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28 - January 18, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com I

28 - January18, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
0

Keeping Robinson a huge
success for Wolverines, Hoke

Michigan falls to"
OSU in "Dual"

Brady Hoke has been at
the helm of the Michigan
football program for less
than one week, but he's already
accomplished
his most impor-
tant task of the
offseason.
Yes, his 2011
recruiting class
may not be
a Michigan-
caliber class; RYAN
decommit- KARTJE
ments from
Dee Hart,
Dallas Crawford, Jake Fisher and
Matt Goudis will definitely hurt.
And yes, he won't use the
spread offense - the second time
there's been a offensive change in
the last three years.
But in that first week, he did
what Rich Rodriguez couldn't do
in his first offseason: he kept the
Wolverines' best player in Ann
Arbor.
You can't really blame Rodri-
guez for losing quarterback Ryan
Mallett to Arkansas after replac-
ing Lloyd Carr at Michigan. After
all, playing Mallett in Rodriguez's
offense would've been like fitting
a square peg in a round hole; the
guy just isn't a spread quarter-
back. But watching Mallett tear
up the SEC this year and most
likely earn himself a whole lot
of money in April's NFL Draft, it
definitely stung knowing that he
could've been tearing up the same
secondaries in the Big Ten.
With a new coaching change,
however, came a new chance at
retribution. And when it came to
keeping Denard Robinson in the
maize and blue, Hoke handily
delivered - a huge success for a
fledgling coaching staff.
Robinson - it goes without
saying now - is an otherworldly
talent. His first half of 2010 set
incredible records that no one
ever would have imagined could
be broken this season. And his
second half, though not on par
with the first, was still an admira-
ble performance against Big Ten
defenses that were eager to be the
first to stop the Amazing Denard
Robinson.
So when Athletic Director Dave
Brandon said in the press confer-

By NEAL ROTHSCHILD
DailySports Writer
It's not just the football team.
The Michigan men's track
and field team is also struggling
to earn a victory against Ohio
State. The Wolverines fell, 88-74,
in Columbus on Saturday to the
Buckeyes in "The Dual" for the
third straight time.
Although Michigan had a win-
ner in just six of the 15 events,
the decisive ones came down to
a matter of inches and fractions
of a second.
"There's a sting about it,"
Michigan coach Fred LaPlante
said after the meet. "But really, I
was actually encouraged by our
team's performance."
In the 60-meter dash, junior
Robert Peddler lost to Ohio
State's Demoye Bogle by .01 sec-
onds, causing a four-point swing.
Freshman Justin Clarke's dis-
qualification in the 200-meter.
dash cost the Wolverines anoth-
er two points. Tight finishes in a
handful of other events made the
difference in the final result of
the meet.
"If that had turned around,
the score basically would have
been even," LaPlante said. "It
wasn't like we were outclassed
or they pulled away from us. It
was a great competition. There
were a couple of instances where
our guys really rose to the occa-
sion. We didn't back down."
The beginning of the meet
wasn't short on flair. In the
first event of the day, redshirt
freshman Ethan Dennis leap-
frogged five Buckeyes to win the
35-pound weight throw. Down
six feet at one point, Dennis
threw a personal-best 65 feet
and seven and three-quarters
inches to take first place and gain
five points for the Wolverines to
kick off the rivalry matchup.
Shortly after, sophomore Jack
Greenlee pole vaulted a personal
best and meet record, 16 feet and
eight and three-quarters inch-
es. Greenlee broke the previ-
ous high in "The Dual" by eight
inches in a showdown with Ohio
State freshman Cody Marshall.
But the Buckeyes stormed
back with wins in the 400 meter,
600 meter, 800 meter and one
mile runs to put Ohio State

ahead.
"Other than those races, the
other events were very well con-
tested and we gave it our best
shot," LaPlante said. "I think our
guys will be better a few weeks
from now."
Followingthe mile, senior Carl
Buchanon set a}record for "The
Dual" in the 60-meter hurdles,
putting up a time of 7.90 seconds.
Redshirt senior Nick McCamp-
bell took second in 8.01 seconds
to give Michigan five and three
points, respectively.
"I think I've become more
aggressive," Buchanon said after
setting his personal best in the
race. "My technique is getting
more crisp in my fourth year.
This being my last season, that
has alot to do with it too."
Redshirt junior Craig Forys
also gave the Wolverines a boost,
winning the 3,000 meters by
over 15 seconds at eight minutes
and 17.62 seconds. "Track and
Field News" listed him as the top
collegiate runner in the event.
But, despite the strong indi-
vidual performances, Michigan
fell short to Ohio State in a few
crucial events.
The atmosphere for the meet
was different from what is found
in most track competitions.
With a big crowd from host Ohio
State replete with a pep band,
there was an added liveliness in
French Field House.
"Track and field usually
doesn't have this type of hoopla,"
LaPlante said. "There was a lot of
energy in that meet and our guys
stood tall and really competed."
Unlike football where the
rivalry game caps the regular
season, a loss to Ohio State in
track leaves plenty of time for
improvement.
Though the meet won't sit
well with the Wolverines, they
can take solace in that the team
has yet to peak. The athletes
train to set their best marks in
the late-season conference and
national meets, leaving plenty of
time for improvement.
"You're not fine-tuned, but
neither is the other team,"
LaPlante said. "So it's just a com-
petition of where you are at this
time in your training and your
level of competitiveness in that
situation."

Sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting this season.

ence announcing Rodriguez's fir-
ing that the search wasn't "about
one particular kid on the football
team," I thought it was a poor
choice of words on Brandon's
part.
This isn't peewee football.
There's no need to worry about
player's feelings. Last season,
Denard Robinson was the Michi-
gan football team, and his team-
mates acknowledged it on many
occasions. Brandon would've been
stupid not to think of Robinson
when he was looking for Michi-
gan's next coach.
But where Brandon may have
fallen into a path of political cor-
rectness, Hoke understood almost
immediately how important Rob-
inson was to his livelihood.
Robinson loves Michigan, but
he's not stupid. If he didn't believe

he could succeed in the pro-style
offense, he would've left to play
somewhere like UCF or even
Florida where they could tailor
the offense to his strengths and
he could be close to home. But
Hoke and Borges made it their
first goal to convince Robinson to
stay. Hoke met with him privately
on his first full day in Ann Arbor,
and he clearly impressed Robin-
son with his explanations.
I've spent some time observ-
ing Robinson, his family and his
former coaches, and it's pretty
clear that all he needed from
Hoke is to be able to trust him.
Rodriguez, along with bringing
a perfect offensive scheme, was
someone who Robinson and his
family could trust tobe genuine
in his plans for Denard. Robinson
loved Rodriguez and his other

coaches, and it's safe to say that
the sophomore quarterback was
hurt when Rodriguez was axed in
Ann Arbor.
Robinson absolutely considered
a transfer. There's no doubting
that now. But after a superb meet-
ing with Hoke and Borges, it's
clear that he's convinced that he'll
be the same Denard next season.
And after his improvement from
2009 to 2010, fans can surely
expect a whole lot more of Denard
Robinson The Passer next season.
With Hoke at the helm and one
success already under his belt, I'm
growing increasingly sure that
whatever offense Michigan runs
next year should be a whole lot of
fun to watch.

-Kartje can be reached
at rkartje@umich.edu

Blue uses fast start, late Starters play majority of
- T - game push 'M' past Badgers

I

JI VlI11kl IA) JXAr rV V J.AY.1J7M1J

By KEVIN RAFTERY
Daily Sports Writer
With just under three minutes
left in the first half against Wiscon-
sin on Sunday, Michigan sophomore
guard Jenny
Ryan had the WISCONSIN 59
ball as the MICHIGAN 75
shot clock
was winding down. With no other
options, Ryan, who's not known
for her 3-point shooting ability,
was forced to fire up an NBA-range
bomb with a defender in her face.
The ball sailed through the air and
into the hoop - nothing but net.
It was one of four shot clock-
buzzer beaters that the Michigan
women's basketball team made en
route to a 75-59 victory over the vis-
iting Badgers.
"We were very lucky," Michigan
coach Kevin Borseth said of the
buzzer beaters. "They're very good
defensively. We just got a little bit
unglued there for awhile and wound
up a little grouped together, and
luckily we made the shots."
And although the Wolverines
may have been lucky on a couple of
possessions, luck wasn't the reason
they were successful against the
second-best defensive team in the
Big Ten.
Michigan came out firing from
the opening tip off. Junior Carmen
Reynolds led the Wolverines early,
scoring eight of the team's first 15
points as Michigan jumped out to a
15-7 lead.
"The shots were falling," Reyn-
olds said. "It comes down to my
teammates getting me open. We set
some really good screens today."
The Wolverines (3-2 Big Ten,
10-7 overall) enjoyed their biggest
lead of the half with just under six
minutes to play, as sophomore for-
ward Sam Arnold came in off the
bench and hit a 3-pointer from the
top of the key to increase the lead
to l5 points.
Reynolds and senior guard
Veronica Hicks paced the Wolver-
ines with 10 points each, and Michi-
gan went into the break with a 35-22

advantag
Comi
21-point
ines hel
ward Lir
the first1
"(Zast
said. "Sh
the ball.
good ofa
conferen
for this g
helped u
Reync
ines' ga
against2
"Wei
we had I
"It was a
W"
the
ba

ge. utes, while the other four played at
ng off of two straight least 33 minutes --fatigue became a
performances, the Wolver- factor in the closing minutes.
d 6-foot-4 Wisconsin for- "We don't want to have to do
n Zastrow to just 5 points in that," Borseth said. "I told the kids
half. after the game, 'It's good because
row) is good," Borseth we won, but bad because I don't
he is good on both sides of know if we really got an opportu-
I'll tell you what, she is as nity to use everybody.' We want to
big kid as any big kid in this be able to do that because all those
ice. We had a week to work kids work hard."
'ame, and I think that really But the Wolverines remained
s." poised and confident down the
olds credited the Wolver- stretch.
me plan for their success Junior guard Courtney Boylan
Zastrow. scored six of her 12 points in the
were told to front her, and final four minutes of the game, and
backside help too," she said. Michigan went 8-for-8 from the
huge team effort. charity stripe to put the game away.
Hicks, who led all scorers with 21
points and 10 rebounds, wasn't con-
cerned about the extended minutes.
fhen you see "When you see the ball go in
the basket, it gives you energy,"
ball go in the she said.
"I think that gave our starting
Sket, it giVeS five (energy) to stay on the court a
little bit and get after it."

By EVERETT COOK
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan women's' basketball
guard Veronica Hicks should have
been tired. The senior played all
40 minutes of a hard-fought game
against a hard-nosed Wisconsin
team that did not give up an inch
defensively, scoring 21 points and
grabbing 10 rebounds.
Instead, after the game, she
bounded into the media room look-
ing like she could play another 40
minutes. All five Michigan starters
- who led an impressive 75-59 vic-
tory over the Badgers - showed a
similar stamina.
"Some of us are teenagers, some
of us are only 20 years old, so there
is no way we should go out there
and be tired," Hicks said. "(Condi-
tioning coach Joe Sanderson) tells
us all the time even his mom can
get up and down the court, so we
just need to go out there and play
basketball, because that is what we
are here to do."
Michigan (3-2 Big Ten, 10-7
overall) snapped a two-game losing

streak thanks to its starters. The
Wolverines had a total of just 15
minutes come off the bench, and 12
of those minutes came from sopho-
more forward Kate Thompson.
Wolverine starters played 93
percent of the game - a stat rarely
seen at the collegiate level. Besides
for Hicks playing the entire game,
guards Courtney Boylan and Jenny
Ryan played 38 and 33 minutes,
respectively. Even the Michigan
post players played the majority of
the game. Junior forward Carmen
Reynolds and sophomore center
Rachel Sheffer each played 37 min-
utes.
"They have to learn to be able
to play over, through, and around
pain and tiredness, and really con-
centrate," Michigan coach Kevin
Borseth said. "If you do concen-
trate, you make a lot of good things
happen"
But the Michigan starters looked
full ofenergythe entire game. They
forced nine turnovers in thesecond
half, with many coming on hustle
plays.
Tired teams often have low

3-point percentages, as shots
will fall short because of a lack of
energy from the shooter. But after
shooting 44 percent from beyond
the arc in the first half, the Wolver-
ines put away the game by shoot-
ing 50 percent from 3-point range
in the second half - a considerable
achievement given the amount of
time the starters played.
With sophomore guard Nya Jor-
dan sidelined with a knee injury,
the depth of the Wolverines was
assumed to be tested. Without Jor-
dan, who is a regular starter, Bors-
eth has relied on his starters to play
more, and so far theyhaverespond-
ed positively. The starter minutes
will likely go down upon Jordan's
return, but it is a good sign for the
team's future that its best players
have the ability to play all night.
But for now, not having to take
players like Hicks out of a game
because they're tired is a boost for
Michigan.
"I love playing basketball, and
if I get to stay in there and stay out
of foul trouble, then that's good
enough for me," Hicks said.

you energy."
"We were told to be physical
with her to try and take the ball
away, and that is what we were
able to do."
In the second half, Michigan
showed few signs of letting up.
Hicks capped a 13-3 run with a
3-pointer to give the Wolverines
a commanding 19-point lead with
less than 15 minutes to play.
But just when it seemed like
the game was out of reach for the
Badgers (4-2, 9-9), they went on a
run of their own.
Sophomore guard Taylor
Wurtz caught fire, scoring all 14
of her points in the second half.
And after a bucket inside by Zas-
trow with five minutes to play,
the Michigan lead was cut to just
seven - the slimmest margin
since early in the first half.
And since the five Michigan
starters played nearly the whole
game - Hicks played all 40 min-

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