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March 16, 2011 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-03-16

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8A - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Practice paying off
for M' on power play

Breakdown: Michigan-Tennessee .

Daily SportsEditor
For about 15 minutes dur-
ing practice everyday, Michigan
coach Red Berenson doesn't have
any defense. He doesn't need it.
Berenson takes his five-man
power play, sticks them in the far
zone, and has the unit execute its
offensive zone power play - five-
The passing is quick and on
the tape, the goals are pretty and
the poor goalie facing the five-
man onslaught is always a step
Berensonusuallylets his other
coaches take over the drills while
he stays to the side, giving play-
ers feedback individually and
jumping in at opportune times.
That's not the case for the five-
on-zero power play. The coach
runs it personally, standing just
outside the blue line, having the
players huddle around him.
The whole drill seems a bit
ridiculous to the outside observ-
er - in a game they will never
have as much time or space on
the power play. But for Beren-
son, the drill serves an impor-
tant purpose - so important that
he's done it in every practice this
"I want to see quick move-
ment, receiving passes, moving
the puck quick, not over han-
dling the puck and then seeing
what's open," Berenson said
after practice Tuesday. "I need
to know just about before I get it,
who I'm going to give it to. And
then I need to know where their
stick is and where they are, so I
can give a perfect pass."
Michigan obviously doesn't
work exclusively five-on-zero.
According to senior forward
Louie Caporusso, the initial drill
is just to get the "blueprint" in,
before adding defenders.
With or without opposition,

the Wolverines need the prac-
tice. The power play has fal-
tered for much of the season,
converting at just under 18 per-
cent. Michigan is just 29th in the
country with the man advantage.
And the struggles have come
in bunches. After starting off the
season strong, late in October the
Wolverines began their first of
two streaks in which the power
play was scoreless in 20-plus
But now, three weeks after
ending the second streak, the
power play is on an upswing -
the Wolverines converted at 23
percent in the last five games.
Michigan scored three goals
with the man advantage in last
weekend's CCHA quarterfinal
series against Bowling Green,
and could have had a few more.
Their passing led to a couple
high-quality chances on the
power play, including one in
which junior defenseman Bran-
don Burlon's slap shot squeaked
through Falcon goaltender
Andrew Hammond's legs and
laid behind him for a split sec-
ond without anyone noticing the
puck was still loose - including
the referee.
And the same things Beren-
son wants to see five-on-zero
- quick puck movement, tape-
to-tape passes, knowing where a
player's teammates are without
having to look up - were listed
as the reasons why the power
play was having success when it
became five-on-five.
"We did a good job making
that first pass tape-to-tape,"
senior forward Carl Hagelin
said. "They were aggressive, but
if you pass it quick and make
good plays, it's going to be tough
to be too aggressive because
they're just going to end up run-
ning around, and we should be
able to find those seam plays."
Maybe practice does pay off.

Daily SportsEditor
Under Tennessee coach Bruce
Pearl, the Volunteers have never
failed to have a 20-win season.
Coming into Friday's matchup
with Michigan, the Volunteers
are only one win shy of thatmark.
This is Tennessee's sixth-
consecutive NCAA Tournament
appearance - the ninth-longest
streak in NCAA Division I bas-
ketball. Both teams received at
large bids to the NCAA Tourna-
ment and are looking forward
to a third-round matchup with
Duke. But before thinking about
the Blue Devils, the Wolverines
will need to focus on the Volun-
teers. Here's what their starting
lineups have to offer.
The 5-foot-11 senior is the short-
est scholarship player to play for
Tennessee under Pearl. As the
team's point guard he only aver-
ages three assists a game, and in
the Volunteers' last two games he
was held to one assist each. The
California native also averages
a team-best two steals a game.
While he may be undersized,
Goins has the team's best vertical
(41 inches) and broad jump (10
feet, eight inches).
Sophomore Darius Morris will
have a home state matchup on his
hands when he takes on Goins,
but expect Morris to thrive in the
postseason and take down Goins
as his first victim. Not to men-
tion, Morris' five inch advantage
won't hurt.
STU DOUGLASS: Junior Scotty
Hopson leads the Volunteers
in scoring with 17 points, while
playing just 30 minutes a game.
The 6-foot-7 guard has good size
and quickness and has the abil-
ity to get to the free throw line,
where he shoots 74 percent. His
ability to get to the rim is comple-

mented by his outside shooting
- 45 percent from the floor -
which makes defenders honest
when guarding him. This past
summer he was one of 20 col-
lege basketball players to play
for the USA Basketball Men's
Select Team.
As highly touted of a player
as he is, the junior seems to wax
and wane on the statistics sheet.
In Tennessee's last two games
he showed both sides. Against
Florida on March 11, he had 19
points and got to the free-throw
line six times, but he also had
seven turnovers. The previous
day, against Arkansas, the guard
scored just eight points, turned
the ball over four times and
didn't manage to make his way
to the charity stripe. If Hop-
son shows up to play in the big
dance, junior Stu Douglass will
have his hands full.
HARDAWAY JR.: Bone spent
his first two years of college
basketball at Southern Illinois,
but gave up his scholarship
there to be a junior walk on
with the Volunteers last season.
His fierce guard play earned
him a full scholarship this year,
and though this 6-foot-3 senior
spent the first 11 games injured
this season, he's been a main
contributor for Tennessee. He's
the probable starter this Friday,
but it will be just his fourth start
of the season. Pearl started him
over junior Cameron Tatum,
who's started 32 times this sea-
son, but has recently fallen into
a slump.
In Bone's start against Florida
he scored just five points and
grabbed two rebounds before
fouling out. Hardaway Jr., who's
started every game for the Wol-
verines this'year, should be able
to show more poise on the big
stage. Expect the frosh to exploit
the senior.

Redshirt freshman power forward Jordan Morgan may have the edge over the
Volunteers' John Fields dow low on Friday.

VS. ZACK NOVAK: The freshman
Harris is the most well-rounded
player Tennessee has this year.
He's a three-time Freshman
of the Week in the SEC and is a
Freshman All-America candi-
date. His nickname is "All Busi-
ness" and Pearl has referred to
Harris as the "most mature and
hard-working freshman" he's
ever coached. He shoots nearly
50 percent from the floor, and
averages 15 points and seven
rebounds a game. In addition
to his shooting, he finishes well
around the basket and pushes the
ball up the floor.
The matchup between Har-
ris and Novak could be the most
interesting of the game - not
just for Harris' all-around skills,
but also because of his inherent
size advantage. But Novak has
spent his three years at Michi-
gan guarding larger players, so
he may surprise Harris with his
ability to stick with the frosh.

being a senior, the 6-foot-9
senior is a first-year player at
Tennessee. He started his career
with two years at East Carolina
University before playing his
junior season at the University
of North Carolina-Wilmington.
His career is culminating as
a Volunteer, where he's expe-
riencing less success than in
seasons past. While he has 204
career blocks (he's garnered
seven-block games twice), he's
struggling to score three points
a game and pull down three
boards a game.
Fields may have an inch on
redshirt freshman Jordan Mor-
gan, but Morgan has a 20-pound
advantage over the senior.
Expect a physical battle in the
paint between these two, but
with the leaps and bounds Mor-
gan's made this year, he should
be able to control Fields on the


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