Wolverines Feed Off Energy From Maize Rage Student Section - Dec 12, 2012
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With the University of Michigan men's basketball team's 67-39 home victory over the Binghamton Bearcats on Tuesday night (Dec. 11), the Wolverines are now 22-1 over the past two seasons while playing at Crisler. In addition to having a talented and deep roster, Michigan can attribute a lot of this success at Crisler Center to the loudly energetic Maize Rage, the U-M student section present at every home game.
Founded in the mid-1990s, the Maize Rage is a student-run organization on campus that is open to all students who have purchased season tickets. Since its humble beginnings more than a decade ago, the Maize Rage has continued to grow in both number and spirit.
"We started with about five students total," Maize Rage vice president Sasha Shaffer reflected. "We are now up to over 2,500 students. We create a loud atmosphere, and for a lot of visiting teams, they don't experience that much noise anywhere but here, so it makes it harder for them to play."
Colin Fitzner, a mechanical engineering graduate student, has similar memories of the Maize Rage's earlier years. "My freshman year, in order to get more people to come they gave the students free pizza," Fitzner laughed. "There weren't enough students there to eat all of the pizza, so everyone got their own box. Now, for big games we get here two hours early; we make our plans around basketball games. It's a lot more fun now."
What stood out most about Fitzner, however, was the unusual outfit he was proudly showing off in the front row of the student section. Dressed head-to-toe in maize and blue, a grey mask on his face and long claws on his hands, Fitzner sported a costume that was the perfect Michigan choice. "I am the comic book character Wolverine!" Fitzner remarked. "My mom actually bought this costume for me. I told her I wanted a costume that was a little funny, goofy and yellow. This was the perfect choice."
In addition to Fitzner's Wolverine costume, other characters such as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch could be found in the Maize Rage Tuesday night, along with Santa hats and maize and blue overalls.
"The Maize Rage has been great," senior guard Matt Vogrich commented. "We won all but one game at home last year, and so far this year we are undefeated as well. We're just trying to protect Crisler, and we really appreciate how loud and supportive they have been."
The one loss that came for the Wolverines last season was against Purdue on Feb. 25. "As you can see, that loss to Purdue last year was over break when the Maize Rage was not here," senior 'super fan' Jarrett McFeters pointed out. "That shows how effective we are. Every game this year, everyone is going to be here."
With the fall semester winding down, the Michigan students are beginning exams this week but not letting that keep them from cheering on their beloved Wolverines. One student in the middle of the sea of maize held up a sign that read, "Basketball over studying!"
"That really says it all," Shaffer commented. "We would all rather be here than studying."
"It helps that we have a really good team this year," McFeters added. "These guys have been phenomenal this year. We want to bring the energy every night and get this place rocking."
Senior/junior Jordan Morgan also spoke about the homecourt advantage that the Maize Rage creates at Crisler Center. "It's like having a sixth man on the court," Morgan remarked. "It's great having so much support, especially in the big games. Being loud and intimidating, it's a huge advantage for us. When we have everyone in the arena standing up and yelling, it makes a big difference."
With meetings every week, in addition to attending all of the home games and a few of the away games, the Maize Rage also participates in social gatherings together.
"Honestly, it has brought us all together and made us friends," remarked Shaffer on what the Maize Rage means to her. "There is no one else on campus that I am closer to than the people sitting around me right now."
"We are more like a group of friends that likes to go to sporting events, rather than a sports group that are friends," McFeters added.
As Vogrich mentioned, an important team goal for the Wolverines is to "protect Crisler" by staying undefeated at home. Michigan is off to a good start, beginning the 2012-13 season with a perfect 7-0 home record.
The Wolverines and the Maize Rage will next return to Crisler on Dec. 20 against Eastern Michigan. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. By Morgan Bailey, U-M Public & Media Relations Courtesy of: http://www.mgoblue.com
Amile Jefferson's career night helps No. 4 Duke to win over No. 21 Florida - 5 hours ago
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Almost everybody in Madison Square Garden was impressed with the game Amile Jefferson (6'9''-F-93) had for No. 4 Duke. Nobody appreciated it more than Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski. Jefferson set career highs with 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead Duke to an 84-74 victory over No. 21 Florida on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic. 'Amile played one of the great games,' Krzyzewski said. 'God bless him. He was fantastic.' Luke Kennard (6'5''-G-96) scored 29 points and freshman Jayson T... [read more]
Almost everybody in Madison Square Garden was impressed with the game Amile Jefferson (6'9''-F-93) had for No. 4 Duke. Nobody appreciated it more than Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski. Jefferson set career highs with 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead Duke to an 84-74 victory over No. 21 Florida on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic. 'Amile played one of the great games,' Krzyzewski said. 'God bless him. He was fantastic.' Luke Kennard (6'5''-G-96) scored 29 points and freshman Jayson Tatum (6'8''-F-98) added 22 for the Blue Devils (9-1), whose only loss was to Kansas on this same court in the Champions Classic in November. Krzyzewski also praised Kennard, who established his career high for points in the previous game against Maine. 'Luke's played fantastic,' Krzyzewski said. 'When you get 29 points on 16 shots - what he'd have, 35 against Maine? Really efficient. He's come through for us beautifully. He's starting to put it together a little bit.' Twice in the final 8 minutes the Gators (7-2) got within seven points but both times Kennard scored to hold off Florida, once with a three-pointer and again with a long layup off a steal. 'Down the stretch in that second half, every time they made a play, we did a great job of coming back and taking the air out of the ball, using 20 seconds and then getting up a good shot,' Jefferson said. 'Whether it was Luke, whether it was Jayson, whether it was G (Grayson Allen (6'5''-G-95)) penetrating and finding somebody, our guys did an amazing job of never splintering.' The 6-foot-9 Jefferson, who also blocked four shots, was 11 for 14 from the field. Kennard went 11 of 16, including 5 for 7 from three-point range. KeVaughn Allen (6'2''-G-95) led Florida with 21 points, and John Egbunu (6'11''-C) had nine points and 12 rebounds. 'They were a better team tonight,' Florida coach Mike White said. 'I thought our guys were really jacked up for the opportunity. I thought Amile Jefferson was amazing, just absolutely amazing.' Duke closed the first half with an 8-2 run - Jefferson and Tatum had four points each - for a 41-31 lead. Allen, Duke's preseason All-America, had an off night shooting (2 for 10, including 1 for 5 on 3s) but he had eight assists to go with his six points. 'I thought Jayson came out tonight and did an amazing job of just letting it all out,' Jefferson said. 'Luke is the smoothest player in the country. So playing with these guys has been so much fun so far.' Courtesy of: usatoday.com
Iowa State moved the ball and yet again played strong defense. The result was a surprisingly satisfying win on the heels of two tough losses. Deonte Burton (6'4''-G/F-94) scored 20 points and the 25th-ranked Cyclones pummeled Nebraska-Omaha 91-47 on Monday night, snapping a two-game losing streak. Donovan Jackson (6'2''-G-96) had 15 for the Cyclones (6-2), who hit 15 of 29 3-pointers and rolled to their third win of 40 or more points this season. "I thought we did some things better," Iow... [read more]
Iowa State moved the ball and yet again played strong defense. The result was a surprisingly satisfying win on the heels of two tough losses. Deonte Burton (6'4''-G/F-94) scored 20 points and the 25th-ranked Cyclones pummeled Nebraska-Omaha 91-47 on Monday night, snapping a two-game losing streak. Donovan Jackson (6'2''-G-96) had 15 for the Cyclones (6-2), who hit 15 of 29 3-pointers and rolled to their third win of 40 or more points this season. "I thought we did some things better," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. "Pace of play. Sharing the basketball, moving the basketball, the ball moving side to side. And defensively, for the majority of the game, I thought we competed." Iowa State knew it had to take the Mavericks (4-5) seriously after they stunned Iowa on Saturday. The Cyclones never let Omaha think it had a chance, storming ahead 36-9 after just 12 minutes - with Burton scoring their first 13 points. "I just took what they were giving me, and it was falling," Burton said. Iowa State, which fell six spots in Monday's AP Top 25 poll but remained ranked for the 61st week in a row, held the Mavs to 28 percent shooting. The Cyclones, not typically known for their defense, have held three of their last four opponents to 56 points or less. "We play in a really good league," Prohm said, looking ahead to Big 12 play. "You better guard, and you better play the right way." Tra-Deon Hollins (6'2''-G) had 13 points to lead the Mavs. Courtesy of: kansascity.com
South Carolina cruises past Florida International 70-54 - 2 days ago
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No. 20 South Carolina (8-0) picked up its eighth-straight win of the season after defeating FIU (3-6) 70-54 at Colonial Life Arena on Sunday afternoon. Senior guard Duane Notice (6'2''-G-94) tied a career-high with 27 points. He was on fire from deep, knocking down six 3s, which set a new-career high. Joining Notice in double-figures was sophomore PJ Dozier (6'6''-F/G) (20), who logged his second-straight 20-point game. Carolina got off to another solid start as Dozier faked a pass to the... [read more]
No. 20 South Carolina (8-0) picked up its eighth-straight win of the season after defeating FIU (3-6) 70-54 at Colonial Life Arena on Sunday afternoon. Senior guard Duane Notice (6'2''-G-94) tied a career-high with 27 points. He was on fire from deep, knocking down six 3s, which set a new-career high. Joining Notice in double-figures was sophomore PJ Dozier (6'6''-F/G) (20), who logged his second-straight 20-point game. Carolina got off to another solid start as Dozier faked a pass to the corner and pulled up from the left wing knocking down a 3 with 17:11 remaining in the first half. The made long-ball forced a Panther time out just three minutes in as the Gamecocks opened play on a 7-0 run. The lead was pushed to 11-5 at the first media timeout. Dozier, who came into the game fresh off a career-high 21 points in the team's win over Vermont on Thursday, remained hot from the field scoring seven of Carolina's first 11 points. Freshman Rakym Felder (5'10''-PG) pinpointed a long pass down the floor to Notice who laid it in to make it 15-7. FIU cut the score to 19-14 after an Anthony Boswell (6'6''-G-94) 3 from the corner. The Gamecocks then went on another 7-0 run as Notice knocked down a trey ball from the right wing to move the lead to double-digits at 26-14 with 5:07 left in the first half. Another Notice 3 with 3:54 left pushed him into double-figures on the score sheet. Freshman Maik Kotsar snagged an offensive rebound on Carolina's final offensive possession of the half and found a wide-open Notice, who was spotting up behind the arc. Notice knocked down his third 3 of the half and put the Gamecocks up 36-22 at the break. The Toronto, Ontario, native, led all scorers with 14 at halftime. Dozier joined him in double-figures with 11 (4-for-4). Carolina's stingy defense forced a season-high 14 turnovers in the first half. FIU big man Michael Kessens (6'9''-F-91, agency: Court Side) scored via layup to cut the Gamecocks' lead to 13 with 11:14 left, but Carolina answered with a 7-0 run to push the lead to 20 with 6:37 remaining. The Gamecocks would lead by 16 or more the rest of the way. Notice broke 20 on the score sheet after hitting his fifth 3 of the game with 4:54 left to put the Gamecocks up 61-40. Dozier tallied his 20th point with a free throw on the ensuing possession. Notice's career-high sixth 3 came with 3:21 left. He finished 8-of-13 from the field and 6-of-10 from behind the arc. Dozier went 7-for-13 from the field, including 2-for-4 from deep. The Columbia, S.C., native, had seven rebounds which tied sophomore Chris Silva for the team lead. Felder led the team with four assists. Courtesy of: secsports.com
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