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November 07, 2012 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-07

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T g l hW S

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 7; 2012 -- 9A

Michigan unveils rotation

By NEAL ROTHSCHILD
Daily Sports Editor
Shed was the operative word
for the No. 5 Michigan basketball
team's preseason.
Mitch McGary shed some
pounds to get into playing shape.
The Wolverines' prized fresh-
men shed their gift wrapping
and revealed what they can do at
the college level. The team took
two Division-II weaklings to the
woodshed. And Michigan coach
John Beilein shed some light on
how his new pieces would figure
into this team's rotation.
After sophomore point guard
Trey Burke announced last spring
that he would bypass the NBA
Draft to return to Ann Arbor,
there seemed to be two givens in
the startinglineup.
Burke would return at point
guard and junior Tim Hardaway
Jr. would be on one of the wings.
After that, there were questions.
Fans wondered whether McGary
or oft-injured redshirt sophomore
Jon Horford would replace the
only other returning starter, Jor-
dan Morgan, in the post.
Or would Beilein get innova-
tive and depart from his one-
post offense to accommodate the
influx of size? Many suspected
that freshman Glenn Robinson
II would be found in the starting
five, but who knew? Would expe-
rience or expectation triumph in
deciding the final starting spot?
Eighty minutes of crisp basket-
ball settled most of the questions,
and what remains to be seen is
how players react to roles, which
will dictate how Beilein will
switch things up as the season
progresses.
Morgan's spot in the starting
five is secure. He's a steady pres-
ence. Though he isn't a dynam-
ic scorer, he defends well, has
improved his rebounding, shoots
for a high percentage and stays
within himself.

'M' releases '15-'16
football schedules
Home-and- all-time record against the Utes,
including an infamous 25-23
home series with defeat at Michigan Stadium in
2008. The Wolverines have faced
Arkansas to begin Oregon State four times (4-0),
Brigham Young once (0-1) and
have never played UNLV.
The next fall, Michigan will
By STEPHEN J. NESBITT open with consecutive home
Daily Sports Editor games against Hawaii, Miami
(Ohio), Colorado and Ball State.
The Athletic Department Michigan has played Hawaii
released Michigan's finalized 2015 twice (2-0), Colorado four times
and 2016 football schedules on (3-1) and Ball State once (1-0).
Tuesday and announced a home- That game against Ball State was
and-home series with Arkansas on Nov. 4, 2006, when Michigan
beginning in 2019. squeaked out a 34-26 victory at
With the looming hiatus of the Michigan Stadium. The head
Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry coach on the Cardinals' sideline
in 2015 and beyond, the Athletic was Brady Hoke.
Department filled the non-con-. The home-and-home series
ference schedule with several between Michigan and Arkan-
new opponents. sas will fall on the respective
In 1015, the Wolverines will opening weekends in 2018-19.
face Utah in Salt Lake City for The Wolverines have faced the
the season opener before coming Razorbacks just once, a 45-31
home to play Oregon State, UNLV victory at the Citrus Bowl on
and BYU. Michigan holds a 1-1 Jan. 1, 1998.

Michigan coach John Beilein has more options to call off the bench this year after landing a bluckbuster freshman class.
He'll see less time on the look like he'll ever lose it. He's I know those two will be early
floor than last season though, hardly looked like a freshman and entries, either as starters or com-
assuming McGary and Horford scored with ease from the inside ing off the bench."
fully recover from their aches and outside, averaging 15 points. Though freshman point guard
and pains. Horford ,sat out the He's shot 71 percent from the Spike Albrecht will be used pri-
preseason with an ailing knee, floor and 63 percent on3-pointers marily to give Burke a breather,
though Beilein expects him to be in the two exhibition contests. he may play some minutes as an
back for Friday's opener against Beilein opted for experience off-ball guard as he did in Mon-
Slippery Rock, while McGary with the last starting lineup spot day's exhibition. The final fresh-
missed some practice time with a by entering senior 3-point spe- man, Caris LeVert, may see time
balky foot. cialist Matt Vogrich, but he indi- sparingly, but given his athleti-
Beilein did indeed show his cated that though he is happy cism and potential, it may be real-
intention to implement a 2-post with the starting five so far, it is istic for him to redshirt. With a
offense,thoughhelater expressed still under discussion. Vogrich's slight frame that can grow into
some reluctance, explaining its spot in the lineup would seem to his talent, LeVert could be best off
drawbacks. Morgan and McGary be the most in jeopardy if Beilein using his eligibility starting next
shared the floor for three minutes opted for a switch. season.
in both halves during Monday Freshman sharpshooter Nik of the four senior guards, only
night's 76-48 exhibition win over Stauskas and McGary, if they're Vogrich figures to contribute on
Saginaw Valley State. not starting, will see the floor the court. Add some young guards
"When Jordan and Mitch were early in games. to the equation and you could get
in there, where we could score "I like having that shooter a team that will run opponents
2s, they were hitting 3s," Beilein come off the bench," Beilein said. out of the gym.
lamented. With a bigger lineup, "That's why I used to hold Stu "We definitely have more piec-
the Wolverines eschew a faster, (Douglass) back and I ended up es this year," Burke said. "With
more versatile five that can get putting him in, having a guy who G-Rob and Nik and Vogrich,
out quickly on perimeter shoot- will go in there and has the con- we're more flexible. We're able to

2015 SCHEDULE

2016 SCHEDULE

ers.
As expected, Robinson was
given a starting spot and it doesn't

fidence to go in and shoot it right
away. Those two, whether we
change the starting lineup or not,

get out more into transition more
than we were last year. It's a little
different out there."

Mac Bennett earns CCHA weekly defenseman honors

By MICHAEL LAURILA
Daily Sports Writer
After a weekend that saw the
No. 12 Michigan hockey team
give up eight goals and escape
with just two points - a shootout
victory on Friday night - against
No. 16 Northern Michigan, there
was little to be pleased about,
especially defensively.
But junior defenseman Mac
Bennett's performance on the
weekend was nothing to be
scoffed at. Bennett tallied'a goal

and an assist in each of the games
in Marquette.
His four-point weekend and
defensive performance were
enough to earn him the title of
CCHA Gladiator Defenseman of
the Week for the first time in his
career.
Despite his impressive per-
formance, the defensive corps,
struggled to control the slot
around the crease and suffered
too many missed assignments,
ultimately leading to a flurry of
easy, point-blank Wildcat goals.

Michigan coach Red Beren-
son has continuously said the
Wolverines' struggles this past
weekend were attributed to
problems in the "defensive-zone
coverage." Bennett argeed.
"I think we need to take pride
in D-zone coverage," he said.
"It's just little things. It's for-
wards picking up their points or
defensemen having better sticks
in the D-zone. I think if we can
build off the D-zone our offen-
sive firepower will just come."
One area where the offensive

firepower hasn't been a problem
is Bennett's offensive produc-
tion this season. His four-point
performance against North-
ern Michigan moved his sea-
son totals to three goals and six
assists - nine points total. Ben-
nett leads all CCHA defenseman
in points and is fifth overall in
the conference. Only senior for-
ward A.J. Treais has more points
than Bennett on the team.
Offensive success isn't an
unexpected result from Ben-
nett, though. The Narragansett,
R.I. native finished with four
goals and 17 assists for a total
of 21 points last season. But the
impetus behind Bennett's high
numbers so far might be the
diminished defensive corps.
Senior defenseman Jon Mer-
rill - a pre-season all-CCHA
team selection - was injured
during Michigan's preseason
exhibition against Windsor and
has yet to see the ice.
There have also been other
injuries and issues - fresh-
man defenseman Jacob Trouba

of a suspension for a hit he had
Friday night and sophomore
defenseman Brennan Serville
missed the entire weekend with
a "facial concussion" - which
have resulted in Bennett and
senior defenseman Lee Moffie
filling in for holes in the defen-
sive zone.
"He's a rushing defenseman,"
Berenson said. "(He) skates real-
ly well and carries the puck really
well. The way the game is played
now, if you're playing hard in the
other team's zone, sooner or later
the puck comes back to the point
and they've got to get it through.
Mac is one of those guys that's
findinga way to get it through."
Berenson also noted that Ben-
nett's wrist shot and not "big
slapshots," has been important
for him to.get the puck to the net.
Along with increased offen-
sive productivity, Bennett has
also found himself in a different
role. The absence of Merrill, a
unit boasting just one senior in
Moffie and a plethora of young
defensemen has given Bennett a

"I'm more of a mentor now
than I was learning as a younger
player," Bennett said. "I think
what I can try to do is if I can
bring consistency night in and
night out, hopefully guys like
Trouba, or (sophomore defense-
man Mike) Szuma or someone
like that can kind of pick up from
it."
Michigan has boasted the
highest-scoring offensive attack
this season in the CCHA. But it
also comes out of the weekend in
Marquette with the conference's
second-worst goals against aver-
age.
Bennett knows the defensive
corps will need to pull it togeth-
er and perform at a higher level
if the Wolverines hope to keep
games from becominghigh-scor-
ing contests.
He also knows that accolades
such as defenseman of the week
are pointless if it comes after
Michigan had a losing weekend.
"It's an honor but the bigthing
is that we just lost four points up
at Northern," he said. "It's kind

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Junior defenseman Mac Bennett scored two goals and added two assists against Northern Michigan over the weekend.

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