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November 15, 2011 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-15

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8 - Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8 - Tuesday, November15, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Offense searching for
consistency early on


Freshman point guard Trey Burke made his first career start last night, scoring 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting in Michigan's victory over Towson at Crisler Arena.
MiTchigan dispatches Towson in
Maui Invitationa opening game

By LUKE PASCH cally my poise - the team feeds
Daily Sports Editor off of my poise.
"It was my first collegiate
The Michigan men's basket- start - I was kind of nervous the
ball team doesn't actually travel first couple minutes. But not a
to Maui until this weekend, but scared nervous."
the players figured they'd start Redshirt sophomore cen-
heating up on Monday night. ter Jordan Morgan got the nod
The Wolverines opened up under the basket against Tow-
Maui Invitational play with son, reclaiming his starting role
"Maui on the Mainland," from sophomore Jon Horford,
and they who started there for the exhibi-
were roll- TOWSO N 47 tion and the season opener.
ing early MICHIGAN 64 "We went two games with
against one look - we didn't like the
Towson. Michigan opened with starts we were getting," Beilein
a 21-0 run to start the game and said. "Jordan had an excep-
tailored the hot start into a com- tional week in practice. I think
manding 64-47 victory, those areas won't be defined for
Freshman point guard Trey a while - what our rotation is.
Burke started for the first time We're looking for some consis-
in his career, as many expected tency right now."
he would. Michigan coach John Michigan (2-0 overall) feast-
Beilein had originally planned ed on the Tigers' inexperience
to start Burke at the point in throughout the contest. Tow-
last Friday's season opener, but son is one of just three schools
he had a change in heart after in Division-I hoops to return
Burke showed up late to a prac- zero starters, and it showed on
tice. Monday. The Wolverines forced
"It's a lesson learned," Burke seven turnovers before the
said after the game. "No excus- Tigers even scored a basket in
es. It won't happen again - the ninth minute of the contest.
freshman mistake." The beginning of the second
Burke did not disappoint in half started much the same way,
his first opportunity, knocking as Towson turned the ball over
down the first 3-pointer of his four more times before scoring
career less than two minutes its first basket of the half. The
into the game from the top of the Tigers finished the game with 21
key. He added another from the turnovers.
corner as the buzzer sounded at The tide of the game did
the end of the first half. Burke shift a bit later in the second
finished the game with 13 points half, though, as sloppy play
on 5-of-8 shooting. led to Michigan turnovers and
"Now I just feel like I'm out miscommunications on the
there in a groove," Burke said. defensive end. Towson actually
"I'm the point guard, so basi- outscored Michigan 31-27 in that

"I'll wait until I see the film,
but I was not happy with any-
body's defense in the second
half, that's for sure," Beilein
said. "On the perimeter, (Robert
Nwankwo) there was just light-
ing us up, and we sat there and
watched it."
Michigan spread out its scor-
ing effort effectively, as three
players finished in double digits
- Burke, junior wing Tim Hard-
away Jr (15) and sophomore for-
ward Evan Smotrycz (13).

Late in the game, Beilein had
enough of a lead to experiment
on the defensive end, so he put
his fabled 1-3-1 zone to work.
It immediately flustered the
Towson offense, and Michigan
forced a quick turnover and con-
verted it into points on a Hard-
away 3-pointer.
Beilein ran the 1-3-1 for less
than a minute, but fans got
their first look at a zone defense
that the Wolverines will likely
pepper in here and there this

By BEN ESTES dan Morgan and sophomore Jon
Daily Sports Editor Horford.
The forwards have split the
In Friday's season-opening starting duties so far, with Hor-
win over Ferris State, senior ford getting the nod in the sea-
guard Stu Douglass - starting son opener and Morgan getting
at the point because freshman initial duty on Monday. But as
Trey Burke was late to a walk- the flip-flop suggests, neither
through - was arguably the No. has done much to establish him-
17 Michigan men's basketball self as a threat in the offense,
team's top performer, tying for with most of their offense com-
the game high with 14 points. ing from second-chance oppor-
In Monday's victory over tunities underneath the basket.
Towson, Douglass came off the When each big man has got-
bench in his more natural role as ten the ball in a one-on-one
an off guard. He looked poised situation down low, neither has
for a similar performance, get- been able to capitalize much. On
ting open shot after open shot Monday, Morganturned the ball
from the perimeter. over on one such attempt, and
Only one problem - he Horford missed a jumper after
missed them all, going 0-for-7 not being to establish position
overall and 0-for-Sfrom deep. closer to the basket.
Douglass's first two games The pair has been pretty solid
are a microcosm of a Michigan crashing the boards, though.
offense that has been inconsis- And those rebounds have led to
tent in theseason's early stages. great transition opportunities
Early against Towson, it - the one facet of the offense
seemed the unit had turned a consistently working well -
corner. The Wolverines made especially when the break's
nine of their first 14 field-goal been run by the speedy Burke.
attempts, exploding for a 21-0 "A lot of that is just where you
lead against the hapless Tigers get the ball, where you get your
- a far cry from Friday's con- rebounds, how fast you can out-
test, when Michigan shot just let it, getting steals, all that kind
27.6 percent from the field in the of stuff, but we did a pretty good
first half. job of it tonight," Horford said.
"The offense was in rhythm," It's still very early in the
said sophomore guard Tim season, but the ups and downs
Hardaway Jr. "We came out the of the Wolverine attack are an
gate (and) our cuts were more issue the team knows it needs to
effective this game than last shore up. Last season when the
game, and our bigs set great offense stagnated, then-point
screens for us guards coming off guard Darius Morris could Sim-
of them. And our job is easy, just ply drive to the lane and create
(to) knock down shots." points for himself (and for two
But after its hot start, Michi- years before that, Manny Har-
gan shot just 33.3 percent the ris, too, could supply his own
rest of the way. It didn't factor offense).
in the outcome, mostly because This season, nobody has
the Wolverines completely shut emerged to fill the void.
down Towson in the first half - "It would be nice," Beilein
still, the offense hasn't looked said. "We've got to continue to
nearly as efficient as it did by work on that. You want to have
the end of last season, and that three scorers on the floor at (all)
came against much stiffer com- times, but we've been struggling
petition. to do that. We've got to contin-
Offensive flow is hard to come ue to find another guy who can
by when a team doesn't make be consistent, make shots and
shots, especially open jumpers. defend."
That's what began to happen in Burke has had Morris-like
the first half on Monday. moments, like in the second half
"You probably agree with on Monday when he drove to the
me, we fell in love with the hoop and layed it in to salvage
3-ball in the middle of the first the possession with the shot
half," said Michigan coach John clock winding down. Hardaway
Beilein. "That really kept a lot Jr., too, has taken over at times.
of momentum from continuing But like the Michigan offense
on, and you can't get to the free generally, nobody's been a con-
throw line (by doing that)." sistent scoring threat. The Wol-
The tendency to stick to the verines have hit jumpers, have
perimeter too much is a result made the extra pass and have
of more inconsistency - in this driven inside at times - the key
instance, from the 5-position for the team going forward is to
duo of redshirt sophomore Jor- do it all more frequently.

Sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. led the team in scoring with 15 points.

Wolverines pull away from Owls with strong second half

Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's bas-
ketball team was in for a rude
awakening after the first half of
last night's game against Florida
The reality FLA. ATLANTIC 49
was that if MICHIGAN 75
the Wol-
verines didn't shape up their
defense and start putting the
ball in the net, they would fall to
the type of team that they need
to beat to have a fighting chance

in the Big Ten.
Though Michigan eventu-
ally overcame Florida Atlantic,
75-49, it had a far from stellar
home-opener. The way the Wol-
verines played in the first half,
it looked as if they were going
to let the game slip away to the
Owls, who had a 2010-11 record
of 7-21.
At the conclusion of the first
half, Michiganwas down, 28-24,
with a field-goal percentage of
38.7 percent. It was 0-for-7 in
three point attempts.
"We were all pretty dis-

traught at halftime," said
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth.
"We didn't create anything in
the first half. We had a fire-up
talk and made some defensive
That pep talk made all the
difference. The Wolverines
came out of the gate hard and
prepared in the second half. The
team dialed up momentum that
had been missing.
"We knew we would have to
make our layups and turnovers,"
said junior center Rachel Shef-
fer. "We got the lead by picking

up pressure."
Michigan did just that, scor-
ing twice as many points as it
did in the first half, and increas-
ing its field-goal percentage to
54 percent. Turnovers started
working out in the Wolverines'
favor, and Borseth switched to
man-to-man defense, which
significantly lessened the bar-
rage of 3-pointers from Florida
"We gave them a good look,"
Borseth said. "Everything about
threes is generally about con-
fidence. But if all of a sudden

those threes come disguised in
a different way, you don't feel as
Michigan began pulling away
midway through the second
The confidence started to
build, and the Wolverines
began hitting the mark on most
of their two-point attempts.
Florida Atlantic lost steam, and
with three minutes remaining
in the second half, the Wol-
verines were out of reach with
a 23-point lead. From there,
Michigan was able to breathe
easy, as it remained unbeaten
through two games.
Sheffer was a key offen-
sive player, as she poured in a
career-high of20 points. Buther
consistency lagged with many
missed opportunities.
"Did Rachel have a career

high in points or misses?" Bors-
eth asked. "She could not get
that thing in the basket to save
her soul.
Senior guards Courtney
Boylan and Carmen Reynolds
also contributed nicely. Boylan,
who was named Big Ten Player
of the Week, scored 18 points *
for Michigan, while Reynolds
scored two 3-point baskets in
the early moments of the sec-
ond half for a game total of eight
The Wolverines were able to
walk away unscathed with one
lesson learned: it has a long way
to go to prepare for Big Ten con-
"They're not a Big Ten team
and that's not what we're used
to," Sheffer said.
Michigan will go up against
Utah at home Thursday at 6p.m.

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Junior forward Rachel Sheffer scored a career-high 20 points on Monday.



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