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November 20, 2014 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-20

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6A - Thursday, November 20, 2014 S p o rts

4

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Freshmen development slow, steady

FOOTBALL
Wile, Hagerup make
major improvements

By LEV FACHER
Daily Sports Editor
John Beilein knows what
it's like to run a group of
inexperienced freshmenthrough
a gauntlet of training, drills
and offensive sets in preseason
practice, and he knows what
it looks like when everything
comes together.
This year might be different,
though, as Beilein is dealing
with six true freshmen, a
redshirt freshman and a transfer.
Installing Michigan's offense
with such a large contingent of
newcomers is a process, and it's
not going as quickly as it has in
years past.
"They're sometimes perfect
with what they do, and maybe
they miss the shot or the ball slips
out of their hands," Beilein said.
"There are other times they're on
tape delay."
Though Beilein is confident
the results will come, it's
apparent they haven't yet. His
true freshmen accounted for just
nine points and three assists in
the 24th-ranked Wolverines'
77-53 win over Bucknell on
Monday night.
In that game, the first-years
let the scoring duties slide to
sophomore forward Zak Irvin
and senior forward MaxBielfeldt,
the latter of whom finished with
a career-high 18 points - half
of which came on 3-point shots
nobody in the building expected
him to take.
But Bielfeldt's night may
have distracted from the fact
that Michigan (2-0) has yet
to see substantial offensive
contributions from its freshman
class, which Beilein says hasn't
yet mastered his complex
offense.
However, Beilein isn't worried
that the freshmen will simply be
content to sit back and watch the
veterans shoulder the load.

TERESA MATHEW/Daily
Forward Kameron Chatman has started at the '4,' but his strong defense was overshadowed by an inconsistent jumper.

By GREG GARNO
Managing Sports Editor
Ten games ago, you likely
wouldn't have believed punter
Will Hagerup and placekicker
Matt Wile would be two of the
Michigan football team's most
consistent players.
You still mightnot believe it.
But as they head into their final
home game, the two seniors have
quietly delivered when called
upon - all the more crucial as
they fight for a berth in a bowl
game.
Wile has made the most
noticeable jump from the
beginning of the season, when he
was close to beingreplaced.After
he went 1-for-4 in the first two
games, Wile has since made all
but two of his 13 field goals - and
both of the misses were blocked.
"I think Matt had a couple
issues early, as we know, but I
think (it's) the way he's bounced
back," said Michigan coach
Brady Hoke.
Mainly, Wile struggled from
the right hash, the location from
where he missed all three of his
kicks early on. But since then,
he has made every one from that
location, which he chalked up to
repetition.
Now, he'll have to compensate
for something besides the
location oftheball: the weather.
"It'll be more difficult to stay
warm on the sideline, but I was
able to stay warm against Iowa
last year (when the game-time
temperature was 18 degrees),"
Wile said. "I guess I usually just
go into the game and go, 'Oh, I
have to kick this."'
Hagerup, on the other hand,
has only improved recently, but
few performances were more

important than his most recent
contest against Northwestern.
Against the Wildcats, he
placed three punts inside the 20,
including one right on the one-
yard line. His last punt of the
game pinned Northwestern deep
in its own zone, forcing it to use
more time in a game that came
down to the very last seconds.
"The one thing with Will -
probably his biggest weakness
- is what they used to call the
coffin corner kicks and those
kind of things," Hoke said. "ButI
think he's really improved in that
style. ... He's really gone out and
worked at it, because that wasn't
something as of a year ago thathe
really tried to do."
His drop-and-kick style has
become more consistent since
he struggled to find hang time
and distance on punts in games
against teams such as Minnesota
and Michigan State.
"He was kind of old school in
how he was mentored and trying
to hit the coffin corner," Hoke
said. "Well, I think he's really
gone to work improving on the
style using the technique he's
using now."
Added Hagerup: "I've helped
the team with field position, but I
think there are gameswhereIdid
not play up to my expectations."
Both Hagerup and Wile's
contributions could be all the
more important, as Michigan's
offense still struggles to find the
end zone. The Wolverines have
stalled right in the range within
the 35- and 45-yard lines, which
forces Wile to make a longer kick
or Hagerup to accurately place a
short punt.
And thankfully for the offense,
the people bailing it out are
playing their best.

He even cited freshman of learning it. The only thing we
development as a reason he kept can do is keep bringing them on,
Bielfeldt on the sidelines for and keep teaching them as much
all of Saturday's game against as possible. As the season goes
Hillsdale, in which redshirt on, you'll see a big improvement
freshman forward Mark Donnal out of them."
played 26 minutes, and freshman Walton added that it wasn't
forwardsRicky until the
Doyle and D.J. end of non-
Wilson played . conference
nine minutes Youll see a big play last
each. i, season that the
Sophomore imprOVem ent. offense clicked
guard Derrick for him.
Walton Jr., just Michigan's
a year removed first Big Ten
from being in the same situation, game is Dec. 30 against Illinois.
is optimistic. Complicating matters is the
"Last year, around this time, remarkable positional versatility
I wasn't really involved in the of the freshman class. Instead
offense," Walton said after of a crop of youngsters locked
Monday's game. "You're still kind into specific spots on the court,

the Wolverines' blessing and
curse is that the freshmen likely
to contribute most - Wilson
and fellow freshman forward
Kameron Chatman, in particular
- are capable of playing up to
four positions.
Michigan's already-crowded
backcourt leaves little room
for the freshmen to appear at
guard or even small forward,
making their roles more fluid.
But wherever they play, the
Wolverines need to understand'
theirrole withinBeilein's system.
When they have multiple roles,
understanding each one becomes
all the more difficult.
"It's not pretty when they
get time, sometimes," Beilein
said. "But they're getting better,
believe it or not."

Arnone, Grinwis turn eyes
toward professional career

0

By WESLEY ROMAN
Daily Sports Writer
The end of the Michigan
men's soccer team's season may
have signaled the conclusion of
distinguished Michigan careers
for goalkeeper Adam Grinwis and
midfielder Tyler Arnone, but, if it
all goes to script, the duo's soccer
careers will just be starting.
Over the next few weeks,
the two fifth-year seniors will
embark on the difficult jouriey
to become professional soccer
players.
"I'd prefer the MLS because I
follow the league, and obviously I
love living and playing here in the
U.S.," Arnone said. "But I'm not
opposed to going abroad."
It surely will be a difficult
process to start, but they've been
laying the foundation for the past
four years.
Grinwis and Arnone began
their Michigan soccer careers
together - as sophomores. Both
redshirted their freshman years
- Arnone transferred in from St.
John's - but when they finally
began playing in 2011, they made
instant impacts.
From the first game, Arnone
was installed as a starter in
the center of the midfield, and
he thrived in his first season
in Ann Arbor. The Hicksville,
New York native started all
20 matches, scored twice and
was named to the Big Ten All-
Freshman Team.
Meanwhile, Grinwis also
fought his way into a major role
and emerged as the Wolverines'
first-choice goalkeeper, a title he
would not relinquish for the next
three years.
"I'd like to think that I helped
bridge the gap for the new guys
coming in to try and teach them
the ways of the University of
Michigan," Grinwis said, "while
also trying to be a good player for
(Michigan coach Chaka Daley)."
Though the team as a whole
didn't match their individual
successes - the duo didn't win

6

Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis said he'd like to play professionally in the U.S.

one regular- or post-season
trophy - the program now seems
poised for future success. It
seems likely that better recruits
and more time under Daley will
lead to the creation of a perennial
contender in Ann Arbor.
"Even though we didn't win
any trophies while I was here,"
Arnone said, "I think we were
the building blocks of something
special."
MLS scouts view college
soccer performances and
accomplishmentsas an important
part of a resume, but there are
other factors to consider.
To increase exposure, both
Arnone and Grinwis have trained
with MLS teams for the past few
summers. These opportunities
have proven invaluable for both
the players and the MLS teams,
which can see firsthand how they
measured up.
Getting up to speed has meant
sacrificing what could have been
their postseason break. Even

with the early winter weather,
on most days you can find the
Grinwis and Arnone working
together in some capacity to get
better physically and technically.
All of this work is building up
to Jan. 15, the date of the MLS
SuperDraft.
Arnone thinks that, regardless
of whether he receives an
invitation to the MLS Combine,
he has somethingspecial to offer
to professional teams.
"Some players focus mostly on
attacking or defending," Arnone
said. "But I think I have a little
something of both in my locker."
If the MLS doesn't work out
for the two, then they'll turn
their attentions to either the
NASL if they want to remain
domestically, or abroad.
But until they are told
otherwise, the duo will continue
working as hard as they can to
make their dream a reality.
And just like the past four
years,they'llbeworkingtogether.

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