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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Michigan Wolverines Mailbag

By Chantel Jennings

Well, the 2011 college football season is officially over. Hopefully everyone enjoyed that thrilling match on Monday evening. If you're into field goals, well, it was your kind of game ... again. But overall, it was a good year for college football, filled with memories of Shoelaces, Honey Badgers and RG3’s decorative socks.

Now, college basketball is in conference play and bracketeers around the country are already trying to figure out who will be this year’s VCU (Hint: It won’t be VCU).

With that, we’re sure there are questions and we love hearing from our readers and answering what questions you do have. The mailbag, though, is only as good as what you ask. Questions for next week's mailbag can be sent to michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com.

Now, on to this week’s questions. Jacob Mangum, Notre Dame, Ind.: Why do you think sophomore punter Will Hagerup struggled so much this year after a promising freshman campaign?

A: As a freshman, Hagerup averaged 43.6 yards per punt. This past season, he averaged only 36 yards per punt. I think there’s something to be said for him sitting out the first four games of the season.

We haven’t had a chance to talk to players since the season ended, so I can’t say exactly why he struggled, but in mid- December Michigan coach Brady Hoke said that he speaks with Hagerup every day in practice about punting. "It’s just consistency, how you set the ball, where your hand is, the mental imagery when you do it the right way when you’re keeping the fundamentals and techniques," Hoke said.

Do I know why he struggled? No. Do I think he’ll be punting next season? No. I imagine that freshman Matt Wile will be the starting punter come next fall.

Austin White, Bloomfield Hills: How does the Michigan basketball team not move up in the rankings after that win over Wisconsin? What will it take for them to be top 10 worthy?

A: Wisconsin didn’t look like a top-25 team to me. It was a solid win and Michigan played well, but let’s not kid, this isn’t Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan’s usual Badger bunch. It’s nice to see Indiana crack the top 10 though and I figured they would. I also figured Michigan would move up at least one spot. I would say that in order to get up with the Hoosiers in the top 10, the Wolverines need to show that they can win on the road and take care of business at home. If Michigan can win four of its six next games including a win up over the Spartans or Buckeyes, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing them in the top 10.

@Spicy Bob via Twitter: I know that Hoke’s main goal is to win the Rose Bowl each year, but what are the basketball team’s goals this year?

A: Hoke has never come out and said his goal is to win the Rose Bowl each year, he said it’s to win the Big Ten Championship (which gives you an automatic bid to the Rose Bowl). But I spoke with redshirt sophomore forward Jordan Morgan on Tuesday and asked him what the teams goals are and he said, "Our goals from the beginning were to win championships. It’s what we say every day. Last year, we wanted to get to the [NCAA] Tournament. This year, we want to win championships." When pressed about what he meant exactly by "championships," he said the Big Ten Championship and that the team wants to win "as many games as [they] can after that."