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April 02, 2008 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 - 9.A

The ichganDaiy -michganailcomWedesda, Aril2, 008- 9

Ahead of tourney, former
players wish icers well

Davidson sophomore Stephen Curry became a national icon while leading his team's improbable Elite Eight run.
Drooling over Duvidsot
unlikely heroU

By NATE SANDALS
Daily Sports Editor
By the time Kevin Porter made it
back to the locker
room after his NOTEBOOK
team's 2-0 win
Saturday night in the NCAA East
Regional final, he already had 14
messages on his cell phone.
The senior captain received
countless congratulatory calls for
leading the Michigan hockey team
to its first Frozen Four since 2003.
But the most important people he
heard from were last year's seniors:
T.J. Hensick, Matt Hunwick, Jason
Dest and Tim Cook.
Talking to last year's graduates
was especially important for Porter
because they were the first class of
Michigan hockey players since the
class of 1991 never to make a Frozen
Four.
"Dest and I joke that they finally
AP PHOTO got us off the team and now they can
get back to the Frozen Four," Cook
said.
For Porter, part of this year's
accomplishments is dedicated to the
7 group that was never able to get this
far, even if it is a bit bittersweet to be
there without them.
But Matt Hunwick's little broth--
er Shawn, one of this year's backup
goalies, can'tavoid ribbing his older
brother just a little bit.
tembers "He's a little jealous," Shawn
roaning Hunwick said. "He said it's not fair
I come in and I'm one-for-one right
'1 never now."
seen so Last year's seniors are just a part
fixed to of a huge group of former players
ven the who have been in contact with the
couldn't current crop of Wolverines to wish
ortlessly them well in Denver.
nticipa- Since returning from Albany,
ble shot Michigan coach Red Berenson has
received a call from Bob Gassoff -
e David- a member of the 1998 NCAA Cham-
d name pionship team - who currently
al MVP. serves as a Navy SEAL. Other for-
player mer Wolverines who have been in
94 to be touch include Cam Stewart, Brian
without Wiseman, Jason Botterrill and
1 Four. Brandon Kaleniecki.

Michigan coach Red Berenson is a candidate for the Spencer Penrose Award.

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Editor
DETROIT - There's no doubt
what most college basketball fans
will be talking about leading up
to the Final Four this weekend.
All four No. 1 seeds have made it
through their regional brackets,
an unprecedented feat.
And maybe I should be talking
about it too, considering I called
out ESPN's Digger Phelps a few
weeks ago for picking this exact
scenario.
But I'm stuck on how the entire
country can embrace and drool
over a 6-foot-2, 185-pound soph-
omore from Davidson.
There's no need to beat around
the bush. I'm talking about
Stephen Curry and his team's
remarkable run to the Elite
Eight. The 19-year-old averaged
32 points against four quality
opponents.
In the process, the kid sent
the national media into a frenzy
with his lightning-quick trigger,
silky smooth stroke and knack for
showingup in crunch time.
It's a well-known fact that
LeBron James showed up at Ford
Field Friday to watch Curry deci-
mate No. 3 seed Wisconsin with
33 points in the Sweet 16. Pistons
guard Richard Hamilton and
Heat GM/coach Pat Riley were in
the house Sunday to see if Curry
could once again pull the seem-
ingly impossible and beat Kansas
in the Elite Eight.
By the time the weekend was
over, Curry had even inspired
his own Lebronesque "Witness"
shirt, except his was bright red for
Ddvidson's colors.
Alas, the magical run of this
year's Cinderella had to come to an
end. But it wasn't without fanfare.
Guard Jason Richard's last-ditch

effort to win clanked wide left off
the backboard, giving Kansas a
59-57 win and its rightful place in
San Antonio.
The miss gave the -Jayhawks
and coach Bill Self a monumental
win.
Like any true star should, Curry
tried to deflect the attention away
from himself and back to Davidson
in his postgame press conference.
"Looking back, I'm definitely
proud of what we've accomplished
and what we're about and what
we've just proven all year," Curry
said. "This game's gonna hurt a lot
for the next however long. But I'm
C# Il - tl:13111
DANCE FLOOR
with Mark Giannotto
just happy to be a part of this team
and be a part of what we accom-
plished."
But sitting courtside at Ford
Field, there was an overwhelming
sense of which team - and more
than likely which player - every-
one wanted to win. The busloads
upon busloads of students brought
in by Davidson's board of trustees
(take note, Mary Sue Coleman,
because at some point Michigan is
actually going to play in an NCAA
Tournament game) stayed rabid
the entire game. Almost every
neutral fan in attendance jumped
on the Wildcat bandwagon, too.
From the beginning of the con-
test, the crowd was "oooohhhing"
and "aaahhhing" as Curry let fly
each of his majestic 3-pointers. I
can feel myself now, days after the
game ended; getting excited just
thinking about it. And so did the

rest of press row, where n
of the media were heard g
after each miss.
It was an experience I
forget because 'I've never
many people's eyes trans
one player on the court. E
Kansas fans in attendance(
help but watch Curry efft
move around screens in a
tion of another impossil
swishing through the net.
The media couldn't giv
son the win, but they di
him the Midwest Region:
Curry became the first
since Juwan Howard in 19
awarded a regional MVP,
his team making the Final
For all his greatness, fe
igan fans realize they I
chance to see the phenom
Stephen Curry up close a
sonal at Crisler Arena. In
second career game, Curr
32 points, including five
ers, in a 78-68 loss to the
ines last season.
I sat on press row for th
and didn't think ,much of
I kind of shrugged it off
defense by a Tommy A
coached squad, I guess
wrong - just like when
have the foresight to pick
No. I seeds.
Looking ahead to S
it's hard to not get excite
the tantalizing matchups:
Memphis and Kansa
Carolina. Both games sh
exciting and full of futu
stars trying to put their s
the NCAA Tournament.
But to me, the lasting i
this year's March Madn
always belong to Stepher
I don't think I'm alone it
I wanted Stephen - err,
Davidson - to keep the
alive for at least one moreI

"This is the time of year when
a lot of those former players come
out and wish us well and tell us to
get the job done," associate head
coach Mel Pearson said.
THE HIGHEST HONOR: Beren-
son was announced as a finalist
for the Spencer Penrose Award on
Monday night. The award is given
annually to the NCAA coach of the
year as selected by the American
Hockey Coaches Association.
Though Berenson has won two
National Championships as a coach
and has led his team to a record
18 straight NCAA Tournament
appearances, he has never won the
Penrose award.
Many in the Michigan program
are thinking this is his year.
"What he's done not only this
year, but you look at the 24 years
he has been a college hockey coach,
the record he has amassed and all
the championships this team has
won," Pearson said. "I think it's
long overdue."
Berenson is being considered in
large part because he took a team

with it freshmen to the Frozen
Four. But the Michigan youngsters
appreciateewhat their coach does for
them on and off the ice.
"I've never had a better coach,"
freshman Carl Hagelin said. "I
learn something new everyday. It's
either aboutehockey or about life. He
should get that award, that's what I
think."
AN EARLY LUNCH: The Michi-
gan hockey team's annual banquet
is scheduled for this Saturday. But
with the Wolverines still alive in
the NCAA Tournament, the timing
seems a bit off.
Usually the banquet is a celebra-
tion of the season, when the gradu-
ating seniors give speeches and the
next season's captains are named.
But this year, for the firsttime in
recent memory, it will be harder to
reflect on a season whose outcome
is still unknown.
"I wish they would have sched-
uled it after, but it's this Saturday,"
Porter said. "It's going to be fun, but
Iguess it's going to be a little differ-
ent than previous years."

w Mich-
had the
tenon of
nd per-
just his
y put up
3-point-
Wolver-
at game
it then.
as poor
kmaker-
I was
I didn't
all four
aturday,
d about
UCLA-
s-North
ould be
re NBA
tamp on
mage of
ess will
a Curry.
n saying
I mean
dream
game.

T,7w- TP, 7-4-1 MOM

Ewing, Viefhaus key to 'M' defense

By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Writer
During today's home opener
at the brand new Alumni Field at
the Wilpon Baseball and Softball
Complex, fans will have a clear
view of the solid
play of shortstop BGSU at
Teddi Ewing and
third baseman Michigan
Maggie Viefhaus. Matchup:
After the Wol- BGSU 1-17;
verinesoutscored Michigan 29-3
their opponents When: Today,
29-2 last week- 4 PM
end, it would Where:
seem all the focus Alomni Field
is on the offense.
But allowing
just two runs?
That comes
from stellar pitching and consis-
tent fielding.
The sixth-ranked Wolverines
(4-0 Big Ten, 29-3 overall), com-
mitted just three errors in four
games last weekend and delivered
solid play in the field, cutting off
ground balls and grabbing popflys
with ease.
"I like to think we're a well-
balanced team," Michigan coach
Carol Hutchins said. "We pitch
well. We hit well, and we play

good defense."
Ewing and Viefhaus led the
defense this past weekend.
While Ewing and Viefhaus lead
the Wolverines with eight and six
errors respectively, their recent
play has been crisp and consis-
tent. They have controlled the
left side of the infield with quick
catches and sharp throws to first.
In Saturday's 8-0 six-inning
mercy-rule win at Indiana, the
pair letjust one ground ball escape
their reach and connected for outs
on every ball they touched.
"We stress offense a lot, but we
have to play defense," Hutchins
said. "We have a great third base-
man and a great shortstop, and
they're playinggood softball right
now."
Last season, Ewing and Vief-
haus each started all 60 games
for the Wolverines at shortstop
and third base. In their first sea-
son together, they learned each
other's strengths and weakness-
es. That onfield experience and
comfort has solidified Michigan's
defense this season.'
"I know that Maggie's got great
range, and she's going to knock
down a lot," Ewing said. "We've
just learned to work together'and
know each other's range."

After a 32-game, seven-week
stretch of road games, fans will
finally get to see the Wolverines
in action. This afternoon, Michi-
gan hosts Bowling Green (1-1
Mid-American Conference, 1-17
overall) at its newly-renovated
home field.
The Wolverines were supposed
to travel to Kalamazoo yesterday
for a non-conference matchup
with Western Michigan, but the
game was canceled due to inclem-
ent weather.
Beginning after last season,
Alumni Field received a complete
makeover that includes a new
indoor hitting facility, press box,
an 1,800-seat grandstand and
outfield bleachers that seat 1,000
spectators.
The Falcons have started the
season horribly and just ended a
16-game losing streak.
Butas always, Hutchins empha-
sizes to her team the importance
of every game, no matter what the
team's record.
"We can't play our opponent
- we have to come in and play
Michigan softball," Hutchins
said. "And if we kill them or we
win a close game or we lose a
close game, we have got to show
up and play hard."

Thursday, April3, 2008
5-8 p.m.

Move On 2008: 9flefini alumni actoa& (ma&ca
Your Alumni Association will provide you with all the
information you'll need as you move on from Ann Arbor to
cities across America. And who doesn't Love a good road trip?
Did you know that there are more than 8,000 Michigan
alumni in Los Angeles? And more than 3,000 in Atlanta and
Denver? Use the power of the Michigan alumni network to
make your next move a snap!
"top by the Alumni Center anytime between 5 p.m. and 8
p.m. to get information and resources on relocating.
The first 300 students will receive a retro T-shirt, free food,
games and activities!

r spot toda.
rnnixcom/sl

A

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