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December 07, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-12-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 3

Rodriguez responds to
criticism from banquet

Sophomoreguard Darius Morris tallied a double-double against Concordia with 19 points and 12 assists.
'M' struggles mighti
in win over' ConCOri'a

ByBEN ESTES advantage at the first media
Daily Sports Writer timeout. But Concordia (5-5)
stayed in it, cutting the score to
The pregame release from 27-22 with 7:14 left in the first
Concordia University listed the half and entering the break with
Michigan men's basketball team's just a 10-point deficit.
record at And the Cardinals contin-
6-2, even CONCORDIA 65 ued to fight in the second half.
though MICHIGAN 86 When forward Ryan Walton hit
the Wol- a jumper with 11:28 remaining,
verines had actually won just they once again found them-
five games coming into Monday selves down just five points.
night's matchup between the two But Michigan eventually pulled
schools. away, going on a 9-0 run to take a
It appeared, then, that the 75-57 lead with 6:48 remaining to
game was already conceded to effectively ice the game.
Michigan, the Divison-I institu- The Wolverines were adamant
tion with an enrollment more that they weren't overlooking the
than 40 times greater than that small-school opponent, and that
of its NAIA Division-II counter- it was more just a matter of their
part Concordia. own poor play.
No one told that to the Cardi- "You have to keep getting bet-
nals, though. ter as the game goes on," junior
Concordia refused to quit guard Stu Douglass said. "I think
Monday night, hanging around the message was there ... We defi-
throughout a game expected nitely didn't underestimate them
to be more of a blowout before in the second half. We knew what
finally falling to the Wolverines they were capable of."
86-65. Michigan couldn't seem to
"I'm sure none of us expected find a rhythm defensively. The
thattype ofexcitement when they Wolverines had no answer down
saw this game on the schedule," low for Concordia's Rocko Hol-
Michigan coach John Beilein said mes, who finished with a career-
after the game. "Being a former high 29 points. Beilein even
Division II coach, which I equate compared the 6-foot-5 Holmes to
to an NAIA school (like Concor- former NBA pro Charles Barkley
dia) ... whenever we played Divi- in how managed to leverage his
sion-I teams, we had a good plan. way to spots in the paint despite
We could stay with teams, and his underwhelming size, repeat-
that's what Concordia did today." edly calling him "crafty."
Michigan (6-2) appeared to Flustered by the Cardinals'
be the far superior team both shooting, the Wolverines rarely
physically and athletically as doubled Holmes, as they knew
soon as both squads came out that 3-pointers could keep Con-
for warmups. And when the cordia in the game and didn't
Cardinals' first shot turned into want to see him find open shoot-
an embarrassing airball, they ers when passing out of the lane.
appeared to be in for a long night Holmes consistently got the
at Crisler Arena. ball deep in the post and scored
The Wolverines held a 17-6 over whoever was guarding him.

On top of that, Michigan had
trouble calling out switches on
Concordia's screen-heavy sets,
another issue related to the Wol-
verines' youth and something
Beilein emphasized as needing
"They scored a lot of points,
and we've been very prideful in
our defense this year," Doug-
lass said. "We just didn't come
out and communicate as well we
"(With) their motion, I don't
think we expected to have to
communicate so much on screens
and slips and all those sorts of
things," he said. "I think we just
underestimated how much work
we had to do on the defensive
Redshirt freshman forward
Jordan Morgan paced the Wol-
verines with 23 points. Sopho-
more point guard Darius Morris
scored 19 and added 12 assists,
while junior guard Zack Novak
pulled down a career-high 14
rebounds to lead the team.
But Beilein pointed out that
Michigan is only getting contri-
butions from those players and
one or two others right now, as
many of the team's young players
are struggling to find their way.
"But we're going to be young
all year long, it's not going to
stop," Beilein said.
"We'll just get better at being
young."(that) our inexperience
doesn't show through. They were
able to exploit (us) because of
"But we're going to be young
all year long, it's not going to
stop. We'll just get better at being
young."a show, we're just trying
to shut them down. We're going
to get pucks deep, hit guys and
just get everything to the net."

Daily Sports Editor
Michigan coach Rich Rodri-
guez must have known the second
he lifted his arms into the air dur-
ing the Michigan football team's
end-of-the-year football banquet
that he
would be NOTEBOOK
about his impassioned speech.
And at Monday's football press
conference, he was. Repeatedly.
"Every coach has his own per-
sonality," Rodriguez said. "I've
always been emotional at our
senior banquets. You feel so close
to a team and particularly the
senior class and I'm proud of the
way they've hung in there."
Rodriguez has been tak-
ing some extra criticism since
Thursday for the events of the
banquet. At one point during the
evening,.the coach said, "I hope
you realize that I truly want to
be a Michigan man." Later, he
had all the players join hands
and became visibly emotional
while a recording of Josh Gro-
ban's You Raise Me Up played
over the loudspeakers.
"Everybody's going to have
their opinions on things and
that's fine," Rodriguez said. "I
appreciate everyone's interest in
what happened and what went
on, and try to sensationalize it. I
would rather talk about the bowl
The antics at the banquet
prompted widespread response
from Michigan fans, with many
decrying what they perceived as
Rodriguez essentially begging for
his job.
. Some have argued that Rodri-
guez's hold on his position grows
weaker every day that goes by
without a vote of confidence from
his athletic director, Dave Bran-
don. Brandon has steadfastly
insisted he will evaluate the coach
after the bowl game.
So does that make the Gator
Bowl a must-win?
"I think every head coach at
this level goes into every game
thinking,'Boy, this is the game,'"
Rodriguez said Monday. "I think
people will try to put more impor-
tance on one than the other and
I understand that ... but I think
coaches put an enormous amount
of pressure on themselves to win
every game."
out the season, a lack of experi-
ence on defense has led to many
execution issues on a unit loaded
with first year seniors, especially
in the secondary.
That's one of the reasons a bowl
game was so celebrated. Sure,
Michigan will be playing against
Mississippi State in the Wolver-
ines' first bowl game since the
2007 season, but Michigan is also
drooling over the 15 or so extra
practices they'll have to prepare
for the Gator Bowl.
"The first practice will be Fri-
day afternoon and we'll practice
Saturday morning, then Sunday
we'll be off," Rodriguez said.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez received national attention last Thursday during
an emotional speech at the team's end-of-the-year banquet.

"Anywhere from 11 to 12 practices
here and four.to five at the bowl
The extra practices will be
essential in helping the defense,
which finished the season on a
sour note, giving up 37 points to
Ohio State on Nov.27.
Junior nose tackle Mike Mar-
tin said any time players spend
with coaches is time well spent.
"You improve any time you can
get your work in," Martin said.
"Whenever we get into a practice,
we're always sure we're ready to
work and get better."
The practices will focus on
Mississippi State but also on get-
ting players healed up and ready to
play on Jan. 1. Junior wide receiv-
er Darryl Stonum said he thought
most of the players with nagging
injuries will be as healthy for the
Gator Bowl as they've been since
week one against Connecticut.
Specifically, he said Michigan
fans would likely see the most
healthy version of sophomore
quarterback Denard Robinson
since the first week of the season.
"He (Rodriguez) told us there
wasn't going to be too much beat-
ing our bodies up," Stonum said.
"It's more individual drills, going
over fundamentals. There won't
be too much banging and scrim-
maging and stuff like that. No
need to beat ourselves up, might
as well save it to beat up on Mis-
sissippi State."
GUEZ: While the players were
at the press conference to talk
about Mississippi State, the cloud
of uncertainty hanging over the
Michigan football program and
its coach was sure to surface.
But the players made one thing
clear: they are standing by their

"I don't think there's a guy on
our team that's not supportive of
coach Rodriguez right now," Ryan
Van Bergen said. "If anything it
just brings us together. We have
our wagons circled around coach
Rodriguez. Our team counts on
him. We rely on him. We all have
faith in him. The criticism stuff
doesn't pull us apart like it might
Added Darryl Stonum: "I'd
be pretty devastated if anything
happened (to Rodriguez). I'm
pretty sure he'll stay here. ...
Coach seems pretty confident."
Van Bergen took issue with
the timing of the decision, which
Brandon has stressed would come
after the bowl game.
"I would appreciate it to be
declared I think," Van Bergen
said of Rodriguez's job status.
"But I have 100 percent faith in
Dave Brandon too. ... I think it
would be more beneficial to just
come out and make a statement
just so some of the players have
an idea. But obviously there's rea-
sons I don't know about that it
can't be done at this point."
INJURY REPORT: After being
banged up for much of the season,
Robinson should be fine for the
bowl game. "He should be able
to do everything when we start
practice on Friday." ... Redshirt
junior wideout Junior Heming-
way should be okay. Rodriguez
expects Martin, senior linebacker
Jonas Mouton, sophomore wide
receiver Je'Ron Stokes, Stonum
and redshirt freshman running
back Fitzgerald Toussaint all to
practice by next week.
-Daily Sports Writer Nicole
Auerbach contributed to this report.

It's time to take
Ohio State seriously

Before facing off against
Ohio State for a pair of
games last weekend, Mich-
igan coach
Red Berenson
insisted that STEPHEN J.
he didn't NESBITT
consider the
Buckeyes and On Ice Hockey
Wolverines to
be rivals on the ice.
"I can't sell them a rivalry that
really doesn't exist," Berenson said
after practice last Wednesday, sug-
gesting that to his team, Ohio State
is just a regular opponent.
When comparing the teams' his-
tories, Berenson's point is clear: it's
no contest.
Michigan has captured nine
NCAA championships in its 23
Frozen Four appearances, while
Ohio State has never played for a
national title.
The Wolverines lead the all-time
matchup 66-31-11 - a total that
includes an eight-year, 34-game
undefeated stretch for Michigan
that began in 1990. In that span,
Ohio State wasn't even competi-
tive - just two of its 27 regulation
losses were by one goal.
Truth be told, Michigan's storied
program is a benchmark in college
hockey, while Ohio State hasn't con-
tended with the nation's best teams
in its 49 years of existence. But
when the two teams took the ice
on Friday and Saturday, the history

books remained on the shelf.
This time around, Ohio State
had a new look. First-year Ohio
State coach Mark Osiecki, formerly
an assistant coach at Wisconsin,
has his team playing fundamen-
tal hockey. Although they aren't
necessarily near contending for a
national title, they are competitive
enough to be a roadblock.
Fans in Columbus have taken
notice of the changes, and though
the Buckeyes may not fill their
rink - the 20,000-seat Value City
Arena - the wheels haven't fallen.
off of their bandwagon just yet.
Rather, it's gainingspeed.
Even though Michigan hadn't
swept consecutive games in
Columbus since the 1999-2000
season, the 11th-ranked Wolverines
expected take the two-game series
last weekend with ease.
Berenson refused to call the
matchup a rivalry, but after the
Buckeyes nearly sent Michigan
home empty-handed, Michigan
(5-3-1-0 CCHA, 9-5-4 overall)
should be singing a different tune.
Through 59 minutes on Friday,
the Wolverines had the advantage
both in intensity and on the score-
board, butgave up a goal with just
under 11 seconds to tie the game,
2-2. The Buckeyes capped off their
comeback with the game-winning
tally early in the overtime period.
As the scarlet and gray jerseys
celebrated by the end boards,

several dismayed and defeated
Wolverines skated off the ice and
headed to the dressing room - the
absences were noticed during the
postgame handshakes at center ice.
In the press conference follow-
ing the game, Berenson defended
his players, as did senior forward
Louie Caporusso.
"It was such a quick endingthat
everyone was celebrating and some
of the guys just forgot and came
off the ice," Caporusso said. "We
don't usually do things like that.
It wasn't by any means disrespect,
they just forgot."
Whether it was a case of for-
getfulness or not, avoiding the
standard handshakes can stir up
plenty of strife on the opposing
team --just ask the Detroit Red
Wings about their thoughts on
Sidney Crosby skipping out on the
handshakes after the 2009 Stanley
Cup finals.
Sometimes, it doesn't take much
to ignite a rivalry.
Regardless, Ohio State (3-6-1-1,
6-8-1) is no longer getting beat into
the ground on a yearly basis by
Michigan, and has proven itself an
admirable adversary for the Wol-
verines. The teams meet in Ann
Arbor for another pair of games in
early February. And a little advice
for Michigan: tread lightly around
these Buckeyes.
Oh, and don't forget the hand-

YouTube music video a
hit for red-hot Michigan

In f
with t
bers d
the br
first g

ith key goal and Cal," Quijano said on Monday.
ey g "She showed me the video. They
i1 video, big week did a wonderful job."
Scenes from the video were
senior defender shot at various locations, includ-
ing the team's charter flight, the
Jeff Quijano locker room and Columbia, S.C.
- the site of Michigan's third-
By MATT SLOVIN round victory.
Daily Sports Writer A brief introduction shows
the team being honored at the
e Michigan men's soccer Big House as conference cham-
has kept things interesting pions.
g its remarkable run to this Amateur music video produc-
nd's College Cup in Santa tion has become a recent trend
ra, Calif. on the college soccer scene.
fact, the tenth-ranked Wol- The UCSD squad recently
es (17-4-3) have recently dropped a cover of "Love Like
e YouTube sensations Woe" by The Ready Set.
the release of a video The on-field success of
ning from a friendly rivalry the Wolverines - who have
:he California men's soccer advanced further than any other
am. team in the program's history
e video shows team mem- - combined with the online
lancing and lip-synching to success of the video has led to
's chart-topper "Over." It is speculation that more clips may
ainchild of senior defender be on the way.
Quijano, who notched his According to senior midfield-
toal of the season in Satur- er Alex Wood, "something might
3-2 overtime victory over be in the works".
land. For Quijano, who will be play-
have a friend (who) goes to ing about an hour away from his

hometown of Canoga Park when
Michigan faces Akron (20-1-2)
on Friday, the video exchange
between the two programs is
just part of a master plan for
future entertainment.
"Hopefully it becomes kind of
a yearly thing where (Cal) would
... make a video and we'd kind of
make one that responds," Qui-
jano said.
The hardest part for Quijano,
the video's producer, whose cre-
ation has accumulated well over
6,000 views so far, has been con-
vincing his teammates to make
the leap from the field to the
"I told these guys 'I'm gonna
start filming,' " Quijano said.
"They were a little sketchy at
first, but I think it came out
When asked about the video,
Wolverine head coach Steve
Burns couldn't help but laugh.
And who could blame him? As
long as his team continues its
winning ways - the tourna-
ment's No. 10 seed has won nine
straight games - the fun is okay
with him.

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