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March 20, 2012

Michigan Newsstand - March 20

FEATURED HEADLINE

Devin Gardner contending for expanded role with Michigan football team, but where remains a mystery
Kyle Meinke AnnArbor.com
The Wolverines have made no secret they would like to make Gardner a regular component of their offense, and they did that last year when they added a "deuce formation" that got him on the field at quarterback.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Video: Michigan football coaches Al Borges, Greg Mattison talk spring football
Nick Baumgardner AnnArbor.com
On Monday, Michigan football offensive coordinator Al Borges and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison spoke with reporters about the opening of spring practice.

FOOTBALL

Michigan challenges William Campbell to play 'at a high level'
Eric Lacy The Detroit News
The former Detroit Cass Tech standout, rated as the No. 1 Blue Chip recruit in the state in 2009 by The Detroit News, has been limited to a reserve role in college because of weight issues and a lack of consistency.

Ricky Barnum looks good at center so far
Michael Spath TheWolverine.com
The transition from guard to center is not always seamless, but in the case of fifth-year senior Ricky Barnum, he simply has to adjust because Michigan has no other option. The good news is Barnum has looked capable early in spring practice.

Greg Mattison works on bulking up Michigan defense
Mark Snyder The Detroit Free Press
Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison realized after last season that he needed to fill major voids on the defensive line with three starters graduating. One of his primary ideas was to move ends Craig Roh and Jibreel Black to the inside and ask them to bulk up.

Mattison puts Michigan defenders on alert
Adam Rittenberg ESPN.com
The Wolverines return seven starters and many other reserves who played roles in orchestrating one of the more impressive one-year turnarounds for a defense in recent college football history. Mattison remains grateful for their contributions.He also guarantees them nothing for the coming season.

Michigan student football ticket prices rise for third straight season
Kyle Meinke AnnArbor.com
For a third consecutive year, the Michigan football program is raising its student ticket prices. A 2013 season ticket will cost a current student $195 for six home games, according to MGoBlue.com. There also is a $10 service charge.

WOLVERINES IN THE NFL

Desmond Howard and Barry Sanders in running for cover of NCAA Football 13 video game
The Detroit Free Press
One of the old-timers will be chosen in -- what else -- bracket-style voting at facebook.com/easportsncaafootball.

Jeff Backus has critics, but he's big for Lions
Terry Foster The Detroit News
The Lions signed left tackle Jeff Backus to a reported two-year, $10 million contract, which means two things: Lions fans get two more years to criticize Backus and Quarterback Matthew Stafford has adequate protection the next two years.

BASKETBALL

Borton's Blog: Painful losses
John Borton TheWolverine.com
Most of the tears have dried. The chip dip has been wiped off the den wall, so it wouldn't permanently harden there, and the shards of its serving bowl swept up neatly.

Hoops: U-M still high on Keita Bates-Diop
Chris Balas TheWolverine.com
Bates-Diop has already earned offers from Northwestern and DePaul, and serious interest from Illinois, Purdue and Michigan. He was his team's leading scorer in the sectionals and super-sectionals, head coach Bob Fitzgerald reported, embraced by the juniors and seniors on the team for his selfless play.

RECRUITING

Recruiting: Michigan lands RB Deveon Smith; looking for more?
Tim Sullivan The Detroit Free Press
Warren (Ohio) Howland running back Deveon Smith became Michigan's sixteenth commitment over the weekend, picking the Wolverines on Saturday night. The three-star running back is the No. 32 prospect nationally at his position according to Rivals.com.

HOCKEY

Michigan hockey team's overtime experience could come in handy in NCAA tournament
Pete Cunningham AnnArbor.com
Michigan has played in four overtime games in the NCAA tournament in the past four years, and in three of the last four years, had its season end in an extra session.

AROUND THE NATION

Illini target Shaka Smart
ESPNChicago.com
The University of Illinois has targeted VCU's Shaka Smart as its top choice to replace Bruce Weber, a source familiar with the situation told ESPNChicago.com.

SIU targets Bruce Weber
Scott Powers ESPNChicago.com
Weber left Southern Illinois in 2003 to become Illinois' coach. Weber was 201-101 overall and coached the Illini to six NCAA tournaments, including the national championship game in 2005. He was fired on March 9.

Naismith POY finalists announced
ESPN.com
The finalists for college basketball's top award are Kentucky's Anthony Davis, Kansas' Thomas Robinson, Creighton's Doug McDermott and Michigan State's Draymond Green.



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