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February 14, 2011 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

February 14, 2011 - 3B

MORGAN
From Page 4B
But the defensive end was
another story. An ugly story.
Jordan allowed Holmes to
score everywhere, from the
low post to the high post, en
route to a game-high 29 points
on the night. And by the end of
the game, the coaches were left
scratching their heads. They'd
just witnessed the least satis-
fying 20-point victory of their
careers.
If Morgan couldn't stop
Rocko, how would he stop Ohio
j State's Jared Sullinger? What
about Illinois' Mike Tisdale?
And could he possibly manage
Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe?
Alexander wasn't concerned,
though.
"I think there's always a hum-
bling experience that takes place
during the course of the season,
and Jordan was able to discover
his early against Concordia,".
Alexander said. "(Holmes) ran
a clinic, and as a result you can
imagine teammates after the
victory teased Jordan after the
fact. But Jordan has tremendous
pride, and he promised himself
that that would never happen
again. I dedicate Jordan's devel-
opment here in recent games to
the baptism of Rocko Holmes."
In retrospect, it wasn't par-
ticularly surprising that Holmes
did what he did. Jordan has since
learned that basketball, and post
play in particular, is a game of
geometry. And Holmes was sim-
ply more seasoned when it came
to creating angles, being in the
right position for rebounds and

escapi.
It w
He rea
brute
handy,
ence pl
him n
more
matche
more
talent.
And
dan kn
player.
reason;
the firs
"He'
"I c
de'
to t]
Ro
said of
son. "I
to help
hold h
throug
expect
about t
throug
going t
And

ng defenses. first meeting, in Evanston, Jor-
as Jordan's wake-up call. dan was stifled in the post and
alized that although his shot just 2-of-6 from the field en
strength would come in route to five points.
down the road in confer- But this time, the light was
ay, his muscles would get bright and Jordan was in beast
owhere unless he played mode - the Wildcats didn't
intelligently when he's know what they were in for.
ed up against taller and He used his big body to set
experienced frontcourt screens and create openings in
the paint all night. He showed
luckily for Michigan, Jor- the finesse to score in traffic,
ows how to be a cerebral sometimes using pump fakes to
After all, it's one of the fool defenders before going to
s Beilein adored him in the hoop and other times back-
;t place. ing off for the easy hook shot,
s just so intelligent," Jim finishing with a career-high 27
points. And on the other end of
the floor, he terrorized oppo-
nents who dared cross into the
ledicate (his) lane, registering three blocks on
the night.
velopment... The icing on the cake came
with a little over a minute left in
he baptism of the game, as Northwestern was
,, close to erasing a 15-point defi-
cko Holmes." cit.
Morris beat the fullcourt
press on the inbound pass and
pushed the ball upcourt to find
his son earlier this sea- himself and Jordan in a two-
His intelligence is going on-one breakaway. With Wild-
him a lot. I think he'll cat defender Davide Curletti
is own this year, at least trapped between the two, Mor-
h half the year, and I ris lobbed an alley-oop pass to
that the light will go on Morgan, who slammed it home,
hree-quarters of the way sending Crisler Arena into hys-
h the season. And you're teria.
o see a beast." But in section 39, Jim just
Jim was right. In fact, smiled, relatively unfazed.

JAKE FROMM/Daily
Redshirtfreshman Jordan Morgan has emerged as Michigan's most dependable frontcourt presence this season.

his prediction was so accurate
it seemed like he was operating
the light switch.
On Wednesday, just about
three-quarters of the way
through the season, Northwest-
ern came to Crisler for game
two of the season series. In their

Jordan finally hops
off the rim and comes back to
Earth. He takes a second to baslg
in the peacefulness of a stunned
Assembly Hall before running
backcourt to join his teammates.
A lone voice in the Hoosier

baseline student section breaks
the silence.
"Hey Morgan! Congratula-
tions, you can make a wide-open
dunk!"
Jordan smirks as he turns
and jogs backcourt. He knows

that on the next Michigan pos-
session, the Indiana fans will
be a bit uneasy, as will the Hoo-
sier defense. They're going to
keep their eyes on Morgan,
waiting for him to set a screen
and make room for himself in

the lane. And if they grant him
the open space he wants, they'll
pay for it.
He finally has everybody's
attention.
For Jordan Morgan, it's Show-
time.

OHIO STATE
From Page 1B
introductions, and again after
his second-period goal. But it
rose once more when Brown
picked himself up off the ice
after taking an errant knee to the
thigh - still, he wasn't about to
be knocked out of the game or let
up on his physicality.
"You can't stop going full
speed," Brown said, explaining
the injury. "It's kind of like an
18-wheeler - you can't stop on a
dime."
Brown's last stand came two
minutes into the third period,
when he was sent to the dress-
ing room early after receiving
a five-minute major and game

misconduct for checking from
behind. Brown slammed his stick
on the end glass as he skated off,
but behind him the Texas flag
made it's final proud appearance
- the previously hapless Brown
was back in good graces with the
Michigan contingent.
"It's always nice to come home
to that (flag)," Brown said.
When Brown left the ice in
the third period, so did his big-
bodied, physical presence on the
wing of Michigan's power line.
But Berenson was pleased
with the physicality that his team
displayed against the Buckeyes
(9-13-2-2,14-15-2) on Saturday.
"I thought we played with a
little more gusto and a little more
oomph," Berenson said.
Before he was sent off, Brown

gave the Wolverines all the scor-
ing they'd need in the second
period. The goal was the epitome
of what Berenson was looking
for when he packaged the Texan,
Canadian and Swede on a line.
Hagelin picked up the puck
behind the net, circled around the
side boards and dishedbetween a
pair of defenders to Brown crash-
ing in toward the net.
Brown tipped the puck above
the shoulder of Buckeye goalten-
der Cal Heeter.
"Carl just waited, was really
patient with the puck, threw it at
the net and I kind of just chipped
it - took out my nine-iron and
just put it in there," Brown said.
Caporusso, who scored and
added an assist on Friday, said
shaking up the lines appeared to

"spark the chemistry" that some
players needed to find their scor-
ing touch in the weekend sweep.
"It's fun to be back with guys
who are more creative around the
net," Hagelin added. "We won
a lot of battles, second efforts,
and that's where we got all those
chances."
Berenson seems to have found
an offensive pairing that could
prove a scoringthreat for the long
haul.
And with just four games
remaining on the CCHA slate, it's
just in the nick of time.
"This is playoff hockey, really,"
Berenson said. "We're in kind
of a playoff mode, everything is
important ... this will hopefully
move our team in the right direc-
tion."

PENT
From
penalty
it in un
just tot
move ai
they ca
powerI
- thisr
tc
sin
"We
We cle
Even H
once or
out an
be fres
Micl
blanke

ALTY KILL good sign after the Wolverines
allowed three goals to Miami
Page lB (Ohio)'s power play last weekend
in Oxford.
, and the other team keeps But the strong Wolverine pen-
til your penalty killers are alty kill far out-shined the fact
ally fatigued and they can't that Michigan's own power play
nd they can't compete and went 0-for-7 against the Buck-
n't win any battles and the eyes this weekend and surren-
play takes over the penalty dered its third shorthanded goal
never happened. of the season on Saturday.
Michigan's man-advantage
unit has converted on just three
of its last 38 attempts, but,
e just want coringto Hagelin, the unit
is just a few bounces away from
get a lucky turning it around.
"Right now, I don't even think
al, t"plqy its frustration anymore (on the
hocky ." power play)," Hagelin said.
iple hockey "We just want to get a lucky
goal, just play simple hockey.
We had a few chances today,
Langlais had an empty net there
kept getting the puck out. (but) it hit a guy on their teams'
ared the puck really well. stick. It happens.
tunwick cleared the puck "When we win like this, we
r twice. We got the puck can't think too much about the
d were able to change and power play not doing well. We
;h." did great on the PK instead.
higan's penalty kill Another week, new opportuni-
d the Ohio State power ties."

INDIANA
From Page 1B
sophomore guard Matt Vogrich
said. "Evan (Smotrycz) got in the
way of some passes. Tim (Hard-
away Jr.) had some steals. We just
stepped it up on defense."
Michigan made adjustments at
halftime because even though it
led the Hoosiers by eight points, it
could have led by a wider margin.
And so the Wolverines came out
firing in the second half.
Freshman Tim Hardaway Jr.
sank his first 3-point attempt in the
second half and finished the game
with 26 points. In fact, Michigan
gained a ton of momentum and
maintained a comfortable double-
digit lead after draining its first

four 3-pointers out of the locker
room.With about five minutes left
in the game, Indiana quietly went
on a 12-0 run to cut the lead from
22 points to 10 and then eventu-
ally found itself within two pos-
sessions of the. Wolverines after
Michigan had missed eight free
throws to close the game.
The crowd fell silent and Michi-
gan's bench looked frustrated. The
Hoosiers instituted a full-court
press for the last two minutes, and
it forced the Wolverines into two
turnovers and two timeouts.
"It's not like we were bad on the
inbound," Douglass said. "They
were doing a great job. Calling a
timeout isn't bad, it's better than
making a dumb pass and turning
the ball over. Butsometimes it was
hard to find the open man."

On top of the irritation that the
press was creating, Michigan was
fouled in the final minutes and
had difficulty finishing at the line.
In the closing minutes, four of the
Wolverines five starters accumu-
lated eight missed free throws -
Michigan went 19-for-37 from the
charity stripe on Saturday.
"You don't even really address
it," Michigan coach John Beilein
said of the poor free-throw shoot-
ing. "You don't make a big deal out
of it. I'll silently rep them more,
I'll silently do more things. But
we won't make a big deal out of
it because we've been very good
(at free-throw shooting) all year
long."
Indiana used a big 3-pointer
and its ability to penetrate the lane
to come within one possession of

the Wolverines with 28 seconds
remaining. But that's when sopho-
more guard Darius Morris - who
tallied 15 points - went to the line
and gave the Wolverines a two-
possession edge.
It's unusual that a made free
throw produces so much excite-
ment. But when Morris hit his
freebies to send Indiana back to
Bloomington, Crisler erupted.
"It was crazy, we've got such
good shooters," sophomore guard
Josh Bartelstein said. "It's one
of those things like how 3-point
shooting is contagious - free-
throw shooting is contagious too.
At the end of the game we couldn't
seem to buy any of them. But we'll
work on it. It's nothing we're too
worried about because we're a
good shooting team."

play all weekend, holding the
Buckeyes to just four shots on
four attempts with its man-
advantage this weekend - a

SSee a multimedia piece about
Rthis story on MichiganDaily.com

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COMEBACK
From Page 1B
free throw, drawing groans from
Crisler Arena as the team stepped
to the charity stripe. It looked
like they would hand away a win
they'd worked for..
"Even coach (Beilein) says it all
the time, he's been coaching for
so long but you learn something
new every day, and we're learn-
ing something new every game,"
sophomore point guard Darius
Morris said after the win. "And
today we learned that we need
to close out games and pay atten-
tion to the little things like free
throws. Because that could cost
you down the road, next time we
might not be so lucky."
The point guard said his team's
mindset shifted from a team that
was playing to win in the first

part of the game to a squad that
was playing not to lose in the final
minutes.
While Indiana was making its
comeback, Michigan was slowing
down its offense and holding the
ball more, trying to burn time off
the clock. The Wolverines stopped
attacking the basket as much and
broke off from the aggressive
intensity that had allowed them
to post the lead in the first place.
"You see it all the time, teams
make runs at the end just because
they realize they have to play
more aggressive and they clear
their minds and they just play
ball," junior guard Stu Douglass
said. "And sometimes when you're
the team up 20, you kind of get a
little apprehensive and it takes
away from everything you were
doing the first 30 minutes of that
game and you're a whole different
team and that hurt us in the sec-

ond half." '
In their six-game losing skid
in January, the Wolverines were
often the team that was down 20
and making a run at the end.
But after a narrow loss to then-
No. 15 Minnesota on Jan. 22 -
and with Michigan fulfilling the
dismissive preseason prophesies
- the Wolverines have turned
things around and gone on a 5-1
run to put themselves back into
postseasontalk.
"We're on this good stretch,
but before this, we were used to
just clawing back," Douglass said.
"Coach (Beilein) talks about all
the time how you handle adver-
sity, but also, one of the bigthings
to a season is how you handle suc-
cess. And that's within a season,
but it's also within a game and so
we gotta get better at that."
A few of the recent Wolver-
ine wins have featured opposing

team comebacks that Michigan
has been able to fend off. Against
Northwestern, the Wolverines
relinquished a 15-point lead. And
in the close wins, like the victory
over Penn State and then-No. 25
Michigan State, the Wolverines
have been able to keep just enough
of a cushion to keep their opposi-
tion at bay.
Douglasssaidthe teamis learn-
ing from the wins and the losses,
and despite a victory over Indi-
ana, Michigan will have plenty to
look at as it heads into two tough
road games at Illinois and Iowa.
"(Beilein's) not worried that we
won't come back and be hungry,
he's not worried that we'll lose
that fire, he's not worried that we
won't want to get better," Doug-
lass said. "And every time we've
lost, we've improved here and
there, sometimes more than oth-
ers."

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