6 -- Friday, March 29, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com
6 - Friday, March 29, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom 6
Awe-struck 'M' ready for KU
By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Editor
ARLINGTON, Texas - When
the Michigan men's basketball
team takes the floor on Friday
against top-seeded Kansas, it'll
be attempting to advance to the
Elite Eight, which no other Wol-
verine team has done since 1994.
It'll also attempt to reverse
the fortune of a different Mich-
igan team from earlier this
school year: The football team,
which was blown out in a 41-14
season-opening loss to Alabama
in a highly publicized game at
None of that mattered when
the Wolverines - many holding
cameras - took the court, posi-
tioned above the football turf's
famed midfield silver and blue
star, in Thursday's practice.
"Just walking out was defi-
nitely an experience for all
of us," said sophomore point
guard Trey Burke. "I mean, who
wouldn't take pictures coming
out into the Dallas stadium?"
Added freshman point guard
Spike Albrecht: "Honestly, it was
surreal. You walk in there and
you see the jumbotron up there
bigger than the court, and you
just take a step back and you're
like, 'Holy crap, I'm playing in
the Dallas Cowboys' stadium.'"
Burke and Albecht weren't
alone in their awe for the field,
either. Freshman forward Glenn
Robinson III joked that the sta-
dium was so big, players would
need to use the buddy system in
order to not get lost.
But after making their way
onto the court, the players had
another order of business to
Cowboy Stadium is using a
raised floor. While that alone
is sometimes enough to throw
shooters' depth perceptions off,
the stadium is so expansive,
especially compared to typical
arenas, that it can play mind
games with players attempting
to shoot frorm distance. "
But after a 50-minute prac-
tice, many of the Wolverines
(12-6 Big Ten, 28-7 overall) were
skeptical that it would have any
affect on the game.
"I think we'll be fine," Burke
said. "I think that's just mental.
I don't think it's really different.
The rims are the same, the ball
is the same size, so it's all about
Freshman guard Nik Staus-
kas acknowledged that for a few
minutes, he struggled to find his
stroke, but after adjusting, said it
"I was out there hitting shots,
and I said, 'It's a great shooter's
gym,"' Stauskas said.
And Michigan's ability to
shoot the 3-ball could determine
the outcome of Friday's game
with the Jayhawks (14-4 Big 12,
31-5). At just under four blocks
per game - with a host of addi-
tional altered shots - Kansas'
seven-foot center Jeff Withey
makes scoring inside the paint
tough for his opponents.
"You run a beautiful play, it
couldn't be run better, and he
somehow blocks the shot," said
Michigan coach John Beilein.
"It can be very deflating to a
Robinson compared the Jay-
hawks front line to that of a Big
Ten team, specifically compar-
ing them to Michigan State in
the way they crash the boards.
That's why redshirt sopho-
more forward Jon Horford
explained that controlling the
defensive glass and limiting
Kansas' second-chance oppor-
tunities is the key to winning.
"Kansas lives off that stuff,"
Horford said. "A miss and they
just grab it, put it in, grab it, kick
it out for a three. We've got to
stop all of that."
Withey leads a deep and tal-
ented group of big men that
average 8.4 rebounds per game,
while the Jayhawks' back court
is led by second-team All-Amer-
ican guard Ben McLemore, who
led the team with 16.4 points
per game. The freshman can
score in a variety of ways, both
by attacking the rim and shoot-
ing from long range, but has
struggled'in the tournament. He
missed all nine of his field-goal
attempts in a come-from-behind
win over 8th-seeded North Car-
olina on Sunday, while seven of
his 11 points came from the free-
The five Michigan freshmen have all contributed significantly down the stretch, fueling Michigan's Sweet Sixteen run.
From Page 7
again, this time to the Uni-
versity of Maryland as the head
coach, making the 32-year-old
the youngest head coach at a
BCS-level program. Despite
inheriting a struggling program,
Bakich made his players believe
they could compete in the ACC,
just as LeClair made him and his
teammates believe they could
make it to Omaha years before.
"He definitely helped us
believe that, 'Hey, we're not one
of the lower teams in the ACC.
We're one of the best,' " said for-
mer Maryland shortstop Alfredo
In Bakich's three seasons at
Maryland, the team improved
from 17-39 in his first season to
32-24 in his final season. Bakich
continued to exhibit his recrui?
ing prowess away from the base-
ball hotbed of the south; signing
recruiting classes that received
national accolades in each of his
Despite the visible progress
at Maryland, when Bakich saw
a better opportunity to get to
Omaha, he took the head coach-
ing position at Michigan. In the
minds of Wolverine fans, Omaha
might seem like it's in a foreign
country - the Wolverines enter
conference play with a 10-12
record in Bakich's first season.
In Bakich's mind, it's just a few
years away, as he rebuilds the
Michigan program to be even
better than the program that
defeated Vanderbilt in 2007.
Even in rebuilding, his passion
for Omaha rages.
"It kills you every year not to
go back to Omaha," Bakich said.
"It literally eats away at you. All
you want to do is figure out a way
to get your players and your pro-
gram better so you can get back
When Bakich remembers his
Omaha promise as his last words
to LeClair, he believes he can ful-
fill it at Michigan, just as much
as all of his teammates believed
they could make it to Omaha
when they broke huddle each day
at East Carolina.
With his final promise to
LeClair in mind, Bakich hopes to
one day coach in Omaha, wear-
ing a No. 23 Michigan uniform as
one more testament to the coach
who inspires him daily.
Sophomore point guard Trey Burke might have trouble penetrating against Kansas' superb interior defense.
throw line as Kansas eeked out including last year, when it lost who says that unlike last year,
a win over 16th-seeded Western in the NCAA Championship Michigan is relaxed and com-
Kentucky in the previous round. game to Kentucky, 67-59. posed.
Still, a team full of inexperi- Beilein noted that this Kansas "In the tournament last year,
enced players like Michigan - team has "seen it all." I don't know what it was, just as
most of its freshmen were just Though last year's team did a team, there was a weird feel-
months old when the Wolverines have a different makeup - it ing," Horford said, noting that it
last reached the Sweet Sixteen - lost its two leading scorers, wasn't about being unprepared,
has to be wary of a veteran squad including All-American Thomas but about being too uptight and
like the Jayhawks. Besides Robinson, to the NBA - the Jay- pressured. "Don't complicate
McLemore, Kansas' four other hawks won't be rattled by Fri- things. Just understand it's just
starters are seniors makingtheir day's big-game atmosphere. a game, it's literally just a game
third run in the tournament, That doesn't scare Horford, of basketball."
RELEASE DATE- Friday, March 29, 2013
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
1 Beginning to
5 Styptic stuff
13 Cleaver kid
16 Hide cyberspace
19 Macbeth or
20 Most cozy
1996 Beck hit
25 Mr.__: Dr
32 Editor's mark
34 Pendleton Act
35 Objects of
40 Writer Marilyn _
41 Chambery shout
42 Olive, for one
44 Parting word
47 Hayseed that
49 Push for
53 Like the LA.
57 NBA military
initiative, and a
hint to this
63 The Supremes or
64 Remote button
65 Honey drink
67 Victim of
DOWN 34 Hairy "pet" 47 Seals's partner
1 "Shark Tank" airer 36 Clicking site 48 In need
2 Corp. leader 37 Ph.D. seeker's 51 Mac alternatives
3 _4: Toyota SUV exam 54 Spanish
4 Like some 38 Brooklyn Nets address
imaginations forward 55 Creamy spread
5 MP's concern Humphries 56 Early
6 Pickup opener 39 Dissenting group Nebraskans
7 Ho's instrument 43 Barely earn, with 58 Pay dirt
8 Cause of a big "out" 59 Word of sharing
slice 44 Oklahoma city 60 Class-conscious
9 Mardi Gras torch 45 Duke's home org.?
10 Focal points 46 Chant 61 Prepared
11 Cartoonists, at ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
12Offer to one S P E C S S H A H J U N G
who's been C O R A L H I L 0 1 S I N
recently blessed? O B A M A A L O T H E L P
17 "Goodbye, R O S E B OW L P A R A D E
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18 Fireside shelf A A A U N C E L
21 Commonhbase S W I M C L A S S A S H B Y
22 Points a finger at L E C A R RE UM UT U R N
23 Sounds of I R O N Y T A C K L E B 0 X
disdain TEN LAY E TIA
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25 Potbellied I C E C R E A M P A R L O R
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heavyweight FAQS SINE FL0AT
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slogan email@example.com 03/29/13
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