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February 13, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-02-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 7A

Kim Barnes rico,
breaker of streaks

Still in cradle, lacrosse
builds winning formula

Daily Sports Writer
The last time the Michigan
women's basketball team played
Michigan State, Feb. 4, the Wol-
verines struggled, posting their
second-lowest shooting percent-
age from the field at 32.1 percent.
While the men's basketball
team has won three out of its last
five games against the Spartans,
the women's team cannot claim
such success. In fact, the Wol-
verines (7-4 Big Ten, 18-6 over-
all) haven't won in EastLansing
since Jan. 25, 2001 and haven't
won at home against the Michi-
gan State since Jan. 13, 2008.
After falling 61-46 earlier this
month, it was no surprise that a
handful of postgame press con-
ference questions circled around
the lopsided rivarycthat has per-
sisted over the past decade in
favor of the Spartans.
"Michigan State is a program
that sets the bar, obviously, in
the state of Michigan," said
Michigan coach Kim Barnes
Arico. "They have a great fan
base, a great following, a great
program, a rich tradition and
they win."
The loss, which pushed Mich-
igan's then-season-high losing
streak to three games, revealed
a lot about the Wolverines.
For one, it showed the pres-
sure and understanding sur-
rounding the rivalry to Barnes
"(Michigan State) is clearly
the program that I look at and a
program that's done a tremen-
dous job in our state, and you
know, that's something we're

"At m
ing in
ing te
ated w
and St
In a
just ti
the H
so mu
how i
state, t
one. F
they c

g for," Barnes Arico said. and the culture of the program
y press conference, that has dramatically changed."
something we talked Following the loss to Michi-
We've lost to them (com- gan State, the Wolverines have
to the season) 11 straight won two straight games, includ-
and this is really an ing a signature 67-56 victory
tant game for us." against then-No. 13 Purdue in
the first-year coach, fac- West Lafayette.
sams with long winning Another streak snapped:
s and ultimately stopping Michigan hadn't beaten the
is something she is associ- Boilermakers at Mackey Arena
pith. since Feb. 8,1998.
Feb.18, 2012, BarnesArico "We just got back to play-
. John's halted Connecti- ing together and more as a
99-game home winning unit," said senior forward Kate
with a 57-56 victory atthe Thompson. "We had everybody
A. Gampel Pavilion. playing at their best and contrib-
The win marked the Wolver-
ines' first victory over a ranked
rying to top opponent this season as well,
and in the long run, especially
the state's in consideration for NCAA seed-
ing, it could mean a lot.
.ndard setter ""tthink it is a tremendous
win for us," Barnes Arico said. "I
think it is a great win, in terms of
the NCAA Tournament too. This
is like a super-quality win. Peo-
ddition, St. John's became pie don't come in here and win at
he fifth team to win at Purdue. Forustobe ableto come
uskies since 1993, which in here and do that, especially
ns why Barnes Arico puts after beating Illinois, and follow
ich stress on her newly it up with this win, it says a lot
d in-state rivalry. about our program and where
ur first day on the job and we are now. I think it is a great
are making these state- win, it is a ,quality win - it is an
it made me appreciate NCAA win for sure."
mportant this rivalry is," For Michigan to have the
s Arico said. "I think it's chance to make history against
important to the kids, the Michigan State on Saturday,
:he community, just every- such consistent play will be nec-
or our program and our essary. And for the Wolverines
s, and our program when to continue their:positioning for
same in, to where it was to the NCAA and Big Ten Tourna-
it is now, we have signifi- ment, another streak must be
significantly improved snapped.

Young Wolverines
taking lumps now,
but youth creates
strong foundation
For The Daily
In just its second year as a
varsity program, the Michigan
lacrosse team started the regular
season with an 11-6 loss at home
to No.15 Penn State on Saturday.
The Wolverines (0"1) lost to the
Nittany Lions (1-0) for the second
straight year, but there's no panic
in the Michigan locker room. For
a team that won just one game in
its first season, the Wolverines
know that this is just a part of the
"You have a year when you
have trouble getting close, then
a year when you learn to get it
close, then you start learning how
to win the close ones," said Michi-
gan coach John Paul after the loss
to Penn State.
Paul knows a thing or two
about making a transition. After
coaching Michigan's club lacrosse
team for14 years, Paulis in charge
of turning one of the most domi-
nant club teams in the country
into a Division-I contender. On
paper, last year's record might not
have impressed many fans, but
the team did begin to develop the
culture necessary for success in
college athletics.
"If I had to point out one
strength of this team and last
year's team, it's that we never quit
working," Paul said. "I like the
resolve in the locker room, the
From Page 8A
ry - he's not himself - we were
just looking for some type of
energy to replace him right now.
Mitch had some bad turnovers
but he'll improve on it."
" Perhaps most concerning for
Michigan, though, is that McGary
wasn't the only big man with a
rough game Tuesday night. It
wasn't just him; nobody else was
ready either.
As a unit, the Wolverines took
a pounding from the Spartan for-
wards and centers, routinely get-
ting out-muscled and out-worked
in the post.
At the end of the first half,
Michigan State had a 38-24 lead
and had outscored Michigan,
24-8, in the paint. The Spartan
frontcourt had scored 24 points
and missed only three shots,
while the Wolverine big men
had scored just seven. The game
was basically over at that point
- Michigan's deficit continued to
grow as its forwards and centers
continued to get outplayed.
By the end of the game, Michi-
gan State's frontcourt scored 28
points, compared to eight for the
Wolverines. The two backup cen-
ters, Horford and Morgan, com-
bined for only one point off the
The matchup of the night was

guys were upset (after the loss),
but there was a lot of talk about
getting back to work the next
The players were frustrated
after their loss to Penn State,
but they remain hungry to prove
themselves against top-notch
"With the program Michigan
is trying to build, you want to
play the best," said senior cap-
tain Thomas Paras on Saturday.
"We're not shying away from
anyone; it's only going to make us
Paras noted that with quality
opponents like Penn State, Loyola
(Md.), Ohio State and Denver on
the schedule in just its second
year, Michigan is already on the
right track.
Despite the inconsistencies
Saturday, Michigan showed signs
of the team that Paras and Paul
are expecting in the future. It
held Penn State to one goal in both
the first and fourth quarters and
ripped off three straight goals of
its own near the end of the game.
Michigan's coach, however, is not
settling for moral victories.
"I hate even saying, 'We kept it
close,' "Paul said. "It doesn't mat-
ter, you could lose by 20 or one,
you still lost. We have to learn to
finish games out - that's the first
One of the reasons for the early
inconsistency could be the abun-
dance of youth. Freshmen and
sophomores make up more than
60 percent of the roster.
On the other hand, the youth is
also cause for excitement around
the program going forward.
Freshman midfielder Kyle Jack-
son burst onto the scene in his

debut Saturday with two goals
and an assist on Penn State's Aus-
tin Kaut - one of the top goalies
in the country. Jackson is one of
the reasons Paul hasn't lost hope
in an offense that struggled to
score in the season opener.
"Kyle is always going to make
things happen," Paul said. "He's
so good and so confident that he's
going to create opportunities for.
Freshman goalie Gerald
Logan has also impressed his
coaches and teammates. Aside
from his performance on the
field - like his 19-save per-
formance against Penn State
- teammates also say he has a
great work ethic that is common
to the rest of his class.
"Gerry is always trying to get
shot on during the middle of
the day, calling us during class
to see if we want to go shoot on
him," Paras said. "Not only are
(the freshmen) really talented
players, but they are some of the
hardest workers on the team."
Added Paras: "He has poten-
tial to be one of the greatest
goalies in the country in a few
Logan's work ethic and natu-
ral ability have won over team-
mates, coaches and fans around
the Michigan program.
Michigan's next test will be
on Feb. 16 at Bellarmine. Playing
with such a young team on the
road might seem like a difficult
task, but Paul isn't worried.
"With a young team, in some
ways it's easier," Paul said.
"There really are no distrac-
tions. Not having gone on the
road in this way, it's a huge deal
for them. They'll be focused."

Senior A.J. Treais (left) and the forwards haven'tforechecked well, creating workfor defensemen likejunior Mac Bennett.
Beorenson: clean up forecheck

Freshman forward Mitch McGary couldn't match the Spartans in the paint.

Nix vs: whoever was trying to
guard him. He finished the night
with 14 points and didn't miss a
shot until just under two minutes
in the first half. His game wasn't
flashy either - Nix is listed at 270
pounds and used every ounce of
it to get positioning in the post
against his Michigan counter-
part. He made hook shots, fin-
ished on spin moves and made a
tip in off what looked like a vol-
leyball tip.
"He's a bigbody," Morgan said.
"He just has a way of getting him-
self deep in the paint, you can't let
him get deep in the paint because
he's got a good touch around the
It's hard to blame Morgan,
because even though he said after
the game that he felt good enough
to play, without restrictions,
Beilein disagreed and said his big

man wasn't 100 percent.
It's hard to blame McGary,
because the Breslin Center is as
tough as an arena there is to play
in the country, especially against
a very talented Spartan front-
It's hard to blame anyone, and
maybe that was the biggest prob-
lem. If a whole unit falters, is it
fair to blame each individual cog?
After the game, Morgan
slumped against a wall, his 6-foot-
8 frame shrinking into the con-
crete below him. He was visibly
frustrated and upset, almost in
disbelief of what had just trans-
pired in East Lansing.
Looking down at the ground,
he shook his head and muttered
what could be the answer.
"I don't think we were pre-
pared for what they brought

Despite changing didn't perform well.
approaches, 'M' The Wolverines won fewer
faceoffs than the Fighting Irish
can't keep puck in in both games of last weekend,
and of those, even fewer came in
opposing zone the opposingzone. OnFridaythe
Wolverines won just 29 faceoffs
compared to Notre Dame's 35,
By GREG GARNO while posting improved numbers
Daily Sports Writer on Saturday, winning 35 faceoffs
compared to their opponent's 36.
The Michigan hockey team However, the forecheck isn't
has a list of chores to finish this always applicable every time the
week. puck is in the other zone, like
It's a simple list, according to during a line shift. But an effi-
Michigan coach Red Berenson, cient and consistent forecheck
consisting of five items high- can help keep pressure off of an
lighted by defensive-zone cover- ailing defense and inexperienced
age, after the Wolverines were goaltenders.
swept by No. 12 Notre Dame. But While faceoffs can bean indi-
among the important issues is cator, the matter can be primar-
Michigan's struggling forecheck. ily subjective. Berenson wasn't
It's nearly impossible to quan- pleased with the performance
tify how efficient a forecheck over the weekend and in recent
is during a game, as turnovers weekends.
aren't necessarily an indicator "There's afew times where we
of the forecheck alone. Goals had a decent forecheck, but not a
allowed don't solely fall on the compellingforecheck,"Berenson
forward's forecheck, either. said. "A good forecheck keeps
So how can you measure the them in their own zone and cre-
forecheck? According to Beren- ates turnovers, and I diin't think
son, it's assimple as faceoffs. we did that."
"One indicator of the game is, The last time Michigan's fore-
look at the faceoffs," Berenson check was noticeable and com-
said. "If you see that we've got pelling in Berenson's eyes was
twice as many faceoffs that we Jan. 18-19 in its series against
took in our zone than their zone, Lake Superior State. In that
then there's a pretty good indica- series, the Wolverines jumped
tion that's where the game was out to early leads on both nights,
played." overwhelming the defense and
And if you base the forecheck forcing the Lakers to play at a
off of faceoffs, then Michigan faster pace.

But against Notre Dame, the
Wolverines looked more relaxed,
waiting in their own zone for the
potent offense to attack.
"(Our) forecheck kind of fell
apart this weekend (against
Notre Dame)," said senior for-
ward A.J. Treais. "We've been
trying out new systems ... but we
tried a new forecheck against
Lake (Superior) State, and ever
since then it's been hit or miss."
So, who is left to take charge
and lead the forecheck to get a
head start on the chores?
Certainly, the older, more
experienced forwards can take
charge and use their physicality
to help outtheir defense.
But the forecheck is one of
mahy interrelated parts that
depend on simple playsBerenson
says, like timing passes.
"A little bit of (making plays)
is experience," Berenson said..
"Some of it is just hoping, you're
hoping and you're taking too
many chances. Then, the other
part is you're playing from
behind. When you start playing
from behind you take chances."
Now, the bye week allows the
Wolverines to focus on the chore
of forechecking stronger. It will
help the forecheck when Michi-
gan takes on Ohio State - the
45th-ranked team nationally in
goals scored - next weekend.
Unless the forecheck
improves, the Wolverines will
have an even longer list of chores
in their remaining weeks.

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