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February 01, 2013 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-02-01

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10 - Friday, February 1, 2013 o r ts


The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Sophomore point guardTrey Burke is averaging almost 18 points and seven assists a game and is a strong candidate for National Player of the Year.
Prizefight for Saturday

Behind Enemy
Lines: Tom Crean
By COLLEEN THOMAS especially on defense?
Daily Sports Editor TC: (Teams in the conference)
don't play that fast (on offense),
For a program that was facing and pace is really important in
NCAA sanctions just a few years this league. Pace is important
ago, the Indiana men's basket- to us, too. If you're going to be a
ball team has seen a quick turn- great team, you're going to have
around under head coach Tom to win a lot of different ways.
Crean. You're going to have to win your
Crean tooka 6-25 team in 2008 way, you're going to have to win
and has created a national-title the opponent's way. If you have a
contender. The Hoosiers entered deep team that's consistent, then
'the season ranked No. 1, led by you've got a chance to play the
preseason player ofthe year Cody way you want to play. You're not
Zeller, but are currently ranked goingto spend alot of time in this
third with a19-2 record. . league turning people over.
The Daily got the chance to sit TMD: Michigan, Ohio State
down with the Indiana coach at and Michigan State all tied for
Big Ten Media Day in October. the Big Ten Championship last
The Michigan Daily: This is year and it came down to the last
the first time since your stint game of the season to decide the
at Marquette that you've had champion. How tough do you
depth on your team. Assuming think the conference will be this
everybody's healthy so you're full season?
and ready to go, have you ever TC: I don't think it'll ever come
had this kind of challenge about down to one game. Those are
rotating players? the champions, and people have
Tom Crean: I'm really not to unseat them. It's really easy
concerned about that. That's an to throw accolades to other pro-
on-paper challenge. Is there a grams and make projections, but
certain understanding that the those were the championship-
quality of (the players') minutes level teams. To me, that speaks
is going to be more important volumes about the league. If we
than the quantity? Absolutely. want to do some great things,
To me, if you're going to try to those are the teams we have to
get up and down the court, try beat on a consistentbasis.
to do more things defensively, TMD: Cody (Zeller) is one of
try to bring fatigue to the game, those exceptional players in col-.
then you've got to have numerous lege right now. How do you feel
players that are going to play. You about his decision to come back
don't have depth just because you to play his sophomore season?
have numbers, you have depth TC: My greatest example (of a
because you have consistency. player like him) is Andrew Luck.
If that consistency stays intact, He's got anAndrew Luck-type of
then you have a chance to have a future, I think, especially when it
deep team. comes to decision-making. When
TMD: The teams at the top of the decision is right for him, then
the conference usually have great it'llbe right for him. I don't think
assist-to-turnover ratios, and anybody will dictate that. I think
in the past, defense has been an he enjoys college, he's doing a
issue for your team. How are you great job academically, he loves
going to prepare and adjust for his teammates, and we're fortu-
the better teams in the Big Ten. nate to have him.

Daily Sports Editor
All week,
Michigan play- AICk*
ers and coaches i a
insisted that at Indiana
they were tak- Matchup:
log one game Michigan 20-1;
at a time, not Indiana 19-2
looking past When: Sat-
Wednesday's urday 9 p.m.
game and ahead Where:
to the looming Assembly Hall
matchup at Indi- TV/Radio:
ana on Saturday. ESPN
coach John Beilein even said on
Tuesday that the only reason he
knew the Hoosiers game was
approaching was because he had
to approve the flight schedule.
But after the top-ranked Wol-
verines blew past the Wildcats,
68-46, and Indiana rolled through
Purdue hours later, the prize-
fight between two of the nation's
top-three teams is set for Satur-
day night, where Bloomington's
esteemed Assembly Hall will
serve as center stage.
"It's going to be crazy," said
sophomore point guard Trey
Burke. "A lot of guys have us as
underdogs in this game. Indiana
being No. 1 coming into the sea-
son, it's kind of like we're playing
the No.1 team in our minds."
The game, full of both NCAA
Tournament seeding and Big Ten
championship implications, is
likely the biggest regular-season
matchup in any Michigan sport
since the second-ranked Wolver-
ine football team fell to No. 1 Ohio
State in 2006. It's perhaps Michi-
gan's most momentous regular-
season basketball contest since
the fourth-ranked Wolverines
lost, 93-92, at No. 1 Indiana on
Feb. 14, 1993. This year's meeting
will replace that one as the high-
est-ranked matchup in Assembly
Hall's 42-year existence.
And if No. 1 vs. No. 3 wasn't big
enough, ESPN's College GameDay
crew will be broadcasting live
from Assembly Hall on Saturday
morning and in the hour leading
up to the 9 p.m. tip-off. Unlike
football's version of GameDay,
where show producers select the
biggest game of the weekend just
a week in advance, this game was
picked months ago, but obviously
turned out to be the right selec-
tion. Since GameDay visited Ann
Arbor last year, a new analyst -
Fab Five member Jalen Rose - has
been added to the set, adding yet
another storyline to the build-up
for the game.
Three of Michigan's freshmen
- point guard Spike Albrecht and
forwards Glenn Robinson III and
Mitch McGary - hail from the
Hoosier state, making the game
all the more meaningful.
"I just can't wait to play in
there," Robinson said. "I can't
even imagine what it's going to be
But with all the build-up sur-
rounding the game, the Wolver-
ines (7-1 Big Ten, 20-1 overall)
need to be wary of duplicating
the result of their only loss of the
season, which came on the road in
Columbus. Inthat game, Michigan
fell behind by 21 before its come-
back effort fell short. The deficit
was largely due, as Beilein likes to

say, to the Wolverines' attempts to
hit home runs, or in other words,
trying to do too much.
"That's something we've got-
ten better at over the last cou-
ple weeks," Burke said. "Coach

says, 'There's no such thing as a The biggest question mark with the Wolverines on the glass.
20-point shot.' We just have to leading up to Saturday's game will Morgan's absence could turn into
continue to hit singles, make the revolve around the status of red- a major issue, given the size and
right play (and) hit the open man. shirt junior forward Jordan Mor- talent of Indiana (7-1, 19.2). Pre-
I think that's the biggest thing for gan's right ankle. Morgan - who season All-American Cody Zeller,
us." injured the ankle while landing a 7-foot forward, leads the Hoo-
While no team ever wants to awkwardly in Michigan's win at siers in both points per game (16)
lose, players Illinois on Sun- and reboundsper game (8.1), while
and coaches day - has yet to reigning Big Ten Player of the
have insist- O TT llbe" I ead practice since Week Victor Oladipo is averaging
ed that los- W e 1 be reauy and missed 13.9 points, six rebounds and 2.5
ing provides . Wednes- steals per game - vaulting him-
more growth On Saturday. day's game. self into the National Player of the.
and teaching It's uncertain Year discussion alongside Burke.
opportunities whether he'll But regardless of which team
than a 20-point be available on winds up beingthe favorite before
win. Because of the loss to Ohio Saturday. the ball tips off, Burke insists that
State, Burke believes the team Though the Wolverines got his team will show up focused and
may be better equipped to handle steady contributions from Mor- with somethingto prove.
the hostile environment headed gan's replacement in the start- "It's very important to keep a
its way. ing lineup, redshirt sophomore chip on our shoulders, justbecause
"We picked up a lot," he said forward Jon Horford, Michi- the target (of being the No.1 team)
of the Jan. 13 loss. "Just being a gan would miss the experience is so big," Burke said. "Like (assis-
young team on the road, we know Morgan provides both with the tant) coach LaVall (Jordan) says,
that it's really critical to just come ball screen and as the last line of 'Once you get off the bus, you're
out very strongly and respond to defense. down 10 on the road.' We're just
the first punch, try to keep the Northwestern, not a team trying to do what we can to keep
crowd as neutral as possible, try known for its interior presence, the crowd out of the game, keep
to keep the runs as limited as pos- was able to capitalize on several their runs limited. We'll be ready
sible." low-post breakdowns. and hung on Saturday."


~ Al rRilde
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