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November 26, 2013 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-26

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6 - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0

6 - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Daily Sports Writer
1. Nik Stauskas is this team's only
consistent offensive threat right
This is an easy one to see. After
averaging a tournament-high 23.3
points per game, leading to atour-
nament MVP honor, it's clear that
Michigan is relying on the sopho-
more guard alot.
The first glimpse was seen
Thursday, when Stauskas scored
24 points on 7-for-10 shooting.
The trend carried over to Friday,
when Michigan (4-2) trailed by as
many 16 in the second half against
Florida State.
Despite a cold first half in
which he scored just three points,
Stauskas was central to Michi-
gan's dramatic comeback, pouring
in 16 in the second half and seven
more in overtime.
And it wasn't even from jump
shots - he drove to the basket, he
drew fouls and he attempted nine
free throws in the game.
Michigan coach John Beilein
has said that with Stauskas's
added weight and strength, he
wants him to draw more fouls and
take more contact as he puts the
ball on the ground.
The issue is that he can't do it
all. And while it's unfair to say
that no one else is contributing
for the Wolverines, it is fair to say
that no one is playing on the level
of Stauskas.
Looking down the road, the
team as a whole will need to
raise its level of play. Especially
if Stauskas's ankle injury - he
appeared to twist it, though he
did stay in the game - proves to
be more serious than originally
2. Glenn Robinson 111 needs to
demand the ball more.

ink top-20
recruiting class

Sophomore guard Nik Stauskas earned tournament MVP honors, even though Michigan lost in the finals to Charlotte.

This year was supposed to be
different for the sophomore for-
ward after he averaged 11.0 points
on just 7.5 shots per game while
playing third - if not fourth - fid-
dle on last year's squad. This year,
as captain of the team, Robinson
was expected to be more of avocal
and scoringleader.
But up to this point, the expec-
tations have not materialized.
Sure, he is averaging 11.8 points,
but he's only taking 1.7 shots more
per game compared to last season.
And upon further analysis of the
numbers, we see that he's averag-
ing 1.5 more 3-point attempts a
Yes, the sample size is small,
but for a player that decided to
stay another year after flirting
with leaving forthe NBA Draft, he
needs to be doing more on offense.
He's still deferring on open
looks and not showing the aggres-
siveness he should as the No.1 or 2
option for Michigan.
Robinson still averaged 10.3
points in the tournament and that
would have been higher if not for
the hard foul he took on his back
on Sunday that limited him to nine
minutes and four points. Clearly
he's still making an impact.
But the back injury could hin-
der Robinson's assertiveness.
Michigan coach John Beilein said
in his postgame press conference
Sunday that the team was follow-
ing trainers' advice to keep him
moving. The forward did start
the second half before coming out
after three minutes because he
didn't feel comfortable.

If the injury becomes more
serious, Robinson will lose pre-
cious time to define the role he
will play this season before Big
Ten play starts.
3. Mitch McGary will only get bet-
ter as the season goes on.
The sophomore forward didn't
start any games in the tourna-
ment, but when he did enter, his
presence was felt immediately.
Playing in just his second, third
and fourth games of the season,
McGary looked every bit like the
All-American he was picked in
the preseason to be. After play-
ing just 14 minutes in Michigan's
win against Long Beach State
on Thursday, McGary played 33
on Friday as he battled against
a tough front line from Florida
Knocking down bodies, mak-
ing outlet passes and dribbling
the ball in transition, the forward
looked in mid-season form in
Michigan's win.
Against Florida State, McGary
attempted 15 shots, well above his
average of 5.7 last year.
Going forward, Michigan will
need to run more of its offense
through McGary to establish
more of an inside game. In the
tournament, Michigan attempted
77 3-pointers - 10 more than the
next team, Virginia Common-
wealth. The Wolverines also made
the most 3-pointers, and finished
with the second-most points in
the tournament. But going for-
ward, Michigan needs to rely less
on the long ball and design more

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plays for McGary at the hoop for
McGary aside, both of Michi-
gan's other big men - redshirt
junior forward Jon Horford and
fifth-year senior forward Jordan
Morgan - played well in limited
Morgan looked especially
good on Sunday, snagging nine
rebounds - five on the offensive
end - in 13 minutes.
"Jordan Morgan went in there
and played his tail off," Beilein
said. "He had five offensive
rebounds, he worked so hard. He
had a big bucket for us and two
huge foul shots. I'm really happy
for him because finding play-
ing time with Mitch in there is
While it remains to be seen
how much Morgan will play going
forward, it's promising to see him
play well while McGary works his
way back to full health.
4. Zak Irvin isn't afraid to shoot,
and he shouldn't be.
Against Charlotte on Sunday,
Michigan shot 8-for-34 in the first
half. Nothing was falling for the
Wolverines, who essentially live
and die with the jump shot.
With sophomore guard Caris
LeVert - Michigan's surprising
second-leading scorer - on the
bench with two early fouls, the
Wolverines had to rely on fresh-
man guard Zak Irvin to score.
And he tried to fill the void as
best he could, attempting nine
first-half shots. But only one
would fall, a 3-pointer with less
than 20 seconds that cut Michi-
gan's deficit to two. While it was
his first make, it was encouraging
to see him trust his shot.
Coming off the bench, Irvin's
role is to be a shooter. At 6-foot-6,
the swingman should be looking
to bea sparkplug, especially when
the offense becomes stagnant.
In Michigan's first two games
in Puerto Rico, there were times
when Irvin took shots early in
the shot clock that weren't neces-
sary. But in those moments, Irvin
wasn't seen as one of the go-to
options on the floor. That's why
those shots looked bad.
On Sunday, with LeVert out and
Robinson out in the second half,
it was appropriate for Irvin to
attempt 14 shots, even if he missed
11 ofthem.
"We had pretty good looks,"
Beilein said. "Unfortunately,
many of them were Zak Irvin's
looks and you know he's a heck
of a shooter. So he's going to have
nights like that, and we'll tell him
to keep shooting."
5. Bold Prediction: Stauskas will
average 20 points in non-confer-
ence games.
Stauskas averaged 39.3 minutes
in the tournament, and while that
number will drop off with some
cupcake games on Michigan's
schedule, his scoring won't.
At the moment and for the
foreseeable future, Stauskas will
remain the Wolverines' No.1 scor-
ing option.
With an expanded game, Staus-
kas needstobe on the floor, espe-
cially for ateam that loves to drive
and kick the ball out for three.
He went 8-for-19 in the tourna-

ment from deep and with McGary
back in the middle for the Wolver-
ines, more fast breaks and outlets
will result.
Yes, the guard could struggle
against Duke and Arizona, but
you know full well that he, along
with the rest of team, will be up
for those games.
With Trey Burke and Tim
Hardaway gone, the ball runs
through Stauskas. Until another
player steps, that will remain the

Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's bas-
ketball team is currently riding
a three-game winning streak,
during which it is outscoring
its opponents by an average of
15 points per
game. After NOTEBOOK
starting the
season 1-2, the Wolverines
have jumped out to a 4-2 record
thanks in large part to their
offensive production.
Sparked by junior trans-
fer guard Shannon Smith's 32
points against Detroit Mercy
on Nov. 16, Michigan's offense
has been red hot the past three
games. Freshman point guard
Siera Thompson poured in a
career-high 22 points against
Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
The Wolverines also have the

Junior forward Nicole Elmblad is averaging 12.8 points per game, and Michi-
gan coach Kim Barnes Arico called her Michigan's hardest worker in practice.

ever-consistent junior forward
Nicole Elmblad. The captain
is averaging 12.8 points and 10
rebounds per game and leads
the team with almost 39 min-
utes per game. Michigan coach
Kim Barnes Arico has often
cited Elmblad as the hardest-
working player in practice, so it
comes as no surprise that she's
productive every night on the
floor. Her success was recog-
nized on Monday when she was
named to the Big Ten Player of
the Week Honor Roll for her
performance last week.
But recently, it has been a
true team effort for Michigan,
which has found multiple scor-
ing outlets throughout its line-
The Wolverines have show-
cased their ability to put points
on the board, having scored at
least 70 points in five straight
games, twice hitting 80. And
against the Panthers, Michigan
shot above 50 percent from the
field for the first time this sea-
In the midst of Michigan's
recent success on the court,
Barnes Arico has inked the best
recruiting class in program his-

seventh or eighth grade. She is
just an exceptional talent."
Guard/forward Maria Back-
man, guard/forward Jillian
Dunston, forward Emoni Jack-
son and center Terra Stapleton
round out the class.
"This class has the potential
to be a special class, a group
that makes a great impact on
our program," Barnes Arico
After playing three games in
five days, the Wolverines had
an eight-day break. Next up for
Michigan is the Barclays Invita-
tional in Brooklyn, N.Y., where
Michigan will face Texas Tech
on Friday and either LSU or
Rutgers on Saturday.
With the Scarlet Knights
joining the Big Ten next sea-
son, this is an early chance for
the Wolverines to get a look at
a future conference opponent.
But before that, they will meet
the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech (3-1) sports three
players who average double fig-
ures - one fewer than Michi-
gan. But like the Wolverines,
the Red Raiders have a fairly
small starting lineup, with both
teams averaging 42.5 rebounds
per game.

Prospects Nation ranks the
class No. 20 in the country.
"I'm super, super excited
about the (five) young ladies
that signed with us today,"
Barnes Arico said. "I think it's
a tremendous class, and we
really were allowed to get a lot
of needs. (They) are super bas-
ketball players as well as great
students and great people from
terrific families."
Leading the class is the
nation's ninth-ranked pros-
pect: Katelynn Flaherty, a point
guard from Townson, N.J. As a
junior, she averaged 30.3 points,
5.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 3.5
steals per game.
"Katelynn is probably one
of the highest-ranked recruits
to ever sign with Michigan,"
Barnes Arico told MGoBlue.
com. "I have been watching her
play since she has been in the


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