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December 09, 2009 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-12-09

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8A - Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

After missing chances, freshman
still waiting to score first goal in A2

Graham shares Silver Football

Last night, Brandon Graham
won a piece of the Chicago Tri-
bune's Silver Football Award,
given to the BigTenMVP. After
the votes were tallied, Graham,
a senior defensive end on the
Michigan football team, was tied
with Penn State senior quarter-
back Daryll Clark.

The award, given out at the
end of every season for the last
85 years, had never had co-win-
ners until this year.
Graham was the lone bright
spot on the Wolverine defense,
leading the nation with 26 tack-
les for loss and tacking on 10.5
sacks.

Lynch has just one
assist in first 16
collegiate games
By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Writer
Kevin Lynch still can't get the
ringing noise out of his head.
On Friday night against Ohio
State, thefreshmanforwardpicked
up the puck at the top of the left
circle and letgo of a wrist shot that
beat the goalie - and clanged off
the left post. Against Minnesota
two weeks earlier,just five minutes
into the game, he beat a defense-
man but made the right post sing.
Whether he's hitting the post,
getting robbed by the goalie or
over-skating the puck on what
would have been a sure breakaway
on an empty net - like he did with

a minute left on Saturday night -
Lynch just can't find that elusive
first career goal.
"I'm getting chances, so I'm not
really worried about it," Lynch
said. "I just need to bear down
and once I get that first one, it will
come in bunches."
Lynch's struggles represent a
departure from his two previous
seasons with the U.S. National
Team Development Program
Under-18 team, where he averaged
a goal every three games and a
point every one-and-a-half games.
His performance enticed the.
Columbus Blue Jackets to pick him
in the second round of the 2009
NHL Draft.
Along with A.J. Treais and first-
year sensation Chris Brown, Lynch
was expected to contribute right
away up front. But 16 games into
this season, Lynch has recorded just
one point, an assist in a 5-1 blowout

of Lake Superior State in late Octo-
ber. While the lack of production
is surprising, Michigan coach Red
Berenson isn't concerned.
"I think he's doing well, but it's
hard for a player to think that,"
Berenson said. "You wouldn't want
to measure him with his goals or his
points. He's working hard, he's play-
ing physical, he's responsible defen-
sively. He's been good with the puck
and he's created some good scoring
chances for himself and his line-
mates and that's all he can do."
As the Wolverines approach
the halfway point of the season,
in order to pull themselves out of
10th place in the conference, they
will need more secondary scoring
to complement the line consisting
of Brown and juniors Carl Hagelin
and Matt Rust. But they can't sac-
rifice their defensive play in order
to score.
If Lynch can lose his affinity

for hitting two-inch posts, he may
be the one who can find a balance
between offense and defense.
With Berenson giving Lynch an
opportunity on the power play this
weekend, he could jumpstart the
offensive power that he showed in
his prep days.
As far as the slow start is con-
cerned, it shouldn't affect him too
much. It has happened before.
"I just come out in practice
and work hard and I know that
last year, I had a successful year,"
Lynch said. "I've started off slow
pretty much every year, so I'm not
really worried about it too much at
this point."
If he adjusts his sights to find the
back of the net at Yost Ice Arena on
Friday, during the first game of the
Michigan-Notre Dame home-and-
home series, the only sound in his
head will be the roar of the crowd's
appreciation after the goal.

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Sophomore Stu Douglass and the Wolverines are struggling mightily from
beyond the arc this season.
'M' 3-point
woes must
end vs. Utes,

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By JOE STAPLETON
Daily Sports Writer
How do you strike fear in the
hearts of Michigan men's basket-
ball fans?
Show them Utah's starting five.
Marshall Henderson, 6-foot-
2. Carlon Brown, 6-foot-5. Luka
Drea, 6-foot-5. Kim Tillie, 6-foot-
11. David Foster, 7-foot-3.
The average height of Michi-
gan's starting five, on the other
hand, is about 6-foot-5. At 6-foot-8,
senior DeshawnoSims is Michigan's
tallest starter.
The Wolverines haven't had a
legitimate seven-footer since Josh
Moore, a 7-foot-2 center who was
dismissed from the team in 2002,
and that's stretching the defini-
tion of "legiti-
mate."Sizehas Michigan
been an issue at Utah
since Michi-
gan coach Matchup:
John Beilein Michigan 4-3;
arrived, but Utah 4-4
it's in games When: 9 P.M.
against teams Where:
like Utah that Huntsmen Center
the difference
will be very ,ymichdailysports
apparent.
"They're huge," Beilein
said. "Skilled players,they got some
guys back from a team that was
very good last year. We will not see
size like this the entire year."
And the Wolverines are lucky
for that. Utah's size in the paint
only accentuates Michigan's need
to find a little luck from the 3-point
line. The Wolverines haven't shot
above 30 percent from beyond the
arc since they played Creighton
in the first game of the Old Spice
Classic on Nov.26.
Vexingly, two of the team's best
pure shooters have struggled the
most - sophomores Stu Douglass
and Zack Novak. The two have
shot a combined 21 percent from
the 3-point line in the last four
games.
Redshirt sophomore Laval
Lucas-Perry has been the team's
only consistent long-range threat,
shooting 40 percent forthe season.
"I've never really experienced
something like this before," Doug-
'lass said. "It's a little nce, but I

guess we'll see (tonight)."
Fortunately for the Wolverines,
Beilein has experienced this before
- and survived.
In the 2005 season while coach-
ing at West Virginia, his team hit
a slump after getting blown out
in a game against Villanova. The
Mountaineers went ice-cold and
limped into the NCAA Tourna-
ment, but recovered and advanced
to the Elite Eight.
"You go through (shooting
slumps), and you try to just get
through them," Beilein said. "But
you're not very pretty when you
don't have those things going."
At least one player's 3-pointer
seems to be improving. Junior
Manny Harris, who has shot 21
percent from the 3-point line thus
far, began to bolster his dismal
season from behind the arc in the
Wolverines' last game, when he
shot 3-of-4.
If Michigan's shooters can find
their rhythm early against the
Utes, it would take some of the
pressure off of Sims, who will
be walking in the land of giants
down low.
Against such height, Sims could
have a hard time establishing
himself as a threat in the post. But
Beilein said that tonight, Sims'
versatility could be an advantage.
"It depends on what they give
us," Beilein said. "DeShawn has
been able to score on big guys
at times ... whether he's scoring
inside or from 15 feet or at the
three, it's good that he's versa-
tile."
I The recent shooting woes have
also prompted players to work on
other weaknesses in their game.
Douglass, for his part, has been
working on his assist-to-turnover
ratio.
"I'm definitely trying to make
up in other aspects," Douglass
said. "I've been trying to distrib-
ute the ball more and not turn it
over as much."
Douglass has 17 assists this year
compared to just three turnovers,
marking an improvement from
last year. And if he, and the rest of
the team, can manage to get their
3-point shooting numbers up, they
may be able to sneak out of Utah
with a win.

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