8A - Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
A 'Fresh' start for Michigan
Novak excel in top
spot of 1-3-1 zone
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan men's basketball
coach John Beilein is known for
the 1-3-1 zone defense, but it's
tough to judge just how often he
will run it on a given night.
Before the season, Beilein said
he'll use it anywhere between 10
and 60 percent
of defensive NOTEBOOK
In Michigan's 77-55 win over
Michigan Tech on Tuesday, Bei-
lein ran the scheme on the high
side of that range.
The Huskies have two small,
talented guards, and Beilein
wanted to keep the ball out of
"I just thought we'd be chasing
them around that they'd eventu-
ally get to a three," Beilein said.
"Sometimes in that zone, we take
the ball out of the guard's hands
and let other people make deci-
The Wolverines stayed in the
1-3-1 zone for nearly the entire first.
half. As freshmen Stu Douglass
and Zack Novak played tenacious
defense, alternating time at the top
of the zone, Michigan Tech had
difficulty moving the ball. If the
Huskies got the ball in the paint,
the defense double-teamed the
post-player. Just more than13 min-
utes into the game Michigan had
already forced seven turnovers.
The zone left the Huskies with
open 3-pointers, but they shot just
6-for-26 from behind the arc.
"We really got outthere and put
good pressure on the ball," Novak
said. "It comes down to hustle
and heart when you're playing
a defense like that. You can get
out of it what you put into it, and
tonight we just puta lot into it."
30 points leads 'M'
in opening win
Daily Sports Writer
Maybe it was the transition from
guard to forward.
Maybe it was the high expectations
after a stellar freshman season.
Or maybe it was just a Division-II
team that lacked the defense to shut
Whatever the reason, sophomore
Manny "Fresh" Harris scored a career-
high 30 points leading the Michigan
men's basketball team to a 77-55 win
over Michigan Tech in the first round
of the 2K Sports Classic last night.
"I just try to find openings," said
Harris, who also had seven rebounds.
"If they play me too close and there's
not a shot, then I can drive. If they play
me baseline, then I drive, try to look
to kick. But if there's no one to help, I
Harris utilized his slashing ability
and tore apart the Huskies' defense.
He went 3-of-S from beyond the arc,
his few jump shots of the night. The
rest of his points came on layups.
Harris's offensive outburst is a
sign that Michigan (1-0) can rely on
his scoring ability to pick up where it
left off at the end of last'season, when
Harris averaged a team-high 16.1
points per game.
"He is still looking for his avenues,"
Michigan coach John Beilein said. "
'When can I use this speed and quick-
ness? Howcan I make my game so effi-
cient that I'm harder to guard?'... You
might be more effective if you do less."
Harris saw the floor well, turning
the ball over just twice in 30 minutes,
but it was part of a balanced Wolver-
Michigan came out more aggres-
sive in the first half than last Thurs-
day's exhibition against Saginaw
Valley State. Any early-season jitters
were less noticeable, and Michigan
capitalized with quick passing and
movement awayfromthe ball.Despite
an 11-3 Husky run to start the second
half, Michigan was in control for most
of the game.
Beilein used the same starting
lineup as last Thursday's exhibition,
which had redshirt sophomore for-
ward Anthony Wright starting over
junior DeShawn Sims and fifth-year
senior guard David Merritt over soph-
omore Kelvin Grady. Wright hit back-
to-back 3-pointers to start the -game
and set the pace for the offense.
"If he comes off, we need to be
able to spread the floor with him and
(junior center) Zack (Gibson)," Beil-
ein said of Wright. "For him to come
out and do that, that was a great start
for us on the opening night. It usually
shows that he has a great deal of con-
Beilein said Monday that he want-
ed to see his team run the floor more.
Grady came off the bench and played
17 minutes, using his speed to convert
Michigan Tech turnovers into fast-
break points. The Wolverines had 18
points off turnovers.
"Hopefully that will be a thing
where we'll be able to score a few
more points pushing the ball in tran-
sition," Beilein said. "But you've got to
stop people to do it."
Beilein emptied his bench in the
game's final minutes, and 10 play-'
ers scored in the win. But freshman
shooting guard Stu Douglass who'
went 3-for-5 from on 3-pointers last
Thursday, was held scoreless.
The Wolverines' may have shot 61.5
percent, but against an undersized
Michigan Tech team (0-1) that had one
player taller than6-foot-7, they did not
take control of the boards. Beilein's
system does not emphasize rebound-
ing, but Michigan outrebounded the
Huskies, a slim 37-32.
Sims finished with a game-high
12 boards, four higher than the next
The Wolverines will play tonight in
the regional final against Northeast-
ern at 8p.m. The winner will advance
to the Championship rounds in New
York at Madison Square Garden from
Sophomore forward Manny Harris scored a career-high 30 points in Michigan's 77-55 win over Michigan Tech last night.
The Wolverines began the sec-
ond half in man-to-man defense.
But Michigan Tech outscored
Michigan 13-8 in the first six min-
utes, so Beilein switched back to
the 1-3-1. For the next six minutes,
following the stretch, Michigan
outscored Michigan Tech 11-5,
quickly putting the game out of
NUMBERS DON'T MEAN
EVERYTHING: His stat line won't
jump off the page - two points,
two rebounds and three assists in
23 minutes - but Novak proved
why he was the first person off the
bench last night and in Michigan's
exhibition game last week.
Against Michigan Tech, on two
separate occasions he hit junior
DeShawn Sims for an alley-oop
layup on the fast break.
"I remember one time they had
their little point guard back on
him," Novak said. "I wasn't even
worried about the rim. I said,
'Throw it over that guy,' and then
he's athletic enough he's going to
go get it."
Later in the second half, Novak
sprinted down the left side of
the court ahead of the Huskies'
defense, and sophomore Kelvin
Grady hit Novak in stride for an
It's a sign that practice has paid
off for the freshman.
"We have a drill exactly like
that," Novak said. "Kelvin threw a
perfect pass. I didn't do anything
but make a layup."
Novak might not have had to
make the big plays, but he did the
little things necessary to help the
INSPIRATION: When Michi-
gan came out for their pregame
warm-ups an hour before tipoff,
Harris was a few seconds late. He
was talking with Duke two-time
All-American Jay W5illiams, who
called the game for ESPNU.
Harris, who scored a career-
high 30 points, might want to talk
to Williams before every game.
"Just talking to him gave me
(incentive) because I know he's
been where I've been at," Harris
said. "He made it to the next level.
So just talking to him, and him
being here, inspired me."
STILL RUSTY: Last season,
Michigan shot a Big Ten-worst
39.5 percent from the field.
Although the Wolverines shot
51.9 percent from the floor Tues-
day night, including 16-for-26 in
the first half, they threw up five
Harris, junior Zack Gibson
and Novak all shot airballs before
the 14-minute mark. And sopho-
more Anthony Wright and senior
Jevohn Shepherd each had one
later in the game.
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Born to run: Minor turns season around
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By DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Editor
Junior running back Brandon
Minor has taken three direct snaps
in the Michigan football team's last
two games. Each time he lowered
his head and ran.
But will he ever throw when he
lines up under center?
"I love runningthe ball too much
to pass it," Minor said. "I doubt it."
Although Michigan football
coach Rich Rodriguez said Minor
was always considered the starter,
the Richmond, Va., native had just
13 carries in the Wolverines' first
six games as he dealt with an assort-
ment of injuries.
Minor sulked during the early
part of the season with his reduced
role. Thoughts of never getting his
chance to show what he can do and
even transferring crossed his mind.
His sense of humor didn't show as
often as it normally did.
"I just zoned out," Minor said.
"I wasn't joking around in prac-
tice like I usually do. I wasn't talk-
ing much at all. I was just trying to
affect the plays."
He tried talking to his coaches,
but that didn't get anywhere. Then
he turned to his mom, brother and
"They was like, 'Stay with it.
Fight it out,' " Minor said. "They
was saying they know me better
Minor said his attitude improved
in the week leading up to Michi-
gan's Sept. 27 game against Wis-
consin. The results weren't evident
until Minor started at Penn State
four games later. Minor has had
more carries in each of the last four
games than the first six games com-
In the three-game stretch start-
ing with the Nittany Lions, Minor
accounted for 41 percent of Michi-
gan's offense, 63 percent of its
touchdowns and 53 percent of its
During that run, Minor returned
to his old form - having no regard.
No regard for his body
Minor was knocked out of the
Wolverines' game at Minnesota in
the third quarter with what Rodri-
guez initially thought was a separat-
ed shoulder. Rodriguez was asked
about Minor's status Monday.
"He's got sore ribs," Rodriguez
said. "He's got a sore shoulder. He's
got a sore wrist."
And that doesn't even include the
hamstring injury that nagged him
earlier this season.
Rodriguez said Minor didn't
practice Tuesday and is "very
questionable" for Saturday's game
"He's a tough guy," Rodriguez
said. "And I'm sure if he's able to go
at all during practice this week, he
The coach added that Minor has
picked up the schemes well enough
that he could miss practice for most
of the week and still play against
No regard for his opponents
Redshirt sophomore left guard
John Ferrara remembered watch-
ing an Illinois player lie on the
ground after a kickoff late in the
Wolverines' 45-20 loss Oct. 4. He
didn't seg what happened on the
play, but he was told Minor deliv-
ered the big hit.
"I wasn't really that surprised
because I know hard he comes all
the time," Ferrara said.
It doesn't matter if it's on special
teams late in a blowout game or in
practice'- Minor plays hard.
"He just really gets after it,"
said Ferrara, who played defensive
tackle before this year. "He'll come
downhill and he'll really put his
face on you. A lot of running backs
will try and juke out of the way.
But there's times he'll go jack
someone hard enough to knock him
Minor runs with a passion that
makes it seem like he's trying to use
each step to stomp out any doubts
anyone might have had earlier this
Minor has eight rushing eight
touchdowns on 89 carries this year,
a pace of a touchdown every 11.125
carries. Tom Harmon is the only
Michigan season-rushing leader
to run for scores more frequently,
notching a touchdown every 10
runs in 1939.
No regard for his teammates
Minor is one of Michigan's big-
gest trash talkers, and he doesn't
bring generic insults, either.
"I'll talk about them person-
ally - stuff they're sensitive about,"
Does anybody ever take it the
"Sometimes, they probably do,"
Minor said. "But that's what we
need on the field.
"Sometimes atpractice you'll see
guys look like they're just worried
about how many periods we've got
left. But I just go out there and try
to make it fun."
South Carolina aims for the upset at No. 4 Florida
By IAN KAY ing Heisman winner Tim Tebow and Irish to win,he'llhave to find a way to tions in six games since taking over
Daily Sports Writer speedster Percy Harvin weren't dif- coax more production out of sopho- as the starter, and the two-headed
ficult enough for opponents, Florida more quarterback Jimmy Claussen, running back monster of Shaun
After six pairs of ranked teams coach Urban Meyer seems to add whothrewfourinterceptions against DraughnandRyanHoustonaverages
squared off last week, this week- a new wrinkle to his offense each the Eagles. a healthy 4.6 yards per carry. North
end's slate of games is a snoozer week. Weis will also need to stop Navy's Carolina sits atop the ACC Coastal
by comparison. There's only one Spurrier knows a thing or two rushing attack, which rolled up 257 Division, andwithjustNorthCaroli-
matchup of top-25 teams and two about high-powered attacks, but yards against Notre Dame last sea- na State and Duke remaining on the
of the nation's top five squads have knowing what Tebow and friends are son. The Midshipmen have thrown schedule, the Terrapins appear to be
an open date. There are, however, a going to do is a far cry from stopping justf60passes all season, but why put the only thing standing between the
few games with enticing storylines: them. The Florida offense looks like the ball in the air when you have the Tar Heels and atrip to Tampa for the
rivalry, revenge and redemption. a track team and South Carolina isn't power-speed combination of slot- ACC Championship Game.
even ahigh hurdle. back Shun White and fullback Eric Maryland, on the other hand, has
NO.25 SOUTH CAROLINA (4-3 Kettani at your disposal? The duo struggled to find consistency. Run-
SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE, has combined for more than 1,500 ning back Da'Rel Scott ran for 407
7-3 OVERALL) AT NO.4 FLORIDA rushing yards already this season. yards in the Terps' first three games,
(6-1, 8-1) NOTRE DAME (5-4) AT NAVY After ending 43 years of Notre but has just 322 since. Quarterbacl
Could this beit for Steve Spurrier (6-3) Dame domination last season, can Chris Turnerhaslooked good inwins
in the Swamp? The Ol' Ball Coach Speaking of coaches who might Navy will start its own winning stre over three ranked teams - Califor-
has the Gamecocks rolling with six be on the hot seat - it's Notre Dame ak? &,f . nia, Clemson,andWake Forest-but
wins in their last seven games, buta
loss to Florida would mean a fourth
four-loss season in as many years.
With fans and boosters getting
antsy in Columbia, that just might
be enough to put Spurrier on the hot
The Gators enter the game as the
hottest team in the nation. They
demolished their last five opponents
- including two top-10 teams - by
an average score of 49-t1.As if reign-
coach Charlie Weis! The grumbling
that Weis might not be the best fit
in South Bend started after last
year's embarrassing loss to Navy.
It's only grown louder this season
as the Fighting Irish have lost three
of their last four games, including a
17-0 shutout last Saturday at Boston
College. With offensive coordinator
Mike Haywood missing the game to
attend a funeral, Weis will assume
play-calling duties this week. For the
Behind a defei
more than 24 poi
season, the Tar H
as one of college
teams. Now, their
starting to click. J
touchdowns and j
E hasstruggled againstlesser competi-
tion. But in wide receiver Darrius
H CAROLINA AT Heyward-Bay though, Maryland
LAND will have the best player on the field
nse that's allowed and a threat to score each time he
ints just once this touches the ball.
eels have emerged With basketball season under-
football's surprise way, can North Carolina keep fans
offense is finally interested in the gridiron for at least
unior quarterback a week longer?
has thrown eight
ust three intercep-