
One year later, the stakes aren't quite as high, which
might explain the calmer tone.
If Michigan makes a run to the Big Ten champion-
ship, it becomes a feel-good story for the program and
somethingto build on nextnyear.
If the Wolverines lose against Iowa this afternoon,
then their uninspiring season comes to an end.
Either way, the team's mood is one less thing for
Beilein to worry about heading into the offseason.
The first-year coach already has enough to handle
this summer.
Poor shooting, turnovers and bad decision-making
plagued Michigan just as much during Sunday's regu-
lar season finale (the season's 30th game) as in its first
game ofthe year - a sign the program needs more than
positive thinking to turn things around.
"It's not on (Beilein), it's totally on us," Sims said.
"He did everything in his power. I've never seen a man
work so (much) individually with 15 guys. ... He taught
us a lot and we didn't do a good job showing him how
we appreciate how much time and effort he invested in
us. We know that and we tell him sorry for that."
A win over Iowa today would be much better than
Both teams split the season series, with Iowa win-
ning in Ann Arbor and Michigan coming from behind .
to win in Iowa City.
Neither team comes into the tournament on a roll.

Freshman Jason Jung returns a ball in Michigan's 5-2 win over Michigan State at the Varsity Tennis Center. Jung defeated his singles opponent in two sets but lost in doubles, 9-7.
Doubles struggles spoil bigWin

Even after defeating
Michigan State, coach
not satisfied with play
Daily Sports Writer
After a 5-2 victory over an in-state
rival, most tennis teams would cel-
ebrate - but not Michigan.
Instead of enjoying their dominat-
ing win over Michigan State, the 10th-
ranked Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten, 10-2
overall) were concerned about losing
the doubles point.
Michigan coach Bruce Berque
attributed the doubles loss to playing
without basic fundamentals.
"If the mistakes are coming because
of a lack of focus and discipline, that's

not going to cut it," Berquesaid.
The doubles loss was uncharacter-
istic of the Wolverines, whose three
pairs are all nationally ranked.
Freshman Chris Madden and junior
Andrew Mazlin won their match, 8-3,
at the No. 3 slot. But the other pairings
weren't as successful.
"I want to have six leaders on the
court," Berque said."'I felt that most of
the guys were underperforming."
At No. 1 doubles, senior captain
Matko Maravic andsophomore George
Navas lost, 8-4.
The doubles point came down to
freshman Jason Jung and sophomore
Mike Sroczynski, the seventh-ranked
doubles team in the nation.
Jung and Sroczynski had an 8-1
record going into last night's match.
But despite Sroczynski's trademark
serve and Jung's untouchable cross-

court returns, the duo was unable to
capitalize on break points and lost 9-7.
"We got a little cocky," Sroczynski
said. "We didn't work as hard as we
normally do."
Even after the doubles loss, the
Wolverines were able to bounce back
and secure a victory by winning all but
the No. I singles match.
The singles victories started after
Madden won, 6-1, 6-1.Navas, Mara-
vic and Jung followed, each defeat-
ing their opponent in two dominating
But after also losing the doubles
point last week against Brown, the
Wolverines cannot ignore how they
started last night's match.
"Some of them played very well in
singles," Berque said. "But it's tough
for me to shake how bad we performed
as a team in doubles."

Michigan had its most convincing
wins this season against No. 16 Pep-
perdine and No. 17 Wake Forest, both
by a 4-3 margin.
The doubles point made the dif-
ference for the Wolverines in those
Sroczynski reiterated Berque's
worries, wondering if the team would
be able to achieve its season goal of
playing in the Big Ten championship
match if it can't win the doubles point
every time.
After struggling against the
unranked Spartans (0-3, 11-6), Michi-
gan still has to face No. 2 Ohio State
and No. 16 Illinois later in the season.
"If we go out and compete the way
we did tonight, I don't think we're
going to go far in the Big Ten," Sroc-
zynski said. "We just did not come out
with the right energy in doubles."

Injuries take toll on Blue
With first playoff series
approaching, Vaughan
and Rust may be out
Daily SportsEditor

Coach Maloney to face
Ball State, his old team

to heal.
But one day before their first CCHA
playoff game, the Wolverines are now
saddled with two potentially serious
With freshmen Scooter Vaughan and
Matt Rust possibly out for this weekend's
quarterfinal series against Nebraska-
Omaha, Michigan has been forced to
shuffle its lineup.
Vaughan returned to Yost Ice Arena
yesterday afternoon for the first time
since undergoing a six-hour surgery
Monday to repair a broken jaw he suf-
fered Thursday night.
The freshman defenseman said he
thinks he might have taken an elbow to
his mouth while wrestling with a team-
mate off the ice - but still isn't sure what
caused the injury.
"It wasn't anything major," Vaughan
See INJURIES, Page 9A Freshman S

Wolverines head to South
Carolina to play against
Cardinals, Chanticleers
Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan coach Rich Maloney
came to Ann Arbor in 2002, he left a Ball
State team he had rebuilt from shambles.
In his time at Michigan, Maloney has not
yet played his old team.
"I chose not to play them," Maloney said.
Maloney wanted to distance himself from
Ball State while he formed a new relation-
ship wit'h Michigan. But after six years, he's
On Saturday, Maloney and the Wolverines
will face off against Ball State in the Centex
Homes Invitational in Conway, S.C.
"When we play them, there will be some
emotion," Maloney said. "I have a definite
affinity for that school. I loved Ball State."
While coaching the Cardinals, Malo-
ney turned a team that was 15-41 the year
before he arrived into the team to beat in
the Mid-American Conference. Ball State
finished first in the conference standings
twice but never won the conference tour-
When Maloney came to the Wolverines,
he was faced with a similar scenario.
The year before Maloney arrived at Mich-
igan, the Wolverines were 21-32 and eighth
in the Big Ten. But in each of the last three
years, Michigan has had more than 40 wins
and has won the regular season conference
title the last two seasons.
But the Wolverines (5-5) have struggled
to find their stride this season, especially
in losses to No. 1 Arizona State and Georgia
"We're not happy about being 5-5," Malo-
ney said. "Nobody is."

Scooter Vaughan recently broke his jaw and will likely not play this weekend.

Michigan is the favorite heading into this weekend's CCHA quarterfinals. Its first-round bye last weekend means the Wolverines are just four wins away from the title.
8. Nebraska-Omaha Road to the Mason Cup 7. Bowling Green
Nebraska-Omaha Joe Louis Arena Bowling Green
9. Alaska Detroit 10. Lake Superior St.
1. MICHIGAN 2. Miami (Ohio)
5. Ferris State 6. Northern Michigan
Ferris State Northern Michigan
12. Western Michigan 11. Ohio State
4. Notre Dame 3. Michigan State

Michigan coach Rich Maloney will face his former
team for the first time sincenjoining the Wolverines.
Michigan's biggest problem areas have
been pitching and fielding. The pitchingstaff
has allowed seven runs per game, which has
put a lot of pressure on the Wolverine bat-
The hitters haven't been able to pick up
the slack. Michigan is hitting .311, compared
to .327 at the end of last season.
The biggest test for Michigan will be a
double-header against Coastal Carolina (13-
1) Sunday. The Chanticleers are fresh off an
upset over No. 3 North Carolina, and defeat-
ed Ball State, last weekend 10-8 and 6-1.
"We look forward to the opportunity, and
if we compete up to our ability, we feel like
we'll havea chance to win," Maloney said.
For the first time all season, Michigan fell
from the top 25 this week. Coastal Carolina,
on the other hand, is on the verge of becom-
See MALONEY, Page 9A

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