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December 01, 2008 - Image 12

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4B - December 1, 2008

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 46

. ..

A YEAR WITH RODRIGUEZ
Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez's artful commentary, littered with allusions to things like
The Lion King and elephant dung, have made the past 12 months a bit more interesting

6

DEC. 17, 2007
JAN. 1, 2008
APR. 7, 2008
MAY 20, 2008
JULY 24,2008

"There's an old movie called The Lion King. There's a scene in the movie where a monkey hits the
lion over the head, and the lion says, 'What'd you do that for?' and the monkey says, 'It doesn't
matter, it's in the past.' "
On his hiring from West Virginia at his introductory press conference
"Imagine my shock watching the game at the hotel with my family, and it comes across that ticker,
getting sued for $4 million. That wasn't a good night."
On his lawsuit with West Virginia
"If not being a gentleman is recruiting a guy 'til the end, 'til Signing Day, particularly after he visits -
guilty as charged. ... I didn't get a memo from the Big Ten or a handbook that says 'This is how you're
a gentleman. I feel pretty proud about how we recruit."
On Joe Tiller's "snake oil" comment
"Not only did it affect me, lie about me, but lie about guys on my staff," Rodriguez said. "And I do
take it very personally when someone tries to ruin the reputation of my staff and myself. It's not
right, particularly when he's lying. That will be the case from now until the day I'm no longer sitting
on this good earth."
On his lawsuit with West Virginia
"I think there's a lot of big deals made out of things that should be - it's what I call mouse turds.
Maybe I shouldn't say that. They're worried about that when there's big elephant doo-doo."
On the lack of communication and media drama

i
6

SEPT. 6.2008 "It's still like a Clint Eastwood movie - 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.'"
On the Wolverines' offense against Miami (Ohio), their first win of the season

SEPT.13, 2008
SEPT. 27, 2008
OCT. 4, 2008
OCT. 27, 2008
NOV.1, 2008

"Michigan football will be back. All the naysayers out there, whatever. I'm disappointed but I'm not
discouraged. Michigan football will be back."
After Michigan's loss at Notre Dame
"If you were in the Ann Arbor vicinity, you heard them. I mean, holy cow, anybody would've heard
that. I know the fans are frustrated. They want to play at a high level here and that's okay."
Discussing the Michigan Stadium crowd booing as the team left the field at halftime of the Wisconsin
game, trailing 19-0
"We just tried to make some corrections, but if there was a hole to crawl into, I am sure a bunch of
us, including myself, would run and crawl in that hole."
Discussing the team's mood at halftime of Michigan's 27-25 win over Wisconsin. The Wolverines trailed
19-0 at halftime
"You think I like standing there watching that? You think I want to stand and watch us drop the ball?
I mean, you think it hasn't been addressed? I mean, you've got to be kidding me. I've never seen
nothing like it. And I don't know if you can work on it more than we're working on it."
On Michigan's five fumbles in a loss to Illinois
"There were more assumptions made defensively that we're OK at this position or that we'll get this
kind of production at this position. "I think there's an assumption that this guy is a returning starter,
so he'll be able to pick up the scheme and be able to go just like that. That's not always the case."
On the Wolverines' defense after giving up 35 points to Michigan State
"What do you want me to say? We're going to get up and do the same routine. We're going to get up
and work tomorrow and try to get better. You want to look at the finality of it all? I've been here nine,
10 months. We've had great tradition, we've still got great tradition and we're going to try to do all
we can to uphold it. But right now we're not going to a bowl and we're going to get up and go to work
tomorrow and get better."
After Michigan's was eliminated from bowl contention with a 48-42 loss at Purdue
"I've been here for one of them. So that's the only one I can really comment on. They've got one in a
row on us, from what I've seen."
On Michigan's five-game losing streak to Ohio State
"Nothing on that little ESPN ticker, no statements on 'he said, she said,' no drama on lawsuits and
accusations. (Last offseason) was absolutely ridiculous. ... As coaches, we're in the public life so we
have to realize it. It's a big boy's world, so I understand that."
On his hopes for the upcoming offseason

6
6

NOV. 22, 2008
NOV. 24, 2008

a

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PHOTO BY JEREMY CHo/Daily

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TIGERS
From Page 1B
wore down the shot clock on several
occasions but couldn't stop Savan-
nah State's players from hitting
almost every basket. The Tigers
shot over 70 percent from the field,
including a perfect 5-for-5 from
beyond the arc in the first frame.
Savannah State shot just 33.5
percent after the break.
Although Michigan pulled off
the comeback, Beilein was quick
to point out that, with a team that's
still learning, ups and downs are to
be expected.
"I know they didn't want to deal
with the coaching staff after a loss
like this," Beilein said. "I knowthey
will be happier going into practice,
but it is what it is now. We have to
look at that game and say, 'We have
a lot of areas we have to improve.'
Men's basketball here at U-M, we
are growing, we are not the fruiton
the tree yet, we are still growing."
Those growing pains were never
more apparent than in the last five
seconds of regulation. With the
game tied and the Tigers inbound-
ing a pass, freshman Zack Novak
intercepted the ball, took it to the
rim and went up for an emphatic,
game-winning slam-dunk.
It would have sent the Cris-
REID
From Page 1B
first half. The Wolverines could not
find even a hint of rhythm, turning
the ball over 12 times and strug-
gling to simply set up the offense,
let alone run a coherent system.
Fifth-year senior David Mer-
ritt said the defense was the big-
gest flaw in the first half. If poor
defense can explain six total field
goals in 20 minutes, the awful ball
handling, the inability to crack
the Tigers' aggressive full-court
press, the 0-for-8 from behind the
arc, then Sims's superior defensive
skills are clearly needed in the
opening minutes of the game.
It was, withouta doubt, the worst
20 minutes of basketball I've seen in
a long time. It's great that the team

ler crowd, which had grown
increasingly excited during the
Wolverines' comeback bid, into a
frenzy. It would have been high-
lighted on SportsCenter's Top-10
plays. It would have been the high-
light of Novak's six-game career.
He missed it, losing control and
watching helplessly as the ball
clanked off the back of the rim.
Time expired.
"I saw (sophomore) Manny
(Harris) out ahead," Novak said,
describing the play. "I was looking
to pass it to him, butI saw the clock
and went to the hoop strong. It was
just instinct. ... If we lost the game,
it would have been worse, but we
came back to win and that makes it
easier to learn from."
But Beilein wanted to put the
game in perspective - it was, after
all, a win against a team that lost to
Clemson by more than 30 points.
And with Atlantic Coast Confer-
ence hotshots Maryland and Duke
coming up this week, Michigan has
a lot of work to do.
"We have to understand that
every game we have to come ready
to play and deal with whatever is
given to you," Beilein said. "Obvi-
ously, the Maryland and Duke
games are at a different level than
the Savannah State game, but we
can't worry about that -- just one at
atime."
can overcome thatkind of sloppy
play and win, but guess what?
Savannah State ain't Duke - or
even Maryland for that matter.
Those two teams happen to be
Michigan's next two opponents.
Michigan coach John Beilein
knows it, saying Saturday, "Obvi-
ously, the Maryland and Duke
games are at a different level than
the Savannah State game." But is
he doing anything to change it?
The Wolverines have had the
same starting lineup for all season
- sophomore Manny Harris, red-
shirt junior Zack Gibson, Merritt,
freshman Stu Douglass and red-
shirt sophomore Anthony Wright.
Sims, clearly the team's second-
best player, comes off the bench.
Sims is the spark for this squad.
He played 23 minutes after half-
time against Savannah State, grab-

Sophomore Manny Harris scored 22 points and hit key free throws down the
stretch to help Michigan defeat Savannah State on Saturday.

qrej udice
By Jane Austen
Adapted for the stage by James Maxwell
Directed by Timothy Douglas
Dept. of Theatre & Drama
December 4 - 7 - Power Center
Tickets $24 & $18 " Students $9 w/ID
League Ticket Office 734-764-2538
Music,Theatre & Dance www.musk.umich.edu

bing four offensive rebounds that
were all converted into points,
pouring in 15 points (including
the game-winner at the overtime
buzzer) and committing zero turn-
overs after the break.
To anyone that's seen a game
this year, it's clearthatthe Wolver-
ines are a better team when he's on
the court. Why not have thatkind
of energy from the get-go?
Because Arizona transfer Laval
Lucas-Perry will become eligible
after the semester ends, Beilein has
said he doesn't want too change up
the lineup too much.
"When Laval Lucas-Perry
becomes eligible in December that
will be another component that
you're looking at to how does that
affect him?" Beilein said afterthe
Norfolk State game. "You know, he's
obviously a good player. He's going

to be in the rotation.... I think we'll
just wait and see. Until itcosts us a
game somewhere down the line, we
won't make any changes."
Beilein thinks that a change
to the lineup before Lucas-Perry
becomes available might disrupt
the flow. The Wolverines will have
to "change pregame warmups,
change everything." Maybe that's
what they need. Maybe the cur-
rent starting lineup hasn't been
detrimental yet, but t'd be willing
to betit willbe against Duke and
Maryland.
Sims needs to start the next two
games to give Michigan a chance
of stealing one or both from the
Blue Devils and Terrapins. It's as
simple as that.
- Reid can be reached at andyreid@
umich.edu.

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