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February 02, 2012 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-02

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8A - Thursday, February 2, 2012

r jo k

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 Burke comes out on top in battle
of Big Ten freshman phenoms

Sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and the Wolverines jumped out to a 28-8 lead in the first half at Crisler Center.
Michigan slams Hoosiers

By BEN ESTES to battle for the close win after
Daily Sports Editor Michigan came back to make it a
game.
What promised to be a blow- It was the same story on
out turned into a nail biting, Wednesday night, except this
back-and-forth affair that wasn't time the tables were turned.
decided until the final minutes of Led by two 3-pointers by Burke,
Wednesday night's game.. the Wolverines busted out of the
The No. gate, tallying 13 points before the
23 Michi- INDIANA 56 Hoosiers managed to get on the
gan basket- MICHIGAN 68 scoreboard. The team went on to
ball team make six of its first eight shots,
has been there plenty of times and 11 of its first 18.
before, though, and thanks to a And while Michigan (7-3,17-6)
dagger of a 3-pointer by senior simply couldn't miss for the first
guard and Hoosier State native 13 minutes, Indiana appeared
Stu Douglass, the Wolverines out of sorts on the offensive end.
pulled out a 68-56 victory over A free throw by redshirt sopho-
visiting Indiana (5-6 Big Ten, more forward Jordan Morgan
17-6 overall) at the Crisler Center. gave the Wolverines their largest
Douglass' 3-pointer with 1:48 lead of the night at 28-8.
left in the game extended a pre- While the Hoosier forward
carious Michigan lead back out pair of Christian Watford and
to eight points at 58-50. The Cody Zeller combined to deci-
game turned into a foul-shoot- mate Michigan in the teams' last
ing contest from there, with the meeting, the Wolverines did a
Hoosiers quickly scoring on each much better job against the duo
of their ensuing trips down the this time around. Watford scored
court. just eight points and Zeller went
But freshman point guard Trey for 11, as Michigan's defense has-
Burke and sophomore guard Tim sled him in the paint all night.
Hardaway Jr. combined to go Indiana, coming off a 103-
8-for-10 from the charity stripe point performance in its last
down the stretch to seal the win,, game against Iowa, has one of
"We shoot on these courtall the more prolific offenses in the
the time," said Burke, who fin- conference, particularly from the
ished with 18 points to lead all free-throw line.
scorers. The Hoosier attack over-
"It's big for us to knock down whelmed the Wolverines in
free throwsgItgcould have been a the last outing, but Michigan
different turnout if we didn't hit responded well on Wednesday,
free throws. That was our mind- holding Indiana to a 44.7 field-
set going to the free-throw line goal percentage.
- that we're either going to win "Our transition (defense was
the game or lose the game for the better)," said Michigan coach
team. We did a good job of knock- John Beilein. "We were able to
ing them down." practice it, we knew the speed of
The game was reminiscent it. Our guys, (Indiana's offense)
of the teams' previous matchup hit them right in the face at Indi-
in Bloomington on Jan. 5. That ana. That was the big thing....
time, then-No. 12 Indiana got They knew that they had to get
out to a scorching start but had (back) right away."

But Beilein said he still knew
a Hoosier run was coming, and
though Zeller and Watford were
held in check, guard Jordan
Hulls had a spectacular game.
Hulls hit two 3-pointers in the
first half to help cut into the defi-
cit, as Indiana went on a 14-5 run
before halftime.
Hulls hit another shortly after
halftime, and Indiana tightened
defensively and finally started
to hit shots on the offensive end.
He hit his fourth with just under
four minutes left in the game,
and a free throw by Watford with
3:20 remaining made the score
52-50.
But that was as close as the
Hoosiers would get the rest of
the way. Hardaway Jr. answered
with a 3-pointer, and then came
Douglass' kill shot.
"(At a timeout), Coach looked
at us and was just basically beg-
ging for us to hit an open shot,"
Douglass said. "He said, 'Hulls is
hitting open shots, why can't we
come back?'... With (Indiana for-
ward Derek Elston) guarding me,
I knew I was going to get open if
(Hardaway Jr.) hit me.
"It just felt good."
Beilein said on Tuesday that
he was happy with how positive-
ly his team responded in practice
to the loss at Ohio State last Sun-
day. Against Indiana, the Wol-
verines once again provedytheir
bounce-back ability - they've yet
to lose back-to-back games so far
this season.
"Two in a row can be pretty
demoralizing," Douglass said.
"It's just tough when you can't
get things going. When you drop
a game, you've got to respond in
this league, especially if you want
to stay on top.... That's something
we've been great at, making
adjustments in games and com-
ing back after games."

By NEAL ROTHSCHILD
Daily Sports Editor
The two freshmen that have
taken the Big Ten by storm this
year met on Wednesday night
for round two.
Michigan point guard Trey
Burke and Indiana center Cody
Zeller have brought their teams
to new heights this season and
figure to have much of their
teams' responsibilities on their
shoulders down the stretch of
the conference season.
"Both are very poised beyond
their years," said senior guard
Stu Douglass. "That head-to-
head thing is a tough compari-
son. What makes them special
is their poise and their ability
to not let things bother them.
They're hitting that freshman
wall and just busting through it.
That stuff doesn't affect them."
Zeller dominated the first go-
round in January, making8 of 10
shots for 18 points as he helped
the Hoosiers to a 73-71 victory in
Bloomington.
Burke struggled that night,
scoring just 10 points on 15 field-
goal attempts. He missed three
free throws that would have
been the difference in the game,
which was decided in the final
minute.
For Tuesday's rematch, Dou-
glass said Burke's matchup with
Zeller in Ann Arbor was not on
the freshman's mind.
"Last game, (the media) tried
to pin him against (Ohio State's
Jared) Sullinger and (Aaron)
Craft, and he doesn't look into
that," Douglass said. "He just
wants to win. We put a lot of
responsibility in his hands, so
he's just focused in on winning
games, making winning plays."
Added Burke: "I tried not to
get caught up with that tonight.
Plus, we're two different posi-
tions. He was definitely the top
player on our (scouting report),
that was the main point - to
stop him. But I really didn't
think about (the personal
matchup)."
This time around, it looked
like it would be all Burke from
the get-go.

TODD E s LE/Daily
Freshman guard Trey Burke scored a game-hith 18 points against Indiana.

The Columbus native
matched his point total from the
January game in the first 6:21
of play on Wednesday. Burke
zipped down the line and fin-
ished with his right hand to
open the scoring, and he was
only getting started.
"This young man has seen
everything," said Michi-
gan coach John Beilein about
how opponents defend Burke.
"Whether they double, wheth-
er they go under the screen,
whether they hedge and recov-
er. He's trying to read it all the
time, and they're locking the
rails. They're putting a big guy
on him, they're putting a small
guy on him. He's learning all the
time."
Burke knocked down two con-
secutive 3-pointers two minutes
later as the Wolverines jumped
out to a 10-0 lead. That jumped
to 15-2 when Burke added
another layup, but his produc-
tion came to a sudden halt.
As the 20-point Michigan
lead dwindled, Zeller began to
assert himself and Burke disap-
peared from the boxescore.
Burke didn't score again until

30 minutes later, when Michi-
gan was clinging to a four-point
lead.
While he wasn't dominant,
Zeller put up another impres-
sive stat line, recording 11 points
and 12 rebounds. The Hoosiers
had trouble getting him the ball
in the post consistently, and he
relied on second-chance points.
He was able to out-rebound the
entire Wolverine frontcourt.
Though Burke made only one
field goal in the second half, he
salted the game from the free-
throw line. He made six free
throws down the stretch to tie
for a game-high 18 points as
Michigan completed its 68-56
victory.
The two are the runaway
leaders in the Big Ten Fresh-
man of the Year race, though
both deny thinking about the
award. Burke averages 14 points
and five assists, while Zeller
is putting up 15 points and six
rebounds per game.
"I don't worry about awards
or anything, so it's not a big
deal," Zeller said.
Added Burke: "Right now, I
really don't care."

Weapon of choice: Jaeger bomb

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By RAJAT KHARE
DailySports Writer
Connor Jaeger isn't as vis-
ible as Denard Robinson, though
he's been just as effective. He's
not a professional prospect like
Tim Hardaway Jr., though he
has the skills. And no, he's not a
household name at Michigan like
Shawn Hunwick.
He should be.
The sophomore has been a
vital part of the No. 4 Michigan
men's swimming and diving
team. Swimming butterfly and
freestyle events for the Wolver-
ines, Jaeger has tallied three
event wins in the past two meets.
Swimming was always second
nature to Jaeger. Growing up in
Fair Haven, N.J. , Jaeger lived
close to the beach and joined a
beach club, which furthered his
enthusiasm for swimming.
"My parents had me take swim
lessons, so I knew how to swim
from a pretty young age" Jaeger
said. "And at these beach clubs
they actually had swim meets
against each other... so I was on
that at a really young age, com-
peting for the beach club."
Jaeger carried his passion
throughout his childhood and
into his adolescence. When high
school rolled around, Jaeger seri-
ously entertained the notion of
becoming a collegiate swimmer.
Junior year, when thinking about
where to take his talents, Michi-
gan emerged as his first choice.
"I was always impressed with
Michigan athletics," Jaeger said.
"When I started taking my trips,
I was always comparing every-
thing else to Michigan."
The transition was not easy.
College brings about its own set
of challenges: adjusting to new
locations, people and classes.
Amid the hype and expectations,
fans tend to forget the fact that
student-athletes are mere mor-
tals too, regardless of what they
do on the field or in the pool. Jae-
ger faced the same rough waters
as other freshmen.
"Freshmen year was definitely
hard, adjusting from my easy

Sophomore ConnoriJarger has tallied three wins in the past two events.

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club practices," Jaeger said. "And
obviously school was a lotharder,
so that was a lot to adjust to."
What helped Jaeger adjust,
though, was what he described
as a big-brother system. It was
a support system to help every-
one settle in with the team, give
advice, monitor progress - in
essence, have each others back.
His big brother happened to be
senior and current captain Dan
Madwed. And the rookie was
able to adjust very well: Jaeger
was named to the 2011 All-Big
Ten first team after his fresh-
man campaign and was part of
the 800-yard freestyle relay that
won the Big Ten Championship.
As with all athletes, though, he
wanted more.
"I was expecting a lot from
myself at the end of the year,"
Jaeger said. "Guys on the team
were stepping up and helping me
out when I couldn't really per-
form the way that I should have
been able to.
"(Last season's performance)
actually did motivate me to work
harder because I did not want to
be in that position again...I didn't
want to feel that helpless to the
team," Jaeger said. "Hard work
with the team this past summer
has given me the confidence to
go on and race the way that I do
now."

It was evident Jaeger had
left the past behind in his meet
against Notre Dame this season.
He won the 1,000-yard free-
style by shattering his best time
by an astonishing 15 seconds
and added a first-place finish
in the 500-yard freestyle, help-
ing Michigan to a 55-point win.
Since then, Jaeger has continued
his fine form. He is one of the
few swimmers to win multiple
Big Ten Swimmer of the Week
honors, the most recent of which
came Jan. 18 after a lone event
win on the final day of the SMU
Classic helped Michigan edge
out No. 5 USC by six points.
He asserted his dominance
with an exclamation mark this
past weekend, out swimming U
Ohio State's Alex Miller in the
500-yard freestyle - an event in
which Jaeger is ranked second
in the nation - by four seconds.
This may not seem like much,
but ina sport where winners and
losers and determined by hun-
dredths of a second, four seconds
is a blow out. But Jaeger isn't
done improving quite yet.
"I wouldn't describe this as
my breakout year because the
year isn't finished yet," Jaeger
said. "All of how I've swam so
far doesn't really mean anything
unless I swim fast at the end of
the season."

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