The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
January 9, 2012 - 3B
Brandon talks Crisler renovationS Frm Page lB
By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Writer
On Dec. 2, 1967, the Univer-
sity Events Building opened its
doors for the first time, and the
Michigan basketball team, led
* by Rudy Tomjanovich, fell to
Adolph Rupp's Kentucky, 96-79.
The facility, dubbed "the
Great Dome," replaced Yost
Field House as the Wolverines'
home court to satisfy increased
ticket demand. Interest in the
men's basketball team had been
revitalized by Hall of Famer
and three-time All-American
Cazzie Russell, who led Michi-
gan to the Final Four in the 1964
and 1965 seasons, and another
NCAA tournament berth in the
Commonly referred to
as "The House that Cazzie
Built," the Events Building
was renamed Crisler Arena in
1970. And then, for 40 years, it
remained relatively unchanged.
Crisler Arena started to feel
dingy and dark, and the program
lacked a practice facility to lure
recruits to Ann Arbor. Players on
both the men's and women's team
had to share Crisler Arena's floor
and rarely had the opportunity to
put in extra work.
But over the past few years,
renovations began to brighten
up the inside of the recently
renamed Crisler Center. And
over the weekend, the men's and
women's programs celebrated
the dedication of the brand new
Player Development Center.
"We were not competitive
(and) we knew it," said Michigan
Athletic Director Dave Brandon.
"Frankly, we were not competi-
tive for too long, and it hurt us.
When you're spending hundreds
of millions of dollars on the foot-
ball stadium next door, and a
young student-athlete who's try-
ing to decide where to go play
basketball gets driven past the
Big House and sees that we only
have one gymnasium floor, we
don't have the infrastructure of
support that many of the other
premium basketball programs
have. It'svery difficult to recruit."
With the $23.2 million PDC
now complete, Brandon is shift-
ing his focus to the second phase
of the renovations - namely,
the addition of a new atrium
entrance and redesigned con-
course areas. Initially, the entire
project - currently under con-
struction - was to be completed
Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon said the Crisler Center renovations give Michigan a needed recruiting boost.
in 2014, but Brandon announced
on Sunday that it should be done
by next year.
"The Player Development Cen-
ter is now done, the arena is done,
but the biggest piece of this is now
underway and will be completed
about a year from now," Brandon
said. "You're taking a very old,
established structure and you're
expanding it, you're renovating
it, you're refreshing it and doing it
in a way that really makes it com-
petitive in today's world."
Brandon also released his lat-
est plans for what the new glass-
enclosed atrium will include. The
Crisler Center's atrium and con-
course will serve as an unofficial
museum of all things Michigan
athletics and will "feature and
celebrate" all 29 varsity programs.
"My vision for the concourse
area is: during pregame and dur-
ing halftime, I want that to be a
destination venue for the people
who come here," Brandon said.
"You will walk from area to area
and there will be flat-screen tele-
visions with videos and high-
lights and pictures and huge
graphics, and there will be one
basically devoted to every one of
our sports and every one of our
teams. It'll really be a celebration
of Michigan athletics in the con-
course and then you go into the
arena and you watch basketball."
One corner will also be the first
home of Michigan's Hall of Honor
- the Athletic Department's ver-
sion of a hall of fame. Inductees
to the Hall of Honor, which was
founded in 1978, were publicly
praised upon their induction but
otherwise went unrecognized.
"We've put some incredible
people in that and most people
don't know who they are," Bran-
don said. "They don't know what
happened. You're going to see one
section that will be devoted to the
Hall of Honor, where each year,
there will be the new recipients
who will really be celebrated and
recognized, and then every recipi-
ent will be memorialized in this
With the opening of the PDC
came an opportunity for Brandon
and Michigan men's basketball
coach John Beilein to reach out to
former players. The program has
been criticized for not maintain-
ing close ties with alumni and its
history, especially after scandals
soured much of the 1990s.
That's what made this weekend
- which brought notable alumni
including Russell, Tomjanovich,
Campy Russell, Phil Hubbard and
Daniel Horton - so important.
"One of the things I stated the
first day I got this job was that
we really wanted to do every-
thing we could do to reach out
and bring the Michigan family
together, and that's not just one
sport - that's all of our sports,"
Brandon said. "Our men's basket-
ball program, with the coaching
changes we've had over the years
and some of the other things that
have happened, it's really caused
a lot of these former student ath-
letes to scatter and not have rea-
sons to come back to Ann Arbor.
"These things have not been
organized and coordinated -
well now they are."
Brandon said he "couldn't be
more thrilled" with the week-
end's turnout, but even though
the current celebration is focused
on the present, he is already look-
ing ahead to the future.
"This is just the first of what we
plan to do many times, and that
is: come up with reasons, celebra-
tions, opportunities to bring back
former players, bringback former
coaches and celebrate Michigan
basketball," Brandon said. "We
have a natural opportunity to
come next season because we're
going to hold a massive celebra-
tion when we complete the entire
To do so, Brandon is planning
to host a big-name opponent to
create a buzz-worthy event that
will draw fans and former players
to the grand opening in January
or February of 2013.
"We absolutely want there
to be a big-brand opponent that
comes in that just rounds off the
whole weekend," said Brandon,
who isn't sure who the opponent
will be. "We want to have a big
game, we want to have a big turn-'
out of former players - men and
women - hopefully some former
coaches and really celebrate the
investment that we've made in
this program, as well as the tradi-
tion and history of Michigan bas-
ketball. We're already planning
that. It's going to be a big deal."
the penalty kill. He made the
easy saves and the Lakers didn't
score on their power play,
though Janecyk was caught
out of position more than once.
Michigan also found itself on
the receiving end of "puck
luck" - Lake Superior State
either missed a wide-open tar-
get or just barely had their shot
deflected in another direction.
The game remained relatively
quiet until the end of the second
.Senior forward David Wohl-
berg's shot was saved by Laker
netminder Kevin Kalpalka, but
deflected off a defenseman and
into the net with five minutes
left in the stanza.
Lake Superior State (6-6-2,
12-9-3) briefly tied it up, but
freshman forward Alex Guptill
gave the Wolverines the all-
important lead going into the
An unfortunate bounce off of
Janecyk's pads slid the puck to
the stick of Lake Superior State's
Buddy Robinson, and Robinson
had no problem poking the puck
past Janecyk to knot the game
at the beginning of the third
If you ask the players, they
will tell you that was the game's
"To be up one goal in the
third period, you've got to win
the little battles," said senior
forward Luke Glendening. "We
did some of that tonight, but we
weren't burying our chances. To
be so close, it's frustrating."
The frustration was a
180-degree turn for Michigan,
which was riding high on Friday
night after pulling out a victory
over the Lakers.
Friday saw the season debut
of sophomore defenseman Jon
Merrill, who was suspended
from the team since the begin-
ning of the season for a violation
of team rules.
He tallied his first point of
the year with an assist on Wohl-
Hunwick also made big saves,
and kept Lake Suerior State
off the boards until the second
period. But then he was hit by
The team wouldn't disclose
the nature of Hunwick's ail-
ment. Midway through the first
period, a Laker slapshot hit the
netminder in the mask, send-
ing Hunwick and his helmet to
the ice. Hunwick was visibly
rattled, but he slowly got up and
went back tothe net, where he
remained until the third stanza
when Janecyk got the call.
Michigan was clinging to a
one-goal lead with nine minutes
left in Friday's game.
But a frantic, back-and-forth
last couple of minutes combined
with an empty-net goal from
junior forward Chris Brown
sealed the game for Janecyk and
If Janecyk looked scared Fri-
day when he took to the ice, he
didn't show it on Saturday.
Sometime prior to the game
on Saturday, the trainers decid-
ed Hunwick wasn't ready to
play, so Janecyk had all day to
mentally prepare himself for the
chances ... it's
"Ask a goalie, they'll tell
you 90 percent of playing goal
is mental," Berenson said. "If
(Janecyk) talked himself into a
good frame of mind, then he'd
"I'm sure the other team is
pressing too. Without Hunwick
in the net, they think they can
take advantage of a new goalie.
It wasn't so."
Janecyk stopped 34 shots
during Saturday's game and
denied four of six shots during
"(Janecyk) doesn't have a
lot of game experience, but we
expect him to come in and do a
job," Glendening said. "Every-
one is his biggest fan on this
team. That confidence in him
gave us confidence."
The shootout loss was diffi-
cult for the Wolverines to swal-
low, especially when the tide
seemingly began to turn after
a long winless streak span-
ning the month of November.
Though one could argue that
walking away with four points
this weekend is better than just
three, the team doesn't see it
"It was a step forward with
the win," Glendening said. "I
can't say (Saturday) is a step for-
ward for us. We threw that one
From Page 1B
help build the Wolverine lead. The
sophomore forward also made
seven of his eight free throws to
help him to a game-high 17 points.
"He just was very selective,"
Beilein said. "You play Wisconsin,
it's not a time to get thirsty. It's a
time you've got to be very selec-
tive, and he was. I love the quality
of the 3-pointers that we took."
The Wolverines bounced back
emphatically from Thursday's
73-71 loss at Indiana, showing
that they can keep pace with the
12th-ranked Hoosiers and No.
6 Ohio State, the other one-loss
teams that sit behind conference
leader Michigan State (3-0, 14-2).
"We took more of the approach
that we could use that loss to help
us win today," Novak said. "Sulk-
ing over it's not goingto help us. If
we use it to get a win today, then
it's worth it."
Wisconsin (1-3, 12-5) never
threatened Michigan in the sec-
ond half. The closest it came to
a single-digit deficit came when
Traevon Jackson nailed a 3-point-
er to make it 36-26.
But it was just one of very few
open looks the Badgers could
muster in the game.
"(That was) probably the best
I've seen us play defensively,"
Novak said. "Everyone was just
on the same page all night with
our rotations, switches. There
was never a play that I remem-
ber where someone just blatantly
missed an assignment. When
everyone's there mentally and
playing hard, those are the two
biggest things with defense."
That's one way to beat the Bad-
gers for the first time in five years.
Freshman guard Trey Burke went head-to-head with Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, scoring 14 points in Michigan's win.
he's in t
a solid 1
at the to
F6 E taking him, I knew that he was
goingto try and strip me again,
Page 1B so I tried to keep him on my
side as muchas possible,"Burke
round the rim ... uses his said. "I knew he was going to
ot to find anyone else when try and strip me, and he fouled
:he lane, he has some good me. I kept the ball up."
s about his game. He's defi- More impressive than
ne of the top point guards Burke's offense against Taylor
yed against.... I respect him was his defense. Last season,
Taylor scored 20 points in each
gh Burke didn't shoot of his games against the Wolver-
snally well, going 6-for-15 ines. On Sunday, he tallied just 12
e field, he still finished with on 5-of-15 shooting, rarely find-
[4 points and never backed inglooks against Michigan.
'hen Taylor pressured him Moreover, prior to Sunday's
p of the key. contest, Taylor had turned
the ball over just 57 times in
57 conference games. But the
Wolverine defense forced three
e's definitely turnovers fromtheveteran.
"Credit to Jordan Taylor -
.e of the top he is a tremendous player," said
g d Michigan coach John Beilein.
int guards." "For Trey to go out and play
and take on that challenge, it's
a great step for our program.
(Burke) is gettingbetter."
t midway through the sec- And Beilein, in particular,
, Burkesnagged aloose ball should be grateful to Burke
defensive end and pushed for handling the assignment
in transition against the effectively. Before Sunday, the
in who was ready for the coach was 0-9 against Wiscon-
defense - guess who, Jor- sin over his first four seasons
lor. Burke never hesitated at the helm, and the streak was
ve at Taylor, scoring over snapped due in large part to his
1picking up the and-one. young stud playing beyond his
he second half, when I was years.
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