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December 10, 2012 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-12-10

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2B - December 10, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Beilein and his boys have staying power

John Beilein has always built
his teams to maximize the
talent on the roster. He's
just never had this much to work
with before - never this much
size, strength or speed.
The No. 3 Michigan men's bas-
ketball team's 80-67 victory over
Arkansas on Saturday - Beilein's
100th win at
Michigan -
showcased
the delicate
balance
of pow-
ers woven'
together by
Beilein, from STEPHEN J.
an electric
transition NESBITT
game to a
dominating
performance on the boards.
Beilein, a teacher-firstkind of
coach, is known for finding raw
role players and cultivatingthem
into legitimate college ballplayers.
But now, thanks to a blockbuster
freshman class and the return
of sophomore guard Trey Burke,
Beilein isn't looking down the
bench at walk-ons or overachiev-
ers; he's got talent stockpiled.
There's somethingspecial
going on down at Crisler Center.
Michigan is off to a 9-0 start for
the first time since 1988-89 - the
Wolverines' last and only national
championship season - and the
third time in program history. In
five of those wins, Michigan has
led from start to finish.
Michigan hasn't lost at home -
or anywhere, I suppose - this fall,
and is 21-1 at Crisler in the last
two seasons.
It doesn't look anything like
a traditional Beilein team. But
that's fine by him.
Gone are the days of living

two of those high scorers are true
freshmen.
Not easy.
Beilein has always been a coach
hell-bent on rotating players to
keep a fresh five on the floor. In
the past, the depth hasn't been
there. Today, there's plenty of it.
And even better: nobody is a one-
dimensional player.
Instead of defensive specialists,
3-point threats or ball handlers,
Beilein has a litany of steady, well-
versed options. Just look at the
five freshmen. If they were one-
dimensional players, they'd be
riding through a redshirt season.
But Beilein burned any possible
redshirts - he knows they're
ready.
Nik Stauskas is a dead-eye
shooter, No. 4 nationally at 60.5
percent from 3-point range, but he
can get to the rim. Spike Albrecht
can dribble around you, but he
can beat you from deep. Mitch
McGary might be raw offensively,
but he's a monster on the glass.
"With Michigan, just about
every guy who gets minutes can
do it all," Titus wrote. "It not only
makes them damn near impos-
sible to stop, it also makes them
fun to watch."
Fun to watch - not a roller-
coaster, not an adventure. Fun.
With a Big Tenschedule fea-
turing powerhouses such as No.1
Indiana, No. 7 Ohio State, No.13
Illinois, No. 14 Minnesota and No.
19 Michigan State fast approach-
ing, the Wolverines won't be
handed anything. But they've
got a sustainable style this time.
They've got staying power.
And with Beilein at the helm,
there's no ceiling in sight.
- Nesbitt can be reached
at stnesbit@umich.edu.

4
q

Michigan coach John Beilein and the Wolverines are off toa 9-0 start for the first time since Michigan's 1988-89 national championship season.

and dying by the 3-pointer, when
Michigan could beat anyone but
could just as easily get beaten if its
shooters went cold.
Since Beilein took the helm of
the Michigan basketball program
in 2007, the Wolverines have
ranked first, first, second, first
and first in the Big Ten in 3-point
attempts, never dipping beneath
730 attempts per season or 23
attempts per game.
That's a recipe for slumps and
inconsistency, not the brand of
a college basketball giant. But
Beilein has shifted his pieces
to the right places to put a win-
ning product on the court. And

now, he's shifted toward his new walking the ball up the court, it.
strengths. can get transition buckets. It's the
The Wolverines are shooting kind of approach that wins right
at a 42.1-per- now in the
cent clip from college game.
behind the arc And people are
- the previ- "They have takingnotice of
ous high under the Wolverines.
Beilein was already put their Even Mark
35.3 percent in Titus, a former
2010-11 - and egos aside." Ohio State
have plum- walk-on who
meted from now writes
their perennial for Grantland,
top-15 national ranking in 3-point wrote last week that this is his
attempts toa tie for 119th. favorite Beilein squad ever.
Instead of lofting a deep prayer, "Even though they have a ton
Michigan can dunk. Instead of of young stars who have been

coddled their entire lives, they
already seem to have put their
egos aside and developed bet-
ter chemistry than some teams
loaded with upperclassmen,"
Titus wrote.
But setting aside the tempo
change, there's still one Beilein
staple that has propelled the
Wolverines to the top of the polls:
balance.
Michigan has had four differ-
ent high scorers in its nine wins,
and that kind of balance isn't
easy when you've gottwo guards
in Burke and Tim HardawayJr.
with NBA talent and a penchant
to prove it. Then throw in that

Spartans no match for 'M' in exhibition Blue shows promise

By CINDY YU
For the Daily
On Friday, the No. 10 Michi-
gan women's gymnastics team
proved that this year's team was
ready for redemption after barely
missing the NCAA Champion-
ships last season.
With
an entire- MSU 191.100
ly healthy UM 195.375
squad, no
graduated seniors and four new
freshmen, the Wolverines beat
Michigan State in an exhibition
meet, 195.375-191.100.
"Our team chemistry and
energy that we have on the team
this year is phenomenal," said
Michigan coach Bev Plocki. "I
think that the adversity that we
went through last year definitely
made us stronger, made us closer
and made us better."
Michigan swept the podium in
the all-around and the individual
events. Senior co-captain Katie
Zurales won the all-around title
with a 39.225, sophomore Sachi
Sugiyama took second in the ill-
around with a 39.200 and junior
co-captain Joanna Sampson fin-
ished third with a 38.500.
"It's great to get out in Crisler

Arena," Zurales said. "It's a good
confidence booster. You know
at the beginning of the season
knowing that our routines are
together and they're there, just
little perfection things here on
out."
In the first rotation, the Wol-
verines earned a 49.300 on vault
to take the lead over Michigan
State's 47.875 on bars. Sampson
tied her career high for the event
with a 9.950 and Zurales contrib-
uted a 9.925

didn't want to push her into line-
ups before it's too early."
On uneven bars, all six Michi-
gan competitors scored above
a 9.775. Zurales and Sugiyama
tied for first, scoring 9.850. After
both the vault and bar rotations
finished, Michigan increased its
lead over the Spartans to 98.450-
96.275. Freshman Lindsay Wil-
liams also made her debut on
Friday and scored a 9.775 on bars.
"Lindsay has delivered on
everything

to place sec- that we
ond. Defend- thought that
ing Big Ten "W e still have 'she was going
vault cham- to be able to do
pion Sugiyama some room for and it's been
completed the a pleasure
most difficult improvement." to have her,"
vault ofthe day Plocki said.
- a Yurchenko The Wolver-
1.5 - to take ines struggled
third on the event with a 9.850. on beam when senior Brittnee
Freshman Austin Sheppard Martinez and Sampson both
made her college debut on vault fell on their flight series, but the
with a 9.825, finishing fourth. squad maintained its lead over
"Austin, after the World Michigan State. Junior Shelby
Championships, had surgery on Gies won the event with a 9.800
her knee and on her shoulder," and Zurales finished second with
Plocki said. "Where she's not all a 9.775, followed by sophomore
the way back yet, she did a great Annette Miele with a 9.650.
vault tonight and she's doing rou- "What we've done in practice
tines on the other events. We just is far superior to what we com-

peted tonight and that's just a
product of the difference in pres-
sure in a competition," Plocki
said. "That beam seems to go
from four inches wide down to
about two inches wide when you
go under pressure."
Michigan finished the meet on
floor with a 48.825 and Sugiyama
won another title with a 9.850.
The loudest applause of the night,
though, went to senior Natalie
Beilstein when she electrified
the audience with an upbeat rou-
tine that marked her comeback
(though she did compete on the
uneven bars earlier in the night,
floor was her signature event)
from a season-ending Achilles'
injury last season. Beilstein took
second with a 9.800 and junior
Stephanie Colbert finished third
with a 9.775.
"I think we did really well,"
Sugiyama said. "We still have
some room for improvement. We
just need to work under pres-
sure more inside the gym but I
thinkthis year was a much better
improvement from last year."
Added Plocki: "I think we're
goingto see a lot of pay-offs from
that this year. I've got a great
group of young women and I'm
very proud of them."

in intrasquad opener

By ALEX TAYLOR
Daily Sports Writer
The slogan is omnipresent for
the No. 2 Michigan men's gym-
nastics team, located on banners,
signs and past championship
rings.
"Handle Everything," it reads.
And it might have been on best
display on Friday night.
With two of its top gymnasts
dealing with injuries, Michigan
still performed well at its annual
Maize and Blue intrasquad meet.
"I was pretty pleased with it,"
said Michigan coach Kurt Golder.
"They showed me something that
I've known all along,that they can
be a really, really good team this
year."
The Maize team came up on
top, winning 330.20-328.80.
Fifth-year senior Syque Caesar
and sophomore Adrian de los
Angeles led the Maize team while
sophomore Stacey Ervin, junior
Sam Mikulak and senior Rohan
Sebastian highlighted the Blue
squad. Ervin turned in one of the
best performances of the night on
floor exercise. An All-American

on floor and vault last season, he'
scored a 15.75, beating his per-
sonal best of 15.600 fromlast year.
"I was stoked," said Ervin. "I've
been working real hard all sum-
mer and it's been great training
for this. Warm-ups were a little
shaky so I went extra hard in the
competition and it definitely paid
off."
Ervin logged the highest score
of the night on vault with a 14.88.
Even more impressive, though,
was the fact that these perfor-
mances were done while nurs-
ing injuries. Also hampered by
injuries was Mikulak, who only
participated in the rings. Even
with his balky ankle, he scored
a 14.15, the second-highest score
on the night for rings. Mikulak
had ankle problems over the sum-
mer that had recently healed, but
shortly after returning, he tore a
calf muscle in practice.
If this intrasquad meet was a
small precursor for the season,
the Wolverines might find them-
selves having to stare at the words
"Handle Everything" for a very
long time - on new championship
rings.

6

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