8A -- Thursday, January 30, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
After grueling schedule, Wolverines Behind enemy lines:
look to catch their breath vs. Purdue Terone Johnson
to defend dual
offensive threats in
By SIMON KAUFMAN
Daily Sports Writer
The Purdue men's basketball
team has a
better shot of
getting a major PurdUe at
manufacturer Purdue 13-7;
Jhsn & Michigan 15-4
than it does Thursday
of remaining 9P.M.
relevant in the Where: Crisler
Big Ten. The Center
backcourt is ESPN
led by brothers
Ronnie Johnson, who will
faceoff against Michigan
After an upset victory in East
The Wolverines (7-0, 15-4) are
coming off their most grueling
week of the season thus far, in
which they faced three top-10
opponents - Wisconsin, Iowa
and Michigan State - and came
away with their three biggest
wins of the year thus far.
Michigan coach John Beilein,
in typical Beilein fashion,
refused to look past Thursday,
regardless of the opponent.
Purdue has played Beilein's
teams competitively over the
past two years, losing by just five
a season ago in West Lafayette
- but Michigan has handily
taken care of the Boilermakers
at the Crisler Center.
"That's the challenge I think
of coaching everywhere," said
Beilein when asked if he was
concerned abouthis team losing
energy after coming off of a big
week. "You have to continue
to address that, and you trust
the character of your kids, and
you trust that they get it, they
understand this game."
The Johnson brothers are
and Ronnie are averaging
13.4 and 10.6 points per game,
By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Editor
The 2013-14 season has
brought another year of so-so
basketball to West Lafayette,
as the Purdue men's basketball
team sits at seventh in the confer-
ence - exactly where they were
picked to finish by the media.
But for one set of parents,
game BEHIN D
or lose - NES
taken for -
At each game Terone and Rona
Johnson attend, they get to their
pair of sons sharing the starting
backcourt, just like they did at
Indianapolis's North Central
Terone, a senior, leads the
team with 13.4 points per game,
while younger brother Ronnie,
the starting point guard, leads
the team in assists.
At Chicago's Big Ten Media
Day in October, the Daily sat
down with Terone to talk about
the tempered expectations
heading into the season and
what it'll be like to play with his
brother for one final season.
The Michigan Daily: You
guys were picked to finish
seventh in the Big Ten. How
much does that motivate you
guys heading into the season?
Terone Johnson: I think
you look at it at some point, but
I don't think it's something you
look at on a daily basis. You want
to worry about yourself and
worry about what we have to do
as a team and get better. We feel
like we have a chance to win the
Big Ten this year with the talent
that we've got. We've just got to
put it all together.
TMD: You never want to have
a season like last year, but can
those types of seasons help kick
the program back into gear and
get everyone hungrier?
TJ: Oh yeah. The young
guys, they actually took it well,
as far as off-season workouts
and things like that. That was
something that we talked about
the whole summer, that had to
sit with us and I feel like they
took the challenge over the
summer and they got better.
The new guys coming in, they
attached to us really fast, so our
chemistry is coming together
really well right now.
TMD: I'm sure you're very
used to getting questions about
your brother, but has it crossed
your mind much that this is
probably going to be the last
season that you will play on a
team together at a competitive
TJ: It does. It's been a good
- as far since I've been playing,
we've been playing together. He's
always played up and played with
me and I've been able to see him
play, so obviously it's going to be
something that we look at as a
TMD: Bigger deal for your
TJ: Yeah, I think it's a bigger
deal for my parents. It'll probably
be a bigger deal for me later on,
but it's just fun and it'ssomething
that we've always loved doing.
TMD: For a guy like you who
has NBA aspirations, how does
the Big Ten help prepare you for
TJ: It's a huge conference as
far as professional basketball, no
matter where you want to play at.
It puts you in the best position
because of the physicality, the
competition that you get to play
against and also, I feel like the
league is so smart that guys
won't let you do certain things
and they'll make you play to your
weaknesses, so I think that really
helps for professional basketball.
Fifth-year senior forward Jordan Morgan looks to control the paint Thursday.
of first place
in the Big
Ten, and it's
(3-4 Big Ten,
as the family
"W iith us scored 32
percent of the
playing so well, Boilermakers'
you almost season. In
wanna be able matchup
to play games, last March, the
pr c." , pair combined
not practice. for 37 points.
not stop them
though, will be endurance.
Thursday night it begins a
stretch of five games in 13 days,
including Indiana, Iowa and
Ohio State on the road.
The two-week stretch will be
telling of how good Michigan
is. A clear vulnerability of the
squad is its lack of depth beyond
a regular eight-man rotation,
and the Wolverines' ability to
recover quickly from game to
game will begin to be tested.
"With us playing well, you
almost wanna just be able to
play games, not practice as
much," said fifth-year senior
forward Jordan Morgan.
"At the same time its gonna
be difficult - obviously for
recovery, our bodies and things
of that nature."
If Michigan's three wins last
week helped validate the team, a
successful run in this upcoming
stretch would help define it
and further mitigate doubts
that arose after dropping four
"There was a bunch of teams
that were all highly ranked
before their league season
started," Beilein said. "They
had unblemished records, and
now they're not even close to it."
But as quickly as an
unblemished Big Ten record
comes, it can go. Michigan will
try to avoid finding that out as
it continues its quest to remain
perfect in the conference
starting on Thursday night.
night's last year,"
opponent is a drop off in Beilein said. "Terone could get
talent given Michigan's recent anywhere he wanted to get to,
competition and may give it an so it's a big challenge for us."
opportunity to catch its breath The bigger challenge facing
- even if only for one game. the Wolverines going forward,
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Nebraska too much for
Wolverines in Lincoln
By SHANNON LYNCH looks, and it seemed like we
Daily Sports Writer couldn't get stops," Barnes
Arico said. "When we did score,
The road warriors have they ran in transition on us, so
finally hit a wall. they did a really great job."
At the start of the second Elmblad was the only Wol-
half in Pinnacle Bank Arena, verine with any consistent
junior forward Nicole Elmblad shooting throughout the game,
gave the Michigan women's and she was able to knock down
basketball the jumpers the Husker defense
team MICHIGAN 51 forced Michigantotake. She fin-
its first NEBRASKA 84 ished the night with 16 points,
chance but her contribution couldn't
for points after the break with lift the offense out of its slump.
a layup. She missed. Seconds Nebraska never let up on
later, Nebraska guard Tear'a defense, forcing the Wolverines
Laudermilleasilyknocked down to run down the shot clock and
a nothing-but-net 3-pointer, take tough jump shots under
extending the Cornhuskers' pressure. Junior guard Shannon
lead to 21 with just under 20 Smith, Michigan's leading
minutes remaining in the game. scorer, finished the night with
Those short seconds just 10 points. The Cornhuskers
are a good summary of the kept her in check with a steady
Wolverines' first road loss, dose of double teams, cutting off
when Michigan (5-3 Big Ten, nearly every drivinglane. Smith
14-7 overall) fell flat offensively went just 4-for-15 from the field,
and failed to protect on its own far below her normal 42-percent
end. It allowed Nebraska - a shooting average.
team coming off back-to-back "They always sag off of non-
losses - to finish the contest 3-point shooters, and that's
with a bigger lead than any of why I was able to get some open
the Wolverines' opponents this shots," Elmblad said. "They did
season. Michigan never came a good job with their center
close to bridging the gap and fell court and really knowing their
to the Cornhuskers, 84-51. matchups on us, and we weren't
"It was one of those nights," able to execute our offense."
said Michigan coach Kim Junior forward Cyesha
Barnes Arico. Goree, whose aggressive pres-
After managing to keep the ence and consistent rebound-
scoring gap close in the first ing have been important for the
eight minutes of play, Nebraska Wolverines this season, was
(4-3, 14-7) racked up nine hampered by foul trouble mid-
unanswered points. It never way through the second half,
handed the momentum back forcing Barnes Arico to bench
over, and as hard as Michigan her. The absence of her 6-foot-2
pushed back, the Cornhuskers frame onthe courtput Michigan
couldn't be stopped. at an even bigger disadvantage.
"We tried to get different The Wolverines suffered
shooting woes from the start,
which they failed to make up
for on defense. Five Nebraska
players made at least one
3-pointer - the Cornhuskers'
leading scorer, forward Jordan
Hooper, made four. She finished
the night with 10 rebounds and
25 points in just 27 minutes on
"The biggest thing that
we had trouble with was just
locating her in transition,"
Elmblad said. "Sometimes,
we just had some lapses and
forgot where she was, she got
open, and all she needs is a few
seconds of space."
Though it never backed down,
Michigan couldn't cut down
on Nebraska's shot production.
The Cornhuskers finished the
night shooting 53 percent from
the field, 90 percent from the
free throw line, and totaled 38
rebounds, 27 assists and just
Losing by 33 points has the
potential to ruin the confidence
that the young and inexperi-
enced Wolverines have worked
so hard to build up this sea-
son. To limit the damage done,
Barnes Arico said they will need
to make major improvements
on both ends of the court before
their next conference game Sat-
urday against Minnesota.
"Other teams are going to
watch this to figure out how to
attack us, so we better get bet-
ter at the things we didn't do
too well," Barnes Arico said.
"The wind was out of their sails
in the locker room, and hope-
fully they don't get too down
about this because we do have
to bounce back."
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