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March 12, 1990 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-12

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday- March 12, 1990
Team now focuses
on the tournament
by Mike Gill
and Taylor Lincoln
Daily Basketball Writers
While Michigan's victory over Iowa Saturday was a sweet ending to a
bittersweet season, the players are hopeful that it will prove to be a
prelude to a more fruitful second season.
On the one hand, coach Steve Fisher and his players lamented the fact
that they weren't able to celebrate a Big Ten title, but they also had the
solace of knowing that a strong tournament showing would put those
memories out of mind.
"We know we should have won the Big Ten but we lost to teams
when we were up by 25 and 15 so that was our fault," Rumeal Robinson
said. "We had three real losses in the Big Ten and the rest was on us."
Almost to a man the Michigan players focused on the one game
elimination aspect of the tournament as a motivator. "Everybody on this
team wants to win the tournament in the worst way," Terry Mills said.
"In the season, there's no one game that you have to win.
. "I feel my season isn't over," he added. "I told the team this isn't my
last game because I'm trying to play six more games."
Robinson pointed to the fact that Michigan was the defending NCAA
champ, which may have given the Wolverines further adversity.
"There is no disappointment because when we stepped on the
'basketball court this year, every team that played us played hard...you're
not going to win them all but we have six games left and we just want
to go out and give a good showing."
Iowa coach Tom Davis considers Michigan's tournament prospects
the best in the conference despite the third place finish. "I don't mean to
put added pressure on Steve (Fisher) but they've been there, they
.succeeded there. They've got great talent ... I think that's your best team
in the Big Ten."
OTHER GAMES: In addition to the conference closing win against
Iowa, the Wolverines split a pair of matches since Spring Break began.
PURDUE 79 MICHIGAN 77
Michigan's chances for a Big Ten title were officially put to rest in
West Lafayette Sunday March 4, when Purdue handed the Wolverines a
79-77 defeat and mathematically eliminated Michigan from the
conference race.
Jimmy Oliver's 18-foot jump shot with three seconds remaining
proved to be the game winner. Michigan could do nothing with the
remaining time on the clock.
Steve Fisher's crew had come back from a 77-73 deficit when Terry
Mills hit a jumper with 1:12 left and Rumeal Robinson drove and
banked one high off the glass with 30 seconds left to knot the score.
Mills finished with a game high 30 points, while Robinson threw in
20. Steve Scheffler scored 26 for the Boilermakers and Ryan Berning
scored a career-high 19 along with 10 rebounds.
The loss represented the Wolverines fourth league loss by three
points or less.
MICHIGAN 94 WISCONSIN 64
Names such as Eric Riley, Loy Vaught, and Sean Higgins - absent
from the limelight recently - returned as the Wolverines had fun at
Crisler Arena Thursday March 8, in a 94-64 pasting of the Badgers from
Wisconsin.
Riley scored a career high 12-points Higgins, who has not been his
same self since returning from a foot injury scored 12 points. Vaught
had 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds, while only committing two fouls.
Rumeal Robinson threw in 15 while Danny Jones led the Badgers with
17.
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JOSE JUAREZ/Daiiy
Louis Ford in his final

Michigan guard Rumeal Robinson raises the arms of his adopted parents Helen and
game at Crisler Arena Saturday.

Koenig's
career
ends on
hi~gh note
by Mike Gill
Daily Basketball Writer
Saturday's 127-96 win will be a
game seldomly used substitute Marc
Koenig will never forget.
In a little more than a minute of *
playing time, Koenig brought the
house down in Crisler Arena with
six points, two steals and two
standing ovations.
"He told me he thought he should
start instead of (Demetrius) Calip for
the tournament," Michigan coach
Steve Fisher joked afterwards.
With 1:23 left, Fisher sent
Koenig into the game. Only 17
seconds later, the walk-on from Los
Angeles stole the ball from Matt
Scott, who promptly fouled him.
Koenig hit both ends of a 1-and-1,
and pointed number one to the whole
crowd as assistant coach Mike Boyd
broke a huge smile.
On Iowa' next trip down the
floor, Koenig again stole the ball,
and this time drove into the lane. He
toyed with the basketball on his
ascent then let it go. The ball
bounced around the rim and fell,
bringing the crowd to its feet.
"I wanted to do something a little
Showtime because I'm from LA,"
Koenig said, in explaining his shot.
"I saw everyone else doing what they
were doing out there so I was on the
bench thinking about what I was
going to do when I got out there."
Later, Koenig again was fouled
and after Tony Tolbert and Rumeal
Robinson jokingly offered pointers
on how to shoot the free throw,
Koenig again hit both ends of the
one-and-one.
"I think that's the most fun I've
had since I've been here," Koenig
said, who joined the team last season
but has seen little action in the past
two years.
"Could you write a better ending
for your career," Koenig was asked.
"I could have gone for 40," he
replied, only half jokingly.

GILL
Continued from page 1
"From the minute I walked on
the court the tears were in my eyes,"
Helen Ford, Rumeal's adopted mom,
said. "I was so happy. I'm so happy
I had a good experience. I'll be back
next year."
She went on to say, "It was a
wonderful, wonderful feeling. It was
happy but a little sad. But the best
part about it is that I've got another
family - Michigan."
Added Mr. Ford, "I felt proud."
Sure. And why not?
People are disappointed that no
Big Ten title came to Ann Arbor
this year. In fact, only Griffin and
Vaught wear Big Ten championship
rings, and the year they won it, they
never played. They were redshirts.
But Fisher made an interesting
point. "Michigan State may win the
Big Ten but they're going to be
popping champagne corks over there
when they have the pairings because
they haven't been in the tournament
for a couple of years," Fisher said.
"(It's the same) all over the country.
Here, it's almost like 'Well, they're

in the tournament. Now what.' I told
our kids to be proud that they are
one of the top teams in the country
and they are."
And next year, with three of these
four players finding careers in the
NBA, there may be champagne corks
popping in Ann Arbor at this time
for just slipping into the tourn-
ament.
Against an inferior opponent like
Iowa, Michigan looked like one of
the best in the country. At times
they appeared to be a human
highlight film with all four seniors
turning in some type of stunning
play.
-Griffin, being the trailer, has an
easy layin' after Mills passed the ball
behind him. Robinson got the ball
to Mills with a between-the-legs
bounce pass.
-Rumeal faked the ball to
Vaught, then kept it himself for a
power dunk.
-Vaught dives out-of-bounds to
save a ball, heaves a long bomb to
Rumeal who fires it to Mills for
another power dunk.

The list goes on. This game is
fun. There were smiles. And there
were points. Leads that did not
evaporate to zilch. Leads that stayed
up there. A game where you never
had to worry that Michigan might
lose (unless you count losing 2-0).
'It was a wonderful,
wonderful feeling. It
was happy but a little
sad. But the best part
about it is that I've got
another family: Mich-
igan.'
- Helen Ford
Rumeal's mother
A game that Michigan simply
dominated.
Now, the question: when is that
tournament? And can it last?
Yesterday the crowd answered,
"Who cares."
Instead, Crisler Arena's applause
sounded the old Bob Hope theme:
"Thanks For the Memories."

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