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June 30, 2008 - Image 42

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-30

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30

Orientation Edition 2008
S ,. The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
MICHIGAN BASKETBALL

Last season was a rough one for first-year coach John Beilein and his Wolverines. In his first season at the
helm, Beilein posted just 10 wins, and a program-high 22 losses. Michigan now has gone 10 straight
years without reaching the NCAA Tournament, a streak likely to continue this year.
Former coach bests Michigan
in shocking early-season upset

By DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Dec. 3, 2007 - CAMBRIDGE,
Mass. - Don't say he didn't warn
you.
Since beinghired in April, Mich-
igan men's basketball coach John
Beilein has preached his team is
young and that learning his system
will take time.
He said things would get ugly at
times.
But this ugly?
A 62-51 to Harvard in cozy Lev-
ites Pavilion Saturday night ugly?
A Harvard, that has beaten just
18 major conference teams in the
program's 96 seasons.
A Harvard, that lost 82-50 to
the Wolverines last year and was
picked to finish sixth of eight Ivy
a League teams this season.
And of course, a Harvard now
coached by Tommy Amaker, who
Michigan fired after last season.
"I don't think things like this
are (unexpected)," Beilein said.

"Are they unexpected in the long
range of the program? Absolutely.
But I don't think they're that unex-
pected right now in college basket-
ball."
Beilein has maintained from the
get-go that supporting his team
this year shouldn't come down to
wins and losses. Fans should look
forward to the development of
younger players and to the excit-
ing, up-and-down style he brought
with him from WestVirginia would
be fun to watch.
But missing 42 shots, including
15 3-pointers, isn't fun.
Getting outrebound by a team
that boasts a starting line without a
true center and three guards under
6-foot-2 isn't fun.
Having an assist-to-turnover
ratio of .46 when your system
emphasizes ball control isn't fun.
Allowing a team that doesn't
start a senior to finish with 17
assists against just nine turnovers
isn't fun. Letting six players, none
of whom are on scholarship, score

at least eight points isn't fun.
So what does that leave?
A loss that - although no one in
the Michigan locker room would
admit it - is embarrassing.
Amaker maintained the win
was great for Harvard, but it had
no personal ramifications for him.
Even so, the, "We've got Tommy,"
chants from the Crimson Crazies
before they rushed the court must
have given him some satisfaction.
And even though the Wolverines
maintained this was just another
game, the post-game locker room
vibe was particularly tense. Play-
ers struggled to explain the loss.
Many couldn't even lift their heads
to respond.
Maybe they were just too tired
to talk. Beilein made clear he
wasn't trying to make excuses, but
he said fatigue may have caught up
to the Wolverines, playing their
fifth game in 11 days.
Michigan (3-5), trailing 37-26
with 15 minutes left in the g m,
put together an 11-0 run, sp ed

Sophomore DeShawn Sims played one season under Tommy Amaker at Michigan, but
lost to his former coach, who now coaches Harvard, this year in Cambridge, Mass.

4

by the dribble drives of freshman
guard Manny Harris, who led the
team with 13 points.
After the Wolverines surged to
knot the game at 51 with 3:38 left,
Michigan didn't seem to have any
gas left in its tank. An unintimidat-
ed Harvard squad closed the game
on an 11-0 run of its own, scoring
on fastbreak lay-ups.
"(The Wolverines) are just regu-

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lar dudes," Crimson forward Evar
Harris said. "They lace up their
shoes the same way. They tie their
shorts. They're not super people
out there dunking."
As Harvard (4-4) capped off its
game-ending run, Beilein sat at the
end of the Michigan bench, clench-
ing his hands together, staring at
the ground.
Even with his preseason procla-
mation, the first-year coach coulc
never have imagined such a los
as a loss to Harvard.
Now the Wolverines, whc
have lost three in a row and five
of their last six, have to hope ii
doesn't get worse.
INTERESTED
IN WRITING
FOR DAILY
SPORTS?
E-mail Nate Sandals at
sandals@michigan-
daily.com.
Yep, it's that simple.

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