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January 26, 2010 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-26

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01

8 - Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

*I

Berenson's track
record speaks
for itself

P
Ok, a
SAID LALAH/Daily
Junior Manny Harris was suspended for "unsportsmanlike conduct" before Michigan's game against Purdue last Saturday. After being benched against Iowa last season,
Harris returned with a 27-point effort in the Wolverines' 87-78 victory over the Boilermakers. Michigan may need a similar effort to defeat the Spartans tonight.
With Harris reinstated,
'M'..needs win over MSU

"This guy has never had any
coaching (at the University of Mich-
igan). Jackojust did what he wanted.
"Michigan is the worst.For hockey
people, ifyou've got a choice between
a kid - all things being equal - one's
going to Michigan and one's going to
Boston University, you all want your
player (goingto Boston University).
Michigan's players - (head coach)
Red (Berenson) doesn't coach. It's
'do what you want.'Hegets the best
players in the country."
- L.A. Kings President and G.M.
Dean Lombardi to Hockeytalk.biz
blogger Gann Matsuda, on Kings
defenseman Jack Johnson and
Michigan coach Red Berenson.
ed Berenson doesn't need
me to defend him. But I'm
going to, regardless.
Red Berenson doesn't need me
to defend him. But I'm going to,
regardless.
His 26 years at Michigan have
been memorable: 687 wins, 19
straight NCAA Tournament
appearances,
10 Frozen Four TIM
appearances, ROHAN
two national
titles. After a On Ice Hockey
rough four-year
stretch with
John Giordano at the helm, Beren-
son has, quite frankly, put the Wol-
verines back on the map.
He has turned Michigan into a
national power.
You know what you're goingto
get when you send your kid to play
hockey at Michigan for Red Beren-
son. His impact on the Wolverine
hockey team isncomparable that of
Bo Schembechler on the Michigan
football program.
L.A. Kings President and Gen-
eral Manager Dean Lombardi is
in his fourth year with the Kings.
And, granted, his evaluation of
Jack Johnson as an unruly player
may be founded. Johnson may not
be as refined of a defenseman as
Lombardi would have liked out of
the third overall pick in the 2005
NHL entry draft. But that doesn't
open the door for him to blame
Berenson and Johnson's two years
at Michigan.
The Ann Arbor native has 40
points in 165 games over the past
three seasons with the Kings. After
finishing second to last and dead
last in the West the two previous
seasons, Los Angeles has returned
to contention in the Western con-
ference and is currently ranked
sixth. And despite his supposed
lack of discipline, Johnson will be
one of two Wolverines playing for
the United States hockey team in
next month's Olympic games.
If Johnson were truly as bad as
Lombardi suggests, then why did
he trade for him in the first place?
And who says Johnson wouldn't
have played with the same attitude
if he had gone to another school,
like Boston University perhaps?
Even Johnson himself openly
disagreed with his G.M.'s com-
ments.
"I'm a Michigan man," Johnson
told the Los Angeles Times after
a win over the Buffalo Sabres on
Thursday. "I'm very proud of it. I
wouldn't want to have it any other
way.

"Michigan has produced more
NHL players than any other
school," he said. "Eventhe U.S.
Development Program, people rip
that and they just don't know any-
thing about it and don't know what
they're talking about."
Johnson may be a bitcunruly, and
his playingcstyle during his time at
Michigan may have been cavalier,
but that doesn't make the Michigan
hockey program "the worst," as
Lombardi claims.
The Wolverines have produced
16 first-round picks in the history of
the NHL Entry Draft, 15 of whom
were selected during Berenson's
tenure at Michigan. Sure, five of
those 15 were selectedbefore they
stepped foot on campus in Ann
Arbor. But I would be willing to bet
that each one of those prodigies
was better for his time at Michigan.
The Phoenix Coyotes, in particu-
lar, haven't been reluctant to pick
players from the Berenson tree. The
NHL franchise selected Kevin Por-
ter (Rd. 4) and Chad Kolarik (Rd. 7)
in the 2004 draft, Chris Summers
(Rd. 1) in the 2006 draft and Chris
Brown (Rd. 2), in the 2009 draft.
Even former Michigan goaltender
Al Montoya is currently in the Coy-
otes' system.
"It's a very good program,"
Coyotes Assistant General Man-
ager Brad Treliving said. "And the
kids at Michigan, I don't think,
are different from any other kids.
They all make their adjustment to
the pro game. There are always
things that can be learned and
improved upon. Our experience
has been that those are fine young
men, and it's a very good program
and they get exposed to top cali-
ber competition."
Treliving isn't the only one who
thinks Berenson knows what he's
doing. Edmonton Oilers Assistant
GM and Director of Hockey Opera-
tions and Legal Affairs Rick Olczyk
wasn't involved in the Oilers' draft
process when they last selected
a Wolverine in 2005. But he, too,
notes Berenson's impact on the
NHL.
"I think coach Berenson has
a reputation," Olczyk said. "He
has been here a longtime, has
been very successful. He gets a
lot out of his players and they go
off to be very good pro players. So
in terms of what he does, he has
done a tremendous job with this
program. And I think he's going to
continue to do that with all of the
student athletes that (are) under
his wing."
That doesn't sound like a nega-
tive assessment of the NHL players
that Michigan produces. Lombardi,
for some reason, felt it was neces-
sary to make the Michigan hockey
program a scapegoat for Johnson's
lack of development. Anyone can
see thathis unreasonable diatribe
against Berenson and his program
is way off base.
When asked about Lombardi's
comments, Berenson declined to
comment after Michigan's 2-0 win
over Ferris State on Friday.
"No, I don't think we need to
worry about that today," Berenson
said as a smile crept across his face.
"You can write your own story.
about that," he said as he walked
out of the press conference.

0
0

By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Editor
After serving a one-game sus-
pension in Saturday's game at Pur-
due, Michigan coach John Beilein
reinstated junior
guard Manny
Harris, and he is MiChigaf
cleared to play in State at
tonight's game .L
against No. 5 CVEUII
Michigan State. Matchup:
That's good MSU 17-3;
news for the Michigan 10-9
Wolverines, who When: Tonight
will finish off a at 7 p.m.
tough four-game Where:
stretch against Crisler Arena
four straight .a
ranked oppo- ESPNRadio:
nents, culminat-
ing in tonight's
matchup with the Spartans at
Crisler Arena.
While Harris was unavailable
for comment' on Monday, he did
prepare a statement for the media.
"I fully accept the suspension
from the coaching staff," Harris
said in an Athletic Department
press release. "It was the correct
decision. I cannot tell you my dis-
appointment for letting my team-
mates down and showing the lack
of leadership that I normally try to
provide."
Though the Michigan coaches
and players haven't shed much light

on the situation, senior forward
DeShawn Sims said the suspension
was the result of something that
could have happened to anyone on
the team.
"It's an incident that happens
with everybody," Sims said. "A situ-
ation that can happen sometimes,
can escalate to more than what it
is. It just happened to be a suspen-
sion this time. I've had incidences
in practice where I was able to
resolve them, slip by with some-
thing. Until it happens publicly, you
never know. A lot of things happen
privately in a lot of programs across
the country, it just led to a suspen-
sion in this one."
Beilein said the incident took
place late in Friday's practice, and
that altering the team's gameplan
for Purdue, with the team traveling
that day, proved to be difficult. He
also noted that while leaders are
starting to step up for the Wolver-
ines, incidents like this leave him
concerned.
"The only thingthat's ever disap-
pointing is inconsistency (in lead-
ership)," Beilein said. "And that's
the major thing you want in leader-
ship is consistency. We're getting
more consistent with it. We're find-
ing more people there helping, and
obviously the coaches have to do a
great job with it, too."
Last year, when Beilein benched
his star against Iowa, Harris
returned the next game against No.

16 Purd
verines
over ti
Arena.
"Ma
probab
Sims sa
and be
Mic
overall
vide a;
Spartar
son. M
the onl
cc-
pr(
his
in con
have lo
Texasc
neutral
And
styles
against
once at
and pr
score ft
"We
where,
they w

due and helped lead the Wol- to Purdue who will not let you get
to a dominant 87-78 win one pass," Beilein said. "Now we go
he Boilermakers at Crisler back to where it's a mix between
the two. They get baskets two ways,
nny will come and play one is their transition game and
ly one of his best games," the other is their great offensive
aid. "He's going to come out rebounding."
exceptional tonight." That could be a concern for
higan (3-4 Big Ten, 10-9 an undersized Michigan lineup
) hopes Harris will pro- that has struggled in corralling
spark, considering that the rebounds all season. The Wolver-
ns have been solid all sea- ines allowed their game against
ichigan State (7-0, 17-3) is Purdue to get out of hand after the
y remaining unbeaten team Boilermakers picked up seven sec-
ond-chance opportunities in the
first half.
M anny will The Spartans are led by junior
guard Kalin Lucas, who uses his
)me and play speed and athleticism to lead the
Spartans in scoring, averaging 15.8
obably one of points per game.
With the Wolverines hover-
best games." ing around the .500 mark for the
season, a trip back to the NCAA
Tournament seems like a longshot
at best.
ference play. The Spartans The team realizes that each
st to just North Carolina and game down the stretch is impor-
on the road and Florida at a tant and that some upset wins are a
I site - all top-tier talent. must if Michigan wants a chance at
after playing contrasting postseason play.
of basketball on the road "We know that we have to come
Wisconsin and Purdue, out every time and give our best
gain, Michigan has to adjust effort or there won't be too much
epare for ateam that likes to shot for a postseason," Sims said.
ast-break points. "Chances are getting very slim. We
went from Wisconsin just have to come out mentally and
you can pass it 25 times and physically focused each time we
on't let you get a good shot play."

40

After surpassing last season's win
total, Blue won't let history repeat

N ow it's official. for a team that was beginning to
The Michigan wom- feel the heat after losing six of its
en's basketball team has last seven conference games, a
turned "here we go again" into a confidence-boosting win may be
promising outlook for the future. invaluable.
And not just in the distant future, "It just gets more frustrating as
but for the remainder of the Big we go along," freshman guard Day-
Ten schedule. eesha Hollins said following Thurs-
Not only do the Wolverines look day's loss to then-No. 5 Ohio State.
different and feel different from "We fight so hard to win games,
last year's Michigan squad, but and itcjust gets frustrating when we
they're prov- come up short every time."
ing it as well ALEX It would have been reasonable
- with Big Ten to expect a glimmer of optimism
victories. HERMANN following a narrow two-point loss
Michigan On Women's to the Buckeyes, who have domi-
(3-6 Big Ten, Basketball nated the conference the past two
11-6 overall) years. But even moral victories
has already can't alter a peculiar feeling the
surpassed last season's overall win Wolverines have endured.
total by a game and matched their As the Big Ten losses have piled
conference wins from last year. up, so too has the pressure.
It may not sound like a lot - last And this burden, one they were
year's team won just 10 games, all too familiar with last season,
including three in conference. But wasn't going away without a fight.

Because of this, Sunday's 70-56
victory over Indiana serves not
only as a critical third win in the
Big Ten, but also demonstrates
Michigan's ability to forget recent
history. In essence, the win is one
big sigh of relief.
"It feels absolutely amazing,"
sophomore forward Carmen
Reynolds said after Sunday's game.
"Words cannot even describe that
we are back on a winningstreak."
Now the Wolverines can play
their style - fast, loose and maybe
even a bit reckless.
Hollins epitomizes that style of
play perfectly for the Wolverines.
Whether she's penetrating into the
lane, pushing a one-man fast break
or throwing up a reverse layup
over defenders easily a foot taller
than her, the freshman isn't afraid
to push the tempo.
Against Indiana, Hollins was
forced to sit out most of the first

half with two quick fouls. Without
its point guard, Michigan strug-
gled offensively, scoring just 22
points and turning the ball over an
abysmal 15 times.
But when Hollins returned in
the second half, the team's produc-
tion rose along with the tempo of
the game.
At one point, Hollins caught
an in-bound pass from freshman
Jenny Ryan in midair and alley-
ooped it off the glass for a score.
The play, uncharacteristic of a
5-foot-6 guard, serves as a perfect
symbol for Hollins' fast, loose and
somewhat reckless style of play.
The ups that Hollins effortlessly
displayed to finish the alley-oop
have become more run-of-the-mill
for the Wolverines' shortest player
than out of the ordinary.
It was as if the pressure of
winning in the Big Ten had been
lifted off her shoulders.

0

Michigan coach Red Berenson has 687 wins in his 26 seasons in Ann Arbor. That
mark is good enough for sixth all-time in Division I college hockey.

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