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November 14, 1991 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Women's Basketball
vs. Cuban National Team
Tonight, 5:45 p.m.
Crisler Arena

SPORTS

Men's Basketball
vs. Cuban National Team
Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Crisler Arena

The Michigan Daily Thursday, November 14, 1991 Page 9

Matt Rennie

Cagers

tip

off

against

Cuba

Rennie Lane
Blue revels
In sounds
The Michigan football team scores points
many different ways. Quarterback Elvis
Grbac could drop back and throw to wide
receiver Desmond Howard for a touchdown.
Or Grbac could hand off to a variety of
running backs, who could power across the
goal line.
But regardless of whom winds up in the
end zone, Michigan reveals a lot about itself
after each score.
Consider the post-touchdown habits of
Michigan's players. The scorer flips the ball
to the official and heads for the Wolverine
sideline. No touchdown dances. No celebra-
tory rituals. Just the normal high fives and
the run back to the bench.
At the beginning of the season, this lack
of emotion scared Michigan coach Gary
Moeller.
"This is a very quiet team," Moeller said
earlier this season. "I worry about that a
little in terms of leadership."
However, the
silnc in the
lockerroom was
not a sign of the
Wolverines' apa-
- thy, but rather
their intensity.
These players

Fisher lands Fife to
start recruiting season

by Albert Lin
Daily Basketball Writer
Last year at this time, Michigan
coach Steve Fisher received the first
two national letter of intents from
a class that many are now calling
the greatest ever.
With the small number of se-
niors on this year's club, plus
NCAA legislation reducing the
number of scholarships next year
from 15 to 13, Fisher only has two
scholarships to offer for the 1992-
93 season.
One of those was officially
claimed yesterday, as 6-foot-3 guard
Dugan Fife, of Clarkston (Mich.)
High School, signed his letter of in-
tent.
"I tried to keep my options open
when I was first being recruited,
looking at other schools," Fife said.
"But I always knew I'd go to
Michigan. There's a lot of talent
there, the potential to be good. I
think I can play there."
Fife was named first-team all-
state last year by both the Detroit
News and the Detroit Free Press.
Fife verbally committed to Michi-
gan in August.
"Dugan Fife epitomizes the
Michigan athlete, bringing with
him the type of physical and mental
toughness that it takes to win in the
Big Ten," Fisher said. "He's the
kind of player I want at Michigan to
play for me."
Fife is a fundamentally solid
ball player, with a very good out-
side shot. He has excellent court vi-
sion and awareness, according to his
father, Dan, who coaches him in high
school.
"He has started for us for four
years, and he has had to adjust to
whatever role it takes," Dan Fife
said. "And he is always happy. He
just does what it takes to win, and
that's important going to Michigan
- with all the talent they have,
where he fits in. That's where I
don't think he'll have a problem, ad-
justing to whatever Coach Fisher
has in mind."
For Dan Fife, this is a dream
come true. He played for the
Wolverines from 1968-71, captain-
ing the squad his final season.

"I had deep thoughts - and I
think anyone who's played sports
does - that you would give any-
thing for your son to be good
enough to play at your alma mater,''
he said.
But it wasn't a given that Dugan
would attend Michigan.
"If he's recruited at that level,
you have to expose him to (all
schools)," Dan said. "He did visit
(Michigan) State, and other schools,
but in the end, he made his decision.
He said, 'Dad, I'm not not going to
State. I'm going to Michigan.' So it
was a goal of his, not mine, as he
grew older."
Dan said that the only thing the
family can hope for is that Dugan is
given an opportunity - a fair shot.
"You have to trust and believe in
the head coach, otherwise you
shouldn't go (to a school)," Dan
said. "Coach Fisher was genuine and
sincere in his efforts. Now it's up to
Dugan, when he gets there, to work
his tail off to do what it takes to
contribute."
Fife also is a four-year starter on
the football team, and his father in-
sists that is his better sport. But at
Michigan, he plans to concentrate on
roundball.
"I don't really like football," he
said. "I don't like waking up Satur-
days after games on Friday not being
able to move, being really sore.
"I think football is boring; I
like playing basketball - it's a
challenge. I'd rather be passing to
Chris Webber than in the cold pass-
ing to a receiver."F
EXHIBITIONISTS: The Cuban
national teams visits Crisler Arena
tonight for exhibition games
against both Michigan squads. The
men will play at 8 p.m., following
the women's matchup.
Because of visa problems, the
Cubans did not leave their homeland
until last week. Some of their games
scheduled prior to that day were
canceled.
Student tickets are $5.
TICKET TIME: Student passes
can now be picked up at the Athletic:
Ticket Office. The credit card-like
pass boasts the logo commemorat-
ing the 25th anniversary of Crisler
Arena.

didn't need a slo-
gan to rally
around. They knew
their goal without
being reminded:
win a fourth con-
secuve

Grbac

Big Ten Championship and go to the Rose
Bowl.
This focus showed on the field and in the
lockerroom. Grbac seems to personify a
Michigan offense which operates with the
pinpoint accuracy of an assassin. At first
glance, Grbac doesn't do anything that well.
However, he doesn't make mistakes either; he
has yet to throw an interception against a Big
Ten opponent.
Grbac and Howard broke the NCAA
record for career touchdown passes by a
quarterback-receiver tandem. This isn't like
some of those pseudo-records like the
Michigan record for touchdown passes
between 25 and 30 yards by a quarterback and
receiver whose last names begin with
consecutive letters of the alphabet. This is a
'big deal.
So how did Grbac react to this historic oc-
casion?
"Records are great, but we gotta improve
each week if we want to go to the Rose
Bowl," he said.
Loosely translated, this means, "Next
victim?"
The answer to that question is Illinois,
and even though the Wolverines haven't
played very stiff competition for over a
:month, no one connected with theaprogram
seems too concerned about the team's frame
of mind.
While this methodical approach to the
game may not be consistent with the flash 'n'
dash style some teams employ, no one can
argue with its success.
"It's like a job almost," Michigan
tailback Ricky Powers said. "We all go out
there and we have a job to do, and when our
job's over, we all go back home and go our
separate ways. We all enjoy doing what
we're doing."
This season-long sense of focus will pay
dividends this weekend - a trip to the Rose
Bowl hangs in the balance. This game could
present distractions, but don't expect to hear
excuses from Michigan.
"Our teams are not rah-rah teams,"
Moeller said. "You're not going to hear any
'Win one for Coach Moeller' speeches. It's
just not that kind of team.
."Once in a while, someone'll yell 'Go
Blue,"' he conceded.
Moeller can joke about his team's silent-
but-deadly nature because he knows that
entering these last two games of the season,
this emotional stability will only benefit
the Wolverines. Should the Wolverines win
both games, all their work will have paid
off, but don't expect them to dance about it.
After all, they're just doing their jobs.

KENNETH SMOLLER/Daily
Junior center Eric Riley watches on as senior guard Kirk Taylor hits a layup during last season's
game against Utah. The Wolverines open their pre-season tonight against the Cuban national team.
Women face Pan A m champions

by Ryan Herrington
Daily Basketball Writer

For 30 days, the Michigan woman's basketball
team has been hearing the phrase "practice makes
perfect." But practice can only go so far to
prepare a team. Tonight, the Wolverines get to see
just how far they have come in the pre-season as
they play an exhibition game against the Cuban
women's national team at Crisler Arena.
"We are entering the dog days of practice,"
Michigan coach Bud VanDeWege said. "We need
to let loose out there. The game will be refresh-
ing regardless of the outcome."
And the outcome is far from certain. Unlike a
stereotypical exhibition opponent, where the
game is often called a "tune-up", the Cuban team
is a dominant international force. This was the
team that halted the USA's nine year run of gold
medals in major international competition; they
defeated the Americans in the semifinals of the
Pan Am Games this summer.
The Cuban team has been very successful so far
on its United States tour, defeating Idaho State
11243, Texas Tech 80-55 and a top-20 Nevada-Las
Vegas squad by 30 points. The Cubans also pos-
sess maturity. Their players range from 17 to 28
years in age.
"The Cubans are outstanding," VanDeWege
said. "Their international experience is great.
They have been beating some very good (college)
teams recently and handily."
'Interim' may be di
from staff reports

By contrast, the Wolverines are an inexperi-
enced team. Coming off an erratic 11-17 campaign
and a disappointing ninth place Big Ten finish a
year ago, Michigan has room for improvement.
The Wolverines return ten letter winners, but
lose last year's leading scorer, Carol
Szczechowski, to graduation. Although it is a
young squad, VanDeWege is optimistic about
Michigan's chances in the upcoming season. He
sees tonight's game as a strong test for his club.
"The number one thing I want to get out of
the game is to see where we are at this point in
time," VanDeWege said. "We want to play well
and hopefully win, but we also want to find out
where our holes are before Dec. 1 (season-opener
against Boston College)."
The Wolverines' practices have run smoothly
since they began on Oct. 15, concentrating on the
fundamentals of the game. VanDeWege hopes to
rotate his lineup throughout tonight's contest to
see how different combinations work together,
andb how far each player has progressed to date.
Included in the list of probable starters are all-
time Michigan leader in blocked shots Trish
Andrew, sophomore Michelle Hall, and senior
Char Durand.
"We are slightly behind my schedule right
now," VanDeWege said. "But in terms of where
we are in comparison to a year ago we are far, far
ahead. We're very excited about this game."
Iropped by regents
_named Senior Associate Director. Weidenbach
was named Interim Director of Athletics March
1, 1990 after Bo Schembechler left Michigan to
join the Detroit Tigers.
Originally, Weidenbach's term was expected
to run two years, but Duderstadt did not specify
how long Weidenbach would remain with
Michigan after this announcement.
"When Mr. Weidenbach steps down from this
position, a national search for his successor will
be undertaken," Duderstadt said.
Weidenbach.has not said how long he plans to
remain in the job.

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Michigan President James Duderstadt has rec-
ommended to the University Board of Regents
that they remove the word "interim" from the
title of Michigan's Interim Director of Athletics
Jack Weidenbach. The regents will discuss this
proposal at their monthly meeting today.
Duderstadt cited the reason for this change as a
"recognition of his (Weidenbach's) outstanding
leadership."
After more than twenty years of work in
other parts of the university, Weidenbach came to
the athletic department July 1, 1988 when he was

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