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November 02, 2012 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com h

Friday, November 2, 2012 - 5

Wolverines blow past
Wildcats in exhibition

Albrecht, freshman excel early

Daily Sports Editor
It's hard to draw conclu-
sions from preseason basketball
games, especially for a Michigan
basketball team that has the hype
of the No. 5 team in the nation
playing against a Northern
Michigan team that went 9-17 in
Division II
last year. N M GU 47
There are MICHIGAN 83
from these preseason games,
but again, it's only an exhibition
Still, even though it's Novem-
ber and even though it was
against Northern Michigan, it
was easy to tell on Thursday
night that this Michigan team,
from top to bottom, can really
shoot. And even that might be an
Michigan shot 42-percent
from beyond three point range
en route to a 83-47 win over the
Wildcats in its' exhibition open-
er. The game was never close, as
the Wolverines started off the
game on a 17-0 run - and that
was only their first 17-0 run of
the night.
The first three and a half min-
utes of the game started like this
for the Wolverines: 3-pointer,
3-pointer, 3-point play, 3-pointer,
3-pointer. Five possessions, 15
"That was really big for our
team," freshman forward Glenn
Robinson III said. "I think it got
everyone going, especially for me
and Spike (Albrecht) being the
two freshman out there, I think
that that calmed our nerves a lit-
tle going into the game. We just
found our rhythm as a team."
Albrecht, the freshman point
guard, had six of those 15 points,
showing off some of the skills the
veteran Wolverines promised the
unheralded freshman would dis-
play early on. Albrecht was thrust
into the starting role in place of

preseason All-American Trey every starter was off the floor,
Burke, who was suspended for and with four minutes left in the
the Northern Michigan game by first half, Beilein trotted out the
Michigan coach John Beilein for five members of his highly-antic-
a "violation of team standards." ipated freshmen recruiting class.
"Spike surprises me every Those five Wolverines -
day," Beilein said. "He just plays Albrecht, Robinson III, guard
out there, and I said yesterday, Nik Stauskas, and forwards Caris
he makes you smile to watch him LeVert and Mitch McGary -
play. Everyone says, 'Well how combined for 54 of the Wolver-
did he do that,' but I don't know ines' 83 points, and didn't show
either. He just has a presence out any of the nerves associated with
there ... he certainly doesn't pass a collegiate debut.
the (eyeball) test but he continues "It was a lot of fun," Robin-
to be productive." son III said. "When we sat down
Albrecht, who seems to have a at the scoreboard, all five of us
hold on the backup point guard checked in at the same time. We
role, finished the night with 16 kind of looked at each other and
points and led the Wolverines in said, 'Let's go, let's give the fans
minutes, playing his first game something to talk about."'
in the Crisler Center like he was The Wildcats got within 10
already comfortable in his new points with little more than two
digs. minutes left in the first half, but
Michigan put on its second 17-0
run of the game - spanning
the end of the first half and the
"Let's go, let's beginning of the second half - to
squash any sort of comeback.
give the fans Stauskas led the team in points
with 17, but Hardaway had the
something to most complete game of the night.
t a u The veteran scored 13 points, and
also tallied eight rebounds and
five assists with no turnovers.
"He's got to continue to see
his role as a guard, it's a different
"Spike's been playing really role sometimes," Beilein said. "I
well all fall," redshirt junior cen- just like that he went in there and
ter Jordan Morgan said. "He's rebounded the ball. He's tryingto
a really solid player who read do more things - be more of an
defenses and just takes what they assist guy, he's become a better
give him. He's smart and is really defender - and still hit big shots
willing to learn. He played really for us."
well. But it's not that much of a The game was never close
surprise. He's been doing that all and won't count, but that doesn't
fall." mean Beilein won't use it as a
As the game went on, Beilein valuable evaluation tool, espe-
had plenty of time to experiment cially for his young freshmen.
with his lineups, trying to see One thing that stood out after
where all of his athletic guards, the game was the number of
forwards and centers should play. offensive rebounds Michigan
Junior wing Tim Hardaway Jr. secured -19 in all. When was the
and Albrecht were constants, but last time that happened with a
the players around them rotated Beilein team?
early and often. "I don't think it's in this cen-
Nine minutes into the game, tury," he said with a smile.

Daily Sports, Writer
New Crisler Center. New uni-
forms. New point guard, at least
Entering Thursday night's
exhibition opener against lowly
Division-II Northern Michigan,
the focus easily could've centered
on what was unveiled before the
game's tip-off. The flashy and
vibrant Crisler concourse was
revealed to the public for the first
time, but the spotlight was shift-
ed instead to freshman point
guard Spike Albrecht, starting
in place of suspended sophomore
Trey Burke.
Like Burke last year, Albrecht
showed the poise of a grizzled
vet, hiding any sign of inexperi-
ence in the Wolverines' convinc-
ing 83-47 victory.
Albrecht knocked down a
3-pointer 51 seconds into the
game, moments later assisted on
a 3-point make from freshman
forward Glenn Robinson III and
thenlofted ina floaterthathitthe
bottom of the net and sent him to
the line, where he completed the
three-point play.
Michigan coach John Beilein
spoke highly of Albrecht, com-
paring the Crown Pointe, Ind.
native to famous NFL quarter-
backs Doug Flutie, Joe Theis-
mann and Joe Montana.
"They don't pass the eyeball
test for an NFL quarterback,
but somehow they get things
done," Beilein said. "He certainly
doesn't pass the test, but he con-
tinues to be productive.
"He surprises me every day.
He just plays out there. ... He
makes you smile to watch him
play, and everybody just says,
'How'd he do that?' Well, I don't
know either."
Before the Wildcats scored
a single point - or Michigan
missed a field goal - the Wol-
verines jumped to a 17-0 lead,
with the two freshmen starters
accountingfor 12 of the points.
"We just started rolling,"
Albrecht said. "It felt good (to)
get in there and get your feet wet

Freshman point guard Spike Albrecht scored 16 points against NMU.

a little bit, for all of us, actually.
We had great energy. We .came
out, got out to a nice little run,
and it was smooth sailing from
Albrecht finished with 16
points and six assists, while
turningthe ball overjusttwice in
30 minutes. Robinson added 13.
"Wow," a wide-eyed Robin-
son said of the experience. "It
was like nothing else. (Michigan
assistant coach Bacari Alexan-
der) told me to just go out there
and have fun and that's what I
wanted to do. Once I saw (the
crowd), I knew it was going to be
a great night."
Freshman guard Nik Stauskas
also wasted little time putting
points on the board. The sharp-
shooter spotted up in the cor-
ner and drilled a three just six
seconds after checking into the
game. He finished with agame-
high 17 points - in just 19 min-
utes - thanks to 4-of-6 shooting
from deep.
Freshman forward Mitch
McGary added five points and
nine rebounds, but it was his
energy and willingness to draw
a charge and dive for balls that

reminded Beilein of anoth-
er Chesterton product, Zack
"That's indigenous,' appar-
ently, to Chesterton," he said.
"They're tough kids. I would
think you'll see him dive a lot,
during this, time. That's a big
man putting his life on the line
to dive, but we'll take it every
The final freshman, guard
Caris LeVert, knocked down a
3-pointer for his only points.
At one point, Beilein got so
caught up in making sure that
everyone played enough minutes
that he unknowingly sent all five
freshmen to the scorer's table to
check in at the same time. It was
the first time the highly-touted
recruiting class played together
on one unit in a7Michigan uni-
form, including during practice.
"We sat down at the score-
board - all five of us checked in
at the same time - and we kind
of looked at each other," Robin-
son said. "I said, 'Let's go. This
is our time. Let's givethe fans
something to watch and to talk
about.' I think that's what we

Berenson expects dog fight, not fist fight, at NMU

Daily Sports Editor
Last season, the Michigan
hockey team visited Northern
Michigan for
an early season .iL a
series as it will iCigafl
this weekend. at NMU
On that occa- Matchup:
sion, it seemed Michigan 3-2;
the teams NMU 3-3
gathered for a When: riday,
heavyweight Saturday
fight, only to 7:35 p.m.
have a hockey Where' terry
game break out. tvents Center
This time
around, Michi- TV/Radio:
gan coach MGoBlue.com
Red Berenson
expects tempers more subdued
compared to last year's incident

when then-starting goaltender
Shawn Hunwick took a swing at
a Northern Michigan forward
and earned a game misconduct
penalty. Michigan lost the first
game, 5-3, and earned a shootout
win in the finale.
"I don't think we'll have that
issue," Berenson said. "I think
Hunwick might've been a bit of
a target last year, and he made
a mistake last year. We've got
a new team, they've got a new
team ... we won't have any of
What the Wolverines will
have on their hands, however, is a
much-improved Wildcats squad
that endured a painful sweep at
the hands of No. 7 Notre Dame
last weekend. In those games,
No. 20 Northern Michigan fell
5-2 and 3-2.

"They're a pretty good team," await the Wolverines (1-1, 3-2-0)
Berenson said. "And they'll be in Marquette, making neutral-
looking to play better than they zone communication especially
played last weekend too, because important, as breakaways are
they gave upa couple of bad goals even more dangerous.
against Notre Dame. It wasn't "If you get on the wrong side
that they got outplayed, they just of your man, it's a long way back
got outscored." to the net,"
In addition Berenson said.
to dealing with "Hunwick The larger
the new-look ice will pres-
Wildcats (0-2 might've been ent a challenge
CCHA, 3-3-0 for the two
overall), led a bit of a target freshmen goal-
by coach Walt tenders, Jared
Kyle in his 11th last year." Rutledge and
season, No. 8 Steve Racine,
Michigan will altering their
encounter an anticipated
Olymp -sized rink, bigger than angles. Berenson has yet to name
the NCAA standard and the larg- a starter for the weekend - the
est the Wolverines will see this duo each took one of the team's
season. Fifteen extra feet of ice games with Miami (Ohio) - but

he did emphasize that the team's'
Thursday night skate at the
Berry Events Center should help
minimize the adjustment for the
According to senior captain
A.J. Treais, the adjustment
should come naturally to Michi-
"I think it works to our advan-
tage," Treais said. "We've got a
lot of guys that can fly and a lot
of guys that can drive wide so ... I
think we'll be fine."
This weekend marks the Wol-
verines' first road test of the
young season, and away games
certainly troubled Michigan last
year - it went 5-6-3 in true road
Berenson said the upperclass-
men carry a lot of the burden
of making sure "team talk" is

focused, and younger players
understand the difficulties of
playing on the road.
"None of these games any-
more are gimmies," Treais said.
"Especially with it being our first
road test, it'll be interesting to
see how we respond there."
Michigan will play without
two of its defensemen, neither of
whom will make the trip to Mar-
Junior Jon Merrill has been
sidelined since he cracked a ver-
tebrae in an Oct. 9 exhibition,
and sophomore Brennan Serville
is out with what Berenson is call-
ing a "facial concussion."
With only six defensemen
available for the two games, the
weekend will be a test of the
defensive corps' resilience and

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