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January 10, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-10

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8A - Thursday, January 10, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily com
Michigan dodges upset
to remain undefeated

Redshirt junior left tackle Taylor Lewan announced Wednesday that he will not enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
Lewan to re,..turn

Daily Sports Editor
At some point ina long phone
conversation with Jake Long, the
former Michigan offensive line-
man and No. 1 overall pick in the
NFL draft, Michigan tackle Tay-
lor Lewan just wanted an answer.
Stay or go?
Long told Lewan he couldn't
make that decision for him. And so
Lewan leaned on the past. What
did you do, Lewan asked. Long
had stayed, and over the course of
30 to 45 minuteshe told Lewan all
the reasons why.
And so after weeks of perceived
hints, Lewan declared Wednesday
in assurprising announcement that
he will stay at Michigan for his
fifth-year senior season, forgoing a
shot at the 2013 NFL Draft. Heed-
ing the custom set by linemen like
Long, and even the mantra of late
Michigan coach Bo Schembechler,
Lewan chose Michigan tradition
over NFL riches.
"Offensive lineman here, they
stay," said Michigan coach Brady
Hoke at a press conference. "And
there's been a tradition of that."
He cotinued, referencing Long
and former linemen Jon Jansen
and Chris Hutchinson. "Jake and
Jansen, and you could go back
through it. Hutch and all those
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had
* listed Lewan as the No. 15 player
overall on his most recent Big
Board Wednesday. Lewan was
" considered by most to be the sec-
ond-best offensive tackle on the
board, behind Texas A&M tackle
" Luke Joeckel.
ScoutsInc.ranked Lewan No.13
on in its top-32 players in the 2013
a draft, and Lewan said the NFL
Draft Advisory Board rated him
as a high first-round pick. Were he
taken as the 13th pick, he could've
expected a similar contract to last
* Daily SportsEditor
After the Michigan hockey
team's 5-1 loss Tuesday to Bowl-
ing Green, Michigan coach Red
e Wrenson was asked about his
team's defensive struggles. Like
he has all season, he mentioned
poor defensive-zone coverage.
Defensive-zone miscues have
been an alarming trend for the
Wolverines and have led to many
easy goals in front of the net for
opponents. This came as a sur-
prise to those who pegged Michi-
gan as having one of the best
defensive units in the country
before the season began.
The unit was expected tobe led
by junior defenseman Jon Mer-
rill - a 2010 second-round draft
pick of the New Jersey Devils
and a preseason all-CCHA selec-
tion. But when Merrill suffered a
cracked vertebrae on Oct. 9, the
defense took a turn for the worse.
This season, the Wolver-
ines have struggled mightily to
keep the puck out of their own
net - their average of 3.40 goals
allowed per game is currently last

in the conference. The absence of
Merrill didn't help, but there are
bigger issues than one missing
player. Whether it is the defense-
men or the forwards, the defen-
sive effort hasn't been what it
needs to be for Michigan.

year's 13th pick, Notre Dame wide
receiver Michael Floyd.
Floyd signed with the Ari-
zona Cardinals for just less than
$10 million guaranteed over four
years, with a team option for a
fifth year. Players selected in the
top 10 last year earned four year
deals worth an average just less
than $16.5 million (two players,
selected Nos. 4 and 5Soverall, did
not report their contracts).
Lewan said he plans to take out
an insurance policy, which could
mitigate the financial sting if he
suffers an injury before the 2014
NFL Draft. He has not yet signed
the paperwork, and even an insur-
ance policy would not offset any
financial losses he might incur if
his draft stock were to plummet.
Still, Lewan said, "it really was
a no brainer at the end."
Lewan's decision came after
a phone call to the Long and an
eye toward the future. He has
started in 28 consecutive games
at left tackle for the Wolverines,
and his departure would have fur-
ther decimated an already under-
achieving offensive line.
With Lewan back, Michigan
will return both starting tackles
- right tackle Michael Schofield
will be a fifth-year senior for 2013
season - but the Wolverines will
graduate the entire interior of the
line as well as their top blocking
tight end, Mike Kwiatkowski.
Michigan will likely field a
young line on the inside. Though
much can change, 2013 redshirt
freshman Kyle Kalis is thebestbet
to start at guard, and the center
position should be redshirt sopho-
more Jack Miller's to lose.
"Kyle Kalis and (freshmen line-
men) Ben Braden and Erik Mag-
nusen, I want to be a part of their
lives for one more year and help
them to develop into something
where they can possibly be in my
position in a couple years," Lewan

The other guard 'position is
more open, with redshirt fresh-
man Blake Bars and redshirt
sophomore Chris Bryant as likely
options. Redshirt junior guard
Joey Burzynski is the only upper-
classman with a strongshot to win
the job, and he is the only option
who has seen game action - he
played in seven games as a backup
in 2012 and appeared in four more
in 2011.
Lewan's return means added
continuity, and it is a blessing for
quarterback Devin Gardner, who
will rely on Lewan to protect his
blind side. Throughout the pro-
cess, though, Lewan kept his
teammates in the dark. He waited
until just 20 minutes before his
announcement, at ateam meeting,
to break the news.
The room erupted in cheers.
Still, when asked if he was sur-
prised by Lewan's decision, Hoke
responded with a simple "no."
To that, Lewan turned toward
his father, who attended the press
conference, and whispered, "Oh
my god, he's lying," with a laugh.
Most in Ann Arbor expected
Lewan to declare for the draft.
"I think my Dad predicted me
to leave too," Lewan said.
At first, Lewan consulted
with others and just wanted
an answer. It is a big decision,
he explained, for a 21-year old.
Ultimately, he decided that the
chance for one more year at
Michigan, one more shot at a Big
Ten Championship, was worth it.
"If you play at the University
of Michigan, whether it's basket-
ball, hockey, football, there's a
tradition here and there's some-
thing that you want to be a part
of," Lewan said. "And if I do what
I need to do, I'll be able to play
in the NFL for however long, but
you only get one more year of

Daily Sports Editor
The third possession of the
second half defined those final 20
minutes for the No. 2 Michigan
men's basketball team in its 62-47
win over Nebraska on Wednes-
day night.
Freshman forward Glenn
Robinson III was fouled while
shooting after pulling down an
offensive rebound, and the St.
John's, Ind. native stepped to
the free-throw line. Robinson
couldn't nail both, missing the
first shot and making the second.
After a slow start - in which
the Wolverines put up their low-
est first-half total all season with
25 points - attacking the basket
seemed to be the wayto pull away
from Nebraska, trailed by just
five points
at the half. NEBRASKA 47
Michigan MICHIGAN 62
began to
penetrate, and the Cornhuskers
kept fouling, but the Wolverines
had difficulty knocking down
free throws.
"If it would've been a little bit
tighter down the stretch where
we had to make foul shots to win
it, that's one thing we're going
to have to do down the road,"
Beilein said. "I think that's the
closest it's been in over a month,
and as a result, it's really impor-
tant we learn how to close games
with good defense and posses-
sion rebounds."
Due to a 65-percent clip from
the charity stripe by Michigan,
Nebraska was able to hang with
the Wolverines, but Michigan
held onto its slim lead for a 62-47
win, extending the program's
longest unbeaten streak to start

a season since the 1985-86 season that, nothing else was pretty for
to 16 games. the Wolverines. Michigan shot
"Believe it or not, coaches, we a mere 32 percent from the floor
love these type of wins," said and just 1-of-10 from beyond the
Michigan coach John Beilein. arc. Freshman guard Nik Staus-
"You don't necessarily love kas was 0-for-3 from long range,
coaching them, but when you his specialty, in the first half.
look back at them, these are the Luckily for the Wolverines,
ones that build teams. . though, Nebraska didn't shoot
"We had to grind one out. My well, either. The Cornhuskers
T-shirt is soaked right now, and shot 32 percent from the floor in
that's not what you like to do - I the first half and finished with
guess that's too much informa- just a 33-percent clip. Though
tion. That was difficult, but at the Nebraska looked like it could
same time, it was one we needed challenge redshirt junior Jordan
to have. That adversity is the Morgan in the paint - the Corn-
good stuff in the long run." huskers made easy layups early
The Wolverines (3-0 Big Ten, in the game - its star forward
16-0 overall) were in the bonus Brandon Ubel finished with just
for 14 minutes in the second half, six points.
earning 16 shots from the line, The sole saving grace in the
where each trip was an oppor- first half for the Wolverines was
tunity to extend a lead or make a their offensive rebounding -
run to pull away from the Corn- they tallied nine offensive boards
huskers (0-3, 9-7). and scored 11 second-chance
But with another good night points - and Michigancontinued
from Robinson - who has put up to attack the glass in the second
at least 10 points in each of the half. It easily outrebounded the
past five games - and sophomore Cornhuskers, 50-34, and finished
pointguard Trey Burke, the Wol- with 19 second-chance points.
verines were able to revamp its Morgan added 10 rebounds in the
offense and keep Nebraska out of Wolverines' solid efforts on the
reach. Robinson scored 14 points boards.
with six rebounds and Burke had "It was huge seeing Glenn and
18, and the duo was complement- Jordan battling down there, and
ed by junior Tim Hardaway Jr.'s getting offensive rebounds is
double-double, with 15 points very key for us," Hardaway said.
and 11rebounds. "We got 48 percent of our shots
"This league is very tough and back and that was very big when
you're not going to get offensive we aren't knocking down shots
rebounds that easy," Hardaway like we normally do."
said. "It makes an emphasis for us Added Nebraska coach Tim
and for all five of us to crash (the Miles: "They've got production
boards)." everywhereyougo, andtherewas
In the first half, the Wol- a wayto win the game tonight for
verines had highlights, where them, and it was the boards. It
Hardaway or Robinson would, was being aggressive and getting
finish drives to the basket with fouled, and they did both. You
pretty finger rolls. But besides have to commend them on that."


Freshman foward Glenn Robinson 11 has scored at least 10 points in each of the past five games.
'M' etches its place in history

mistakes plague M'

Merrill finally started on
Tuesday night when the Wolver-
ines squared off against Bowling
Green, but his presence didn't
have the expected cataclysmic
effect. The defensive effort as a
whole was not up to par.
Injuries have been 'a constant
thorn in the sidefor the defense
this season. Just when the unit
appeared to be coming together
and fully healthy, sophomore
Brennan Serville and junior Mac
Bennett were injured during
Tuesday's game. Berenson said
that Serville is day-to-day and
Bennett is out for at least a "cou-
ple of weeks." Along with those
two players,junior Kevin Clare -
still on the injury list - will also
not play this weekend.
"We were excited to get Jonny
Merrill back and then Mac Ben-
nett goes down," Berenson said.
"Mac's been arguably in our top
pair all season."
With the depleted defensive
corps, Berenson will use senior
forward Jeff Rohrkemper as a
defenseman this weekend against
Alaska. Rohrkemper, who saw
time at the position against
Northern Michigan earlier in the
season, does not have much expe-
rience at the position.
"I think when (Rohrkemper)
realizes how bad this team needs
him, and how bad we need to play
better defense, hopefully he'll be

fine," Berenson said. "He's got
good defensive instincts. He's a
team player and he's a senior."
Berenson also noted the play of
the forwards on the defensive end
- and the correlation between
their ability to control the puck
and maintain possession - and
the defensive flow. Against Bowl-
ing Green, the puck was constant-
ly deep in the Wolverines' zone,
and the offense failed to get any
momentum going.
The miscues, which resulted in
at least two easy Bowling Green
goals on Tuesday, have stemmed
from a combination of miscom-
munication and lack of aware-
ness. With a depleted defensive
corps, it will be even more impor-
tant for the defensemen to com-
municate and understand exactly
what their role is. Berenson said
that he has been looking at the
forwards' play on defense just as
much as their offensive produc-
"We've got to be a lot more
defensively aware," he said.
"When you look at the score sheet
andyou see someone who's minus
four, he's not had a good game.
Luke Moffatt scored his first goal
of the year, but he may have taken
himself out of the lineup just the
way he played defensively. You
got to play hard in the defensive
zone. None of us are good enough
to outscore our mistakes."

By DANIEL WASSERMAN get to 17-0."
Daily SportsEditor Added freshman forward
Glenn Robinson III: "It means
In the history of the Michigan nothing. We've just got to contin-
basketball program, 13 teams ue to work like we have been in
have won the Big Ten Champi- practice and keep getting better
onship, four and control everything that we.
(including the NOTEBOOK can control."
vacated Fab But like Beilein in the past,
Five teams) have reached the Robinson admitted Wednesday
Final Four, while one has won that he'll likely appreciate this
the national championship. But season and its records down the
after Wednesday's 62-47 win line..
over Nebraska, the Wolver- "Definitely, one day down the
ines' 16th-consecutive win to road, I think that that's some-
open the season, Michigan will thing that all of us will enjoy and
attempt to do what no team has it's something that we can look
done before in program history: back on," Robinson said. "But
start a season 17-0. right now, I think that's the last
The win over the Cornhusk- thing on our minds."
ers matched the 16-0 start of the Junior guard Tim Hardaway
1985-86 Wolverines. That squad, Jr. wasn't as coy with his words,
coached by Bill Freider and led though.
by center Roy Tarpley, went on "We've definitely always been
to win the Big Ten Championship thinking ofcthat," Hardaway said.
with a 28-5 record before making "We're going to take this win,
a disappointing exit in the NCAA and we're going to not celebrate
Tournament's second round. it too hard, but we're just going
Most members of today's pro- to have a good time and come
gram won't acknowledge the back tomorrow and be ready to
record, though, instead focusing prepare for Sunday (against Ohio
on more tangible goals. State)."
"It's a great way to start the NEED HELP REBOUND-
season," said Michigan coach ING? SEEK YOUR WING
John Beilein. "If someone MEN: Beilein-coached teams
would've said at the beginning have never been known to be
of the season, 'You know, you're strong on the glass, but this
going to start 16-0,' I would've Michigan squad is outrebound-
said I probably wouldn't think ing teams by a total of 615-456, or
aboutcthatvery much, but that's a an advantage-of 9.9 per game.
good way to start. And I like the While some of that can be
3-0 (in conference play). attributed to the Wolverines'
"But it's nice to be there, it's added depth in the post, Michi-
nice. Now we've just got to keep gan has two players on the wing,
grinding away and see if we can Hardaway and Robinson, who

can jump out of the gym. Hard-
away, averaging 5.4 rebounds per
game, recorded the fifth double-
double of hiscareer and second of
the season Wednesday, when he
scored 15 points and pulled down
11 boards.
The Cornhusker game came
on the heels of Robinson's first
career double-double Sunday,
when the freshman scored
20 points to go along with 10
rebounds. Robinson is tied for
second on the team with 6.1
rebounds per game.
Together, the tandem has
turned Michigan into one of the
conference's best rebounding
"It just comes from our
bigs boxing out their bigs so
they're not able to get offen-
sive rebounds," Hardaway said.
"(Beilein) wants all five of us
crashing. This league is very
tough and you're not going to be
able to get offensive rebounds
that easy, so he just makes that
emphasis for us to go down there
and just all five just crash."
But astoundingly, more than
40 percent of Robinson's boards
this year have come on the offen-.
sive end, giving Michigan easy
second-chance opportunities,
like the one Robinson slammed
home for- a highlight-reel put-
back jam in the second half on
Robinson said his eyes got
wide as the play developed.
"I saw the open lane and I just
went and crashed, went up for it
and luckily it rolled right to me
and I just put it in."

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