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November 22, 2011 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-22

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8 - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Burke breaks onto
scene vs. Memphis j


Senior guard Zack Novak and the Michigan defense held senior forward Wesley Witherspoon and Memphis to 33-percent shooting.

Michigan tames Tigers in Maui

By BEN ESTES celebration. A shouting match
Daily Sports Editor turned into a bout of pushing
and shoving at halfcourt, with
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Evan both senior guard Zack Novak
Smotrycz had reason to cel- and Memphis guard Will Bar-
ebrate - he'd just put a dagger ton receiving technical fouls.
in the heart of No. 8 Memphis. And that emotion carried
Michi- over to the second half.
gan's MEMPHIS 61 Right out of the break, the
sophomore MICHIGAN 73 game erupted in physicality,
forward with players constantly falling
screamed in celebration at on the floor and crashing into
halfcourt after his 3-pointer each other underneath the bas-
with 3:27 left in the game gave ket.
the No. 15 Michigan basketball Michigan was called for six
team a 14-point lead, clinching fouls in the first eight minutes
a 73-61 win in the quarterfinals of the half.
of the Maui Invitational. But with Memphis (1-1) fail-
The Wolverines' victory ing to make any headway by
set up an NCAA Tournament chipping away from the free-
rematch with No. 6 Duke in throw line, the Wolverines
Tuesday's quarterfinals - the took over. Junior guard Eso
Blue Devils dispatched Tennes- Akunne's 3-pointer punctu-
see, 77-67, in the second game ated a 7-0 run and gave the hot-
on Monday. shooting Wolverines a 12-point
The fip, spore belies just lead with 12:28 remaining in the
how hard the Wolverines (4-0) game.
had to fight against the Tigers "I know we had mismatches
to emerge with the win. The out there, and they were really
game was intense from the overplaying us," said sopho-
opening tip, and the intensity more guard Tim Hardaway Jr.,
turned up a notch after the first who finished with 21 points to
half ended. lead all scorers. "We were just
After freshman point guard trying to stay smart and play
Trey Burke blocked Joe Jack- hard at the same time.
son's layup as time expired in "They were playing really up
the half to enter the break with on us, so we just used that to our
a 37-31 lead, the Tigers appeared advantage for backdoor cuts."
to take exception to Michigan's From there, Michigan relied

on its defense. The team strug-
gled at times to run offensive
sets in the face of increased
Tiger pressure, but it stymied
Memphis on the other end,
refusing to allow the Tigers to
overcome the deficit.
Sophomore forward Jon
Horford had his best game yet
defensively, with redshirt soph-
omore forward Jordan Morgan
sitting early due to foul trouble.
Horford established himself
in the paint and prevented the
many takes to the basket that
Memphis relied on.
The Tigers were forced to
start shooting more from the
outside in the second half, tak-
ing them out of their comfort
zone. And Michigan constantly
attacked the boards, cleaning
up Memphis misses and pre-
venting second-chance oppor-
The, Wolverines won the
rebounding battle, 38-29, and
held the Tigers to just 33.3 per-
cent shooting from the field for
the game.
"I think we just made hits,"
Novak said. "We really knew
that they were going to fly at the
glass. That's how they scored a
lot of points in the tapes that we
saw. So we figured if we could
keep them off the glass and not
give them second chances, our
chances to win will go way up."

The Tigers tried to come back
by turning the game into more
of an up-and-down affair, but
couldn't capitalize on its ath-
leticism advantage with Burke
able to keep up in the backcourt.
"They like to run in transi-
tion, so we made sure we had
guys back there just commu-
nicating," Hardaway Jr. said.
"That was one of the key things
we did (was) communicate real-
ly well to stop the ball coming
down the fast break. Just point-
ing out to your man who you
The beginning of the game
was also fast-paced. Surprising-
ly, Michigan ran step-for-step
with Memphis, taking the early
10-4 lead after Hardaway Jr.'
s layup three minutes in. The
Wolverines kept it up, putting
together their best offensive
half of the season. Led by Hard-
away Jr.'s 11 points and a 10-0
run to close the period, Michi-
gan shot 15-for-25 from the field
to take a 37-31 lead going into
the break.
"When they went on that run,
the game definitely changed,"
Barton said. "Like (Memphis
coach Josh Pastner) said, we
stopped attacking the basket.
We started settling for jump
shots. We didn't do a good job
in transition defense. ... that's
when they hurt us the most."

Daily Sports Writer
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Mem-
phis was a team that was
supposed to give the No. 15
Michigan men's basketball team
and its inexperienced freshman
point guard Trey Burke all kinds
of problems.
Instead, Burke spent the day
whizzing through the humid
Maui air - and the Tigers'
defense - to give the Wolver-
ines an early statement victory,
"I tell you, I know (Michi-
gan) lost a really good player
in Darius Morris, who is a pro,
but they didn't really have too
much drop-off with Burke," said
Memphis coach Josh Pastner.
"He's really good, and he's only
a freshman. He's a really good
Heading into the Maui Invi-
tational, No. 8 Memphis (1-1)
looked like it would be a night-
mare matchup for Michigan's
offense. Burke was tasked
with breaking the Tigers' ath-
letic, pressure-oriented press
defense. To revive the Wol-
verines' stagnant offense, he'd
have to go one-on-one with Joe
Jackson, one of the nation's top
point guards, and do it all on a
nationally-televised stage with
a hostile, Memphis-dominated
crowd breathing down his neck.
But Burke played beyond his
years. Only once, late in the sec-
ond half with the game already
decided, did Burke have prob-
lems breaking the press, forcing
Michigan (4-0) to call a timeout.
"The goal was to stay poised
out there on the court," Burke
said. "We knew they were going
to bring up their hardest punch,
and we knew they had quick
"So beforethe game, the game
plan was basically for us as ball
handlers to stay poised out there
to keep the team under control,
and we did a good job of that."
The freshman matched a
career high with 14 points,
thanks to an impressive 6-for-
10 shooting. Though he had just
four assists, his most impressive
statistic was likely his turnovers
- he had only three.
"I made sure I stayed under
control," Burke said. "With
Joe Jackson pressuring me full
court, I basically just had to take
my time and get the offense into

what we were running. We did
a good job with executing on
offense and crashing the board."
Burke made his presence felt
from the opening minute. Just
40 seconds into the game, he
took the ball into the paint and
created space with a ballerina-
esque spin move, to give himself
an open layup.
Memphis continued to chip
away at the Wolverines, who
were unable to pull away. With
just over eight minutes remain-
ing, Burke again created space
in the lane with a spin move,
collapsing the Tiger defense and
leaving sophomore guard Tim
Hardaway Jr. wide open on a
backdoor cut for a layup to put
Michigan ahead by 12.
Minutes later, after a Mem-
phis 3-pointer cut its deficit to
nine, Burke drove through the
lane, and reminiscent of his
predecessor Morris, lofted in a
floater in traffic before landing
on his back.
Burke's most influential play
may have came in an unlikely
situation: in the lane on the
defensive end.
After Michigan fell behind,
31-27, with three minutes left
in the first half, the Wolverines
stormed back with a 10-0 run
thanks to five straight points
from Burke. With just seconds
remaining in the half, Jackson
drove right at Burke, attempting
a buzzer-beating layup to recap-
ture the momentum entering
the half.
But Burke was there, staying
in front of Jackson, to swat away
the layup and fire up the Wol-
verines' sidelines. As the teams
made their way to the locker
rooms, a scuffle ensued that
originatedwhenMemphis's Will
Barton shoved Michigan senior
guard Zack Novak. Though no
punches were thrown, center-
court turned into the grounds
for a shoving match, intensify-
ing halftime.
Using their momentum, the
Wolverines stormed out of the
gate in the second half and
never looked back.
The celebration didn't let up
and when the game was over 12
minutes later, skeptics of Michi-
gan and its youthful backcourt
questioned themselves. And on
a national stage, within a stone's
throw of Maui's beautiful Pacif-
ic oceanside, Burke just said
"Aloha," to a bright future.

'M' confident despite sweep

Wolverines get rematch against
No. 6 Duke in Maui Invitational

Daily Sports Writer
Nestled in an otherwise bare
nook in a northwest corridor
of Yost Ice Arena sits a vending
machine. The sound of sticks
slapping pucks and pucks nail-
ing boards drowns out the
machine's quiet whirring.
But this machine doesn't sell
chips or cookies. Instead, its
products are pieces of card stock
with statistics on the back so
small you have to squint to read
them - trading cards.
Its big-ticket item sits front
and center and also carries a
heavier price tag than all of the
other cards. And why shouldn't
it? Ten dollars will get you a Red
Berenson card.
Perched in the upper rows of
the machine, Berenson is depict-
ed in his 1970s St. Louis Blues
sweater, skating behind the
goal. The confidence on his face
doesn't waver.
But does Berenson have that
same confidence in his skaters in
the midst of the program's lon-
gest slump since 2009?
The answer is a resounding
That's hardly to say, though,
that the effort has always been
"I think we can play harder
and better," Berenson said.
It's not just confidence that
will eventually bust this Wol-
verine slump. Berenson looks for
resiliency. His teams are known
for it, actually, and last year was
no exception. Berenson remem-
bers a late-season sweep at the
hands of Miami (Ohio) as the
best example of the squad's abil-
ity to bounce back, en route to

Michigan coach Red Berenson trusts his team will bounce back<

an appearance in the National
Championship game.
And with the confidence he
demonstrated while centering
the Blues to three consecutive
Stanley Cup Finals appearances,
Berenson anticipates that resil-
"Last year's team at this
point wasn't a lot better than
this year's team," he said. "They
bounced back ... we have to be
able to bounce back, too. I think
this team has resiliency."
Berenson called last week-
end's sweep at the hands of Ohio
State a "bad weekend." That's
probably putting the Wolver-
ines' two losses to the Buckeyes
this weekend lightly. After all,
allowing six goals in a game -
like it did Saturday - serves as
a reminder of how lax Michigan
defense has been recently.

And those "bad weekends"
are a luxury that Berenson won't
afford his teams.
He doesn't expect perfection,
but he knows as well as anyone
that hockey is a sport of streaks
and how teams respond to them.
"You're not going to win all
your games," Berenson said.
"I've always said you shouldn't
lose two in a row."
This weekend, No. 11 Michi-
gan will try to avoid dropping a
third straight game. Senior cap-
tain Luke Glendening readily
admits that Berenson's signature
confidence may be contagious -
albeit a "quiet" confidence. And
the resiliency that his coach
expects - or demands - isn't far
"I think we'll battle back,"
Glendening said. "I think we'll
be OK."

By BEN ESTES player Jalen Rose's documentary
Daily Sports Editor last spring about the "Fab 5" and
its battles with the Blue Devils,
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Eight the matchup will get plenty of
months later, they meet again. media attention in what seems
After falling in a 73-71 heart- like another chapter to a newly
breaker to Duke in the Round of revived rivalry.
32 of the NCAA Tournament last Legendary Duke coach Mike
March, the Michigan men's bas- Krzyzewski is fresh off becoming
ketball team has a shot at redemp- the winningest coach in college
tion when the two square off once basketball history after record-
more in the semifinals of the ing his 903rd victory last week
Maui Invitational on Tuesday. over Michigan State. The Blue
The stakes aren't quite as high Devils (5-0) dispatched Tennes-
- neither team's season is on see, 77-67, in their quarterfinal
the line, and each is still trying matchup on Monday.
to figure out just how good it is. Stars Nolan Smith and Kyle
As Michigan coach John Beilein Singler are gone from last season,
said on Sunday, the Invitational but Duke returns three start-
is more about getting several ers from a team that reached the
opportunities for significant wins Sweet 16 a year ago.
than any one game. And though freshman stud
Senior guard Zack Novak Kyrie Irving also departed after
downplayed the possibility of a last year, Duke has replaced him
rematch with the sixth-ranked with another first-year sensation
Blue Devils when he spoke before - consensus top shooting guard
knowing the outcome of Mon- recruit Austin Rivers. Son of Bos-
day's Duke-Tennessee quarterfi- ton Celtics coach Doc Rivers, the
nal. Winter Park, Fla. native forms a
"Right now, there are two potent backcourt duo with sharp-
teams out there playing that we shooter Seth Curry. The pair
could play," Novak said. "One combined for 35 points inthe win
thing I can tell you is whoever overthe Volunteers.
does end up winning this game, The bigger issue for No. 15
we're going to be just as ready to Michigan may lie in Duke's front-
play either one of them. court with the Plumlee brothers.
"You're at the Maui Invita- The two forwards - Mason and
tional. You don't need any extra Miles - are big, physical presenc-
motivation to get up for a game. es in the paint. Though Michigan
Whoever wins, whoever is on sophomore forward Jon Horford
the schedule tomorrow, we'll be played well down low against
ready to go." Memphis, the challenge then was
Still, the game presents a huge more about stopping guard pen-
chance for a statement win. In etration instead of battling one-
the wake of former Michigan on-one against fellow big men.

And redshirt sophomore for-
ward Jordan Morgan, as was the
case in many games last season,
was in foul trouble early against
the Tigers. Frustrated after
turning the ball over, Morgan
recorded his second foul just four
minutes into the game, hacking
Wesley Witherspoon when he
had a clear path to the rim. 0
"Just let him score the basket,"
said Michigan coach John Beilein
of the play. "I liked (Morgan's)
desire there, but all of a sudden
he's in foul trouble again. So we're
in a place right now where, hope-
fully, we're versatile enough there
to play (sophomore forward)
Evan Smotrycz, to play (redshirt
sophomore forward) Blake McLi-
The Wolverines took a step for-
ward in their win over the Tigers
when they shot just 6-for-20 from
long range and still came away
with a comfortable win. Continu-
ing to score in other ways will be
key against the Blue Devils.
Michigan also hopes that, play-
ing in a tournament setting, the
limited amount of time between
games will give it an advantage,
as Beilein's offense is reputed for
its complexity and for being diffi-
cult to prepare for.
"I haven't watched (Michi-
gan)," Krzyzewski said. "But
(Beilein) does a greatjob. He's got
a veteran team. For them to beat
Memphis like that, they must
have played a great basketball
game because Memphis is one of
the most talented teams in the
"It will be difficult for us."


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