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November 12, 2009 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-11-12

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Table of Contents

The expectations for the Wolverines are higher, but
* the Big Ten is arguably the nation's toughest confer-
* ence. We preview six of the Big Ten's strongest teams.
4 This year, the country's top teams might have com-
*pany. Check out how Michigan got out of its 11-year
M rut, revitalized a proud program and prepared itself
for a defining season.
He's only a freshman, but Darius Morris and his
natural instinct could be the difference between
deep postseason run and an early exit.
Nicole Auerbach@" Gjon Juncaj
Chris Meszaros 0 Joe Stapleton
Center spread design by Mo Stych
Secondary story design by Angela Chih
Cover photo by Max Collins

2009-10 Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year Hometown
0 Zack Novak G 6-5 210 So. Chesterton, Ind.
1 Stu Douglass G 6-3 185 So. Carmel, Ind.
3 Manny Harris G 6-5 185 Jr. Detroit
4 Darius Morris G 6-4 180 Fr. Los Angeles, Calif.
5 Eso Akunne G 6-3 220 Fr. Ann Arbor
12 Anthony Wright F 6-6 235 Jr. Sterling, Va.
13 Matt Vogrich G 6-4 180 Fr. Lake Forest, IIl.
20 Josh Bartelstein G 6-3 190 Fr. Highland Park, Ill.
22 Blake McLimans F 6-10 220 Fr. Hamburg, N.Y.
23 Corey Person G 6-4 200 So. Kalamazoo
30 Eric Puls C 6-10 210 So. Alpena
31 Laval Lucas-Perry G 6-3 185 So. Flint
32 Zack Gibson F 6-10 220 Sr. Grand Blanc
34 DeShawn Sims F 6-8 235 Sr. Detroit
35 Ben Cronin C 7-0 265 Fr. Syracuse, N.Y.
52 Jordan Morgan F 6-8 240 Fr. Detroit

4tGHT from page 6C
stood out, thanks in a large part to But sometimes it can get con-
plays like one Villegas remembers. fusing because, like most elite
It's usually a good thing when, athletes, Morris is never content
while describing a move a player with his game. In Michigan's
made, Michael Jordan is invoked. exhibition win against Wayne
"Do you remember when Jor- State on Friday, Morris did what
dan went baseline, he faked like he was supposed to do: he started,
he was coming out but he went and he played swarming defense.
baseline and then he dunked on He might not have filled out the
some guy?" Villegas says. stat sheet (four points, three
Darius, just a freshman, pulled assists, and three rebounds), but
down an offensive rebound at a he didn't try to do too much and
critical point in a game. He started showed glimpses of that basket-
dribbling out of the paint, toward ball instinct that has made him
the 3-point line, then quickly stand out at every level.
turned back inside, shook nearly But you get the feeling that
the entire defense and hit a layup. even if he posted a stat line like
"The defense just reacted like, that of teammate Manny Har-
'Wow,' " Villegas said. ris (25 points, five rebounds, four
This summer, Darius played assists), he wouldn't have been
pick-up ball at UCLA, home of satisfied.
some of the hottest summer ball "I'm not content with the exhi-
in the country. One day, DeWayne bition game," Darius said. "I feel
Sr. decided to drop by. His son was like I'm in a good position to do
guarding former NBA player Cut- better. I'm just really looking for-
tino Mobley. Former UCLA star ward to the next game - I always
and current Oklahoma City player feel like I got more to show. And
Russell Westbrook was also play- after that game, I'll be excited for
ing. And former Michigan star the next game. That's kind of how
and Fab Fiver Jalen Rose had next. I am."
DeWayne walked up to Rose. It's a good thing, because this
"How do you like that kid right year will not allow for complacen-
there?" DeWayne asked. He ges- cy. The Big Ten looks like it will
tured toward his son. be one of the best - if not the best
"Oh, he's nice," Rose said. "He's - conference in the country, with
smart." both Michigan State and Pur-
"Well, that's your alma mater's due returning almost all of their
'09 point guard." respective starters. Also, with
Rose, who wore the baggy success comes high expectations.
shorts and black socks while lead- For Michigan, that means a deep
ing the first team to start five NCAA Tournament run.
freshmen in the NCAA Tourna- In a nod to a player from the
ment final, replied: last Michigan team to make such a
"Is that Darius Morris?" run, Morris wears No. 4, in honor
of Chris Webber.
On the day he was photo- Morris has made a name for
graphed for this story, Darius himself with his ability to antici-
Morris strode through the tun- pate how a play will develop, to
nel at Crisler Arena with his long instinctively see a play before it
arms swinging along his sides and happens. It remains to be seen
brand-new maize-and-white Adi- if he can do it on the collegiate
das Crazy 8's on his feet. level.
Someone asked him how he What many people don't real-
was doing. ize is that Morris committed
"Can't complain at all, man," to Michigan before last season,
Morris said, grinning. before the run to the first NCAA
It's a running theme in Morris' tournament berth in 11 years and
life. He walks with the confidence before the program was back on
and ease of someone who is tom- the map.
pletely content with where he is He signed the summer after
in that exact moment. Michigan finished with a epro-
"I feel like a lot of guys, if gram-worst 10-22 record - as if
they're good, they let it get to that same instinct that he hason
their head, and they start to feel the court extended to his assess-
like the whole world owes them ment of the program.
something," Darius said. "Just the Like how he knows where his
opportunity to go out there and teammates will be on the court,
prove myself on a national level, it's as if he could see the success
really, it's a great opportunity." before it happened.

Isn't Iisappsint
Thur Pa rents!
and be pictured in the Michiganensian Yearbook
Thursday 9112
l0am - 5im
Bring this coupon with you and get
$2 OFF your Sitting Fee!!!
ikqchi ."anensian
Schedule your portrait online:
www.ouryear.com, School Code: 87156
Location: Sophia B. Jones Room, Union

The Daily basketball
writers do their best
to predict what will
happen in the world of
college basketball this


Gjonh M riso
luncaj Meszaros


Michigan record 20-10 21-9 22-8 23-7 .
ng Ten Champion Michigan State Michigan State Purdue Michigan State
Big Ten second place Purdse Purdue Michigan State Purdue
Big Ten third place Michigan Minnesota Illinois Michigan
Michigan finish 3rd 4th 4h 3rd
BigTen Tournament champ Prs Purdue Michigan State Ohio State
tig Ten MVP Kalin Lacas Taint tattle Lucas Manny Hatris
tig ten coach of the year TabbyS SByan till Carmody Carmody
Bg Ten surprise team Northmestern Wisconsin Illinois Minnesota
Michigan MVP Manny Harris DeShawn Sims Harris Harris
National playerof the year ohs Wal; Kentucky Sherron Collins, Kansas Cli Luke Harangody, Notre tame
Michigan's season ends here NCAA Sweet Sinless NCAA Sweet Sixteen NCAA Sweet Siateen FNCAA Eite Eight
NCAA "Bracket Buster" Utah State Creighton Western Kentucky Marquette
NCAA Final Four Champion in hold) .KansasKansas.Kansas Michigan State.
Villanova Villanova Kentucky Kansas
Kentucky West Virginia Michigan State Duke
___________________Michigan State Texas North________Carolina __________Texas _____

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