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November 16, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.come

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 5

Rodriguez praises seniors,
dodges job security question

.0

JAKE ROMM/Daly
Redshirt freshman center Jordan Morgan chases for a balt against USC Upstate.
'6M' struggles
to find center
By LUKE PASCH did look comfortable on the other
Daily Sports Writer side of the ball, stifling a couple of
Spartan drives to the hoop with
By most measures, the Michi- bigblocks.
gan men's basketball season open- "I felt great, and this was really
er was a success. a team win" McLimans said. "We
In Saturday's 66-35 blow- played pretty good defense. And
out victory over South Carolina the blocks were great - it's kind
Upstate, sophomore point guard of what I did in high school. That
Darius Morris played with the first one got me into a groove
confidence of a proven floor gen- again and really set the tempo on
eral. Freshman Tim Hardaway Jr. defense."
tallied 19 points in an electrifying And Horford, who will likely
collegiate debut. And junior Zack see less game time than the other
Novak was Zack Novak - he hus- two at center this season, finished
tIed every second he was on the the night with four points and
court. four rebounds.
But those positives, along with But the major concern for
a lopsided final score, masked an Michigan's big men is play against
otherwise glaring weakness for quality opponents.
the Wolverines: center play. Even McLimans collected just two
against a non-contender team, the boards against USC Upstate (0-1),
big men were rather ineffective. which doesn't have a man taller
Redshirt freshman Jordan than 6-foot-7 on its roster. And
Morgan, who was labeled starting in less than two weeks, the Wol-
center prior to the team's exhibi- verines (1-0) will compete in the
tion matchup against Saginaw 2010 Legends Classic against No.
Valley State, struggled to find a 10 Syracuse, a team with some of
groove in the paint on Saturday. the best frontcourt talent in the
A week after registering nine nation.
points, 15 rebounds and a block The Orangemen's senior for-
in the exhibition, he scored just ward Rick Jackson has accumulat-
four points, collected six boards ed 20 rebounds in just two games
and turned the ball over twice on so far, and 7-foot freshman center
opening day. Fab Melo will be a force under-
Under the basket, South Caroli- neath unlike any Morgan, McLi-
na Upstate junior forward Chalm- mans and Horford have practiced
ers Rogers, who's about an inch or played against.
shorter and 25 pounds lighter than Which of Michigan's three cen-
Morgan, won inside position and ters will step up against Syracuse,
boxed out the Detroit native all if any, is hard to predict. None of
night, en route to nine rebounds. the three will have more than
"It's a work in progress, and three game's worth of experience
it's a challenge," Michigan coach at the collegiate level when the
John Beilein said after the game. team travels to Atlantic City, N.J.
"The fact is it's always a challenge for the tournament next week.
at this level. Having a very good For now, it looks as though
five-man takes time and patience Beilein will play the hot hand at
to really develop that position, and center.
(Morgan, redshirt freshman Blake "We saw a little bit of a spike
McLimans and freshman Jon (in practice) this week, one day
Horford) are working hard." with Jon (Horford) and one day
McLimans didn't provide with Blake McLimans; that's what
much offensive relief for Morgan we're looking for," Beilein said.
in his 13 minutes off the bench. "So that's why they all played,
The 6-foot-10 center, who was that's why we burned (Horford's)
recruited primarily for his shoot- redshirt. We just said, 'We don't
ing abilities, scored two points know what we have, so let's see
on free throws and didn't make a what we have when the lights are
shot from the field. But McLimans on.'
Rust: icers need
new attitude on
Friday nights
By MARK BURNS this season, as the top four
Daily Sports Editor teams are separated by just three
points. And while conference
Through the first two months play is less than 10 games into the
of the Michigan hockey team's season for any team, Rust knows
season, neither players nor that this current crop of Wolver-
coaches have ines (5-2-1-0 CCHA, 6-3-3 over-
been candid NOTEBOOK all) will have to work out of their

about the Wol- Friday-night funk if they want to
verines' inconsistent weekend secure a CCHA regular-season
performances - the team is title - their last one was during
1-3-1 on Friday and 5-0-2 on the 2007-08 campaign.
Saturday. Prior to Rust's outspoken
But following Michigan's 5-3 response, Michigan coach Red
victory against Notre Dame this Berenson said that his current
past Saturday, senior forward team isn't the "offensive jugger-
Matt Rust dropped some words naut we were once."
of wisdom that made ears in the "We're battling, and that's
press conference perk up a little what you have to do in this
bit. league," Bereoson said. "You
"We're trying to do all the have to battle every night. I don't
right things on Friday," Rust think we're better than anyone
said. "We're trying to come out else.
strong. ... I think we don't have "We might have a little more
that pissed-off attitude that you experience because of our
need to win the game on Friday seniors. As for our skill level,
night. On Saturday, after losing, I I don't see us being any better
think we finally get that edge, but than Notre Dam. or certainly not
on Friday we need to find a way Miami (Ohio)."
to get that." Those may be surprising
Rust spoke of the tight league See ATTITUDE, Page 6

By NICOLEAUERBACH
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan football coach Rich
Rodriguez dodged questions Mon-
day afternoon
about the signifi- NOTEBOOK
cance of potential
wins over Wisconsin or Ohio State in
regards to his job security.
But he didn't downplaythe impor-
tance victories could hold for his
upperclassmen. Saturday's game
against Wisconsin will be the senior
class's final home game.
"These guys - our seniors and our
juniors - have beenthrough an awful
lot the last couple of years," Rodri-
guez said at his weekly press confer-
ence, referring to back-to-back losing
seasons in his first two years as head
coach. "They've heard as much stuff
as anybody. I'm proud because when
I see them, when we're around them,
they've been totally focused and tun-
nel-visioned on doing what we tell
them to do.
. "In the next couple of years, they
can come back and say,'We were the
ones who got it right when it needed
to get right.'"
Rodriguez said the Wolverines
would honor their seniors at the end
of Thursday's practice and then have
a special ceremony at the team hotel
Friday night. A couple of seniors will
likely speak about their experiences
at Michigan, a moment Rodriguez
said would be "very, very emotional
for both the coaches and the players."
"The greatest achievement you
can (have) as a college student ath-
lete is to complete your senior year,"
Rodriguez said. "It's not winning
All-American or setting records.
Because if you've done that, gone
through your senior year no matter
what sport, you've made a commit-
ment - a sacrifice - for that team

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez was asked several questions about his job security at his press conference yesterday.

and that university that a lot of peo-
ple haven't.
"If you look at just our seniors now
and the guys that came in with them
that are no longer here didn't make
that same commitment and sacrifice.
These guys have, so they should be
honoredbecause of it."
NOT THINKING ABOUT JOB
SECURITY: A 7-3 record - which
guarantees Michigan's first winning
season with Rodriguez at the helm
- should quiet some of the coaching
hot-seat talk, right?
Well, not in Ann Arbor.
"All we do is come to work every
day and try to build the best program
in America," Rodriguez said. "We've
had obstacles. We've had bumps in
the road. We're pressing forward.
I'm hoping that there's enough posi-
tive momentum and positive talk (so
that) all the negativity that's been
out there kind of gets pushed aside a
little bit. We lose agame, then there's
negative talk that comes out. That's

the nature of the beast."
The Wolverines are the fifth-best
offense in the nation in terms of total
yardage, but questions still arise
about whether or not the spread
offense works in the three-yards-
and-a-cloud-of-dust Big Ten.
"That's for everybody else's opin-
ion," Rodriguez said. "I understand
the talk's out there, and it's been out
there for three years, probably since
the day I took the job and stood right
here for my very first press confer-
ence."
INJURY UPDATE: Michigan beat
Purdue on Saturday without argu-
ably its two most productive defend-
ers, junior nose tackle Mike Martin
and senior linebacker Jonas Mouton.
Rodriguez said it's unclear wheth-
er or not they will be able to play Sat-
urday against Wisconsin.
"We're hopeful they both can
play," Rodriguez said. "They didn't
play at all last week. We'll see what
they can do in practice (Tuesday)

and Wednesday. Hoping to have both
back for Saturday."
Senior Adam Patterson started for
Martin and senior Mark Moundros
started for Mouton against Purdue
last Saturday.
Sophomore running back Mike
Shaw, who left the Purdue game
with concussion-like symptoms, is
awaiting results of tests that will be
conducted the next few days to see if
he can play Saturday.
Last weekend, redshirt junior
Mark Huyge made his third straight
start at right tackle for senior Perry
Dorrestein, who is nursing a knee
sprain. Dorrestein should be back
this week.
Rodriguez said redshirt sopho-
more running back Mike Cox has
been banged up, and that's why he
didn't make the trip to Purdue. Fel-
low running back Fitz Toussaint
returned from a shoulder injury
against Purdue, though he did not
carry the ball.

Blue gets 10th seed, first-round bye

By NEAL ROTHSCHILD
For the Daily
The Michigan men's soccer team
and its supporters gathered around
the TVs at Packard Pub on Pack-
ard and State Street in Ann Arbor,
eagerly waiting for the team's name
to pop up as each regional of the
NCAA tournament bracket was
revealed. Everyone knew the Wol-
verines were in the field, it was just
a matter of where. Michigan's Big
Ten conference championship vic-
tory over Penn State just a day ear-
lier gave the team an automatic bid.
With three of the four regionals
already announced, the Wolverines
knew their name would come up
in a matter of seconds. Then, they
saw the last regional flash onto the
screen with Michigan's name on the
right side, signifying a first-round
bye. They were the 10th seed, which
meant a bye and a home game. The
pub erupted in cheers, fist pumps
and chestbumps.
"I thought we could have went
anywhere as high as eight and as
low as twelve. So we're right where
we thought," Michigan coach Steve

Burns said of the team's seed.
South Florida will play at Central
Florida on Thursday for the right to
play Michigan on Sunday afternoon.
If the Wolverines win, they will be
lined up to play seventh-seeded
South Carolina in the round of 16.
Maryland has the top seed in the
region and the second seed overall.
Michigan would likely need to get
through the Diamondbacks to make
it to Santa Barbara for the College
Cup, the Final Four of college soc-
cer.
"The thing I'm most happy about
is that when you look at that draw,
they're (South Florida and Cen-
tral Florida) both warm-weather
teams," Burns said. "So it poses
some challenges for them as they
come into Ann Arbor."
Michigan has played six of the
48 teams in the tournament field
and has a combined record of
5-2-1 against them. The only team
the Wolverines had serious trou-
ble with was Akron, who notched
the third overall seed and beat
Michigan, 7-1, earlier this season.
The Wolverines' last NCAA
Tournament appearance came in

2008 when they had the eleventh
seed and a bye in the first round.
They beat UC-Davis, 2-1, before fall-
ing to Indiana, 3-0, in the regional
semifinals. Their best finish was in
2003 when they made it to the Elite
Eight.
"It's one thing to make it to the
NCAA Tournament," senior mid-
fielder Alex Wood said. "But now it's
about how far we can go. The way
we're playing, I don't see limits. We
want to be playing in Santa Barbara
in the College Cup." .
After starting the season 8-5-3,
the Wolverines caught fire, winning
five straight. The last three came in
the Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan will practice all this
week while Burns makes the trip
to Florida to scout the Wolverines'
next opponent. Burns sid the team
will address any quirks of Central
Florida and South Florida, including
their strategies on corner kicks and
restarts.
The Wolverines beat South Flori-
da 2-0 in the schools' only matchup
in 2003. They have never played
Central Florida.
"Upsets are very common in
tournaments like these and we can't
afford to have that happen to us,"
Wood said. "We've got to take every
game individually and keep moving
forward."

tar morc infarmatruss call 73/615-S64b49
The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and
the Arts presents a public lecture and reception

I

The Effect/Response Paradigm

Elzada U. Clover Collegiate Professor
of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Rackham Amphitheater
4:10pm

I ,SA.

rREA KY FAST DELIVERY!

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