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April 15, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-15

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8 -- Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Report: Robinson going pro; Stauskas to announce

Pair of sophomores
will reveal Draft
decisions in press
conference Tuesday
By NEAL ROTHSCHILD
Daily Sports Editor
For the second time in the
last week, reports surfaced that
a Michigan men's basketball
player will be fleeing Ann Arbor
for the NBA. This time, it's
Glenn Robinson III.
According to the Detroit Free
Press, Robinson plans to sign
with an agent later in the week.
That followed an initial report
from Jake Fischer, a Boston
Globe correspondent and Slam
Magazine writer, that the
sophomore forward has already
signed with an agent and will
declare for the NBA Draft this
week. An ensuing CBS Sports
report confirmed that Robinson
would be leaving school and
stated that Robinson had yet to
inform the Michigan coaching
staff of his decision.
Monday evening, the Athletic
Department announced via
e-mail a press conference to
be held Tuesday afternoon.
The e-mail did not provide
further details, but ESPN's Jeff
Goodman later reported that
Robinson and sophomore guard
Nik Stauskas would both be
revealing their decisions.
Robinson was Michigan's
second-leading scorer this
season, averaging 13.1 points
along with 4.4 rebounds
per game. Though he had a
propensity to disappear in the
Wolverines' offense at times this
year - he scored in single digits
nine times - he was assertive
late in the season and became a
feared scorer with his deadeye
midrange jump shot.
He is projected as a late first-
round or early second-round

BY THE NUMBERS
Glenn Robinson Ill
13.1
Scoring average during the 2013-14
season, good for second on the team.
75
Career starts in two seasons.
Gs28
Games in which he scored in double
digits (out of 37),
34
Projected Draft rank, according to
ESPN's Chad Ford,
Their NBA Draft decisions.
ALLISON FARRAND/Daily
Sophomore forward Glenn Robinson will forgo his final seasons of eligibility to enter the NBA Draft and will announce his decision Tuesday, according to a report

pick. His stock has fallen since
last year, when he was projected
to go as high as the lottery - a
top-14 pick.
This follows an ESPN report
last Thursday that Stauskas
would be declaring for the
draft, though Stauskas insisted
through Twitter that he had not
made his final decision.
A year ago this week,
Robinson, along with forward
Mitch McGary, both announced
that they would return for their
sophomore seasons. The two
are best friends, and whereas
last year's decision was a
collaboration between the two,
Robinson said after Michigan's
Elite Eight loss that this year
their decisions would be
conducted more independently
because of McGary's back injury
and extended absence.

The report leaves McGary
as the only mystery remaining
as far as who might be leaving
for the pros. Following the
announcement that redshirt
junior Jon Horford would be
transferring, there may be as
many as five players leaving
the program, with forward
Jordan Morgan being the lone
departure without eligibility
left.
While Robinson wanted
to play the '3' at Michigan,
on the wings and with more
ball handling opportunities,
personnel necessitated that
Michigan coach John Beilein
play him at the '4.' When he
announced he'd be returning for
his sophomore season, Robinson
declared his intention to play
the '3,' but Beilein was never
able to fulfill his wish for any

substantial period of time.
When he struggled early
this season, Robinson admitted
during the NCAA Tournament
that he had second thoughts
about his decision to come back
to Ann Arbor, but that he gained
comfort as the season went on.
Despite shootingtroublesthat
plagued him during the bulk of
the Big Ten season, Robinson
hit a series of key 3-pointers in
March. He shot 41 percent from
behind the arcduringthe month
after making 27 percent of his
threes the rest of the season.
Robinson was also Michigan's
best athlete. He accounted for
the lion's share of the oohing
and ahhing at Crisler Center
the past two years with his
highlight-reel dunks.
Feb. 26, Robinson, the team's
best leaper, was thrown a

cross-court lob pass near the
baseline in Mackey Arena with
a couple ticks remaining and the
Wolverines down one point.
Robinson caught it, took a
dribble and banked the ball off
the glass at the buzzer.
He made the shot in front of
his father in Glenn Robinson
Jr.'s college gym, and the play
served as perhaps the highlight
of Robinson's two years.
Late Monday night, Stauskas
announced on Twitter that
he would make his NBA draft
decision Tuesday.

BY THE NUMBERS
Nik Stauskas

3-anes80
3-pointers made as a freshmana
Michigan first-year record.
44.4
Career 3-point shooting percentage.
17.51
Scoring average during the 2013-14
season, which ledtheteam.

Want live updates from

the press conference?
Follow @theblockm on Twitter or 19
check Mlhgallyom Projected Draft rank, according to
throughout the day for updates ESPN's Chad Ford.

Baseball set to play home-
and-home against Eagles

On baseball: A sub-.500
record that says a lot

By JASON RUBINSTEIN
Daily Sports Writer
If last weekend is any
indication,
the Michigan EMU vs.
baseball team Whon
will be a force
to be reckoned Matchup:
with at the EMU 12-21;
plate and could Michigan
wreak havoc 16-19-1
on Eastern When:
Michigan in Tuesday
back-to-back 4P.M.,
midweek MWednesday
mdek 6 P.M.
games.
After taking Where:
two of three at Staamser
Illinois, with Oestrike
their lone loss Stadium
coming in a 1-0 Radio:
pitchers' duel, MGolue
the Wolverines (Tuesday)
showed their
hitting slump is
a thing of the past, positioning
themselves as one of the most
competitive teams in the Big
Ten.
Michigan (6-6 Big Ten, 16-19-
1 overall) will use the pair
of midweek contests against
the Eagles on Tuesday and
Wednesday to fine-tune the
small parts of its game, but it
won't be easy.
Eastern Michigan (2-10 MAC,
12-21) beat the Wolverines
in both matchups last season
- Michigan coach Erik
Bakich's first at Michigan -
by considerable margins. The
Eagles scored 28 runs over the
two games and have a history of
playing Michigan tough.
"The way Eastern Michigan
has been dominant over the
University of Michigan in
baseball for the last few years,
I would hope we come with a
pretty big chip on our shoulder
and are ready to play," Bakich
said.
But with a full offseason
under Bakich, the Wolverines
look like a brand-new ball club.
Michigan's most consistent
hitter is junior outfielder
Jackson Glines. The junior

college transfer has been the
steady force Bakich craves in the
heart of the order.
Glines' 45 hits, .346 batting
average and 22 RBI all lead the
team, while his 13 doubles also
lead the Big Ten.
In the early parts of the
season, the Wolverines were
only finding production from
their top five hitters. The bottom
of the lineup was the team's
Achilles' heel, but the Illinois
series showed otherwise.
Freshman designated
hitter Carmen Benedetti
found a groove at the plate in
Champaign, going 6-for-11 in
the five hole while tallying three
RBI and three doubles, upping
his batting average to .256.
The team also found
production from right fielder
Johnny Slater. The freshman
provided quality at-bats
consistently throughout the
weekend and provided a spark
to an otherwise anemic part of
Michigan'sbatting order - going
4-for-6 with two RBI in the
Wolverines' 17-9 rout Saturday.
"Baseball is mostly mental,"
Bakich said. "(Benedetti and
Slater) both made a lot of
progress as this season has gone
along, and it's what you want to
see from freshmen. Carmen has
been pretty consistent for us, but
he exploded in Saturday's game.
"Johnny has pretty much
struggled all season long, but he
had heck of a game. His batting
practice has been night and day
since the beginning. He has
matured, and we expect big
things from John Slater."
On the other side of
Washtenaw Avenue, Eastern
Michigan boasts three hitters
batting over .300 and, though
its record may not show it, has
an ability to score plenty of runs.
The Eagles have scored more
than seven runs in 10 contests
this year.
Michigan will look to weather
Eastern Michigan's strong
hitting by throwing fifth-year
senior Ben Ballantine. The right-
hander has struggled of late

and hopes to use the midweek
game to regain his early-season
form. Bakich also said he has no
intentions of pulling Ballantine
early, showing confidence in his
wily veteran.
Wednesday's starter has not
yet been determined.
Though riding a current
wave of momentum, Bakich
is making sure he and the
coaching staff keep the team
grounded and focused heading
into the home-and-home
against the cross-town rival
- a team that has had more
success against the Wolverines
than many others.
"If our guys have any mental
lapse whatsoever in a midweek
game, then they're going to learn
a tough lesson," Bakich said. "We
learned that last week against
Notre Dame. The coaching staff
and myself won't allow that to
happen again - ever again."
NOTE: There is a distinct
possibility Tuesday's will
be canceled due to freezing

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois
had scored in the bottom
of the fourth inning to
put Michigan baseball down
1-0, and was
knocking
on the door
again in the
fifth. With
two outs an
Illini hitter
reached
second base, B
and one
of the Big FIDELMAN
Ten's best
players, Will
Krug, stepped to the plate. The
outfielder yanked an 0-1 fastball
through the left side of the
infield, and the third base coach
had no hesitation signaling the
runner to head for home plate.
Sophomore left fielder
Jacob Cronenworth fielded
the ball as the baserunner was
rounding third and came up
gunning. The ball came on a
rope to catcher Cole Martin,

before the runner could slide
around the senior. Martin
hopped up and emphatically
spiked the ball - his head
cocked to the lights screaming
for his team,
Martin knew this game was
big, and that play embodied
something the team has
exhibited all season: It's not
backing down from anyone.
But what separates a
contender from the rest is how
quickly it can rebound and get
back to winning. So where is
Michigan baseball in this maze
of momentum?
Though its overall record
has been below .500 all year,
conference play was the perfect
clean slate opportunity for
this team. The only hurdle
to overcome would be its
conference schedule.
Michigan went 6-6 through
the first four conference
weekends against Indiana,
Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois
- not a bad mark considering
+ -+-fthnP pnm hw+h - e

conference records coming into
the respective weekends.
Somethingthat's helped
Michigan throughout the
season has been spending time
around military and security
specialists, hearing what they
have to say about teamwork and
perseverance.
On March 3, the team visited
Fort Bragg, N.C., where it
learned how to embody a "Band
of Brothers" mentality from
the 160th Special Operations
Aviation Regiment. More
recently, a member of President
Barack Obama's protection
detail visited the team when
the President was in town for a
speech on April 2.
"One thingthat stuck out to
myself and a lot of the guys was
(the concept of) failing quickly,"
said sophomore shortstop Travis
Maezes.
Moving forward, it's time to
see if the team can do something
that it hasn't been asked to do
often this season: win against
weaker lineups. Being consistent
enough to sweep, or at least win,
upcoming series against Purdue
and Northwestern will be what
defines Michigan's season.
Anything more than one loss
in the six games in those two
series will be tough to make up,
as the Wolverines also have to
face Nebraska and Ohio State
before potentially qualifying
for the Big Ten Baseball
Tournament at the end of May.
Every season has highs
and lows, but the good teams
find a way to battle through
and move toward undoubted
success. There can be a battle to
.500 baseball early, but at some
point teams destined for the
postseason have to makea turn
for the better.
Through the early parts of the
season, the team was building
confidence and perseverance,
and now it's time to show that it
has learned those lessons. The
upcoming weekends will bea
perfect opportunity to prove
just that and make a run to the
postseason.

Catcher Cole Martin shifted momentum in Michigan's favor when he tagged out a runner at home pla

I

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