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November 12, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, November 12, 2013- 7A

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, November12, 2013 - 7A

Another early tune-up
for Michigan frontcourt

By DANIEL FELDMAN
Daily Sports Writer
As Michigan men's basket-
ball coach John Beilein stood at
the podium in the Crisler Center
media room on Monday, he made
an astute observation about the
amount of reporters in atten-
dance.
"Sparse S Caro-
crowd," he said,
regarding the lina State at
group of maybe MiChigan
10.
Though Matchup:
Beilein and the SC. State 1-1;
men's basketball Michigan 1-0
team will surely When: Tues-
face teams and day 7 P.M.
media contin- Where: Crisler
gents larger Center
than that mov- TV/Radio:
ing forward, BTN.com
the team the
seventh-ranked
Wolverines (1-0) will be going
against Tuesday night might be
playing in front of its largest audi-
ence for the year.
Say hello to South Carolina
State.
The Bulldogs (1-1), hailing from

the Mid-Eastern Athletic Confer-
ence, will make their first-ever
visit to Ann Arbor to play in front
of a crowd of most likely at least
10,000 fans - compared to the 387
spectators in attendance Sunday
for their game against Division II
St. Andrews. In that game, they
needed overtime to win, 59-55.
But for anyteam, especially one
that was victorious only six times
last season, a win is a win. And for
Beilein, an opponent is an oppo-
nent, regardless of rank or size.
- "South Carolina State has
almost everybody back from a
team that did struggle a lot last
year," Beilein said. "The same
coach two years in a row. They're
going to come after us, trying to
create turnovers (with) tremen-
dous width and length. They have
a really excellent 6-11 center, and
we're going to have to play really
well, and we look forward to the
game."
The 6-foot-11center in question
is Matthew Hezekiah, a second-
team all-MEAC selection last
season who's been the Bulldogs'
leading scorer thus far, putting up
19 against Marshall and 17 versus
St. Andrews. Hezekiah has been

efficient, shooting 16-for-23 from
the field.
With a center as South Carolina
State's biggest offensive threat,
Michigan will need strong defen-
sive play from its big men, fifth-
year senior Jordan Morgan and
redshirt junior Jon Horford.
Horford- who earned the start
at the "5" in the regular-season
opener against UMass Lowell
and recorded a career-high 12
rebounds in the 69-42 win - will
aim to replicate his production
against a team that had 20 offen-
sive rebounds against Marshall.
After getting outrebounded
in their exhibition game against
Wayne State, 36-31, a key for the
Wolverines has become boxing
out and crashing the boards.
"I thought if you looked at us
in that one, that we were in a
stance," Beilein said. "We were
talking to each other. We made
some good block outs. There were
some things that we really had to
- the Wayne State game wasn't a
great block-out day - and it's one
of those things we had to empha-
size more.
"So we have to make sure we
block out again. They shoot the

PATRICK BARRON/I
Redshirt junior forward Jon Horford collected a career-high 12 rebounds against UMass Lowell on Friday.

ball from the outside, and they
have a good player inside. They're
going to try to get the ball off the
glass."
While Horford played 22 min-
utes last game to Morgan's 12,
Beilein sees both players at the
level he expects for this point in
the season.
"There are spots where they've
really done some great things,"
Beilein said. "Jordan's always
been a good defender. Jon has
been able to defend without foul-

ing at a better clip than he's ever
been. Now finishing around the
basket, they're right there. They
just need - Jon's two plays to start
that second half - a few of those to
open a couple doors for him."
While those two will see plen-
ty of time on the court Tuesday
night, sophomore forward Mitch
McGary will remain on the bench
as he continues to rehab his lower
back. Though he won't play, his
intensity in practice has increased
in recent days.

"For the first time now, he's
done some workouts,"Beilein said.
"He's had some more repetition
in practice over the last 10 days.
He's had repetitions, he looks very
good and we're going to continue
increasing his repetitions."
With no contact in practice
allowed though, McGary's actual
return date remains unclear. And
until then, McGary will be limited
to working with just a coach in
practice while Morgan and Hor-
ford battle Hezekiah downilow.

After fans boo, team takes notice

Play calling not a
problem, says Hoke

By ZACH HELFAND
Daily Sports Editor
As soon as the Michigan foot-
ball team walked into the locker
room for halftime of Saturday's
game against Nebraska, fifth-
year senior left tackle Taylor
Lewan decided it was time to
talk.
The Wolverines were get-
ting pummeled in the trenches
again. The Cornhuskers led,
10-3, and after Michigan took a
knee to end the half, the Michi-
gan Stadium crowd booed as the
team headed to the tunnel.
For players like sophomore
linebacker James Ross III, it
was a moment of clarity. For the
others, Lewan would soon pro-
vide the lesson.
Hearing the fans' displeasure
while exiting the field, Ross
said, "We realized that it's all
about us in this locker room, and
that's the only ones who's gonna
have each other's backs through
the worst times and through the
best times."
When the team reached the
locker room, "Lewan definitely
stuck that point' home," Ross
said.
Right after halftime, the
Wolverines executed their best
drive in the past two games. For
one drive, Michigan's offense
marched methodically, using
mostly passes to go 75 yards in
10 plays for a touchdown. Then,
Michigan failed to score for the
rest of the 17-13 loss.
The defeat was noteworthy
for several reasons. It knocked
Michigan out of Big Ten title
contention. It marked Michigan
coach Brady Hoke's first back-
to-back regular-season losses,
and his first home loss. And, also
for the first time under Hoke,
the Michigan fans openlyvoiced
their displeasure during a game.
On Monday, Hoke acknowl-
edged that the faithful have
grown ornery, "and they should
be," he said. But any boos direct-
ed at the players, he said, disap-
point him.

ERIN KIRKLAND/Daily
The Michigan Stadium crowd booed the Michigan football team on multiple occasions during Saturday's loss to Nebraska.

"If they're b
then yeah," Ho
can boo us co
want."
Asked if he t
were upset wit
Hoke said,
"that's what
I'd be disap-
pointed in."
Few fun-
damental
changes are
in store. Hoke
said again
on Monday
that he had
to do a better
job coaching.
Still, he expres
offensive coord
es's game plan
claims by two N
ers who insisted
dict Michigan's
offensive line, h
from the only i
team.

ooing the kids, And so, at least until this
ke said. "They weekend's game at Northwest-
aches all they ern, the grumbling will likely
continue. The seniors have
hought the fans experienced struggles like this
h the coaching, before. But for the younger play-
ers, the atmo-
sphere can
have an effect.
"We realized "What:hap-
nens above
that it's all about the neck is
, , more impor-
us in this locker, ant than any
thing," Hoke,
room. said. "Period."
Fifth-year
senior right
tackle Michael

gested it could galvanize the
team.
As for Hoke, he can look back
to his third season as the Ball
State coach as an example. That
2005 team lost six of its first
seven, including to No. 11 Iowa,
Auburn and No. 21 Boston Col-
lege by a combined 154 points.
But a strong finish helped Ball
State salvage a 4-4 finish in
conference play, including wins
against both Mid-American
Conference division winners.
The key there, Hoke said, was
staying consistent. That team,
he explained, didn't stray from
who it was.
Now, he hopes to do the same
at Michigan. The pressure here
is different, of course. Even at
home, Hoke can't escape it.
"Look, I've got a harder time
at home than I do there," Hoke
said. "Believe me. I mean, my
daughter and wife, man. (The
media is) easy compared to
them."

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Editor
It's not exactly breaking news
that time is running out for the
Michigan football team to solve
its laundry list of problems.
Some things, like inexperi-
ence, will inevitably take another
season or two to solve. But in the
meantime, Michigan coach Brady
Hoke is trying NOTEBOOK
to figure out
what, if any-
'thing, can be fixed immediately.
After Saturday's game, Nebras-
ka defensive end Randy Gregory
- who had three of the Huskers'
seven sacks - told Omaha.com
that he could easily tell what play
the Wolverines were going to run
based on their formation.
Hoke seemed to take some
offense to that statement, reiter-
ating the fact that he approved of
the play calling.
"He's wrong," Hoke said. "We
know what other guys are doing,
too. Everybody has that. There's
certain things people are goingto
do certain ways. Now, when you
win a football game, I think some-
times it's easy to say that."
Sophomore linebacker James
Ross III agreed with Hoke, saying
that was the case for the Michi-
gan defense at times too - being
able to predict plays is more a sign
of a well-prepared defense than a
stagnant offense.
"Our defensive coaches do a
great job looking at film all the
time, day in and day out, giving us
tendencies and personnel you're
able to recognize," Hoke said. "If
it's a key tendency, you'll know
what it is before it happens most
of the time."
Hoke didn't seem to want to
change much in regard to the
offensive approach, except per-
haps Michigan's performance
on first downs. It took until over
12 minutes into the game for
the Wolverines to complete a

first-down throw, a 13-yard pass
to sophomore tight end Devin
Funchess.
The majority of Michigan's
plays on first downs were runs,
and seeing as the Huskers stuffed
those early on, it put the Wolver-
ines in too many 3rd-and-long
situations. They went 3-for-i5 on
third downs.
"We get a first down in a criti-
cal part of the game, and we miss
a snap," Hoke said. "Those things
happen. Then you're working in
negatives. Do you look at every-
thing? Yeah. You always look at
personnel. You always go back to
evaluate."
THREE FOR THREE: With a Big
Ten championship officially out
of the picture, the Wolverines
have had to refocus their efforts
on what they hope to achieve in
their final stretch of the season.
With three more games
remaining, Hoke says Michigan
has three things to play for.
"Well, number one, you're a
competitor," Hoke said. "You
want to go out and fight. We
always play for our seniors, and
we're always going to work hard
for those guys. The other thing
is, you have a chance to win 10
football games. That opportunity
is always out there. That's always
been a benchmark."
HEALTH UPDATE: By Saturday
night, redshirt junior quarterback
Devin Gardner had been sacked
14times in seven days. So it wasn't
surprising to see him walking
gingerly at the end of the game.
But Hoke isn't worried about
the beating Gardner took, say-
ing he's healthy and that there
shouldn't he any residual effects
this week.
Redshirt sophomore corner-
back Blake Countess exited the
game shortly after the first quar-
ter and never returned after he
suffered an undisclosed injury,
but Hoke said he should also be
fine.

sed. support for
nator Al Borg-
He dismissed
ebraska defend-
I they could pre-
plays. And the
he said, was far
issue facing the

Schofield says he tells the under-
classmen to ignore the outside
voices.
"I mean, they're gonna'boo,"
he said. "We just gotta stick
together as a team and just fight
together."
Ross said the halftime jeers
provided motivation. He sug-

FOOTBAL R[CRTIcNG
Recruiting Roundup: Michigan commits in the state playoffs

By JUSTIN STERN
Daily Sports Writer
The 2014 Michigan football
recruiting class is currently
rankdd seventh in the nation by
ESPN and 13th by Scout. With
the highly-anticipated decision
of defensive end Da'Shawn Hand
this Thursday, Michigan looks
to add to one of the best recruit-
ing classes the school has seen.
Here's a look at how the 2014
commits who had high-school
games this week performed:
Jabrill Peppers, defensive
back/running lack: Paramus

Catholic (N.J.) at Bergen Catho-
lic (N.J.); Ranking: ESPN (2)
Scout (4).
Peppers scored four touch-
downs - two receiving, another
on a run and one on an intercep-
tion return - to lead Paramus
Catholic to a 44-6 victory.
Ian Bunting, tight end: Hin-
sdale Central (Ill.); Rankings:
ESPN (118) Scout (268).
Bunting's team was elimi-
nated from the state playoffs last
week with a 42-14 loss. Bunting
finished the year with 10 recep-
tions for 165 yards.

Michael Ferns, linebacker/run-
ning back: St. Clairsville (Ohio) at
Liberty Union (Ohio); Ranking:
ESPN (123) Scout (175).
St. Clairsville was eliminated
in the first round of the Divi-
sion V state playoffs with a 31-0
loss. Ferns finished the season
with 31 rushes for 441 yards and
six touchdowns. He also tallied
144 tackles, four sacks and two
forced fumbles.
Wilton Speight, quarterback:
Collegiate School (Va.) vs. Flint
Hill (Va.); Ranking: ESPN (128).
Scout (NR).
Collegiate School defeated

Flint Hill 27-14 in the VISAA
Division I state semifinals. Spei-
ght went 15-for-24 with 245
yards and three touchdowns.
Chase Winovich, linebacker/
running back: Thomas Jefferson
(Pa.) at Highlands (Pa.); Rank-
ing: (NR).
Winovich led Thomas Jeffer-
son to a 23-14 victory with 200
yards rushing and three touch-
downs. He also tallied five tack-
les. Thomas Jefferson currently
has the longest winning streak
in its conference and has secured
the conference championship.

Maurice Ways, wide receiver:
Detroit Country Day (Mich.) vs.
Notre Dame Prep (Mich.); Rank-
ing: (NR).
Ways had nine receptions for
185 yards and three touchdowns
as Detroit Country Day defeated
Notre Dame Prep 49-27 in the
district final of the MHSAA
Division IV state playoffs.
Noah Furbush, linebacker:
Kenton (Ohio) vs. Galion (Ohio);
Ranking: (NR).
Furbush finished the regular
season with 93 total tackles and
two sacks and helped Kenton to a
58-14 win over Galion in the first

round of the OHSAA Division IV
playoffs.
Brady Pallante, defensive tack-
le: Barron Collier (Fla.) vs. Lely
(Fla.); Ranking: (NR).
Barron Collier finished its sea-
son with a 14-12 loss. Pallante
will be on agrayshirt scholarship
to Michigan, meaning he will
not participate in team activi-
ties until joining the team on full
scholarship in 2015.

I

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