8 - Wednesday, November 4, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Rodriguez talks about lack of depth
By MICHAEL EISENSTEIN
Daily Sports Editor
Everyone wants an answer:
What is wrong with the Michigan
With four consecutive confer-
ence losses - the most recent an
embarrassing loss to a terrible
Illinois team - the Wolverines
are unraveling during the sea-
son's most critical stretch.
Michigan coach Rich Rodri-
guez said Monday the team's
struggles stem from a lack of
execution on the field and a lack
of talent on the current roster. But
changing schematics and moving
around personnel are short-term
He knows success is still far
away and the team's lack of long-
term solutions - improving talent
and depth - is what frustrates
him the most.
"Some of our issues did not
occur overnight and will not be
solved overnight," Rodriguez said
Monday. "Sometimes it takes a
little longer than I would like or
any of you like. I am less patient
than any of you or any fans that
It is easy to point a finger at
the massive adjustments needed
to run Rodriguez's spread-option
offense as the culprit for the Wol-
But the coach doesn't think
that the offensive systems itself is
the root of Michigan's woes. After
all, schemes will often change
under one coach, sometimes as
frequently as week-to-week dur-
ing a season.
"The transition, more than
anything, is going from not play-
ing to being on the scout team, to
being a second-or third-team guy,
then all of a sudden being a starter
and playing 70, 80 plays a game,"
Rodriguez said Tuesday.
Rodriguez didn't foresee that
type of transition before he came
to Ann Arbor. When asked Mon-
day if he thought success would
come sooner, he had just a five-
"Not after I got here."
Rodriguez said that was
because 20 defensive recruits
from the last five classes have
left the program, and just four
of those departures were due to
graduation. A moderate level of
attrition is natural after a coach-
ing transition. But when over 40
percent of players leave on one
side of the ball, it is particularly
difficult for Rodriguez to develop
the depth he wants - three guys
at every position he feels comfort-
What he saw in personnel led
him to start two defensive walk-
ons against Illinois.
It isn't necessarily an issue
if one walk-on is playing regu-
larly - the player simply could
have been underrated in high
school - but it's usually a bad
sign when two defensive starters
are current or former walk-ons.
Especially when one, redshirt
sophomore linebacker Kevin
Leach, grades out the highest of
any defensive player against Illi-
nois after replacing Michigan's
active leader in career tackles,
redshirt junior Obi Ezeh.
"If we do the right job recruit-
ing and developing, three or four
years from now we won't have as
many true freshmen coming in as
playing, particularly in key roles,"
Rodriguez said. "If you've been
there for a while and developed a
program through the right guys,
you're not going to have nine, 10,
11 true freshmen suiting up and
playing. That's just a difference
"That's not an excuse, that's just
kind of where we're at. As coaches
we've got to figure out, 'Okay, how
do we make sure that this issue
and that issue is not an issue two,
three years from now.'"
A quick fix to this problem
would usually be looking to junior
college players. With a couple
years of playing experience, those
players can transfer to a FBS
team and make a more immediate
impact than a freshman.
But with Michigan's academic
policies, that isn't really an option.
A lot of the junior-college credits
simply won't transfer, according
That means there is no short-
term solution to the bigger issues
at work in the program.
If Michigan makes a bowl
game, which it can qualify for
with one more win, then the Wol-
verines get 15 extra practices - a
small way to boost the team's
"It's almost like an extra spring
practice (which also lasts 15 ses-
sions)," Rodriguez said. "And you
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez has started two walk-ons onthe defensive side of the ball this season.
get a chance to develop those
But for Rodriguez, turning
around Michigan's recent fate
still comes down to restoring
depth. And that takes time.
"We are not good enough to
play poorly and win - we're not
at that point experience-wise and
talent-wise," Rodriguez said. "it
goes back to, if you ask this guy to
do this, maybe he's not capable of
doing that. So we've gone through
all those issues.
"My defensive staff and my
offensive staff, they have a lot
of experience in dealing with
this, and they've been in similar
situations. So they're all coming
together and thinking about it and
doing the best we can with it."
'M' takes 15th at
last tourney of'09
K IGA THETC
AR IEL BOND/Daily
Junior Matt Rust and unior Louie Caporusso who take many of Michigan's faceoffs, will need to be at the top of their games this weekend against No.1 Miami (Ohio).
Faceoffs and puck control
will be key against M.\-iami
dSi U '. i I}.f a ir Loi . 1ond.efort ting, its.beinready
By MICHAEL LAURILA
For the Daily
The Michigan women's golf team
finished its fall season in convincing
fashion yesterday at the Challenge
at Onion Creek, led by a standout
performance from senior captain.
Bauer finished tied for eighth
overall at the Onion Creek Golf Club
in Austin. Her performance was
strong even though the Wolverines,
with a score of 877, were far out-
matched by teams like Texas A&M,
who won the two-day tournament
with a score of 839. Bauer shot a 212,
which tied the Michigan 54-hole
Fellow senior Andrea Ratigan
finished tied for 27th, shooting a
216. Ratigan was in 47th place com-
ing into the final day, but the senior
rebounded by shooting par and
moving up 20 places.
Even though Bauer's score tied a
Michigan record, Michigan coach
Cheryl Stacy said the senior still
didn't feel that was good enough.
"Our seniors played pretty well,"
Stacy said. "Ashley was disappoint-
ed, but that is because she has high
expectations. With this event being
par 70, she has some goals that she
The Wolverines finished 15th out
of 21 teams and posted a season-best
score. Improving its combined team
scores each round, Michigan never
gave up and kept fighting during the
tournament to improve.
"I thought our team played a
little bit better than the results
showed," Stacy said. "Our scores
weren't that bad, but they could
have been better."
Also placing for Michigan were
junior Min Yean Tan, junior Kate-
lin Davis and sophomore Meagan
Bauer. Tan shot a season-best 222,
and Meagan Bauer tied her 54-hole
career best with 228. With the con-
clusion of this tournament, the Wol-
verines won't compete until they hit
the links for the spring 2010 season.
"We know what we need to work
on," Stacy said. "We know what our
strengths and weaknesses are and
we are going to do what we can to
improve on both this winter. We
are going to take a little bit of time
off, but then come right back and
get back to work preparing for the
an U1UaporU1Usso nd effort thing, it's bigray
imit's being focused and bearing
~important role down."
a Wolverines' Michigan has two centers that
have experienced great success
uccess on ice on the draw this season - Rust
and junior Louie Caporusso. So
By TIM ROHAN far this season, Rust sports a
Daily Sports Writer 52 percent win percentage and
Caporusso has an impressive 60
can overpower him
quick him, you ca
effort him. Someti
lift his stick and 1
with your foot. Th
technique to it."
Berenson said th
be his choice for f
defensive zone beca
on the penalty kill,
so would be his pit
in the attacking zot
Matt Rust had just played a
bad game, and Michigan hockey
coach Red Berenson knew how
to fix it.
Then-No. 2 Michigan had lost
to Northern Michigan 2-0 in its
third game of the 2008-09 season
and Rust was 2-for-14 on faceoffs.
Despite his performance, the
team still finished the game
31-for-60 on the draw.
"I had to get all over him about
his faceoffs," Berenson said. "He
didn't have a good game. The
next night he was wired, and
he was (6-for-14). And he scored
two goals and had a great game.
It all starts with faceoffs."
Berenson has made sure his
players know the importance of
face offs, and the players practice
As Rust saw firsthand, win-
ning faceoffs can set the tone for
a player's game.
"I knew I would have a good
game if I started by winning
faceoffs," Berenson said of his
playing days. "Some players
think they have to work hard
or play the body. But with me it
started with faceoffs. Because if
you're winning the faceoffs, it's
a bit of a one-on-one battle. It's
not just a skill thing. It's a sec-
percent success rate through six
As the team
tent third and
like Rust and Ca
In a tight gam
can often be key.]
the penalty kill, a
one on the pow
team has a great
Knowing this iml
son teaches tech
to anticipate th
"You should I
what the other
do so that you
him and make su
his way on thec
said. "And some
matter of you k
what you're goin
"If you're wnning f
the faceoffs, it's a
a bit of a one-on- a
one battle." w
porusso is even his faceoff goals for
"Miami's so talent
e, special teams you want to maint
Lose a faceoff on specifically on the
nd the team can or on the PP."
up a goal. Win Rust and Cap
er play, and the played against Mi
chance to score. Carter Camper and
portance, Beren- gels on faceoffs be
tnique and how familiarity is some
e other team's centers will use to g
tage on the faceoff.
have an idea of But it's not an ex
guy is trying to "It's kinda tough
can go against russo said of what
re he doesn't get good at faceoffs.
draw," Berenson there's going to b
times it's just a just clash with yt
nowing exactly sometimes you've;
g to do and you (the matchups) up
, you can out- I've noticed playing in the NCAA
in out-second - some guys I'll clean out, and
imes you just other guys I'll use the same style
kick the puck and won't do anything against
ere's sort of a them."
Faceofftechnique is something
at Rust would that can be adjusted even during
aceoffs in the games.
use of his role The Wolverines monitor their
and Caporus- faceoff statistics throughout
ck for faceoffs games, and Berenson keeps an
ne. eye on them between periods to
Both players address a "glaring stat" for a key
vill need to be matchup on faceoffs later in the
n peak form game.
or this week- Set plays are also important
nd's series factors involved in faceoffs. Rust
gainst No. 1 said that Michigan had three or
Miami (Ohio) four good scoring chances off of
t Yost. faceoffs in the Wolverines' sweep
"As a team, of Lake Superior State last week-
ve need to be end.
n a 60-percent Those set plays had a large role
success rate)," last year, and Rust thinks it's just
ust said of a matter of time before they can
the weekend. take advantage of one of those
ed offensively, opportunities in the attacking
tain the puck zone.
(penalty) kill Miami features an attack
that has four players who have
'orusso have tallied eight or more points
ami forwards through the team's first eight
Tommy Win- games, including Camper and
fore, and that Wingels.
thing that the Winning faceoffs could sti-
gain an advan- fle that attack and provide an
offensive advantage for the
act science. Wolverines.
to tell," Capo- "It just jacks it up to another
it-takes to be level," Berenson said. "When
"Sometimes you look at Miami coming in this
me styles that weekend you know every part of
our style and the game is going to be impor-
got to switch tant. Faceoffs could be the differ-
. That's what ence in the game."
Jung to compete
at ITA Nationals
By ZELL ZOERHOF
For the Daily
Tomorrow, Michigan tennis
player Jason Jung will be the only
Big Ten player in the field of 32 at
the ITA National Intercollegiate
Indoor Championships in New
Jung has been on fire this fall
after learning to play consistent-
ly. Nothing has fazed him in his
Coming into this year with a
pedestrian .500 record in singles,
Jung has vastly surpassed those
numbers in the fall season.
"The previous two years, I have
played well but not consistent,"
Jungsaid. "Practice hasbeenbetter
by makingsure I focus on the right
things and play the same way."
Jung is currently 8-3 in singles
and 8-5 in doubles, and those wins
have come in impressive fashion.
On Oct. 16, he dominated against
Ohio State 6-1, 6-2. Then, partner-
ing with George Navas, he beat
the 26th-seeded Buckeyes doubles
"I always have high expecta-
tions for myself," Jung said. "I
didn't expect it, but liked to think
I could do well."
Jung scares his opponents by
moving into the court when he can
and taking his chances well. He
knows his strategies and executes
them on a point-by-point basis.
The wins have started to pile up
thanks to a strong all-around
game and exceptional speed.
"Jason puts in the hard work,"
assistant coach Sean Maymi said.
"Sometimes it takes time to see
results. Tennis is a funny game. If
a couple things turn your way, it
givesyou confidence, and with more
focus, things have went his way."
. With Jung's deep run into the
singles semifinal and the doubles
final of the ITA Midwest Regional,
he earned the right to become one
of 32 players selected to the ITA
National Indoors where he will
play the best in collegiate tennis.
"The goal of every tournament
is to win," Jung said. "I know all
these guys playing, and I've got a
pretty good chance to do well. "
As the only Big Ten player to
qualify, Jung will need to keep his
confidence high as he heads into
his first match tomorrow.
When asked what will be his
key to success, Jung answered,
"By playing the same way I've