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December 05, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-12-05

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T.-

8 - Friday, December 5, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

'M' rolling into rivalry game

MEN'S BASKETBALL
Wolverines face
Michigan natives

By ZACH SHAW
DailySports Writer
After starting the season with
a 2-5 record, Michigan hockey
coach Red Berenson knew hi;
team needed to have a good
homestand to keep the season
alive.
Friday, Michigan has a chance
to make it a great one.
The Wolverines (1-1 Big Ten,
7-6 overall) look to continue
their hot streak in a single game
against Ohio State.
Michigan has won five of six at
home and takes on the Buckeyes
(1-1, 5-8-1) feeling good in all
areas ofthe game.
"Our team has got a lot of
confidence," Berenson said.
"There's still a level of humility,
though. We haven't won the
Stanley Cup or anything, but
we've got a lot of players who feel
betterabout themselves and their
game, and that's helpful."
The Wolverines' best asset
continues to be their offense.
After posting 19 goals in their
first seven games, the unit has
tallied 30 goals in its last six
games, vaulting itself to the No. 3
offense nationally.
Ohio State, however, returns
its goaltender tandem and eight
of nine defensemen from last
season, presenting Michigan
with its toughest challenge since
its slowstart.
"We've got to keep
challenging them in practice
and realize that every game's
going to be different," Berenson
said. "We're better now, but you
never know. The shots won't
always go in, so we've got to
make sure that we don't let up
any unearned or cheap goals on
the other end."
Coming to Ann Arbor having
split their last three series,
the team has struggled with
consistency for much of the
season, but Berenson knows his

By SIMON KAUFMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Kyle Cooper grew up in the
shadow of the Big House, with
Desmond Howard and Charles
Woodson watching over him..
The Hillsdale College junior
forward is from Northville, some
20 miles northeast of Ann Arbor.
Posters of Michigan Stadium,
Howard's catch against Notre
Dame and Woodson plastered his
childhood bedroom's walls.
On Nov. 15, though, the
Michigan men's basketball team
was the opponent, and Cooper put
up a double-double, with a game-
high 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Hillsdale was overmatched,
though, as the Wolverines rolled
in their season opener, 92-65, but
Cooper's performance earned
him praise from Michigan coach
John Beilein after the game.
For Cooper, and a handful
of other local products, the
opportunity to play against a
teamthey watched and rooted for
growing up is one they'll cherish
for a longtime.
"When I first found out this
summer we were going to come
up (to Michigan) for a game
there was kind of that little bit of
nostalgia," Cooper said.
Hillsdale center Jason Pretzer,
a Jenison native, also noted how
special it was to play against
the Wolverines and how he has
watched Michigan's program
improve over the years.
"It was great watching them
just improve as I grew up,"
Pretzer said. "They're on a
completely different level now.
You expect them to make the
tournament every year - deep
runs."
On Nov. 17, the Wolverines
rolled past Bucknell and two

more Michigan natives.
Bucknell guard Chris Hass
grew up in Pellston, and forward
Cory Starkey is from Petoskey -
both about a 250-mile straight
shot north from Ann Arbor.
And when the Bison came
to town, Hass didn't go easy
against the team he used to
root for, shooting 7-of-14 from
the field and scoring a team-
high 21 points.
Three days after taking down
Bucknell, Michigan hosted
Detroit - a team that has just
four out-of-staters on its roster.
For one of the Titans, his
relationship to Michigan
basketball was passed through
lineage. Juwan Howard Jr. - son
of former Michigan star and Fab
Five member Juwan Howard -
is a redshirt junior forward for
Detroit and its leadingscorer.
Howard helped the Titans
keep it close for most of the night,
contributing a game-high 24
points in an eventual 71-62 loss.
"I look up to-my dad a lot,"
Howard said. "Seeing him have
success here, I wanted to do
the same thing and follow his
footsteps. But things didn't work
out. I think that was a learning
experience for me and gave me
an extra edge and a chip on my
shoulder."
For some who grew up nearby,
lining up across from Michigan
doesn't mean they'll stop rooting
for the Wolverines.
"It's nice playing a
team coming off a Big Ten
championship," Cooper said.
"Hell, I hope they win another
Big Ten championship, just to
give us some more credibility for
playing them tough."
Doily Sports Writer Max
Bultmon contributed reporting.

4

rAMsnCOLLR/aily
Sophomore forward JT Compher has started to contribute more ooffense, tallying three goals in the last two weeks.

young defense needs to be on its runs and breakaways, and they
toes. create them a lot, so they're a
Ohio State showed its ability to dangerous team for us."
score quickly and early in its 5-1 Though Michigan will be
win over Notre Dame Sunday. It tested throughout the game, the
has proven its fast scoring threat most important time to prevent
can occur home runs and
at any time breakaways
against any may be the
team, giving "They're a opening
a Michigan minutes. With
squad prone dangerous team." a 7-2 record
to breakaway when scoring
goals a tough first compared
task. to a0-4 record
"They're a speed team," when they don't, the Wolverines
Berenson said. "They've got some understand the importance of
dangerous forwards, they won't getting off to a fast start.
play as close as you would think. "You've seen us not start well
They play more of a stretch game. and not score and get behind
They're always looking for home the eight-ball," Berenson said.

"You've seen us start well and
score, and those are usually our
best games, so that first goal and
a fast start is important, and
that's all preparation."
Michigan has been prepared
in five of its previous six games,
but the Buckeyes - which are
3-1 on the road - present a
challenge Berenson is hoping
his team is ready to meet.
"It's kind of like going to
class all week," Berenson said.
"If you're doing what you're
supposed to do and doing your
homework, you should be ready
for your exam on the weekend.
Every time we play, it's like an
exam.
"We have to be ready to go
and ready to start on time."

WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING
For DeLoof sisters, team is family

By KEVIN SANTO
Daily Sports Writer
When freshman swimmer
Gabby DeLoof arrived in Ann
Arbor this year, joining the
Michigan women's swimming
and diving team meant more
than finding a new family in
her teammates. Gabby was also
reunited with her older sister,
junior Ali DeLoof.
Competing together is more
of the same for the duo. The
sisters have swam together
most of their lives and were
teammates at Grosse Pointe
South (Michigan) High School.
They have been waiting to get
in the same pool again since Ali
graduated in 2012.
"It's very exciting," Ali said.
"(Our favorite part is) the
competition and acting goofy
sometimes. Some of the girls
call us the Goofy DeLoofies."
As if having two DeLoofs

weren't enough, Michigan
coach Mike Bottom revealed
Tuesday that Ali and Gabby's
thirdsister, Catie, will be joining
the 12th-ranked Wolverines
next fall. Catie DeLoof signed
her letter of intent Nov. 17. The
fourth DeLoof, Jacqueline,
currently competes at Grosse
Pointe South, and if she follows
in her sisters' footsteps, she
might don the maize and blue
soon, too.
"It's a great family," Bottom
said. "I expect thatthey're going
to get better, because that's
what the DeLoofs do. They're
just going to keep (improving),
hopefully all the way to the
international ranks."
The DeLoof-Michigan
tradition started as a result
of another family member
- cousin Alana Font, who
attended Michigan from 2008-
2012.
Font taught the sisters about

the Michigan athletic culture,
and they were fortunate to have
the opportunity to consistently
visit the campus together at
a young age. So, when they
received their recruiting letters
from Bottom, it was a dream
come true.
As members of such a
prestigious women's swimming
program, the DeLoofs have
learned to lean on each other
through the rigorous training
sessions and demanding
practice hours.
"My biggest obstacle would
be probably getting used to the
training and lifting," Gabby
said. "(I'm) overcoming that
(by) being positive, asking Ali
for advice. It's been a good
transition."
Ali DeLoof noted that her
transition was much different
than her sister's. Gabby knew
a majority of the team through
her sister prior to having a

recruiting trip.
Bottom was quick to sing Ali
and Gabby's praises for their
progress and success so far.
He emphasized that the sisters
are unique in their own right,
but that, as a package, they
are extremely coachable and a
pleasure to be around.
The coach commended Gabby
for her willingness to learn and
the enthusiasm she shows in
wanting to improve. In addition,
Bottom went on to pay tribute to
Ali's confidence, explaining that
she isn't intimidated by any of
her competition.
The DeLoof sisters are
currently competing in
the AT&T Winter National
Championships in Greensboro,
North Carolina, which started
Thursday.
As they have their entire
life, the duo is looking to blow
opponents out of the water,
together.

TERESAAMATHEW/Daily
Juwan Howard Jr. nearly led Detroit to an upset over Michigan at Crisler.

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