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Posted on Sun, Jan 3, 2010 : 10:30 p.m.

Michigan freshman Matt Vogrich thrives in new role and limited minutes

By Michael Rothstein


Michigan sophomore Zack Novak battles Ohio State junior Dallas Lauderdale, left and junior Jon Diebler at the line in the second half of the Wolverine's 73-64 win against Ohio State at Crisler Arena on Sunday.

Melanie Maxwell |

Second-half minutes have been scarce for Michigan freshman Matt Vogrich this season. 

In a small spurt in the second half Sunday of the Michigan basketball team's 73-64 victory against No. 15 Ohio State, Vogrich displayed what he can do.

Initially thought of primarily as a shooter, Vogrich got in the lane against the Buckeyes. He crashed the boards. He blocked a shot - although in the official score book it was credited as a steal.

Although he played just three minutes, Vogrich smiled and looked happy as he came off the court. In part, it was because of his play. In part, it is because Michigan coach John Beilein shifted Vogrich’s position from shooting guard to becoming Manny Harris’ backup.

“I’m backing him up whenever he needs a break and getting to the offensive glass, and I like doing that,” Vogrich said. “Did it all the time in high school. So I got, I had three offensive rebounds or something, but the ball seemed to fall in my lap and things were working.

“Both (positions) are comfortable. I was more comfortable in the game, I guess. Coach had said I had been complacent, just going through the motions and I’ve just been working on that, getting some energy back, some life back in me.”

It showed. In those three minutes, Vogrich scored four points and had three rebounds - all offensive. Both of his baskets came on put-backs.

Beilein doesn't necessarily want Vogrich’s role to change, just that he’s trying something new and familiar at the same time with the position switch.

“Yeah, so he doesn’t have to be one-on-one with somebody who is a great one or two guard,” Beilein said. “You give him a screen before he touches it, he’s a little bit more mobile.”

Big day from DeShawn Sims

DeShawn Sims and Beilein watched the way the senior forward played against Indiana on Thursday and neither was happy.


Michigan senior DeShawn Sims takes a shot over Ohio State senior P.J. Hill in the first half at Crisler Arena on Sunday.

Melanie Maxwell |

Sims committed silly fouls. He didn’t play particularly well, save for a short spurt in the second half. Against Ohio State, he led all scorers with a season-high 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He was also more efficient, scoring those 28 points on 18 shots, making 13.

He also stayed inside more, as it was the first game all season where the Detroit native did not attempt a 3-pointer.

“It was a good effort overall, and I was a recipient of a lot of passes from a lot of people today,” Sims said. “That gave us an edge today, me being a recipient and guys finding each other.”

Playing without Evan Turner

Ohio State coach Thad Matta is playing the waiting game right now - every day hoping to get some good news from trainers and doctors, hearing the magic words that his junior guard, Evan Turner, will be cleared to play.

The Buckeyes had looked like one of the top teams in the country. Turner one of the nation’s elite players at the beginning of the season.

Then Turner broke his back after a hard fall in a game against Eastern Michigan last month. The dynamics of the Ohio State team changed, and Matta is eagerly awaiting Turner's return.

“I’m true to my word, I want what’s best for him and keeping him and his health long-term in the front of my mind more so than anything else,” Matta said. “Obviously we’re excited when he does get back but the big question is how is he when he does get back.

“We’re going to go through quite a few more growing pains at that stage.”

Beilein compared it to losing one of his stars.

“That’s like not having Manny or not having DeShawn for us,” Beilein said. “That’s a difficult thing for them to do.”

This and that

Freshman point guard Darius Morris celebrated his 19th birthday on Sunday, playing 20 minutes, scoring five points, grabbing two rebounds and making an assist. … Michigan beat Ohio State in both halves, outscoring Ohio State 34-32 in the first half and 39-32 in the second. … William Buford had a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds for Ohio State. … At the first timeout of the first half, Michigan honored former track coach Red Simmons, who turns 100 years old on Tuesday.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.


Pete Bigelow

Mon, Jan 4, 2010 : 12:38 p.m.

BOBG, thanks for the catch. We've made the correction.

Bob Gross

Mon, Jan 4, 2010 : 12:33 p.m.

#33 of Ohio State is Jon Diebler, not the fantastically talented blogger Mark Titus.


Mon, Jan 4, 2010 : 10:39 a.m.

Sign of a good coach is finding the right role for his young players. The sign of a good player is embracing that role to have a positive impact on the game. Good job Matt Vogrich for helping your team win a huge rivalry game at home by embracing your role as Manny's backup Go Blue...NCAA or bust!


Mon, Jan 4, 2010 : 10:10 a.m.

See ya in the NIT.