The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2011-12 basketball preview ���She���s a feisty, take-it-at-you kind of girl and that���s what we need,��� Ryan said. It���s Go Time The Big Ten will not be easy, and the challenge to equal last year���s record, let alone improve upon it, is significant, but the Wolverines feel they have the pieces in place, and most importantly, they have the mindset. ���These kids have been around long enough where they get it,��� Borseth said. ���They know what���s out there. They were third in the Big Ten last year and probably shocked a lot of people. People didn���t think we could get there, but our kids believed they could. And they want to get into the NCAA Tournament. ���We���ve been so close for so long. It���s time that we���re able to do that, and in order to do that, we need to do well in the Big Ten. That being said, there���s some very good programs. There���s a lot of good players in the Big Ten. I think everybody���s hands are going to be full. ���The players feel a sense of expectations. You can see that when you come into practice. Their sense of urgency is far greater than it has been the last Head coach Kevin Borseth said, ���Jenny Ryan provides intangibles that you really can���t put on paper; she makes players around her better.��� photo by per kjeldsen couple of years. Their understanding of what to expect from the first day of practice to the competition we���re going to play, etc., is all there. ���Hopefully we can learn and press forward, because I think we want to, we need to make the tournament. The basketball community expects that. We feel that. And we���re going to do everything we can to make that push.��� ��� Basketball Team Is Not Alone In Seeking Breakthrough Campaign It has now been a decade worth of seasons since Michigan has earned an NCAA berth (2001). The Wolverines have won consistently under head coach Kevin Borseth, going 67-61 (.523 winning percentage), but have just three WNIT appearances to show for it. Breaking through is not easy, as these U-M programs, walking in similar shoes, can attest. Women���s Golf: Like the women���s basketball team, women���s golf has never won a Big Ten title, dating back to the conference���s golf inception in 1980. The Wolverines came closest in 2005, placing second, but have finished in seventh, fifth, seventh, eighth and eighth the last five years. U-M also has just one NCAA Championships appearance, in 2002, with only six regional opportunities. Women���s Gymnastics: It might seem incredible to list a team that has captured five consecutive Big Ten titles and has won 18 of the last 20, but this program has bigger goals that have gone unfulfilled during the past decade. Once on the brink of an NCAA title, placing second in 1999, U-M hasn���t finished higher than fifth since 2002, and has qualified for the NCAA Super Six just once in the past five years. Men���s Tennis: Bruce Berque has done a terrific job rebuilding the Maize and Blue, going 109-73 in seven seasons with six NCAA Championships appearances. However, the Wolverines have not yet claimed that elusive Big Ten title, finishing second in 2007 and third in 2010, while they have advanced beyond the NCAA second round just once, in 2008, and are 5-6 overall in the national tournament. Men���s Track and Field: On the strength of NCAA champions Nate Brannen and Nick Willis, and a dominant distance medley relay team, U-M recorded top-10 NCAA indoor finishes in 2004 and 2005. Since then, though, the program has floundered, with only a single top-10 performance during the indoor season and a lone top-20 effort during the outdoor campaign. Michigan has not even placed higher than eighth in the Big Ten during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Wrestling: It wasn���t so long ago that the wrestling program was near the top, placing runner-up at the 2005 NCAA Championships while repeating as the regular-season conference champ in 2006. However, since then U-M has compiled a 14-25-1 mark in conference meets, hasn���t placed higher than third at the league tournament and has notched three consecutive NCAA finishes outside the top 10. It has been half a decade since Michigan competed at a championship level. Women���s Rowing: When U-M went varsity in 1997, it took just four seasons to win a conference title and five to contend for a national title, placing runner-up in 2001. In 2003 and 2004, Michigan won back-to-back Big Ten championships and earned a pair of top-five NCAA finishes. Since then, though, the program has stuttered along, earning just one top-five national finish in seven seasons while going without a conference crown. ��� Michael Spath November 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 75

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