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March 10, 2010 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-10

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 7A

With Big Ten Tournament
on the horizon, DeShawn
Sims looks back on season

Tournament sweep
is Michigan's only
chance to make it
to Big Dance
Daily Sports Editor
With his playing days at Crisler
Arena finished and with the Wol-
verines' postseason hopes resting
solely on an improbable run in the
Big Ten Tournament, senior for-
ward DeShawn Sims took some
time yesterday to reflect on the past
year for the Michigan basketball
And if the inconsistent Wol-
verines want to go anywhere in
the tournament which starts this
Thursday, they will need the usu-
ally reliable Sims to power them
past a daunting list of foes, start-
ing with a potential matchup Fri-
day with No. 5 Ohio State should
Michigan defeat Iowa in its first
round game.
For Sims, it is a somber reality
that his playing days in the Maize
and Blue are coming to a close. But
the senior still has the Big Ten Tour-
nament squarely on his mind.
"I'm just going in to it thinking
about playing Iowa. Getting my
mind refreshed after Saturday's
loss," Sims said.
The senior is second on the team

in scoring, averaging 16.9 points per
game this season, and was named to
the second team All-Big Ten. Other
than Michigan'swin over Connecti-
cut, the Wolverines have lost each
time Sims has scored fewer than 12
points this season.
For Sims, the disappointment
began early in the season. After
Michigan started as the nation's
15th-ranked team, the Wolverines'
goals were dashed as their many
flaws were revealed.
At the Old Spice Tournament in
Orlando, Fla., Michigan fell to both
unranked Marquette and Alabama,
its firstlosses of the season.
"We went into it playing some
teams thatweren'treally good and it
just exposed a lot of our weaknesses
and it was kind of hard to bounce
back from it," Sims said.
From there, the season spiraled
downwardwith keylosses downthe
stretch in the Big Ten regular sea-
son, with a one point loss to Michi-
gan State athome and two key losses
to Wisconsin.
Despite the disappointment, Sims
still shined. The senior led the Wol-
verines with 28 points in Michigan's
upset win over then-15th-ranked
Ohio State and nearly propelled
Michigan past Michigan State in
Ann Arbor before his buzzer-beat-
ing layup attempt rimmed out.
But with the Big Ten Tourna-
ment just two days away, Sims and
his teammates know that they really
have nothingto lose.

Michigan coach John Beilein
announced this week that the team
would not participate in the Col-
lege Basketball Invitation, which
selects teams after the NCAA
Tournament and NIT and was
Michigan's only likely postseason
That being the case, Sims and
the Wolverines realize that it is all
or nothing in Indianapolis. After a
blowout 64-48 loss to No. 11 Michi-
gan State, Michigan will once again
have to try to rebound after a blow
to its confidence.
"We've bounced back after some
very disappointing losses this year,
we've done it not consistently but
we've bounced back," Beilein said.
"This is another one of those times
when I hope we have a bounce back
and that will be our only intention."
While Sims realizes that his
career at Michigan is in its twi-
light, he still is keeping optimistic
about the Wolverines' chances this
weekend. And if Michigan has any
chance to pull an improbable come-
back, it will need its senior leader to
loosen up the team for tough run.
"Once you know that you have to
put it all on the line and you don't
have another game, it's easier to play
that way," Sims said. "We knew had
another game after Michigan State
and another game after Minnesota.
If you know you get another chance
you kind of take it for granted but
if you know there's not another
chance you put it all out there."

Senior forward DeShawn Sims, seen here in the Wolverines' Jan.17 win over Connecticut, averages 16.9 points per game and
was named to the second team All-Big Ten.

> S
Freshman defenseman Lee Moffie has been in and out of the lineup this season, playing in 25 of Michigan's games. He has 10 points on the season
Wolverines look to Moffie to play a
b e er role against ich igan State

Schultz leads Blue to
fifth-place finish at
Fresno State Classic
Kim finishes tied (Tuesday),it leaves a little bitter
taste in our mouths," Sapp said.
for second-best "We felt like we could have got-
ten on top of the leaderboard if
round in the event we had done a few things a little
better in round three."
at four under par But Sapp was very content with
the play of his two top players,
By MATT KRASNOFF junior Lion Kim and sophomore
For the Daily Matt Thompson. Thompson shot
one under par in the windy con-
After spending the week of ditions of round three, and Kim
spring break playing on the links shot four under par in round two,
of Pebble Beach and Cypress tying for the second-best individ-
Point in California, it was time for ual round of the tournament.
the Michigan men's golf team to "The way our season has gone,
get back to work. if Matt and Lion play well, we play
Michigan coach Andrew Sapp well as a team," Sapp said.
took six players to participate in Sapp added that the consis-
the Fresno State Lexus Classic on tency of freshman Jack Schultz
Monday and Tuesday. After tying has been a great sign for the Wol-
for 13th in the Puerto Rico Clas- verines. Schultz finished with a
sic two weeks ago, the Wolverines team-best three over par overall,
finished fifth in a field of fifteen which put him in a tie for 14th in
that included national power- the overall individual standings.
houses Oregon and Washington. Brigham Young and No. 24 San
All six players played in the Diego, who tied to win the tour-
54-hole event, with only the nament, each finished the tour-
top five scores counting in each nament twenty strokes over par
round. When the California sun - seven better than the Wolver-
set just a little too early Mon- ines' twenty seven over par.
day evening, round two had to The team returns to Ann
be halted and was completed on Arbor and will get a break before
Tuesday morning. Michigan travels to Florida on
But, it didn't stop Michigan March 26 for the FAU/Spring
from dominating the second Break Championships. And with
round. After a mediocre first the season in full swing, it is clear
round, the team regrouped to that playing everyday in the nice
shoot a tournament-best round of weather over break helped the
six under par. young squad - which has five
"I think they just got a little . underclassmen - gain some con-
upset with themselves after the fidence.
first round," Sapp said. "They all "We just hope that we get some
played a lot more focused and good weather in Ann Arbor so
a lot better...unfortunately we we can finally play outside. The
weren't able to keep it going in the more we're able to play when
third round." we're at home, I think the more
Overall, Sapp was satisfied comfortable we'll be when we're
with his team's play, but he was in our next tournament," Sapp
a bit upset about the Wolverines' said. "Hopefully with the better
poor third round. weather and playing conditions
"Fifth place in a good field is we'll be able to keep improving
a good finish, but when we were throughout the rest of the sea-
flirting with the lead early on son."

Captain Summers
likely out with
lower-body injury

Daily Sports Writer
As Chris Summers faced the
Yost Ice Arena student section for
the final time Saturday, no one in
the crowd noticed.
There was no reaction when the
senior captain took one stride out
to the outside of the faceoff circle,
made a looping turn and coasted
before stepping on the bench.
Maybe it was because it was
during a TV timeout in the first
period of Saturday's blowout of
Lake Superior State.
or maybe it was because the
crowd expected him back after
what Michigan coach Red Beren-
son later described as a lower-
body injury - after all, Summers
had missed just three games his
whole career.
He hasn't returned to the ice
since, in practice or a game. And
as Michigan heads into its CCHA
quarterfinals series against arch-

rival No. 10 Michigan State, Sum- Dame.
mers's final appearance in Munn But after he dressed in 13 con-
Ice Arena is in jeopardy as well. secutive games, Moffie was pulled
"I would say if he doesn't skate for his defensive lapses. In the
tomorrow he won't play this week- final five games of that stretch in
end," Berenson said yesterday. late January, Moffie had a plus/
"We're going day to day. I'm not minus rating of minus-five. He has
optimistic, but we'll see." played in just four of the last ten
If Summers doesn't play Friday, games.
his replacement will be freshman "I've know from the start that
defenseman Lee Moffie, who has the defense is my thing that will
played in just 25 games, far fewer keep me out of the lineup, they
made that pretty clear," Moffie
said. "I'm an offensive defense-
r pl ing man, if I'm not producing and I'm
playing out there for goals, I'm not really
f a spot every worth a lot to this team."
orSince then Moffie has been part
tin e ou're in of a three-man race for the sixth
defenseman along with junior
the lineup." Tristin Llewellyn and sophomore
Greg Pateryn.
"I kind of like this position.
You're not comfortable at all.
than the 161 games of work in four You're playing for a spot every
years Summers has amassed. time you're in the lineup. It makes
Despite his inexperience, Mof- you play harder and it's playoffs,
fie found a niche as an offensive getting back in, hopefully I'll be
defenseman early in the season energized and have a good week-
which kept him in the lineup. His end."
offensive skills paid off early, After 25 games in the lineup
and he found a regular spot after and 14 more as a healthy scratch,
a two-point game against Notre Moffie has partially developed

from his pure offensive roots.
His defensive zone coverage has
improved and both Moffie and
Berenson have expressed confi-
dence in the freshman's ability
going into Friday.
But the dependence on Moffie's
play won't be nearly as much as it
was with the Wolverines' goalten-
ding situation. Junior goalie Bryan
Hogan went out with a groin inju-
ry in the first period against Notre
Dame on Feb. 25 and has yet to
return. Junior Shawn Hunwick
has filled the void in goal for the
past four games, registering two
By now, Michigan is used to
rallying around players who are
forced to step in for injured star
"It can make your team better
too, if your team tries to pick up
the slack for a player you know is
missing," Berenson said. "A good
example is Bryan Hogan. Hun-
wick's never started a game at
Michigan and here we are going
into the playoffs and I don't think
anybody in that locker room is
worried about Shawn Hunwick
because they are going to make
sure he has a chance to play well."

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