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February 14, 2012 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 7

Beilein credits 'swag,' hot
shooting for bench success

Junior forward A.J. Treais scored three goals during last weekend's series split against Michigan State.
Michigan capitalizing on
offensive odd-man rushes

Daily Sports Editor
The No. 5 Michigan hockey
team has run the drill for about
two months now. They ran it on
Tuesday, even though the short-
ened afternoon practice left time
for just a few select drills.
The drill is simple and the
framework familiar. Two Michi-
gan forwards skate up the ice
with one defender in between.
The objective, as always, is to
No, not groundbreaking stuff,
but there's a small wrinkle the
Wolverines added that says a
lot about why this team has
improved in the second half of
the season:
"(Berenson) just says you have
to pass it early," said junior for-
ward A.J. Treais.
This small focus point has
received a significant deal of
attention this season, and it has
begun to pay dividends.
In the early part of the season,
Michigan struggled mightily on
odd-man rushes. On some two-
on-ones or two-on-nones, the
attacking Wolverines would play
a game of hot potato and fail to
"We've had trouble with those
rushes, so we put some differ-
ent points of emphasis in there,"
Berenson said. "Even last year,
look at Carl (Hagelin) and (Matt)

Rust, how many two-on-ones
they had. They never scored
until we finally told them what
to do."
In the Notre Dame series
just three weeks ago, two of
Michigan's most prolific scorers,
junior forward Chris Brown and
freshman forward Alex Gup-
till, seemed lost on a rush, what
should be one of the game's easi-
est scoring situations.
Withno defenders inthe vicin-
ity, Brown passed to Guptill, who
passed back to Brown, and so
on. Eventually, Brown passed to
Guptill near the crease, but the
puck was just out of reach. The
duo didn't even muster a shot.
Flash forward to the series
with Michigan State this past
weekend. Junior forward A.J.
Treais scored three times in the
series, twice on odd-man rushes.
On each, his linemates, freshman
forward Phil Di Giuseppe and
senior forward Luke Glendening,
made the pass early.
"If you make the pass early,
that lane's there," Treais said. "If
you keep waiting toward the net,
those lanes close.
"Me and Glendening are start-
ing to jell a little bit better. He
kind of knows where I am with-
out looking. On that second goal,
I was flying up the ice pretty late,
and he just heard one 'hey, I'm
here,' and he threw it to the area
and I was there."

Converting players like Treais
into scorers has been a major
accomplishment for Berenson.
Brown said the team used to look
to fake the shot then pass, when
it should be thinking the oppo-
But changing the way some
players approach the game
entails more than just improv-
ing Iheir hockey skills. Treais,
for example, may have the most
offensive talent on the team, but
he is also the most laid back.
Off the ice, that makes for a
friendly teammate. On the ice, it
can become a liability.
"He needs to be fiery," Beren-
son said. "He needs to be abra-
sive. He needs to be hungry. He
needs to be into it. And if he is,
he's a different player.
"We have players that won't
shoot. Shoot the puck. A.J. would
rather not shoot the puck, and
now we've got him shooting the
puck, and look It the difference."
Berenson cautions that the
Wolverines' transition offense
remains a work in progress.
As recently as Monday, Brown
and others received an earful
from the coaching staff during
film study for committing errors
on a rush.
"I was kind of the brunt of that
for a little bit," Brown said. "You
can see yourself - if you have
a chance to shoot; you need to

Daily Sports Writer
Michigan coach John Beilein
didn't necessarily foresee sopho-
more forward Evan Smotrycz
breaking out of his slump Sunday
against Illinois.
Smotrycz, who entered the
game shooting an abysmal 23.5
percent from 3-point range,
wasn't even shooting well in prac-
tice throughout the week.
But Beilein saw something,
prompting him to believe
Smotrycz might've been primed
to reverse his downward trend.
"I just noticed Evan ... really
had a good week of practice with-
out a lot of success," Beilein said.
"He didn't shoot the ball particu-
larly well, but his energy was tre-
mendous. I think he understands
that if things are going tough for
you, a positive attitude is essen-
tial, and he's really had that this
Smotrycz scored 12 first-half
points, making Beilein look'like a
smart man.
"We have been waiting for
that, and you all have been wait-
ing for that," Beilein joked to the
media. "We needed that, and it
was almost like a shot in the arm.
It propelled our defense and (gave
us) a little bit of a lead."
Against Nebraska last Wednes-
day, Smotrycz's poor shooting in
practice, combined with a strong
performance from redshirt soph-
omore forward Jordan Morgan,
resulted in the Reading, Mass.
native playing just 13 minutes. His
limited action off the bench was a
far cry from December, when he
was a starter averaging nearly a
But while Smotrycz was rid-
ing the pine in Lincoln, his bench
mate, junior guard Matt Vogrich,
was busy breaking out of a slump
of his own. Vogrich entered the
contest shooting 30 percent from
long range, butin just 11 minutes,
he lit up the Bob Devaney Sports
Center with three 3-pointers.
Beilein chose-to ride the hot
shooting of his guard on Sunday,
giving Vogrich u8 minutes of play
time - just three short his sea-
son-high, which came in a blow-
out over Arkansas Pine-Bluff.
Once again, Beilein's coach-
ing instincts proved correct, as
Vogrich knocked down all three

Michigan coach John Beilein is encouraged by the bench players' improverent.

of his field goals, including two
"It's really good to see him
going, because he's such a good
shooter," said senior guard Zack
Novak. "The fact that he hadn't
made a lot was kind of puzzling.
We knew that he was so much
better than that, and he's show-
ing what kind of player he really
is right now."
Added Beilein: "We had Matt
come off (the bench) with some
swagger. He doesn't get many
shots in the game, (but he still
came) off with swagger."
The bench' - which has
been particularly quiet while
Smotrycz and Vogrich slumped
and sophomore forward Jon
Horford remained sidelined
with an injury - came up "huge"
in Novak's eyes.
The bench's emergence
couldn't have come at a better
time. Morgan picked up his sec-
and foul early in the first half,
forcing him to sit for almost 17
minutes of the opening stanza.
Novak later found himself in foul
trouble, so the bench was relied
upon to fend off the Fighting
"That's all I talked about (in
the locker room) because that
was badly needed," Beilein said.
"It gives us a lot of extra minutes

that you hope that you prove to
be valuable at this time of the
Illinois flooded the post and
forced Morgan off the floor -
a tactic Michigan will likely
encounter in postseason play.
Smotrycz's strong play, along
with Vogrich's ability to score in
bunches, instilled confidence in
their teammates.
"I'm definitely better at stay-
ing out of foul trouble than I was
last year, but you're going to have
games like that," Morgan said.
"You're going to have games
where your starters are going to
be in foul trouble and you need to
be able to have people come off
the bench, like Matt Vogrich and
Evan Smotrycz, that are going to
pick your team up."
Smotrycz and Vogrich were
joined by sophomore guard
Tim Hardaway Jr., who also
caught fire over the weekend.
The Wolverines are seeming-
ly firing on all cylinders, and
doing so at the right time, with
March just around the corner.
Beilein offered a race glimpse
at the future, should Michigan's
reserves continue to play like
they did this past weekend.
"If we get that type of bench
production, we can keep win-
ning at a pretty high pace."

'M' winning streak snapped

For the Daily
It was a lopsided affair on
Saturday afternoon in Seattle,
where the Michigan men's ten-
nis team lost to Washington.
The Wolverines' first competi-
tion on the road also spelled the
end of their
three-game MICHIGAN 1
win streak. WASHINGTON 6
gan (4-3) couldn't catch a break
in the first five singles matches
and eventually fell to the Hus-
kies (5-2) by a 6-1 margin.
Michigan coach Bruce Berque
said the Wolverines ran into a
wall against a motivated Wash-
ington team that was coming off
a tough 4-3 loss against Boise
"I think the biggest difference
in the match is that Washington
played very, very well," Berque
said. "They were coming off a
disappointing loss, which made
them really eager to play this
The match was also the first
true road test for many players
on the team, and without home-
court advantage, the team that
had performed well in a com-
petitive early schedule seemed
to lose its edge.
"I think that we have to be a
little tougher," Berque said. "I
felt like we had a little bit more
softness in this match. It was
the first true road match for our
guys, though. You know, it was a
great experience for them to go
The Wolverines had a disap-
pointing day across the board,
losing five singles points from
the get-go and dropping the dou-
bles point on losses in the No. 2
and 3 doubles positions. The sole

Junior quarterback Denard Robinson had a song dedicated to him on YouTube this week, which earned rave reviews.
V-Day ballad for Denard Robinson

Sophomore Shaun Bernstein won his doubles match against the Huskies.

point for Michigan came from
sophomore Barrett Franks's
singles victory over Washing-
ton's No. 5 position player, Max
For Michigan, the true high-
light of Saturday's match was
the performance of the duo of
junior Evan King and sopho-
more Shaun Bernstein, which
continued to dominate at No. 1
doubles. The pair, ranked No. 22
nationally, topped Huskies Kyle
McMorrow and Emmet Egger by
a score of 9-8.
"The consistency, at this
point, is the most important
thing," Berque said. "Evan is a
junior now, and I think that hav-
ing been through two full sea-
sons of college tennis, I think
that he realizes now that (con-
sistency) is the key. (Consisten-
cy) is just in Shaun's nature."
Michigan will need to be con-

sistently tougher throughout the
rest of its future schedule, espe-
cially against its next opponent,
Notre Dame. Though the Wol-
verines will regain home-court
advantage against the Fighting
Irishon Saturday, they will again
be playing a highly ranked oppo-
nent. Yet this has been common
for the squad, which has played
six of the top-50 ranked teams
in its first seven competitions of
the 2012 season.
Overall, the Wolverines are
still enthusiastic to play these
challenging matches, but Coach
Berque knows it will be a tough
competition, and his team needs
to be prepared.
"We have always had real-
ly close matches with Notre
Dame," Berque said. "It's always
a war. I think we are just going
to need a full-team effort. It's
going to be a great match."

For the Daily
It's taken three years, but
Michigan quarterback Denard
Robinson finally has a love song.
And just
in time for First seen on
Valentine's -the game
Titled "I Love You Denard,"
the song speaks to the plight of
a typical Michigan fan who has
lived through the heart-wrench-
ing collapses prior to Robinson's
resurrection of the Michigan
dynasty. It is both uplifting and
tear jerking. Funny and truthful.
Pat Stansik, a former Michigan
club lacrosse player and aspir-
ing comedian, known for recent
smash hit "Bros vs. Hipsters", put
together a tribute to Robinson.,'
Stansik, who wrote the lyrics,
began writing the song a year
ago when he was too busy with
school and lacrosse to complete
his vision. He contacted Mind's
Eyes, a newly formed band of

the pie
last ys
the lyr
see ths
ing a n
goal be
ist an
the so

gan undergraduates, put make Mind's Eyes visible to the
ce together in the studio. Michigan community, represent-
hin 24 hours, the song ing both their skills as musicians
d nearly 10,000 views. and love for their school.
decided to make it now "When Pat came to me with
te it's going to be Denard's his lyrics, I didn't know exact-
ear and he's my favorite ly what to think," said Rose.
gan player," said Stansik. "But after putting a few chords
together and singing his lines;
there was no turning back."
c.ing tribute Whend Rose approached his
band and proposed playing the
Lo 16 was a song, every one jumped on board
immediately. Arman Sagherian,
O0-brainer. an LS&A junior and the band's
b bassist, commented that Robin-
son's talent on the football field
are unmatched and his accom-
's Eyes did a great job with plishments, insurmountable.
'ics I wrote and I'm glad to "Paying tribute to 16 was a no-
at people like the song." brainer," said Sagherian. "Pat did
nsik said he will be film- a great job with the lyrics, and we
susic video for "I Love You created the feeling."
d" in the near future, his More music will be released
eing to have Robinson fea- from Mind's Eyes Soundcloud
as a cameo. The lead vocal- account in the coming days, as
d guitarist on the track, they plan to record more tracks
junior Cody Rose, believes at an undisclosed studio in Ann
ng is a fantastic way to Arbor later this week.



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