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February 04, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-02-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 5A

The Michigan ....Daily.- m i ha n ay o mh r d y Feury4200-A

Grady gives 'M' quiet support

Daily Sports Editor
He's entirely behind the scenes.
Kelvin Grady, former Michi-
gan point guard and current slot
receiver for the football team, is
impacting the
Michigan men's NOTEBOOK
basketball team
behind closed doors in his return
as a scout-team player for the Wol-
And after nearly two weeks of
basketball practices with Grady in
attendance,, those on the inside are
giving Grady rave reviews.
After Michigan beat Iowa last
Saturday, sophomore point guard
Stu Douglass, who matches up
against Grady each day in practice,
gave a lot of credit to the Wolver-
ines' scout team for preparations
during the week. He said Grady, in
particular, has helped simulate the
speed and talent of Big Ten point
"No disrespect to (freshman
walk-on) Josh Bartlestein, but it's
a lot different with Kelvin Grady,"
Douglass said after beating Iowa.
"You know, I was setting up for a
screen one time, and I was wait-
ing for him to come off it a little
methodically, and he just went
right into the lane, and I was just
sitting there lost.
"He's helped us tremendously,
especially playing (Michigan State
guard) Kalin Lucas and (Iowa
guard) Cully Payne here."
Douglass added that he has
enjoyed having Grady back off the
court, too. It's likely the intangible
benefits, like a positive personal-
ity back in .the locker room, that
made it easy for Michigan basket-
ball coach John Beilein to welcome
Grady back to the program.
So far, the only complaints
Beilein has had about the entire
situation surround scheduling dif-
ficulties because of Grady's partici-
pation in both programs and NCAA
regulations on practice hours.
"We're still working that out,"
Beilein said last week. "It's more
complicated than people would
think. I'm sure back in the old days,
some guy would just show up for

basketball practice, a football play-
er might just show up for basket-
ball practice and scrimmage and
nobody even knew he was on the
team. It's different."
If Grady sat on the bench dur-
ing a game, it would count as three
hours toward his weekly allowable
On the other side of things,
Michigan football coach Rich
Rodriguez has also taken a positive
approach to Grady's multi-sport
"When we talked, I could tell he
really wanted to, and he probably
missed it," Rodriguez said during
halftime of Saturday's basketball
game. "As I told him, 'If you can
feel you can contribute and have
fun doing it, then why not?' John
(Beilein) and I talked about it, and
I'm all for those guys as long as
they can contribute and as long as
they don't affect their studies, and
it doesn't seem to be affecting his
studies at all."
SIZE MATTERS: Basketball ana-
lysts like to say that Beilein's Wol-
verines "live or die" by their 3-point
shooting. And since Michigan has
struggled to score this season when
its outside shooting has gone cold,
that critique doesn't sound like
such a stretch.
"To score points, we don't have
a lot of other options right now,"
Beilein said last week. "We're not
the biggest team. We're not the
quickest team."
Speed and agility can be
improved, but size is something
that the Wolverines don't have.
Michigan's tallest starter, senior
forward DeShawn Sims, is listed at
At one pointrin the not-so-distant
past, it didn't look like the Wolver-
ines would have a roster lacking
height. Two years ago, Beilein was
recruiting two guys for his sys-
tem, and they were tall: Germany's
6-foot-10 Robin Benzing and 7-foot
Ben Cronin.
Benzing didn't qualify academi-
cally for Michigan, and Cronin
redshirted last year and had hip
surgery, which he hasn't recovered
Currently, Benzing is tearing up

Wolverines look for
fourth straight win
Michigan seeks ines surged to come within three
points - but it wasn't enough.
revenge in Evanston That was more than a month
ago, and the Michigan squad
against Wildcats heading to Evanston tonight is
not the same team the Wildcats
by AMY SCARANO beat handily in their first meet-
Daily Sports Writer ing.
For one thing, history may
Before beating No. 23 Penn be on Michigan's side. The last
State in State College on Sunday, time the Wolverines won three
it had been six years since the conference games in a row, the
Michigan women's basketball streak started when the team
team strung together three wins beat Northwestern at home.
in conference play. The Wolverines' confidence
That is, the last time the Wol- and morale may also be at an all-
verines won three consecutive time high at this point in confer-
conference ence play. Despite being stuck in
games, senior a rut for much of January after
center Krista Migan at losing six of their first seven
Phillips was Northwestem conference games, they were
a sopho- able to beat Indiana at home two
more in high Masterno1rth- weeks ago to begin the winning
school and ' streak they continue to ride after
the team's Michigan 13-8 knocking off No. 23 Penn State
six freshmen When: Thursday Sunday.
were in sev- 7 P.M. CST "We never had any doubt that
enth grade. Where: Welsh- we wouldn't be able to come
Michi- Ryan Arena back," sophomore forward Car-
gan heads . men Reynolds said after the vic-
to Evan- Caeandailycomc tory over the Nittany Lions. "We
ston tonight never give up."
in hopes of The Wolverines came out
extending strong after a shaky first half
that winning streak to four. against Penn State in which they
The three wins have pro- struggled to find a rhythm. The
pelled the Wolverines out of their team tends to play one half of
perennial basement position in quality basketball and sleepwalk
Sthe conference standings and through the other. But as the
into sixth place. Tonight, they go Wolverines get more conference
up against a team bringing up the wins under their belt, they are
rear in the Big Ten - Northwest- learning to find rhythm and put
ern (4-7 Big Ten, 13-9 overall). together two solid halves of bas-
The Wildcats gave Michigan ketball.
(5-6,13-8) trouble at Crisler at the In two of Michigan's last three
end of December, defeating the victories, against Penn State and
Wolverines 63-59 and handing Indiana, the team picked up its
them their first home loss of the play in the second half, and when
season. Northwestern's defense they traveled to Champaign to
made it difficult for Michigan to play Illinois, the Wolverines went
find any offensive rhythm. up early and never let up.
The Wolverines shot a season- As long as it can get going early
low 33 percent and trailed for tonight in Evanston, Michigan
most of the game. When Michi- should have no trouble beating a
gan was down by twelve with team that is last in the conference
two minutes left, the Wolver- standings.

RedshirtJunior Kelvin Grady has already made a gdiflerence on the Michigan bas-
kethall scout learn, using his quickness to simulate Big Ten yuint euards.

Germany's professional basketball
league with a near-12-point per
game stat line, and Cronin's basket-
ball career is likely over.
"Those two were goingto be two
very good players for us this time
with size," Beilein said. "Probably
one SAT question away or a few,
and an injury away from having
that type of presence."
Even after those two major set-
backs, Beilein isn't done searching
for a strong big man who can han-
dle the ball well.
"It hasn't changed. We've always
been looking for that (big man),"

Beilein said. "But we had an inju-
ry (with Cronin). In Robin's case,
I've never taken a kid who didn't
already have the score. That was
the one chance I took, and it didn't
come through."
NOTES: Sophomore Stu Dou-
glass injured his ankle against
Northwestern, forcing him to leave
the game for a time. After the game,
Douglass said his ankle hurt, but
that it would be fine ... The game
time has been announced for Mich-
igan's game at Minnesota on Feb.
11. It will air on ESPN with a 7 p.m.
EST tipoff.

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