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December 04, 2012 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, December 4, 2D12 - 7

Scratches serve as motivation

By MATT SLOVIN
Daily Sports Editor
Ten days before he delivered
the shootout winner against Fer-
ris State on Saturday, Luke Mof-
fatt was benched for the first
time since Feb. 25, 2011.
But since his return to the line-
up, the forward has played better
hockey, gener-
ating scoring NOTEBOOK
chances on an
offense that looked lethargic at
best for much of November.
"He's playing with more confi-
dence now," said Michigan coach
Red Berenson. "But I can't tell
you we've got guys who can score
every night."
In the Wolverines' 5-0 loss
to the Bulldogs on Friday in Big
Rapids, Moffatt ripped off five
shots, tied for the most he's had
in a game this season. He also
assisted on freshman forward
Boo Nieves's first-period goal on
Saturday before eventually win-
ning the game using excellent
stick work to maneuver around
Ferris State goaltender C.J.
Motte, who senior captain A.J.
Treais called one of the best in
the CCHA.
Moffatt's lack of early season
production comes as a surprise
after his successful sophomore
campaign. Last year, the Para-
dise Valley, Ariz. native recorded
a career-high 16 points and a
plus/minus rating of plus-four.
But he still hasn't scored a non-
shootout goal this season and is
not playing positive hockey.
Then Friday night, it came as
a bit of a surprise that last year's
co-points leader and CCHA
Rookie of the Year Alex Guptill
didn't make the trip to Big Rap-
ids.
Guptill had certainly been
slumping this season and hasn't
scored since Oct. 27 against
Miami (Ohio). Berenson sent a
message that should be- plenty
loud by leaving him home and

Michigan swimmers
flex muscles in Iowa
By ZACH SHAW Bottom said. "(The swimmers)
For the Daily take it asa compliment, and we're
proud to have it. But these guys
In Iowa City for the three-day are smart enough to know that
Hawkeye Invitational this past here at Michigan, it really doesn't
weekend, the No. 1 Michigan mean anything until the end of
men's swimming and diving team the year."
proved its ranking once again, fin- While the goal for the season is
ishing first out of five teams. a national championship, the goal
In an effort that highlighted for the next couple weeks is sim-
the Wolverines' speed and depth, ply getting through finals. While
Michigan (4-0 overall, 3-0 Big most students study dayand night
Ten) took first in 19 of the 21 in the libraries on campus, the
events and multiple Wolverine swimmers have the added task of
swimmers placed in the top five training and competing. Bottom
to keep piling up points. The Wol- said this weekend was a good test
verines never trailed en route to for his swimmers, as balancing
accumulating 1,150 points, com- school and swimming proved to
pared to Notre Dame's 794, Iowa's be a difficult task.
606.5, Denver's 478 and Wiscon- "It's only here when the stress
sin-Milwaukee's 260.5. is on," Bottom said. "And the bod-
"We're doing a lot of things ies are really beat up like they are
right in the water," said Michigan today, not getting good sleep, hav-
coach Mike Bottom. "We're doing ing to study between races. These
a lot of training that's working. sort of stressors really add to an
Our sprinters are swimming fast, opportunity to develop some self-
our distance guys are swimming discipline. It's only when you're
fast, and our strokers are swim- stressed that you can show what
ming fast. We're really hitting you're really made of."
on a lot of different cylinders, Due to finals and winter break,
and that's important moving for- the Wolverines get more than a
ward." month off from competition -
The Wolverines were led by their longest such stretch of the
senior Miguel Ortiz, who took season - before theytravelto Flor-
first in three individual events idato participate inthe MikePepe
and played a role in four relay Invitational and the Orange Bowl
victories. Juniors Connor Jaeger Classic on Jan. 3. Bottom stressed
and Kyle Whitaker each pitched the importance of these weeks as
in a pair of individual first-place time to train and prepare for the
finishes. Bottom said he was also remainder of the season.
impressed by junior diver James "We have some real condition-
Ross, who took first in two of the ing to do in the next month," Bot-
three diving events. tom said. "But (the swimmers) are
Bottom said he was pleased going to have finals and go home.
with how his team performed So there's a lot of self-discipline
this weekend, and feels Michi- that's required to keep moving
gan deserves the early acclaim it forward and keep getting bet-
has received - including the top ter. If they don't choose to do the
ranking. He refuses, however, extra things like eat right or get to
to let December success define a practice between study sessions,
program that has won 18 national we're not going to move forward.
titles in its 91-year history. But I feel like this group already
"It's a great ranking to have," knows that."

Sophomore forward Alex Guptill was left home from Big Rapids asa healthy scratch for the road series.

airingalaundrylistofgrievances arrived at Michigan.
against him. Though Moffatt is yet to com-
"We're just not happy with his pletely turn it around, he's been
day-to-day approach to the game, a part of some opportunistic
and the team, and his work ethic scoring chances lately. Berenson
and his performance," Beren- needs Guptill's benching to have
son said. "Is a similar impact
he a better on both his per-
player than formance and
some players "Playing w ith attitude.
that played 0, CANADA:
(Friday)? He More confidence." Hockey Canada
could be. But released its
I'm not doing selection camp
him justice by roster for the
letting him play at a lower level IIHF World U20 Championship
than he's capable of." on Monday.
Guptill had previously played Absent from the list is Michi-
in every single game since he gan sophomore forward Phil Di

Giuseppe, who most believed
to be the only Canadian Wol-
verine with a shot at inclusion.
Last year, Di Giuseppe made the
camp, but didn't make the final
cut to represent his country.
Since he won't be at the tourna-
ment, Di Giuseppe will be able
to play in the Great Lakes Invita-
tional at Joe Louis Arena on Dec.
28-29.
MONDAY FUN DAY: After the
weekend set with Ferris State,
the Wolverines were given the
day off from skating on Monday.
Michigan will resume practice
Tuesday and won't be in action
again until Dec. 14 when it hosts
Western Michigan.

Bigger lineup gives Barnes Arico,
''more options for adjustment

By GREG GARNO
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan coach Kim Barnes
Arico has figured out her lineup
quickly.
After six games with the same
starting lineup, the Michigan
women's basketball team made
changes prior to Wednesday's
contest against No. 4 Duke.
The original starting lineup
of senior guards Jenny Ryan
and Kate Thompson, sophomore
guards Nicole Elmblad and Bre-
nae Harris and senior center
Rachel Sheffer accounted for a 5-1
record to begin the season, while
struggling in various facets of the
game, primarily rebounding.
Barnes Arico harped on her
team's struggle to rebound con-
sistently, as Michigan has sur-
vived with an undersized lineup.
As a result, Barnes Arico looked
to add height by replacing Harris
with six-foot senior forward Nya
Jordan.
Barnes Arico, who called
Jordan one of the most athletic
players on the team during the
preseason, first started the for-
ward against Duke. Jordan ended
the game with just eight points
and four rebounds, but against
Florida on Saturday, Jordan led
the team with 11 rebounds.
"I definitely think rebounding
is an issue for us," Barnes Arico
said. "We need to have bigger,
stronger kids out there and Nya
gives us that presence.
"If you saw our last two games,
(Nya) has been a completely dif-
ferent person. I think she really
bought into what we were trying
to do and what lacked and got
her confidence back. I just think
she gives us something we don't
really have. A toughness and ath-
leticism, an extra rebounder on
the court."
But the Wolverines' woes
aren't as bad they think. Despite
having been outrebounded in half
of its games, Michigan has out-
rebounded opponents, 237-230, so
far this season.
So what has Michigan (6-2)
struggled with this season?
Handling pressure.

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PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Senior forward Nya Jordan has brought a new presence to the Michigan lineup.

Both of its losses, against Duke
and Utah, were the result of
defensive pressure that threw the
Wolverines out of rhythm. Michi-
gan, which relies on its hot shoot-
ing on the outside from Sheffer
and Thompson to compensate for
its lack of height, shot below its 46
percent season average in its two.
losses.
But the losses highlighted what
happens when Michigan is unable
to set up its offense and wait for
its shot. Instead, the Wolverines
forced quick shots, ultimately
affecting the defense.
"We're getting shots and
opportunities to score instead
of giving them opportunities to
score," Barnes Arico said. "I think
when we go on stretches where
we're scoring, we're not turning
the ball over. When they go on
stretches when they're scoring,
it's usually off of our turnovers or
quick shots."
Barnes Arico's new lineup does
not have the quickness, though, to
handle teams who force Michigan
to play a more up-tempo offense.
Jordan forces the Wolverines into
a different offense that works the
ball down low more frequently.
But in its game against Florida,
Michigan showed what happens

when it doesn't face full-court
pressure, mounting a 12-5 run in
the second half that helped seal
victory.
"They didn't pressure as much
as Duke," Sheffer said. "I think
just being able to execute our
half-court offense and just find
the open person (helps)."
Opposing defenses have not
only applied total team pres-
sure, but have also focused in on
the Wolverines' leading scorers
- Sheffer with 14.9 points per
game and Thompson with 14.6
points per game. Against Duke,
Michigan was forced to find an
alternate source to carry the team
offensively, leaning on Ryan, who
scored 18 points.
But this pressure doesn't sur-
prise Thompson, who managed to
lead Michigan in scoring on Fri-
day with 21 points.
"Every team we play is going
to be very good," Thompson said.
"Defense is goingto get better and
better as the year progress, but if
we just run our offense and really
focus on setting the screens then
people will get open."
But Barnes Arico may have
to ask herself what lineup can
rebound and handle defensive
pressure better.

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