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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Hectic schedule hurts Wolverines in week leading to IU game

Things were already going pretty bad for Tommy Amaker and his Michigan Wolverines. They had struggled after a 3-3 start in the conference, but after a tough loss to Illinois and a victory over Penn State last week, the Wolverines seemed to be getting things together.\nThat changed this week. The strain of four games in seven days caught up to Michigan (10-13, 5-7 Big Ten), who dropped an overtime game at Colorado State Monday before getting whipped at Purdue Wednesday, 79-43.\nAmaker said the game with the Rams was going to be played some time in December, but Michigan instead elected to play in the Pete Newell Challenge. That resulted in a 55-47 loss to San Francisco, and the Wolverines still had to play Colorado State, resulting in a hectic schedule this week.\n"We inherited that the fact that we owed a game at Colorado State. It was talked about being played some time in December," Amaker said this week. "This was the only date that worked out for both teams that was fair."\nAmaker said having to travel to Colorado to start the week didn't exactly help his team prepare for the rest of the week, which included the Purdue game and Sunday's 1 p.m. contest with No. 22 IU (16-8, 8-3) at Crisler Arena.\n"It cuts down on our preparation time, which we normally like to have two days for each game,\" Amaker said.\nThe trip also took its toll on the players during the Purdue game, when Michigan shot just 24 percent from the field. The Boilermakers ended the first half on a 32-9 run to take over the game.\nThe Wolverines attempted a school-record 32 three pointers but made only six and just 14 field goals overall.\nJunior forward LaVell Blanchard continues to lead the Wolverines in scoring with 14.7 points per game to go along with his 6.7 rebounds. Bernard Robinson Jr. is averaging just less than 12 points per game.\nAs much as Michigan would like to use Sunday as an opportunity to get back on track to salvage its season, the Hoosiers need to win to gather themselves after a 64-63 loss to Wisconsin at Assembly Hall Wednesday night.\nIU enters the weekend in a first place tie with Ohio State. IU Coach Mike Davis has always talked about taking care of home games as a necessity if the Hoosiers want to win the conference title. Now that IU has faltered at Assembly Hall for the first time this season, the Hoosiers have to make up the loss on the road.\n"We have to regroup," Davis said after the loss to the Badgers. "Hopefully we can go to Michigan and play better." \nThe Wolverines are just interested in getting through this season with a respectable record. Amaker isn't used to losing, having come through the Duke program first as a player and then as an assistant coach.\nNow that Amaker is on his own at his second program after having left Seton Hall last spring, he still keeps some of the lessons Mike Krzyzewski taught him as a Blue Devil.\n"The biggest piece of advice he gave me and I'm sure he will give a lot of his former players and other friends in the coaching profession is to be yourself," Amaker said. "I've always taken that to heart in a great way. That was the biggest piece of advice and the last piece of advice he gave me in terms of when I first left to became a head coach. That gave me confidence."\nDavis can understand Amaker's pains as Amaker tries to get through this difficult week. Davis said the Hoosiers needed to win both games this week, but now IU has to settle for a shot at one victory.\n"Seems like every week is a big week for us," Davis said.

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