The Wolverine

March 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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T he Wolverines lost five of eight games between Jan. 23 and Feb. 16, a skid that dropped the team's record to 16-10 and probably took it out of contention for an NCAA Tournament bid. Michigan's defense was a major culprit in the losses. Opponents scored an average of 68.5 points per game over that times- pan, about four points per contest higher than Michigan has surren- dered, on average, this season (64.6). During that stretch, the Wolverines surrendered 80-plus points twice, both in losses: 85-51 at Nebraska Jan. 29 and 85-69 versus Minnesota Feb. 1. In two wins against Michigan, Ne- braska shot the lights out — hitting 32 of 60 field goals (53.3 percent) and 11 of 29 three-pointers (37.9 percent) in the 84-51 win in Lincoln, Neb., and 24 of 44 field goals (59.1 percent) and 6 of 11 triples (54.5 percent) in a 76-68 victory at Michigan Feb. 13. "That definitely has to do with our lack of focus, whether that is not knowing what defense we're in or not communicating," senior center Val Driscoll said. "We all have to be checked in for a full 40 minutes. Ev- eryone on the floor and the bench, we all have to be ready to go and checked into." Post defense is a concern for Michi- gan head coach Kim Barnes Arico. Although junior forward Cyesha Goree (12.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game) and Driscoll (5.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game) have made big strides the season, there is still room for improvement on the defensive end. During the aforementioned eight- game stretch, U-M surrendered an average of 26.5 points per game in the paint. "We spend a lot of time working on getting shots up and getting our post players better," Barnes Arico said. "We have seen significant im- provement there. Now, the challenge   WOMEN'S BASKETBALL Defense Is A Concern For The Wolverines Senior center Val Driscoll and U-M allowed an average of 32.0 points in the paint in the team's five losses between Jan. 23 and Feb. 13. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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