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November 04, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2014- 7

As lone senior, Bielfeldt
hopes to make impact

Corinne Harris has played in all 23 games for Michigan this year. She has 15 points and has tallied 23 shots on goal.
Harris emerges as veteran
leader for youngz Wolverines

Daily Sports Writer
By quickly scanning the
Michigan men's basketball
team's roster, one might notice
a couple things. Yes, there are
12 underclassmen on the team.
Correct, Caris LeVert and Spike
Albrecht are the only juniors.
And lastly, forward Max
Bielfeldt is the lone senior on
the squad. However, until mid-
July, that wasn't true.
It wasn't until July 17 that
Bielfeldt and Michigan coach
John Beilein decided to change
his classification from a redshirt
junior to a senior, opening up
another roster spot in the 2015
recruiting class.
"We had a meeting and he
said, 'We're going to list you as
a senior,' " Bielfeldt said. "I was
fine with it. I'm just looking to
have the best year I can."
For Bielfeldt, this season
represents his best opportunity
to play a pivotal role for the
After taking a redshirt in
the 2011-12 season, Bielfeldt
played in 20 games the next
season, tallying 23 points and
31 rebounds total in 5.3 minutes
per game. For a while in the
2013-14 season, it was thought
Bielfeldt's minutes could
increase after former Wolverine
forward Mitch McGary had
season-ending back surgery, but
that didn't hold true.
Instead, Bielfeldt played just
89 minutes, usually only when
JordanMorgan andJonHorford
got into foul trouble - such
as in the Big Ten Tournament
Championship game against
Michigan State and during the

second half of Michigan's Elite
Eight game against Kentucky.
But a door opened for Bielfeldt
when McGary declared for the
NBA Draft, Morgan graduated
and Horford transferred to
Florida. He wouldbe the lone big
man with collegiate experience
coming back to Michigan.
With such a major
opportunity for minutes, this
season represented the chance
to show what he had left,
while competing with redshirt
freshman Mark Donnal and
incoming freshmen Ricky Doyle
and D.J. Wilson.
competition ,
could even Iit
start, Bielfeldt
underwent door s o
hip surgery in
early June that
kept him out
for the team's
Italy trip in August. While the
operation and opportunity to
play in Italy could have been
seen as a setback, Bielfeldt said
it felt it would help in the long
run - especially in terms of
improving his leadership and
"I've kind of been struggling
with the whole hip (and) knee
issue for my college years here,"
he said. "And I felt I could finally
benefit more from getting that
surgery done. This summer, it
was a little weird, because the
guys were doing the Italy trip
stuff and I was there doing'
senior support. So I had a little
different role.
"But overall, I think it was
a great idea. I'm feeling great.

I'm just working on getting my
explosiveness back, like the
speed I had before. I know the
ceiling's higher. I can feel when
I'm doing stuff that I have more
of an ability to keep working
Bielfeldt isn't alone in his
progression and confidence.
Beilein said at the team's awards
banquet in April that Big Ten
opponents were going to learn
"nobody can guard" Bielfeldt.
Hyperbolic or not, Bielfeldt
believes now that he is
100-percent healthy, he can
make a significant difference on
the court.
"I think
I have the
nk the opportunity
to (have
pen with my most
.ea impactful
year)" he
said. "I think
the door's
open with
my health, along with the guys
we have and my position as a
Though Bielfeldt said he will
contribute more than ever on
the court in his final season at
Michigan, he knows for certain
the impact he has off the court
on his new teammates is as
"We have a lot of guys that
need advice," he said. "As a
person that's been through it,
from academics to athletics or
anything, I think me and the
other upperclassmen are just
trying to advise them as much
as possible because we have a
lot of young souls that really
have no idea what it takes to be
a college student-athlete."

Following lo
of eight start(


junior takes on
expanded role
Daily Sports Writer
With the Michigan women's
soccer team graduating its most
decorated senior class last year,
including eight of its starters,
coach Greg Ryan needed
someone to step up.
After having thought
about it over the summer and
discussing the
idea of taking
on a bigger
leadership "lH avin
role with
her coaches, exper
midfielder gives y(
Corinne p1
Harris took Confd
the initiative
and sent Ryan
an e-mail
saying she was
ready to do more - ready to
make more of an impact on the
Every athlete takes her own
amount of time to mature into
who she truly is. The process can
depend on many things - not
only the athlete's personality
but also the situation the athlete
is placed in. This can take some
players a couple weeks. Others,
a few years.
For Harris, it took two years
for her to lead Michigan, and
herself, in the manner she feels
most confident with.
"Every year, I have tried to
take on the biggest role that I
can, and this year, I am taking
more of leadership role," Harris
said. "I think I have a lot more
confidence being in the center
of the field than I did when I
was a freshman. Each year is a
different role, but having more
experience gives you more
Harris recorded 19 points in
her first two years combined
and has recorded 15 points this
year alone, with three goals and
nine assists. She is also tied for
second in the Big Ten in assists,
only trailing fellow Wolverine
Ani Sarkisian. Harris carried
this team to a surprising third-
place finish in the Big Ten and
has shown her true potential
this season as a player and
leader with the experience and
confidence to step into a much

bigger role.
"I think she is b
Harris for the fir
she arrived," Rya
is confident doin
wants to do on t
just expressing al
have seen in her si
recruiting her."
It took Harris
to this point in h
career, though.
with seniors Nk
Meghan Toohey,
Shelina Zadorsky
leading the way,
took a backseat co
bench. This limi
but increased he
ig morem
fences y
)U more o1
ence. I
envisioned her in
"She could sta
them and deman
attention they wi
Ryan said. "I think
she saw herself as
player alongside
who had such a hu
our program, but I
at Corinne that
way. I always
looked at her as
a kid that could
come in from
day one and
make a huge
But talent
alone doesn't
make a great
"You can
encourage kids, yo
kids, you can dem
them," Ryan said.
Corinne wasn't t
player you could d
I tried different
get more out of C
whatever I tried dii
Going into this
didn't know if she
up, take on the lea
and elevate her g
next level until he
e-mail from Harri
on, her improvem
While the team
of mostly undercl

still trying to find its footing,
eing Corinne Harris was the key to keeping
st time since the team above water, recording
n said. "She six points in the team's first six
ig what she games. Harris was the team's
he field and second-leading point scorer,
i the talent I and, at the time, Ryan called her
nce I was out the best player on the team.
"Corinne's progress is the
time to get cornerstone and the foundation
ier collegiate ofoursuccess,"Ryansaid. "There
Last year wasatimewhenshewascarrying
em Ezurike, us almost by herself early in
Holly Hein, the season. I felt like Corinne's
and others performance was holding us
Harris often together early in the season."
iming off the Harris couldn't have elevated
ted minutes her game at a better time.
r ability to But the success can be
am from attributed to the things she
ie players learned while on the bench
round her. behind last year's seniors. She
"It was saw talent and raw ability from
iy role that Ezurike, the proper work ethic
ear, because from Toohey and composition
*e had a lot and intelligence needed on the
f veterans," field from Hein and Zadorsky.
arris said. Harris developed the best
was happy qualities of many of the seniors
step in and from last year and, as described
ontribute any by Ryan, is hard to label with
,ay I could." a single adjective. She has led
But Ryan the team as a mentor to the
a different underclassmen and as a player
who raises the level of those
nd next to around her.
d the same Even with what she has
ere getting," taught the underclassmen on
, in her mind, the field, she also taught them
more of a role how to handle a new role that
the seniors they might not be used to.
ige impact in Almost everyone in the
never looked college level was once one of the
best players
on her club
team, so
"Corinne S it can be
a rough
performance transition
for them to
was holding US be relegated
roles. Harris
that herself
early in her
ou can get on Michigan career.
and more of "Talking to the
"But I think underclassmen, communicating
hat kind of with them and making sure
o that with. they know that they are a big
things to part of the team, even from day
orinne, and one, is extremely important,"
dn't work." Harris said.
year, Ryan In a time when Michigan was
would step considered to be in a rebuilding
idership role stage, Harris developed into a
lame to the leader on and off the field when
received that the Wolverines needed it most.
s. From then Now, with this confidence, she
nt has been will look to carry Michigan
in the most important part
a consisting of the season as it heads into
assmen was tournament play.


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