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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 7A

Poor defense
on minds of
Wolverines

Recently, Michigan
has allowed
opponents to put up
crooked numbers
By STEVEN BRAID
Daily Sports Editor
A trend has been developing
for the Michigan men's basketball
team's defense, and it's not a very
encouraging one.
During the first four months of
the season, the sixth-ranked Wol-
verines (12-6 Big
Ten, 25-6 over- NOTEBOOK
all) were great at
containing individual scoring out-
bursts. In that time period, they
allowed just two opposing play-
ers to break the 20-point barrier
* against them - West Virginia's
Terry Henderson and Minnesota's
Austin Hollins.
But over the course of the past
two weeks, a span stretching four
games, Michigan has allowed an
opposing player to score at least
25 points in three of those games
- and the Wolverines are 1-2 in
those contests.
"Our whole defense has been
a concern," said Michigan coach
John Beilein. "Whether it's offen-
sive rebounds, ball-screen defense

- there's a lot that goes into it.
At one time it was rotations, at
another time it was the big men, at
a different time it was the guards.
Bringing it all together is diffi-
cult."
The discouraging signs on
defense began when Michigan
was upset by Penn State on Feb.
27. Nittany Lions guard Jermaine
Marshall scored 16 of his 25 points
in the final 10 minutes of the game,
helping erase a 15-point deficit en
route to a 84-78 Penn State victory.
That one-man show by Mar-
shall was upped one week later by
Purdue's Terone Johnson. Though
Michigan narrowly defeated the
Boilermakers, 80-75, Johnson
torched the Wolverines for 32
points. The Purdue guard aver-
ages less than 14 points a game,
but he scored bucket after bucket
on his way to dropping 19 second-
half points.
And then against Indiana on
Sunday, Michigan was unable to
limit a one-man show again, as
Cody Zeller dropped 25 points.
The Hoosier big man was too
much for the Wolverines to handle
down the stretch, scoring 16 sec-
ond-half points - six in the final
40 seconds - to help Indiana pull
out a 72-71 come-from-behind vic-
tory.
"There was some lapses in deci-
sion-making and at times in our

minutes a game.
"Our coaches have been push-
ing me all year to just be solid for
us defensively, and what I have
strived to do is just defend and
rebound for this team and do
every little thing that this team
needs from me," Morgan said.
AN ASSISTANT AT LAST:
Beilein has accomplished many
things during his 35-year coach-
ing career, but there's one thing
that has always set him apart
from his coaching colleagues: He's
never been an assistant coach,
anywhere.
But after this summer, that will
be no more. On Tuesday, Beilein
was selected as an assistant coach
for the 2013 USA Basketball Men's
World University Games team,
joining South Carolina coach
Frank Martin as an assistant.
Davidson coach Bob McKillop
will lead the coachingstaff.
"It will be different for me to
hold a clipboard for somebody,
there's no question about itc- I feel
very funny about that - but I'll
hold it for Bob McKillop anytime,"
Beilein said.
An annual event, the 2013
World University Games will be
held July 7-16, in Kazan, Russia.
Beilein has had several oppor-
tunities in the past totake part in
Team USA Basketball, but has had
to turn them down every time. He
had previously been offered dur-
ing situations when he took a new
job and his first obligation was
to the university that he had just
joined. With Michigan holding
steady near the top of the college
basketball world, Beilein thought
this was as good of a time as any to
take the opportunity.
"I love the World University
Games," he said. "You get to work
with college players that are really
there for the right reasons. I get to
work with Bob McKillop, who is a
great friend of mine, and serve the
country most importantly."

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Junior forward Tim Hardaway Jr. tries to front Minnesota's Rodney Williams Jr. during a Michigan win on Jan. 17.

execution," said redshirt junior
forward Jordan Morgan.
Whatever the cause is, Beilein
knows that improvement will only
come with ateam effort.
"I don't think it's as much as one
person as it is moving as a unit,"
he said. "It just takes one man to
break down."
TEAM EARNS WE-WARDS:
On Monday, sophomore guard
Trey Burke was named Big Ten
Player of the Year by the coaches
and media, but he wasn't the only
Wolverine to pick up a honor for
his performance during the 2013
conference season.

Junior swingman Tim Hard-
away Jr., freshman forward Glenn
Robinson III and Morgan were all
honored by the Big Ten on Mon-
day, as well.
"It's such a terrific honor for all
of these guys," Beilein said. "It's
incredible to have that type of rep-
resentation."
Hardaway joined Burke as an
All-Big Ten first-team selection
by the coaches, and was placed on
the All-Big Ten second team by the
media. A two-time Big Ten Player
of the Week recipient this season,
Hardaway is averaging a career
high in points (14.8), rebounds

(4.7), assists (2.2) and field-goal
percentage (45.0).
Robinson was honored with a
Big Ten All-Freshman team selec-
tion, marking the third consecu-
tive year a Wolverine has made the
team. After starting all 31 games
for the Wolverines, the freshman
is averaging 10.9 points and 5.5
rebounds.
Morgan was selected to the
conference's All-Defensive team,
despite being hobbled for several
games with an ankle injury during
the middle of conference play. The
big man is averaging 5.3 points
and 4.8 rebounds, while playing18

Streaky 'M' prepares for tourney

Which team will
show up at the
NCAA Tournament?
By STEVEN BRAID
Daily Sports Editor
Just days after being bounced
from the Big Ten Tournament,
the Michigan women's basket-
ball team now has its sights set on
loftier goals - an NCAA champi-
onship.
The Wolverines (10-6 Big Ten,
21-10 overall) will likely receive
their sixth tournament berth in
program history Monday under
the leadership of first-year coach
Kim Barnes Arico. At St. John's
University, Barnes Arico led the
Red Storm to four tournament
appearances, including a trip to
the Sweet 16 in 2012.
"I'm excited for the opportu-
nity to play in the NCAA Tour-
nament," Barnes Arico said.
"Obviously it's going to be a
stressful week. We feel like we're
in agood position, and we feel like
our total of body of work has been
really good. We feel like we're one
of the top teams in the country."
Last season, former Michigan
coach Kevin Borseth helped the
Wolverines achieve their only
tournament berth during his five-
year tenure in Ann Arbor. The
Wolverines, however, couldn't
extend their season past the first

round and ended the year with a
loss to Oklahoma.
But that was last year.
Michigan now boasts one of
the best teams in the Big Ten,
carried by a core of five seniors
and a rookie coach. The Wol-
verines have been streaky down
the stretch this season, but it's
their senior class that insists on
making some noise in the NCAA
Tournament.
The question isn't whether
Michigan has the talent to make
a deep run in the dance, but rath-
er if it will show up. This season
has been chock full of impressive
wins, including victories over
Michigan State and eventual con-
ference tournament champion
Purdue on the road.
When the Wolverines are fir-
ing on all cylinders, they have the
potential to beat almost anyone.
Michigan proved its competitive
fight this season with near victo-
ries over two top-10 teams, Duke
and Penn State.
"We could catch somebody off
guard, and we got a lot of differ-
ent weapons, and when we were
playing well, I think we could
beat a lot of good people," Barnes
Arico said.
Yet the Wolverines have also
proven their ability to struggle
against poor teams. Consecutive
losses to Iowa and Minnesota
midway through conference play
marked the beginning of an ugly
streak, marring an otherwise
impressive record. After starting

the season with the best record in
program history, the Wolverines
capped Big Ten play by losing to
Ohio State on the road - a team
that might not even make the
NCAA Tournament.
If Michigan has any chance at
postseason success, it must start
with its perimeter shooting and
rebounding. Senior guard Kate
Thompson leads the team in scor-
ing with 14.5 points per game but
has been rhythmless from the
3-point line recently. The All-Big
Ten second-team player is one
of the most dynamic shooters in
the country, but her inconsisten-
cy has plagued the Wolverines'
offense late in the season.
Barnes Arico's presence has
reemphasized the importance of
rebounding.
Last season's -3.9 rebound-
ing margin has transformed
into a plus-3.0 margin. Accord-

ingly, Michigan is 15-3 when
out-rebounding its opponent this
season.
Next Monday, known as
"Selection Monday," the NCAA's
selection committee will release
the bracket. The Wolverines must
wait to scout its opponent until
then, but this week will provide
a much-needed opportunity for
Michigan to nurse any lingering
injuries and prepare strategies for
the tournament.
"We're just going to keep
working until Selection Monday
comes around," Ryan said. "We
hope we're in a good seed, and we
feel like we are with our resume.
That's all we have to go on right
now.
"We're going to keep getting
better day by day like we have all
year and hope that when Selec-
tion Monday comes we're in the

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico (top) and senior guard Jenny Ryan will lead
Michigan in postseason play. The Wolverines have been hot and cold this season.

FOOTBAL
Robinson out runs Swope, voter fraud
to win spot on EA Sports' NCAA cover

I i

By ZACH HELFAND
Daily Sports Editor
Two late additions to the list
of people Denard Robinson has
outrun in his time at Michigan:
Texas A&M's Ryan Swope and a
hoard of ballot stuffers.
EA Sports announced Tuesday
that the former Michigan quar-
terback won its fan vote to deter-
mine who will grace the cover
of the NCAA Football '14 video
game next fall. Robinson defeat-
ed Swope in a close and surpris-
ingly eventful online vote that
would make the state of Florida
proud.

"It's such a blessing," said ed questions directly from fans
Robinson in a release. "I've been on Twitter Friday.
playing this video game since I Still by Saturday, the final day
was a little kid, and it's a dream of voting, the race remained too
come true. I can't thank the fans close to call. And allegations of
enough for voter fraud -

their votes."
Robinson
took a person-
al role in the
campaign, urg-
ing fans to vote
through social
media, atypi-
cal for him. As

yes,voter fraud
A player for in a Facebook
vote - further
years now the muddied the
picture. The
cover boy vote had been
ongoing since
mid December,
but less than

to create fake Facebook pages to
stuff the ballots. EA Sports was
forced to issue a public statement
explaining its response to the
potential inequities.
Ultimately, Robinson proved
as elusive in the polls as he is on
the field.
"It's hard to put into words
what all of their support means
to me," Robinson said of the
fans' support. "It was an honor to
wear the maize and blue for four
years, and it will be an honor to
represent Michigan and the fans
on the cover of NCAA '14. I'm so
glad that winged helmet is on
there."

part of the University Athletic two weeks before voting ended, a
Department's push to put Robin- Texas A&M message board (later
son on the cover, Robinson field- deleted) surfaced urging Aggies

I

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