vs. Bowling Green
Tomorrow, 3 p.m.
Ray Fisher Stadium
vs. Wayne State
Wednesday, 3 p.m.
The Michigan Daily
Monday, March 27, 1989
LEXINGTON, Ky - For the past two weeks, nearly every Michigan
press conference has started out: "On behalf of those of you who don't
know, I'm Steve Fisher, I've been with the program for seven years, and
under circumstances I don't want to go into, I'm now the head coach..."
With the Wolverines' post-season success, Steve Fisher's name has
been bantered around as much as John Tower, albeit for different reasons.
Fisher may prefer relative obscurity, but the time has come for him to
make an American Express commercial so that CBS announcer Tim
Brandt won't call him "Steve Frieder" at the next interview.
And after being around the team at the tournament, I've come to a
conclusion: Steve Fisher should be named as Michigan's basketball coach
on a permanent basis.
According to alumni close to the team, members of the University
administration, and athletic department personnel, Athletic Director Bo
Schembechler has come to a similar conclusion.
An announcement was originally planned for tomorrow night at the
annual Basketball Bust, but has been put off until right after the NCAA
tournament in order to keep attention focused on the team.
RIGHT NOW, though, Fisher is the man, and for good reason.
When the North Carolina game was on the line, there was Fisher -
calm, cool, and collected - reminding his troops about their roles. He
remained in control, as opposed to the familiar scene of a Michigan coach
flailing his arms, while yelling and screaming in an effort to gain some
Fisher and the players were on the same wavelength, each knowing
what the other expected. Assistant coach Brian Dutcher commented: "with
Steve, it's like a lightbulb goes off in the players' heads. He reasons with
the kids and hits the key theme that unites them behind a common goal."
And as a result, the players finally have some respect for their coach.
They know he will be with them, come hell or high water, because he
believes in this Michigan team.
Wherever Fisher walks, he exudes class, which until recently was a
missing ingredient in Michigan's success.
He has made all of the right moves since being named the interim
coach, and the Wolverines look like a new team.
Despite being subjected to a media barrage, Michigan has remained
focused on its goal. The result -Michigan's first Final Four visit since
1976. The reason they've remained on track - a coach who won't let
them give up and who has made every player feel like a part of the team.
Steve Fisher has done the unexpected, and in doing so, has demon-
strated qualities which should land him the Michigan job.
At least the media, the alumni, and the players all think so.
Now we just need to hear it from you, Bo.
Higgins, Rice bomb
Cavs from long range
BY STEVE BLONDER
LEXINGTON, Ky - The shooting display put on by Sean Higgins and
Glen Rice, Saturday, resembled a scene from Robocop more than a basket-
ball contest, and played a crucial role in the 102-65 Wolverine victory.
The two shot a combined 24-31 from the field, and left teammates won-
dering what to do.
"It got to a point where I was standing around watching," Terry Mills
said. "I felt like I should buy a ticket and go sit in the stands. Going for the
rebound wouldn't do any good, because by the time I'd get to the hole, it
would be time to run back down the floor.
"Usually one is hot and the other is not. Virginia tried to put a box-and-
one (defense) on Glen, but then Higgins started hitting threes. There was
nowhere for them to run, as long as we got him the ball."
Point guard Rumeal Robinson
found his job simplified, as the 1989
version of the dynamic duo "made
me feel as if I didn't have to do
anything but pass them the ball."
Higgins and Rice planted
themselves and just waited for
Robinson to do just that. During a
four minute stretch in the second
half, Higgins connected on six
consecutive three-pointers (he was 7-
10 for the game), and his 31 points
in only 20 minutes of play, set a
new career high.
Rice, who is now only 56 points
shy of the All-Time Big Ten scoring
record, hit four of his five three-
pointers enroute to a game-high 32
points. So far in the NCAA
tournament, he has scored 125 t
points, which eclipsed the Michigan Sean Higgins celebrates with Loy
tournament record, and is averaging Vaught after his 11-15 shooting
over 31 points per game. spree from the field.
Michigan interim coach Steve Fisher was not surprised that Rice now
holds a Michigan record with 20 three pointers in the tournament.
"Taking a three-point shot for Rice is like shooting an open 8-10 footer,"
Virginia coach Tery Holland added, "He couldn't have been much better."
Cavalier players both knew the game was over when Rice and Higgins
"I wish I could have the same fire they had in their eyes, when I shot,"
Virginia forward Bryant Stith said. "I was guarding Higgins and sometimes I
hated to turn around and look because everything was going in."
The endless parade of points deflated the Cavaliers, who felt "like
Michigan couldn't miss a shot if they tried."
To Mark Hughes, watching Higgins and Rice hit "was sweet like a
"Sean shot the ball as well as I've ever seen him do in his life. With
Glen this was not a surprise - he does this so often."
'On behalf of those of you who don't know, I'm
Steve Fisher, I've been with the program for
seven years, and under circumstances I don't want
to go into, I'm now the head coach...'
- Michigan interim coach Steve Fisher
TANNING CENTER * Ph. 747-8844
Campus location. 216_S. State. 2nd Floor, across from State Theatre
Duke, Illinois and The Hall join 'M
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Duke Blue Devils, Illinois
Fighting Illini and Seton Hall
Pirates each won their games last
weekend to earn their place next to
the Michigan in the 1989 NCAA
tournament's Final Four.
Christian Laettner won the battle
of rookie centers, hitting nine of his
first 10 shots on the way to scoring
24 points and leading Duke into its
third NCAA Final Four in four years
with a 85-77 victory over George-
town in the East Regional final
Georgetown's Alonso Mourning,
the 6-foot-10 rookie who almost
made the U.S. Olympic team last
summer, was limited to 11 points
and spent the last five minutes of the
game sitting on the bench.
Phil Henderson scored a career-
high 23 points and Danny Ferry 21
for Duke, 28-7. Charles Smith led
Georgetown, 29-5, with 21 points,
16 in the second half.
Duke used three 8-0 spurts in the
first 13 minutes of the second half to
take a 68-56 lead. Georgetown,
however, refused to fold and stormed
back to a two point deficit, 75-73,
with 3:32 left. Duke staved off the
Hoya threat by hitting 10 of 12 free
throws down the stretch.
ILLINOIS beat the Syracuse
Orangemen, 89-86, to earn its first
bid to the Final Four since 1952.
Nick Anderson and Kenny Battle
scored 27 and 25 points, respect-
ively, to help erase a 13-point first
half Orangemen lead.
Anderson scored five points in a
7-2 run that broke the final tie of the
game and put Illinois, 31-4, ahead to
stay in the final six and a half
Rookie Billy Owens scored 22
points for Syracuse, 30-8.
Seton Hall reached the Final Four
for the first time in the school's
history with Saturday's 84-01
thrashing of the Nevada-Las Vegas
The Pirates used junior Andrew
Gaze's 19 point performance with a
bench that scored 38 to disptadh
UNLV, 29-8, from the tourna-
Seton Hall, 30-6, expanded its
34-30 halftime lead with a 14-0 run
early in the second half. The Pirates'
Daryll Walker and Anthony Aveot
each scored 12 and 11, respectively.
-The Associated Press contributed
to this report
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