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February 02, 2011 - Image 8

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8A - Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com I

Ex-Wolverine Summers called up to Coyotes

By MARK BURNS game since, he's been a consis-
DailySports Editor tent performer with the San
Antonio Rampage, the Coyotes'
Chris Summers didn't know American Hockey League affili-
whether to yell, scream or swear ate.
following his recent call-up to Through 45 games with the
the Phoenix Coyotes two weeks Rampage, Summers has totaled
ago. one goal and seven assists with
"Everything kind of goes a plus-seven rating on the back
blurry there for a little bit," he end.
joked on Tuesday afternoon. It's still undetermined how
But on Jan. 20 in the Coy- many more opportunities this
otes' pre-game skate - prior to season Summers will have to
the team's game at Los Angeles wear the Coyote sweater. He
- Summers was forced to clear acknowledged that with the
the blurriness and face reality. expectations and early-profes-
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett had sional success, comes the added
called- the former Wolverines' pressures of playing against sea-
number to round out the Coy- soned veterans who have locked
otes' roster against the Kings. in their spots in rosters across
"Coach Tippett said, 'How the league.
are you feeling? You ready to go? "It is pretty crazy to think
We're going with seven defense- about," Summers said. "This is
man,' " Summers said. "So I was a job now. You're not playing for
like, 'OK, here we go."', your school or your local team.
With that vote of confidence, You don't even think about it
the 2010 Michigan graduate because it is pretty much the
played his first-ever game in same game you've been playing
The Show, grabbing 13 minutes since you were seven or eight
of ice time and blocking two years old."
shots in Phoenix's 2-0 win. And Summers added that maybe
even though the Milan, Mich. he's a little too hard on himself
native has only played in one at times, considering college

outs of being a college defense-
man," Burlon said. "He actually
helped me mature as a person off
the ice, too. He took me under
his wing, being his roommate on
the road."
From seeing Summers move
from his four-year collegiate
career to the professional ranks,
Burlon hopes to follow a similar
path - and it's one that 50-plus
other Wolverines have taken as
well.
"It's not a secret, a lot of the
players that come to Michigan
want to play pro hockey," Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson said
last Thursday. "We've provided
a program to help players be
smarter, stronger, more mature
and hopefully better players
that learn how to win."
Berenson continued, saying
that "you don't have to be a first
round pick" necessarily to make
it to The Show, with "some kids
really taking off once they get
(to Michigan)."
Summers had both attributes,
in fact.
Drafted in the first round and
29th overall in the 2006 NHL
Entry Draft, Summers brought

a skill-set to Ann Arbor similar
to that of Los Angeles defense-
man and former Wolverine, Jack
Johnson. Summers, a strong,
offensive-minded defenseman,
excelled prior to his Michigan
days with the U.S. National
Team Development Program
and continued to improve with
the Wolverines - he totaled 16
goals and 44 assists in 163 games
under Berenson.
But even with so many Wol-
verines having the fortunate
opportunity to play in the NHL,
according to Berenson, playing
in NHL isn't the end-all, be-all
of playing for Michigan.
"We're sitting in here, we're
trying to make everyone learn
how to play on a winning team
and learn how to make them-
selves better players as well as
be more than a hockey player,"
Berenson said. "I don't want to
see guys leave Michigan and
play 10 years in the minors. I
don't want to see guys be hockey
bums. I mean I give myself two
years - you either make it in
the NHL or you go back to law
school or get your Ph.D. and
move on with your life."

Former Wolverine Chris Summers was a two-time captain at Michigan.

life and schoolwork has been
removed from the equation.
"Now, (hockey is) all I think
about," he said.
After the Michigan hockey
team's practice on Tuesday,

junior defenseman Brandon
Burlon commented on his expe-
riences with Summers, who was
his defensive partner during his
freshman campaign in 2008-09.
"He showed me the ins and

CAN'T GET ENOUGH
WATER POLO?
Neither can we. , IC1p
CHECK OUT THE DAILY'S WATER POLO COVERAGE
AND THE REST OF THE WINTER SPORTS
COVERAGE LATER THIS WEEK.
Read the stories online at www.michigandaily.com (I"

!,

CHRIS RYBA/Daily
Junior guard Zach Novak is shooting 40 percent from 3-point range, a career best for the Chesterton, Indiana native.
Since Jan. 5, Novak has shot 49 percent from long distance
Veteran Novak shines
in spotlight for Blue

3-5pm
Free refreshments
Tour of the Big House 1pm (meet at 12:30pm
in 411 Lofts sffice on 2nd flssr)
NFL Madden in Sky Lounge 1-3pm
Free deserts in the Sky Lounge 4-6pm

8-11:30am
Breakfast on the go
5pm-???
SOPM , * IA1t
Food, refreshments, games and prizes

By BEN ESTES In typical Novak fashion,
DailySports Writer too, some of his biggest per-
formances have come in the
The trend for most members biggest games. His 4-for-5
of the Michigan men's basket- performance on Jan. 12 against
ball team has then-No. 2 Ohio State helped
been to see NOTEBOOK Michigan (3-6 Big Ten, 13-9
their quality overall) come close to pulling
of play decrease during the Big off a monumental upset.
Ten season. And Novak went 6-for-8 from
But one player has instead 3-point range last Thursday in
turned it up a notch during the East Lansing, a key factor in
conference season. the Wolverines' 61-57 win over
And, predictably, it's one of then-No. 25 Michigan State -
the few Wolverines with signifi- his four-point play in the open-
cant experience. ing minutes of the game gave
Junior guard Zack Novak the critical early momentum to
is best known for his hustle, Michigan.
grittiness and leadership both The Chesterton, Ind. native,
on and off the court. But in though, was his usual humble
terms of his actual game, one of self when asked about his hot
Novak's supposed calling cards shooting.
has been his ability to knock "(I'm) just working hard,"
down 3-point shots. Novak said. "(My) teammates
Last season, Novak took a are getting me open looks. I'm
step back in 3-point shooting just shooting when I'm open,
from his freshman year. This passing when I'm not. That's
year, though, he's shooting a about it."
career-best 40 percent. DEFENSE STILL HAVING
And lately, he's been sizzling ISSUES: Lost in the jubila-
from beyond the arc. Dating tion after Michigan's second-
back to the Jan. 5 game at Wis- straight win on Sunday was
consin, Novak has gone 26-for- another subpar defensive per-
53, good for 49.1 percent. formance from the Wolverines.
"He's really in a groove right Michigan threw a variety of
now," Michigan coach John defenses at Iowa - mixing in
Beilein said after the Iowa game some 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones - but
on Sunday. still gave up 73 points to the
"He really feels good of Hawkeyes and allowed them to
where he is. If you knew how shoot 49.1 percent from the field
many thousands of shots, tens for the afternoon.
of thousands of shots, he's made It looked like the game was
since last year (in practice) - in hand when the Wolverines
because his numbers weren't led by 21 points with just over
what Zack would think are nine minutes remaining in the
good numbers last year, even second half, but they let Iowa
though it was solid." creep back into it. The Hawk-

eyes cut the deficit to eight
points with three minutes left
to play before Michigan closed
it out.
Beilein didn't go so far as to
say his defense played satisfac-
torily, but he did place a lot of
blame for Iowa's comeback on
the nature of college basketball
today.
"That's a tough time of coach-
ing, when you're (deciding to
tell your team) to put the brakes
on and when you're telling them
to keep attacking," Beilein said.
"(With) the 3-point shot and
the shot clock, leads aren't what
they used to be."
Still, after allowing field-goal
percentages of 63.4, 48.2 and
67.4 in recent losses to Minne-
sota, Northwestern and Indi-
ana, respectively, the Wolverine
defense - so tough in noncon-
ference play - has some more
work to do.
NOTES FROM THE IOWA
GAME: Iowa forward Melsahn
Basabe's 25 points were the
most scored by an opposingpost
player since Concordia's Rocko
Holmes had 29 on Dec. 6.
It was also the third-highest
output for any Michigan oppo-
nent, behind Holmes's total and
Kalin Lucas's 27 points for the
Spartans.
Freshman guard Tim Hard-
away Jr.'s 19 points were tops
among the Wolverines, the
fourth time this season that he's
led the team in scoring ... Michi-
gan's 73-percent shooting per-
formance from the field in the
second frame was the team's
best performance for a half all
year.

4

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