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February 22, 2012 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-22

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 7A

Treais snacks, snipes for Michigan Blue struggles in
By ZACH HELFAND/Buetruggls in
Daily Sports Editor 1'*Dir--- Rrr ( lE j

Shawn Hunwick was tired of
answering the same questions.
During the Michigan hockey
team's bye week about a month
ago, with storylines scarce, Hun-
wick heard the same questions
day after day. So he had a sugges-
tion.
"Hey, why don't you write
about A.J. Treais?" Hunwick
said,
"Why Treais?"
"I don't know," Hunwick said
with a shrug and a grin. "He's
weird."
For some reason, the story
never made it to print. Yet Hun-
wick was onto something. No,
not that Treais is weird - that's
just one man's opinion.
Rather, there just wasn't much
else to say about Treais.
At the time, the junior for-
ward had just been through a
barren 17-game stretch during
which he tallied just three goals.
Outside of the rink, though,
life wasn't quite so desolate. In
fact, it was downright flush -
with food. So much so that in
January, Treais gained more
pounds (10) than points (two).
"I was on him about his
weight," said Michigan coach
Red Berenson. "Five pounds for
a hockey player is like you carry-
ing 25 pounds around your neck.
Five pounds just kills you."
Since then, Treais has shrunk,
while his stats have exploded. At
Berenson's urging, he has begun
a diet that has helped him shed
seven pounds in February ("No
Fat Tuesday for me," he joked).
On the ice, Treais has erupt-
ed for 10 points in six games,
including the overtime game-
winning goal on Saturday, in
what has become the best stretch
of his college career. This is the
Treais that Berenson recruited,
the player on the U.S. Develop-
mental Team - one that includ-
ed junior forward Chris Brown
and senior forward David Wohl-
berg - who most impressed the
Michigan coaches.
The talent never diminished,
but he lacked a killer instinct.
The perpetually laid-back kid
sometimes remained too relaxed
on the ice for Berenson's liking.
"I like the fact that A.J. is
maybe easygoing and laid-back,"
Berenson said. "But when he
puts his uniform on, we need
0 WOMEN'S~ BSEAL

... ( 1 Ltl .AL'.J 1JA-JLit"" ~ J

PAULSHERMAN/Daily
Junior forward A.J. Treats gained10 pounds in January, but traded that added weight for points in February.

him to jump start. I don't want Treais is "relieved" to finally be
the same A.J. that we see carry- living up to expectations. But
ing his books around here think- Treais met Glendening's expec-
ing about med school. I want the tations before he started scoring
A.J. that's got a fire in his belly goals.
and can't wait to get out on the "Obviously, everyone sees
ice and demand the puck." the goals and the glitz and the
Until recently, Treais rarely glamour, but he's been rock-
demanded the puck - he almost solid defensively," Glendening
hid from it. Treais said he used said. "He's one of the plus-minus
to go through stretches where he leaders on this team, playing
knew that if he against the
shot the puck, other team's
it wouldn't go top line."
in. "He's not the Credit part
Compare .of that to Glen-
that to Sat- one yelling ... dening. The
urday's game captain's play
against North- he's the one forces line-
ern Michigan. . t g mates to match
Senior forward just leading." his grittiness.
Luke Glenden- That's been
ing intercepted a blessing for
the pass in the Treais. The
Wildcat zone, and Treais knew two combine to make an unusu-
he had a window of about a sec- al pair. Glendening's serious,
ond to get a pass in space and intense personality would seem
shoot. to clash with the easy goofiness
So he demanded the puck with of Treais.
two taps of the stick against the But the two compliment each
ice, signaling Glendening. The other. Glendening can't help but
shot, of course, was perfect. crack a rare smile when talk-
"He's more confident shoot- ing about the diminutive for-
ing the puck - (he) knows he can ward trying to go after the other
shoot the puck," Hunwick said. team's biggest player. And Glen-
"Before he never wanted to shoot dening's fiery passion is manifest
the puck, ever." in Treais' on-ice demeanor.
Glendening said he's sure "Just his overall work ethic

and compete level - I could say
itwas probably a seven (out of 10)
the first half of the year, but it's
probably closer to a nine right
now," Berenson said. "And that's
why he's getting results."
Treais said he doesn't think
his behavior has changed since
his hot streak began. And over-
all, Treais remains an easy, fun
presence on the ice. ("I mean,
this is college hockey, this isn't
the pros or anything," Treais
said).
The difference in Treais
evades portrayal, but Glendening
thinks he has it down.
"This is going to be hard to
explain, but just bear with me
and maybe it'll flesh out in the
end," Glendening said. "His laid-
back (attitude) and the way he
plays, that's kind of just who he
is, that's nothing he can change.
But there's intensity through
that. It's a quiet intensity. He's
not the one yelling, he's not the
one getting on guys, but he's the
one just leading through the way
he's playing, and I think that's
how he's intense."
Throughout the season,
Treais played plus hockey. But
after three years, Treais has
finally taken his game to another
level, and all it took was a diet
and some fire.
Weird, huh?

Michigan finishes
13th in pool of 15
teams, including
No.I1 Texas
By PETER BROWN
For the Daily
The Michigan men's golf
team traveled to Rio Grande,
Puerto Rico on Sunday to com-
pete in the Puerto Rico Classic
- a three-day stroke-play event
played at the River Course at
Rio Mar Country Club. To put
it simply: things did not go as
planned.
The field was packed with
formidable opponents.
Eight of the 15 teams in
attendance were ranked in
Golfweek's top 50 - three were
in the top 10, including No. 1
Texas. It was most likely the
toughest field Michigan will
face all season.
But Michigan coach Chris
Whitten was confident in his
team's play heading into Sun-
day's first round.
"We've gone to Puerto Rico
for several years in a row,"
Whitten said. "We were excited
to go down and play a course
that we were familiar with."
But on day one, the Wolver-
ines struggled, shooting an
18-over-par team total of 306,
30 strokes behind eventual
champion Alabama. Michigan
finished the day tied for 14th
along with East Tennessee
State. Senior Matt Thompson
fired a team-best, one-under-
par 71, while juniors Miguel
Echavarria and Matt Alessi shot
rounds of 77 and 78, respec-
tively. Freshman Noori Hyun
rounded out Michigan's top
four with an 80.-
"We just came out flat (on
Sunday), and probably a little
bit tentative," Whitten said.
"There's no particular reason
for it."
Monday's second round
wasn't any better. The Wolver-
ines shot a lethargic 309, with
their best scores again coming
from Thompson and Echavarria
with matching 76s. Thompson,
in particular, was dissatisfied
with his performance.
"I was a little disappointed,"
Thompson said. "I thought I
was playing a lot better than I
shot."
Day three was a bit more
positive for Michigan, as it fin-
ished off the tournament with a
12-over-par total of 300.
"I think the guys felt more
comfortable each day, and we

played a better round (on Tues-
day)," Whitten said. "We had a
couple guys make some really
nice progress throughout the
week."
Echavarria finished his
week with a solid one-over-par
73, while Hyun carded a 71,
his first-ever collegiate round
under par.
"(Hyun's) ball-striking has
really been good for a long time
now," Whitten said. "I think he
needed to get his short game
matching where his long game
was. His chip shots, pitch shots
and putting were all a lot better
(on Tuesday)."
Thompson spoke highly of
the freshman.
"This (tournament) will
definitely help his confidence,"
Thompson said. "That's huge
for him, it being his first year.
Hopefully he can carry that to
next week."
And even though it's only
his first season at the helm,
Whitten is wise enough not to
panic, even when his team lead-
ers, Thompson and junior Jack
Schultz, are struggling. Schultz
had a particularly frustrating
performance - he didn't break
80 all week - but Whitten's
confidence is unwavering.
"This week was a strange
one for Jack," Whitten said. "It
doesn't show who he is at all.
I'm sure he'll be able to forget
it. He'll move on and play well
again right away. It won't be a
problem."
In the end, the Alabama
squad proved to be too domi-
nant for the rest of the field.
The Crimson Tide finished at
an astounding 30-under-par
three-day total. Its nearest
competitor, Clemson, was 18
strokes behind at 12-under.
Alabama's Justin Thomas
won the individual-trophy witha
a 10-under-par total, while
Michigan's leader, Thompson,
finished tied for 39th place with
a six-over-par total.
The Wolverines saw a couple
of familiar faces in Puerto Rico
as well, including former coach
Andrew Sapp, now the head
coach at North Carolina, and
former Wolverine Joey Garber,
who transferred to Georgia fol-
lowing his freshman season.
Sapp's Tar Heels finished in a
tie for 13th in the team stand-
ings with Michigan, while Gar-
her finished tied for 19th as an
individual shooting an even-par
total for the three-day event.
Michigan travels to Los
Angeles next week for the North
Ranch Collegiate at North
Ranch Country Club. The two-
day event starts on Monday.

Graduate assistant Lovelace knows
other side of Michigan-Purdue tilt

By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Writer
Purdue isn't simply another
opponent on the Michigan wom-
en's basketball schedule.
Yes, the Wolverines host the
Boilermakers on Thursday for
senior night, but the school
located in West Lafayette reso-
nates in other ways with some-
one involved with the Wolverine
squad.
It's not a player, coach, or train-
er.
It's the team's graduate assis-
tant, Stacey Lovelace.
Lovelace was a highly recruit-
ed player coming out of Detroit's
St. Martin De Porres High School
and chose to play college ball
at Purdue, turning down offers
from several other Big Ten
schools. The Boilermakers had
just won a Big Ten champion-
ship the year before (1991), so the
6-foot-4 center decided to com-
mit to a program where success
was standard.
But that success she wanted to
be a part of would have to wait for
a year. Lovelace was thrust into a
starting position despite her inex-
perience though she was glad her
coach, Lin Dunn, had faith in her
as a freshman through the team's
struggles that year. The 1992-93
team went 16-11.
"(Dunn) instilled a lot of trust
in me," Lovelace said. "When I
played as a freshman, I was by
no stretch ready to play in the Big
Ten, but she gave me an oppor-
tunity to still play. ... It made me
realize (what) I needed to work
on and get better at."

Her improvements were imme- because of the foundations laid by
diately apparent as a sophomore the teams in the early 1990s.
- Lovelace averaged 11 points "When I was there, we had
and seven rebounds per game as top-three recruiting classes - a
a part of the 1993-94 team, which couple of years we had the num-
reached the program's first Final ber one recruiting class in the
Four and set program records nation," Lovelace said. "So being
for wins (29), points (2,673), able to lay the groundwork as far
rebounds (1,491), assists (619) and as recruiting (and) being a part
steals (386). of something to this day (that) is
Lovelace and Purdue were still recognized nationally and
even better next year. The Boil- notjust in the Big Ten is a source
ermakers were ranked second in of pride."
the preseason polls and won 10 Lovelace went on to have an
straight games at the end of the eight-year stint playing profes-
season en route to the Elite Eight. sional basketball, both in the
Lovelace led the team in scoring WNBA and various European
and rebounds, and her contribu- leagues. And after she finished
tions earned her profes-
her national sional basket-
recognition. "jf J Wanted to ball career, her
In addition If I Lwanted to options were
to being the do coaching or wide open, so
Big Ten Player she went back
of the Year and business. to school.
the Big Ten's And that's
Most Valu- I'd be fine." how she came
able Player, to Ann Arbor.
she became After taking
Purdue's third a year off to
Kodak All-American. spend time with family, Lovelace
Her senior year was much of enrolled in a master's program
the same. Lovelace again was the at Michigan to pursue a career
leadingscorer and rebounder, and in business involving sports.
she also set the program records Though she's given up her profes-
for rebounds and blocked shots sional career, her love for basket-
in a career. Her efforts over the ball endured.
course of four years were a huge She approached Michigan
contribution to the later success- coach Kevin Borseth about a posi-
es of the Boilermakers - Purdue tion with the team. All he could
welcomed Stephanie White, who offer was the role of graduate
would go on to become an All- assistant, but that was enough for
American, when Lovelace was a Lovelace to accept.
senior. Though it's not a coaching
And the national spotlight has position, Lovelace is still involved
remained focused on Purdue with the team, helping the coach-

es when needed in addition to
offering advice to the squad.
"I'm very limited as far as my
role with the team because being
a graduate assistant, I can't really
do any coaching," Lovelace said.
"There's not much I can do as
far as their skills, but just listen-
ing and talking to them and let-
ting them know things can turn
around. ... (I've) been where they
want to be, been to where they
are now."
Those words of wisdom sound
like what a coach would tell her
players.
"I wasn't really trying to get
into the coaching business,"
Lovelace said. "But I figured
(that) at the end of this, I would
know if I wanted to do coaching
or wanted to go business, and
either way I'd be fine.
"But being here and being
around it, it makes me realize
how much I could offer and help
girls that are in this situation, so
I feel I can make the most impact
as a coach. I think they relate to
me, I relate to them, (and) I think
that it would be a natural fit for
me. So I think I am going to pur-
sue coaching. (But) right now I'm
working towards my masters,
and once that's over I probably
will go into coaching."
She may not become Purdue's
next head coach, but Lovelace
is still proud of her alma mater.
She's impressed with what Boil-
ermakers coach Sharon Versyp
has done with the program and
hopes that Purdue will continue
to maintain a high standard of
excellence - just as Dunn did
when Lovelace played.

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