The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
January 7, 2009 - 3B
Balanced attack propels
Blue to tournament title
By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Editor
DETROIT - Entering this sea-
son, Michigan hockey coach Red
Berenson stressed the importance
of balanced scoring if the Wolver-
ines wanted to repeat their success-
es from last year.
But the first NOTEBOOK
half of the season
was marred with
inconsistency. The Wolverines' top
scorers were lighting the lamps,
but the production from the bottom
half of the lineup wasn't there.
Michigan has tallied 68 goals
this season, but half of them came
from three players - Caprosusso,
Palushaj and freshman forward
But in the GLI, which took place
December 27th and 28th at the Joe
Louis Arena in Detroit, not only did
No. 10 Michigan's leading scorers
tally goals, but much of the Wol-
verines' offense came from unlikely
Junior acting captain Chris
Summers tallied a surprising three
assists against Michigan State in
the tournament championship,
with three assists on the 28th,
to bring the defenseman's career
total to four goals and seven assists
against the Spartans.
More unexpected than Sum-
mers's breakout was the play of
some of Michigan's unheralded for-
In the tournament's first game,
a 5-0 win against Michigan Tech,
rarely-used junior forward Antho-
ny Ciraulo, got his name up on the
The Wolverines played without
sophomore forwards Matt Rust
and Aaron Palushaj, who played
for Team USA in the IIHF World
Junior Championship during the
tournament. Their absences opened
up a spot for Ciraulo on the fourth
Ciraulo took advantage of the
ice time, threading a wrist shot
past a shell shocked Husky goalie
Josh Robinson. His goal extended
Michigan's lead to 4-0 in the first
"We knew our fourth line would
be important," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "They looked good
in practice. They were excited.
Ciraulo hasn't played much this
year, but he came out and gave us a
The entire second line - seniors
Brandon Naurato and Travis Turn-
bull and sophomore Ben Winnett
- had combined for just eight goals
this season before the tournament.
But all three tallied a goal in the
championship game against the
A key for the Wolverines heading
into the latter part of conference
play will be whether they can con-
tinue to get balanced scoring from
all of their lines.
KAMPFER RETURNS: Junior
defenseman Steve Kampfer
returned from injury against Mich-
igan Tech. Kampfer fractured his
skull in an off-campus altercation
on October 12 and was out for two
ranked 17th in final ni
By MARK BURNS sets by Nebraska on Dec. 12.
Daily Sports Writer Michigan (26-9 overall) con-
sistently showed its resiliency
Down 2-1 in the first round of throughout the year. Midway
the NCAA Tournament against through the season, the Wolverines
then-No. 20 Kentucky on Dec. traveled to Illinois and Purdue,
4, the Michigan volleyball team where they lost two heartbreak-
could have easily given up, called ing, five-set matches. Wins at
it a season and returned home. both schools could have propelled
But the Wolverines rallied to Michigan to a third- or fourth-
win a five-set thriller and advance place finish in the Big Ten instead
to the next round of the NCAA of its eventual fifth-place finish.
Tournament. But the Wolverines didn't let
The second-round match the the losses shake their confidence.
next day was nearly dejA vu for the After the two road defeats, Michi-
then-19th-ranked Wolverines. gan finished Big Ten play with a
Michigan coach Mark Rosen 6-2 record, led by sophomore set-
found his team down 2-1 again, ter Lexi Zimmerman. The Bar-
this time against 13th-seeded St. rington, Ill., native was the main
Louis. The Wolverines won in five architect of the highly potent
sets and advanced to the Sweet 16 Michigan offensive attack.
before they were swept in three She helped the Wolverines fin-
His impact on the ice was felt
immediately, with two assists dur-
ing the tournament.
"First game back, I felt a little
rusty, but as the game went on,
I felt a lot better," Kampfer said.
"Playing with (sophomore) Tristin
(Llewellyn) really helped out a lot."
Kampfer was paired with
Llewellyn on the third defensive
line. Lewellyn's physical presence
on the ice made it easier for Kamp-
fer, who still needs to be cautious
after the injury.
GETTING BORED: Sophomore
goaltender Bryan Hogan faced 15
shots in the first period against
Michigan State. After that, he saw
Sowhatdoes agoalie do whenhis
team seems to be on an extended
power play deep in the opponent's
zone and he rarely sees the puck?
"You try to stay awake," Hogan
said. "That's the toughest part,
being included in the whole game
even when you don't face many
Michigan fired 54 shots against
Michigan State, and Hogan faced
just 20. He also shut out Michigan
Tech the night before. Although he
didn't have to work too hard in net,
his efforts were still enough to earn
him a spot on the GLI All-Tourna-
NOTES: Michigan players took
four of the six spots on the GLI
All-Tournament team. Caporusso,
Summers, Hogan and sophomore
defenseman Chad Langlais were all
recognized on the ice after the Wol-
verines' tournament win.
ish ranked No. 17 in the season's
final poll, their highest ranking of
With the team losing seniors
Beth Karpiak and Kerry Hance,
Rosen will look to now-freshman
libero Sloane Donhoff and now-
junior hitters Megan Bower and
Juliana Paz next season. The trio
will need to elevate its play if the
Wolverines want to contend with
Big Ten powerhouses Penn State,
Illinois and Purdue.
Michigan will need to continue
to improve the blocking aspect of
its game if it wants to contend for
next season's conference title. The
Wolverines finished dead last in
the Big Ten in the category, and
the inability to team block severe-
ly plagued the Wolverines all sea-
game, Novak's light-out, fearless
shooting could be the difference
down the stretch if he gets a few
Growing up, the Chesterton,
Ind., native used to root for the
Hoosiers and made the three-and-
a-half-hour trip to Bloomington
several times to watch games from
the stands. He even attended for-
mer Indiana coach Bobby Knight's
basketball camps, where the coach
taught him and the other attend,-
ees, "If you see a nice-lookin' girl,
turn and run the other way, 'cause
she's going to kill you."
"That's what I remember stick-
ing with me," Novak said with a
laugh. "I was in third grade, and he
was telling me about girls."
game and Michigan State scores
The Wolverines were the clear
favorite to win this tournament
with or without Palushaj.
But Michigan's season so far
has been unpredictable. The Wol-
verines have lost to conference
doormats Northern Michigan and
Western Michigan. Michigan play-
ers admitted after a series-split with
the Broncos on Nov. 14-15 that the
team's mental preparation was a
That the Wolverines so thor-
oughly ripped apart two inferior
opponents in the GLI suggests they
finally realize they can't take any-
thing for granted. Besides recent
Michigan notched its signature win
of the season at No. 3 Minnesota on
In its last five victories, Michi-
gan has scored 27 goals, all in front
of sophomore goalie Bryan Hogan,
who appears to have locked up the
full-time starting job in net. After a
shaky start this season, the Wolver-
ines appear to have finally found a
sense of urgency.
And with games against top-
ranked Notre Dame and No. 6
Miami (Ohio) this month, "urgen-
cy" will be the operative word with
Michigan looking to solidify a spot
in the NCAA Tournament.
Senior Carly Benson led Michigan in scoring with 21 points, but the Wolverines fell to Penn State 76-58 Sunday.
After two road losses,~gn okso
co ence toughness
Borseth says team long year." upsets, defense kept it in the game
Toughness is a hard area to and allowed its confidence to
must focus on coach, but other weaknesses of build. On the road, that confidence
this Michigan team are also being is missing, and it is affecting other
tebounding to addressed. areas of the team's game.
-nSenior guard Jessica Minnfield Borseth believes the team he
said that Borseth is doing all he puts on the court can turn things
can to drill his players in practice, around and improve its play. He's
By TIM ROHAN and ifthey don't execute,theyhave working with the players in prac-
Daily Sports Writer to run as punishment. Rebound- tice and believes firmly in the
ing and transition offense are two idea of identifying weaknesses in
Some people are afraid of spi- things Borseth noted as key areas games and working on them in
ders. Others are afraid of heights. to improve down the stretch. practice.
Michigan women's basketball But something still needs to be Although some coaches .might
coach Kevin Borseth is afraid of done about the team's poor per- make drastic lineup changes to get
his team peaking too early. formance on the road. Minnfield a team rolling, that is not part of
That's exactly what Borseth was thinks it's just about confidence. Borseth's pedigree.
worried about when Michigan lost "We know that we have a bad "Some people wear the same
76-58 at Penn State Sunday. He record on the road," she said. "And socks every game," Borseth said.
also questioned the Wolverines' I feel like we all think that, and "Some people eat the same meal. I
toughness on the road, where his have a mindset that we go into it start the same lineup."
team is just 3-5 this season. thinking 'All right, we are on the Michigan takes on Illinois (0-4,
Michigan (1-2 Big Ten, 8-6 over- road. We have to play hard. We 4-11) Thursday night at Crisler
all) upset then-No.8 Notre Dame usually lose on the road.' So I feel Arena. The Fighting Illini have
and then-No.13 Vanderbilt earlier like it's a level of confidence that lost five straight and 11 of their last
in the season, butboth games were we all need to have." 12 games.
played at Crisler Arena. But confidence is something Benson acknowledged that the
In those upsets, the Wolverines the Wolverines don't intrinsically Wolverines must go at least .500
shot the ball well and relied on have just yet. in the Big Ten to make the NCAA
their defense to slow the opposi- "If we get down, we lose con- tournament.
tion. fidence," senior forward Carly Borsethsaidhe thinks Michigan
Now, after a game in which Benson said. "And a lot of that is can stay competitive in road games
Michigan gave up 20 offensive probably from our lack of success justby improving in practice.
rebounds, Borseth is attemptingto in the past. "We can't afford to have off
fix his team's weaknesses in prac- "We are capable of playing well nights," Borseth said. "You have
tice. together, and I think that does help off nights. That's how it goes. And
"We've got a long way to go," build our confidence. If we can just you have on nights.
Borseth said after the loss Sunday. consistently work on that, and not "We just have to get a little bit
"We better all buckle up. Every get down on ourselves when little better at what we do, so that when
player better buckle up and play things go wrong, we'll be okay." we do have an off night ... we can
a little harder, or it's going to be a In Michigan's early-season rally to make something happen."
LUCAS-PERRY: Redshirt freshman
steps up in first game as Wolver ine
From page 1B
Beilein said. "This has been going
on for a long time, We're not going
to be the first team to have trouble
winning on the road."
The Wolverines (1-1 Big Ten, 11-3
overall) could face an adjustment
period early while they get used to
playing in front of a hostile crowd,
like the one they'll face in Indiana's
Assembly Hall. Michigan has only
played one true road game this sea-
son, a loss to Maryland.
Last year, Michigan played six
games away from home, includ-
ing losses to Harvard and Duke.
Although Beilein acknowledges
From page l B
Junior forward Brian Lebler
moved to the top line to replace
Palushaj, who along with sopho-
more Matt Rust, missed the GLI to
play with Team USA at the World
Junior Championships. The trio of
Lebler, Caporusso and freshman
David Wohlberg combined for an
eight-point weekend. Michigan
coach Red Berenson admitted he
was surprised how crisp his offense
looked after having just three prac-
tices in the previous two weeks.
"We needed to play in (Michigan
Tech's) zone, and that's where the
chances occurred," Berenson said
after the opening game. "I thought
Wohlberg made a couple of great
plays to Louie. ... And they worked
hard. It wasn't like the goals came
easy. Louie was in the right place at
the right time."
The final two periods of play
against the Spartans were perhaps
the Wolverines' most dominating
performance this season.
. Michigan scored four goals and
outshot Michigan State 36-5 during
the final two frames of the champi-
onship round. The Wolverines dis-
played excellent puck possession by
winning almost every battle along
the boards, beating defenders to
the pros of scheduling tough road
games early in the season, he's not
too worried about the Wolverines'
lack of road-game experience.
"At this point, you'd like to have
had some success on the road,"
Beilein said. "But I thought our
team this year didn't need to have
a schedule like last year, where the
road games became road losses,
and you lose your confidence."
Freshman Zack Novak, who
seems to be building confidence
with every game, will likely get
his first road start today despite
receiving six stitches above his left
eye during the Wolverines' win
over the Fighting Illini. With stars
Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims
likely drawing heavy pressure all
loose pucks and putting relentless
pressure on Michigan State goalie
Forced to scramble so much in
their own zone, the Spartans had
few chances to break out in transi-
"I think Michigan played very
well," Michigan State coach Rick
Comley said. "Good team, good
speed, worked hard. And once they
got going, there was nothing we
"Our young kids just couldn't
handle that speed - their speed and
Michigan Tech coach Jamie
Russell echoed a similar sentiment
after the opening round, indicating
his team played too hesistantly and
wasn't physical enough to keep up
with the Wolverines' superior tal-
"Michigan's a very good skating
team," Russell said. "They get up on
their toes and move their feet well.
If you make soft plays and soft deci-
sions, you're going to pay for it."
Berenson said the Wolverines
must take the GLI title with "a grain
of salt," since the Huskies (1-11-2
WCHA, 5-15-2) and Spartans (3-9-
2-2 CCHA, 6-13-3) are in the midst
of horrendous seasons. Both teams
are at the bottom of their respective
conferences in scoring. Michigan
Tech averages just 1.32 goals per
From page 1B
player to the court. But Beilein
knew Lucas-Perry would be an
integral part of the lineup once
he was allowed to play. Earlier
this season, he would sometimes
include Lucas-Perry in drills with
the starting five.
And as Lucas-Perry's first game
grew nearer, Beilein put him into
the starting lineup more often in
practice. But like any new addi-
tion, there was a chance his pres-
ence wouldn't fit with the team's
"We didn't talk a lot about it,
but we did talk about this being a
transition and that it was going to
be bumpy," Beilein said. "We were
trying to prepare them a little bit,
but there is just agreat teamchem-
istry going on right now."
In Lucas-Perry's first game, it
was clear Beilein's changes paid
With wins against UCLA and
Duke alreadyinthebag,the excite-
ment surrounding the Michigan
men's basketball program was the
highest it has been in a long time.
And the addition of Lucas-Perry
just added to it.
With 13:13 left in the first half
against Oakland, Lucas-Perry
rose from Michigan's bench and
walked toward the scorer's table.
With his jersey rolled up at the
shoulders, Lucas-Perry looked
comfortable and ready to play.
With about 40 family members
in attendance, he felt like he was
back in high school.
"I was ready for this moment,"
Lucas-Perry said. "They were all
ready for me. All my friends texted
me before the game."
And according to sophomore
Manny Harris, there was a lot on
the line withLucas-Perry's first
"(Junior) DeShawn (Sims) said
if (Lucus-Perry) missed his first
shot, (Sims) was going to knock
(Lucus-Perry) out," Harris said
with a smile.
About a minute after he entered
the game, Lucas-Perry made his
first impact play as a Wolverine.
Playing the wing of the 1-3-1 zone
defense, Lucas-Perry drew an
offensive foul on Oakland.
And then it happened - Lucas-
Perry made the shot that prevent-
ed Sims from attacking him.
Lucas-Perry buried a 3-pointer
from the left wing, bringing the
Michigan faithful to a thunderous
Seconds later, he hit another.
Before Oakland had a chance to
see what happened, Lucas-Perry
had sunk three quick 3-pointers
and sparked a 17-3 run.
"I'm not surprised," fifth-year
senior C.J. Lee said. "That man
can score the ball very easily. He
had open looks. We expect him to
knock those down every time."
Just how good is he frombehind
According to Harris, Lucas-
Perry's 4-for-6 performance from
downtown against Oakland wasn't
"(He makes) almost 90 percent
in practices from behind the arc,"
Harris said. "That's why when he
missed one, I kind of smiled, like
I was surprised. He's open, he
doesn't usually do that."
skills were evident in a popular
YouTube video of him at Arizona
blocking Jarryd Bayless, the No. 11
draft pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
But Lucas-Perry isn't just a perim-
His size (a strong 6-foot-3, 185
lbs.) will come in handy during Big
Ten season - especially playing as
a guard, a position where Michi-
gan lacks big men.
In five games, Lucas-Perry has
shot 44 percent from the field and
50 percent frombehind the arc. He
is averaging 11.6 points per game.
Even when Lucas-Perry has
struggled making baskets, he has
still found a way to score. Despite
scoring on just 6 of 18 shots in
Michigan's two Big Ten games, he
still scored more than 10 points in
With that type of efficiency,
he will likely be the Wolverines'
third-leading scorer behind Har-
ris (18.8) and Sims (16.6) by the
end of the season.
Lucas-Perry cemented himself
in the Wolverine lineup, by start-
ing for the first time against Illi-
nois. And expect him to remain in
the starting five for the rest of the
Beilein has said all season that
for Michigan to compete in the Big
Ten, his team needs to find a con-
sistent third scorer.
Since Lucas-Perry stepped off
the practice floor and into the
games, Beilein might have found
what he has been looking for.