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January 25, 2013 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-25

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10 - Friday,;January 25, 2013Th

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

One down

Robinson plays
I 'Big Dog' role

Michigan takes first
of two wins likely
needed to secure
top ranking
By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Editor
The explosive, put-away-its-
opponent run came later than
expected for the No. 2 Michigan
basketball team. After all, the
Wolverines entered Thursday
night's game against Purdue as
decisive,_
double-dig- PURDU E 53
it favorites. MICHIGAN 68
But at
the 14:46 mark of the second half,
with the Wolverines trailing by a
point, freshman forward Glenn
Robinson III hit a 3-pointer that
would soon turn into 10 unan-
swered points for Michigan. By
time the run, which stretched to
14-2, ended, the Wolverines had
an 11-point lead and control of the
game, winning 68-53.
With the victory, Michigan
controls its fate heading into
Champaign on Sunday, where the
Wolverines will have the chance
to play for the presumptive No.
1 ranking. After No. 1 Duke fell
to No. 25 Miami on Wednesday,
a win over Illinois would almost
certainly place Michigan atop the
rankings for the first time since
Nov. 30, 1992, which came in the
midst of the Fab 5 era.
Robinson's 3 was followed by
a tip-in from freshman guard
Nik Stauskas. After a timeout,
sophomore point guard Trey
Burke connected on a 3-pointer
and Robinson followed with a
3-pointer of his own, which came
on the heels of a game-changing

play from freshman forward
Mitch McGary.
With the ball loose near half
court, McGary made a play that
Wolverine fans used to see from
another Chesterton, Ind. native,
former guard Zack Novak.
McGary out-jumped a Boiler-
maker, tipping the ball in the air,
and beat his opponent to the ball
downcourtbefore drawing a foul,
bringingthe crowd to its feet even
before he emphatically waved his
hands in the air at the student
section.
"Whether it's diving on the
floor, or going after something or
talking to the crowd - enhancing
the crowd's spirit, he's really good
at all of them," said Michigan.
coach John Beilein.
After the run ended, Purdue
was never able to regain the com-
posure it showed in the game's
first 25 minutes. Michigan out-
scored the Boilermakers in the
second half, 36-20.
"I wasn't crazy about some of
our poise in the first half," Beilein
said. "We tried to hit some home
runs instead of some singles. In
the second half, we really played
smart, both on offense and
defense."
Part of that turnaround can be
attributed to Beilein calling out
his team's mental toughness at
halftime.
"We're playing against better
and better teams,' which you're
going to see everyday in the Big
Ten," Beilein said. "Those days of
playing a team that maybe you can
go for some home runs and still
win, it doesn't work. We learned
that when we were in Columnbus."
Burke led all scorers with 15
points - one of four Wolverines
to finish in double figures - while
adding eight assists. Robinson
finished one rebound shy of a

By EVERETT COOK
Daily Sports Editor
Glenn Robinson III got the
ball on the wing, felt his man on
one side then spun his body the
other way. It took the freshman
forward two dribbles to get to
the edge of the key, where Pur-
due forward DJ Byrd tried to
meet him.
But Byrd can only rise so
high. Robinson can fly - Byrd
cannot.
Robinson hung in the air,
passing the inaptly named Byrd,
before viciously dunking the
ball with his right hand.
The St. John, Ind. native took
an extra second to hold onto
the rim, then shota look over to
Purdue's bench on his.way back
down the court.
Robinson has a relationship
with Purdue. It isn't just anoth-
er Big Ten school for him.
After No. 2 Michigan's 68-53
win over the Boilermakers,
Robinson was asked whether
the game was personal for him.
He looked down at the ground,
and paused for a couple sec-
onds before answering, "No,
I wouldn't say it got personal.
Nothing against (Purdue coach
Matt) Painter or Purdue."
After all, Purdue isthe school
his father played for back in
the early 1990s, the school that*
Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson aver-
aged more than 30 points a
game for and the school where
the older Robinson played
alongside Painter for a year.
Robinson went on to be the
No. 1 overall pick in the NBA
Draft, where he had an 11-year
career. It made sense that Pur-

due was one of the interested
schools when it came time for
the recruitment of the younger
Robinson.
You'd think that an Indiana
native would wind up at the
alma mater of his father, the
former NBA All-Star, who just
so happened to play with the
current head coach. That would
make sense.
But Purdue ran out of schol-
arships, and Robinson commit-
ted to Michigan and coach John
Beilein.
So it's hard to believe the
game wasn't a little personal for
Robinson, playing his father's
team - the team that couldn't
take him on.
"He might not say this, but
it's personal for all of us guys
from Indiana," said freshman
forward Mitch McGary, anoth-
er Indiana native. "They all talk
smack if they beat us because
we're from Indiana and we
came here to Michigan. So, we
have to win."
Purdue or not, Robinson
turned in another efficient
night. He scored 12 points,
including two 3-pointers, and
missed only two 'shots to go
along with his game-high nine
rebounds.
He also played a team-high 37
minutes, often rotating from the
wing to the post depending on
the other Wolverine personnel
on the floor.
"Tonight, he just had the
urgency," McGary said. "Not
just with the dunk, but he hita
couple 3s and-was crashing the
glass all night."
On ateam loaded with young
See ROBINSON, Page 9

Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III (top) scored 12 points against Purdue.
Sophomore guard Trey Burke (bottom) had eight of Michigan's 11 assists.

double-double, putting up 12
points and nine rebounds and
another highlight-reel dunk.
"I like making those high-
lights, getting the crowd excited,"
Robinson said. "It feelsgood to do
that.... We all got excited, wanted
to play defense."
Uncharacteristic of past
Michigan-Purdue games, the
Wolverines outrebounded the,
Boilermakers, 35-29, while out-
scoring them inthe paint, 36-24.
But the first half was a very
different story than the latter
half. Just 1:15 into the game, after
Burke beat the Purdue defense
to the basket for an uncontested
layup, Boilermakers coach Matt
Painter called atimeout. Knowing

the explosive offensive capabil-
ity the Wolverines have displayed
time and time again this season,
Painter sensed that Burke's layup
- which gave Michigan a5-3 lead
- could springboard into an early
blowout, so he called timeout.
It proved to be a good move,
as the two teams changed leads
eight times in the first half, and
Purdue gave the Wolverines their
first halftime deficit at home this
season.
The story of the opening stan-
za was the Boilermakers' 3-point
shooting. Led by guard D.J.
Byrd's three first-half 3-pointers,
Purdue shot 7-of-13 from deep in
the half.
See MICHIGAN, Page 9

4

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