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November 26, 2008 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-26

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8A - Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com



Harris leads strong rebounding effort Wolverines return to


Daily Sports Writer
Before yesterday's 83-49 win
over Norfolk State, Michigan coach
John Beilein told sophomore guard
Manny Harris he needed to grab at
least 10 rebounds.
The 6-foot-5 NOTEBOOK
guard grabbed a
career-high 15, to lead the Michigan
basketball team, which had 53 total
rebounds and outrebounded the
Spartans by16.
Despite the Wolverines' success
this season, they have struggled on
the boards.
Michigan won the rebounding
battle just once this season, against
Michigan Tech. Coincidentally, the
Wolverines' worst performance
came in their upset win over then-
No. 4 UCLA when they were out-
rebounded by 13. Against Duke,
Michigan lost the battle down low
by 12.
"One of the things is we weren't
playing UCLA or Duke," Beil-
ein said. "That's a big reason why
we got 53 rebounds. I don't think
we'd get 53 rebounds against those
teams. (Norfolk State's) coming
from a mid-major league and they
don't have some of the same ath-
Michigan also won the battle on
the offensive glass for the first time
this season, grabbing six more than
Norfolk State.
Since returning from New
York, the Wolverines have put an
increased emphasis on boxing out
and playing physical in the post.
focused on," senior forward Jevohn
Shepherd said. "A lot of drills, a lot of
body slapping."
Michigan's rebounding translat-
ed to production on the on the offen-
sive end. Players moved the ball up
the court quickly after a defensive
board, which led to points in tran-
sition. Harris led the way with 10
defensive rebounds, often breaking
quickly down the court.
"When Manny Harris can get 10
defensive rebounds," Beilein said.
"That's the greatest fast break that
you can have."
about five minutes left in the first
half, the Crisler Arena crowd let out

(Jrisler, get blowout win
Transition points with it, being able to push the
ball, get out, find guys to guard,"
key for Michigan said sophomore point guard Kel-
vin Grady, who led Michigan
in easy victory with five assists. "We all got out
in front of guys ... it was a bal-
Daily Sports Writer Harris led Michigan with 16
--------points and 15 rebounds, but he
Michigan men's basketball was part of an all-around team
coach John Beilein's offense is effort.
known for its half-court plays Michigan had five players in
that emphasize the 3-point shot. double digits, including senior
But last night, you wouldn't forward Jevohn Shepherd, who
have guessed that was the stan- usually plays sparse minutes. In
dard. his 17 minutes last night, Shep-
In front of its largest home herd registered one of the best
crowd of the season; the Wolver- performances of his career with
ines ran past Norfolk State last 11 points, four rebounds and
night, 83-49, thanks largely to three assists.
the fast break. "It's excellent - team effort,
Michigan got off to an awful everyone scoring, everyone
start, shooting 0-for-10 from the working hard," Harris said.
field. Later, though, the Wolver- "We'll take games like that with
ines started to sink their shots a win."
and finished the game with a 45.1 In their upset win over then-
field goal percentage. No. 4 UCLA last week, the Wol-
To spark its offense, Michi- verines played with the same
gan (4-1) hit three quick 3-point- unselfishness and were hard to
ers after five scoreless minutes. stop. Harris usually is the center
But after that, there wasn't of attention, but Michigan needs
much need for the long ball. The consistent production from more
Wolverines capitalized on the players.
Spartans' dismal 30.3 shooting Last night, the Wolverines had
percentage by grabbing defen- 21 assists, the most this season.
sive rebounds and pushing the "If we can get 60 to 70 percent
floor for fast-break points. assists to baskets that's pretty
"We're trying to convince the good," Beilein said. "Almost
guys - we do want to run," Beile- every basket had a good assist
in said. "We do a lot of half-court on it. They're looking for each
stuff. We want to run on every other."
rebound, every turnover at full But despite the lopsided score,
speed." Michigan committed 21 turn-
The Wolverines attacked the overs thanks in part to the Spar-
glass with more tenacity than tans' second-half pressure. The
they have all season. With 53 Wolverines had their share of
total rebounds, Michigan ran the sloppy plays, but Norfolk State
court with ease. applied more defensive pressure
But even when the layups to trap Michigan.
wouldn't fall, Michigan was Despite the upcoming Thanks-
there to recover. giving holiday, the Maize Rage
In front of the loudest home student section filled the entire
crowd this season, freshman bleachers for the first time this
Stu Douglass missed a layup off year.
a fast break, but sophomore for- Michigan will play another
ward Manny Harris caught the Mid-Major before the Big Ten/
ball inches from the rim and ACC Challenge. The Wolverines
slammed it home .to ignite the will return to action Saturday at
fans even more. 2 p.m. against Savannah State at
"The transition had a lot to do Crisler Arena.

Sophomore forward Manny Harris contributed 16 points and 15 rebounds in the Wolverines'83-49 win over Norfolk State.

a cheer for one of its biggest players,
7-foot freshman Ben Cronin took
off his warm-up jersey and headed
onto the court. Before last night,
Cronin had only played a few late-
game minutes against Northeastern
and Michigan Tech.
In the stands, a group of students
wore shirts that said "Cronin's cro-
"It felt pretty good," Cronin said.
"I'm just focusing more on doing
what I got to do, so I'm just excited
to get in."
A hip injury kept Cronin from
practicing all summer. Beilein even
considered redshirting the fresh-
Lastnight, Cronin's presence was
immediately felt - for good and

On defense, Cronin's lanky frame
forced Norfolk State's big men to
rush shots, and he limited their sec-
ond-chance opportunities. On the
other end, he scored two points, but
missed two easy baskets and caused
a turnover that led to a breakaway
layup for the Spartans.
Cronin would've liked to have
played better, but he was happy his
fans got to see him play.
freshman Stu Douglass shoots the
ball, Michigan fans yell "Stu."
Douglass' popularity among Wol-
verine fans has risen since he nailed
a clutch 3-pointer against UCLA last
But there's another freshman
guard from Indiana that Michigan
fans should take notice of - Zack

Sometimes when Novak gets
the ball, fans mistakenly yell "Stu."
They're notthe only ones.
"It's been happening ever since
we've gotten up here," Novak said.
"At this point, we're both used to it."
Novak led Michigan with 10
points in the first half, shooting 4-5
from the field with two 3-pointers.
"He could really shoot the
ball," Beilein said. "He goes, and
all the sudden you're playing in
high school and the next the next
thing you know you're in (Madison
Square) Garden being guarded by
Duke and UCLA."
He finished with 10 points, but
shot the ball just twice in the sec-
ond half. Douglass, who had just
three points in the first half, caught
up in the second, and finished a
point shy of Novak.

Michigan to play top-ranked Gophers

'M' beats cold, UC-Davis
to advance in Tournament

NCAA Tournament
win sets up rematch
with Hoosiers in
Sweet 16
Daily Sports Writer
A maize-and-blue wooden
board sat to the right of the goal
on the endline at the U-M Soccer
Complex yesterday.
Reminiscent of an old time
baseball scoreboard, the sign dis-
played the temperature. For most
of the game, the sign said it felt
like 19 degrees.
For 90 minutes, that number
remind- -
ed the UC-DAVIS 1
UC- --
men's soccer team how out of its
element it really was playing the
Wolverines in a second-round
NCAA Tournament game. At
kickoff, the temperature at UC-
Davis' campus was 60 degrees.
By the day's end, Michigan had
frozen UC-Davis out of the tour-
nament and sent the Aggies home
to thaw, leaving the final margin
at 2-1.
Now the Wolverines roll on to
the Sweet 16, to face No. 6-seed
Indiana, a team that kicked
Michigan out of the semifinals
of the Big Ten Tournament a
week and a half ago. Michigan's
ultimate goal is to make it to the
Final Four, known as the College
Cup, in Dallas.
While nerves, snow and a cold
wind may have come into play
during the scoreless first half, the
11th-seeded Wolverines wasted
no time establishing their superi-
ority in the second.

Less than five minutes in, red-
shirt sophomore forward Matt
Schmitt made a move around an
Aggie defender and dished the
ball off to junior midfielder Mauro
Fuzetti on the far right side of the
box. Fuzetti gave the ball a quick
touch to get around a defender
and crossed the ball towards the
center of the goal.
"Once I got it wide, I knew I
wanted to cross it in," Fuzetti
said. "And I looked up and saw
that we had two or three guys
in the box, and I just wanted to
play a good ball into the PK spot,
which is a dangerous area, and
that's where it went and luckily
(senior midfielder) Jake (Stacy)
was there to finish it off."
The early second-half goal gave
the Wolverines an extra shot of
energy as they continued to match
the Aggies' physicality.
Less than 20 minutes later,
Fuzetti notched another assist
when he got the ball to junior for-
ward Peri Marosevic. Marosevic
turned on one defender while
making a move around another
before sending a ground shot past
the UC-Davis goalie.
"I made sure I kept it low, and
with the slippery ground it made
(the shot) easier for me and more
difficult on the keeper," Maros-
evic said.
From that point on, it looked
as though the Wolverines were
going to blank the Aggies. But
a miscommunication caused a
defensive breakdown with 2:50
left in the game and cost Michi-
gan the shutout.
After the game, Fuzetti
stressed the importance of com-
munication on both ends of the
field if the Wolverines hope to
advance deeper into the tourna-
"It's something we can't do in

the NCAA Tournament," Fuzetti
said. "Because if it was 1-0 and
they get a late goal like that, then
they get all the momentum going
into overtime."
For the final moments of the
game, Michigan sent long balls
down the field toward the UC-
Davis goalkeeper to kill the clock
and keep the Aggies out of scor-
ing range.
The win was the program's
third NCAA victory at home,
and marked the second time the
Wolverines have advanced to the
sweet 16. Michigan also improved
upon its program-record nine
home wins in a single season.
Michigan coach Steve Burns
was pleased with how his team
played and reacted to the inten-
The referees called two yellow
cards and 34 fouls, while letting
many go uncalled. Mostly, Burns
was excited that his team earned
a 'W' in its first game of the tour-
Burns believes the first game
of any tournament is always the
most difficult to play, but the key
is getting that first game under
your belt and moving on in the
"We fought hard. From the
beginning to the end, we knew
what was at stake - it could be
our last game of the year," senior
midfielder Nader Jarun said. "I
think we treat every single game
like that. We saw a bunch of guys
play like warriors tonight and I
think you will see that the rest of
the year."
"All the way to Dallas, baby,"
Burns added.
One thing is for sure: if the
Wolverines make it to Dallas,
19-degree weather won't be
something they'll have to worry

Doily Sports Editor
In a display near the Yost Ice
Arena entrance sits the Maclordi-
Renfrew Coaches Trophy. It's ded-
icated to last year's seniors, who
led the Wolverines to their first
win over Minnesota since 2002.
There's no question it's going to
be much more difficult for the No.
14 Michigan hockey team to keep
the award this year.
The Wolverines travel to No.
1 Minnesota (6-1-3 WCHA, 7-1-4
overall) on Friday for the first leg
of the 16th Annual College Hockey
Showcase. Michigan hasn't beaten
the Gophers
twice in a row in
a decade. They Michigan at
battle Wisconsin Minnesota
(5-5-2 WCHA,
5-7-2 overall) in Michigan 8-
Madison the fol- Minnesota
lowing night. 7-1-4
Last year's When: Fri-
win over Minne- day 8 P.M.
sota sealed then-
No. 2 Michigan's Where: Mari-
sweep of the ucc Arena
College Hockey TV: BTN
Showcase and
avenged the Wolverines' loss to
Minnesota earlier that season,
their lone setback to that point in
the season. More importantly, it
validated Michigan as one of the
nation's top teams.
"I personally hate Minnesota,"
sophomore defenseman Tristin
Llewellyn said. "I played juniors,
played with all those sort of guys.
Minnesota was godly. They always
called it the 'U.' That really got
under my skin.
"We hate them as much as we
hate (Michigan) State."
The exchange of the trophy,
named for legendary Michigan
coach Al Renfrew and Minnesota
coach John Mariucci, turned out
to be a crossroads of fates last sea-
son. The Gophers ended a disap-
pointing season with a first-round
exit from the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan went on to the Frozen

Sophomore Tristin Llewellyn and Michigan look to rebound after getting swept by
Miami (Ohio) in a two-game series last weekend.

This season's matchup will still
be a "statement" game for the
Wolverines (5-5-0 CCHA, 8-6-0
overall), but it's a reversal of roles
from last year.
Just 14 games into the season,
Michigan has already matched
its loss total from 2007-08. The
Wolverines split their series with
Alaska and Western Michigan and
were swept at No. 6 Miami in the
last three weeks.
Minnesota lost its first game
last Saturday at No. 10 Denver.
The Gophers have allowed
more than three goals just once,
magnifying the importance for
Michigan to overcome its scoring
slump. Last weekend, the Wolver-
ines scored just one goal against
the RedHawks - their worst
offensive output during Michigan
coach Red Berenson's 25-year ten-
"The biggest challenge is being
able to play Minnesota tight,"
Berenson said. "Their goals-
against are really good. They're
going to be tough to score on."
Berenson tweaked the lines
again this week, hoping to spark
some offense. He moved sopho-
more forward Carl Hagelin back
to left wing alongside sophomore
center Matt Rust. The two were
successful together on the sec-

and line last season, and are now
joined by freshman right wing
Robbie Czarnik.
Berenson made the move to cre-
ate a sound defensive line that can
match up with Minnesota's top
But that's just one of the tweaks
Berenson hopes will have an
impact this weekend. Earlier this
week, he compared coaching this
team to "driving an old car" -
certainly much different than last
year's fast, and seemingly flaw-
less, start.
"You just fix one thing, and
something else goes," Berenson
said. "That's how our team is right
And that's what makes this
weekend the biggest yet this year
in many players' eyes.
They've been crushed at Boston
University. They've been swept at
Miami. They've even lost at home
to Western Michigan, a team with
just one other win this season.
"It's going to be a huge test for
us," acting captain Chris Sum-
mers said. "I think we're going
to define ourselves as a team this
Without a doubt, the Showcase
defined Michigan last year, and
with this season's early struggles,
it may just do that again this year.

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