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Posted on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 11:25 a.m.

Michigan basketball forward DeShawn Sims wants to finish strong against Iowa

By Michael Rothstein


Michigan senior DeShawn Sims tries to power his way under the hoop against Wisconsin's Rob Wilson earlier this month. Sims averages 14.8 points and five rebounds per game against Iowa. (Photo: Lon Horwedel |

IOWA CITY, Iowa - DeShawn Sims will walk into Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the final time tonight and more than anyone else, Iowa coach Todd Lickliter might be the happiest to know that the Michigan basketball forward is finally a senior.

Why else would you feel Lickliter’s cringe through the telephone on the Big Ten teleconference Monday.

“Gosh, why do you have to bring him up,” Lickliter said at the mention of Sims’ name.

Sims has a habit of big games against Iowa. He’s averaged 14.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in eight games against the Hawkeyes. The last two have been even more impressive.

In the Big Ten tournament last year, Sims had 27 points in a 73-45 win over Iowa. Earlier this year on Jan. 30, the 6-foot-8 Sims had 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 60-46 win that snapped a three-game losing streak.

“I must like Iowa,” Sims said. “It’s not necessarily a matchup thing. It’s just been more about my starts and how I came out. That’s led to my success, just coming out strong and being effective.”

Sims also remembers a season ago in Iowa City, when Michigan lost to Iowa, 70-60, in overtime. In that game, Michigan coach John Beilein benched Manny Harris for overtime in the loss.

Sims’ theme, in some ways this Big Ten season, has been redemption and retribution for teams that beat up on Michigan earlier in his career.

“After last year, I’m definitely waiting to get a win at Iowa,” Sims said. “There were definitely some plays that we could have controlled down the stretch and I think we’ve got the hang of them now and we’re going to try (for a win) a second time.”

In terms of controlling, that is Iowa’s biggest task entering tonight. For the Hawkeyes to have a chance at winning, they must try to neutralize Sims for the first time in what will - barring a meeting in the Big Ten tournament - the last time they’ll face him.

Doing that, though, isn’t as easy as saying it.

“We at least look and say ‘OK, we have to expect Michigan to go to him,’” Lickliter said. “It just makes sense. Two games in a row now, they go to him.

“…You got to try your best to beat him to spots because if he catches it where he likes it, your hands are full.”

And if you’re Iowa, you’re likely to lose to Michigan. Again.

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.



Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 11:58 p.m.

I hate to break the news but Michigan needs to win the next five and then two in the Big Ten tournament that would put us at 20 wins for the season. There is no way Michigan gets in with less then 20 wins....


Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 4:28 p.m.

Not dead, can't quit is what I say. Above.500 in the Big Ten with a win over OSU or MSU down the stretch and a win in the Big Ten tourney 1st round will do it. Nice win by Connecticut last night btw!