The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 23, 1992- Page 7
FROSH PROVE THEMSELVES WITH SWEET 16 BERTH
Rookies wow in NCAA debut
by Albert Lin
Daily Basketball Writer
ATLANTA - All season, the
Wolverines have baffled the so-
called experts who insist that expe-
rience is needed to be successful. It
started with the 9-1 non-conference
schedule finish, including an over-
time loss to No. 1 Duke. It lasted
through the 11-5 Big Ten season,
which included a victory over
This weekend, it continued some
more, as Michigan advanced to the
regionals of the NCAA Tournament.
Wolverine coach Steve Fisher once
again started his precocious lineup,
and it did not disappoint. The five
rookies scored 88 of the Wolverines'
102 points, played over 150 of the
team's 200 minutes and once again
came out on top.
The experts are getting confused.
Twenty victories in a tough confer-
ence, and now a trip to the Sweet 16
- with a team that counts on five
"(Our success) just shows that
there's an exception to every rule,"
frosh Jalen Rose said. "A lot of peo-
ple feel young teams can't win, but
young teams always have a chance,
and we're making the most of ours."
Frosh Ray Jackson doesn't think
each rookies' individual play has
been the surprise. Rather, it is the
fact that five exceptional talents are
playing on one team.
"Freshmen all along have been
coming out and fooling people, do-
ing the things they said they couldn't
do," Jackson said. "I think we just
finally put it together, five at one
school. We made it a little easier for
The Wolverines are on their way
to what has always been their goal
- the national championship. They
can now say they are one of the top
16 teams in the country, and with
high seeds falling in all tournament
regions, who knows how far they
"We wanna be one of the best
teams ever," frosh Jimmy King said.
"We still have a lot of work to do,
but that's the ultimate goal - win
the championship, keep on building
and never stop."
Rose doesn't mind still being
called a "freshman," but he thinks it
is high time people start recognizing
Michigan for being more than a nov-
"The elite teams always get credit
for being a smart team or a good
defensive team," Rose said. "We
don't get those kinds of credits -
we just get credit for being a talented
team. So when we meet teams that
are supposed to be elite teams, we
wanna go out and show we are more
than a talented team. We can come
and play with the best of them."
Iowa State 98
Massachusetts 77 (OT)
E. Tennessee State 90
Oklahoma State 87
Michigan State 65
Texas-El Paso 66
New Mexico State 81
Southwest Louisiana 73
In close quarters with East Tennessee State's Trazel Silvers and Calvin Talford (24),
Wolverine guard Jalen Rose looks to break the Buccaneers' trapping defense.
Continued from page 1
18, but had only six in the first half
on 1-for-5 shooting.
"These guys came out on the
floor after us," he added. "Arizona
stayed back, but these guys came out
and pressured us."
That pressure led to missed shots
and many fast break opportunities
for the Wolverines.
"It was scary today," English
said. "I was almost afraid to miss a
shot, because they would get the re-
bound and they were off to the
But Michigan had to sustain a run
by the Buccaneers in the second
half. ETSU cut the margin to nine at
one point, 62-53, when the three-
pointers started to fall.
"I thought we would see a run in
the second half," Fisher said. "But
quite frankly, I was scared to death
the way they started raining the
threes like they did against Arizona."
Jimmy King took it upon himself
to calm those fears, however.
"A team just can't beat us on
threes alone," King said after the
game. "You have to come with a full
scale attack. We can't get down
when they hit a couple of threes, we
just have to keep our poise and play
He certainly did that. After a
Michigan timeout, King dunked in
an alley-oop pass from Rose on a set
play. Then, following a three-pointer
by ETSU's Jason Niblett and one by
Webber, King scored Michigan's
next four baskets-two coming on
breakaway dunks-to put Michigan
back up, 75-58.
The Bucs, who finished the sea-
son at 24-7, could never really get
closer than ten the rest of the way,
despite getting 31 points from se-
nior center Greg Dennis.
Continued from page 1
off down the left side. He left the ground like he was
going to throw it down one-handed, but there was a Buc
underneath him. What to do? King hung in the air,
brought the ball back to his other hand, waited for
ETSU's Eric Palmer to move by him, and then banked a
soft shot to the glass.
The second half opened in spectacular fashion, on an
alley-oop to Chris Webber. The Wolverines had a 22-
point cushion and seemed on their way to a 40-point
triumph. Webber added another incredible move,
catching a lob from Jalen Rose, drop-stepping and
dunking on two Buccaneers. But ETSU turned to the
three-point shot, knocking one down on five of six
possessions to pull within nine.
Michigan called timeout, where coach Steve Fisher
designed what has become a favorite set piay; he called
King's number on an alley-oop. But this was only the
After Webber hit a three, King scored Michigan's
next eight points - all crowd pleasers. He broke out in
the open court, caught a Ray Jackson feed and threw
home a one-handed jam so hard that you could here a
metallic clang. The next time, he called for the ball and
hit a turnaround jumper. King again was running the
floor on the next possession when Juwan Howard h1.
him on a lead pass. This time, King went up and
reversed it - the play he called his favorite of the
But the Jimmy King show was not over. The last of
King's string of baskets again came on an alley-oop.
But this time, legs growing weary, King chose to lay it
up instead of jamming.
"They weren't getting back defensively, and we
were getting the boards, so I just took off down the
court and my man saw me and just threw it up to me,"
There was more to come, but when King's number
was called again, Webber was called for setting an
illegal pick to free King for the catch. So Rose stepped
up, making a steal and going downcourt for his patented
jam, where he goes up high with the ball in his left
hand, puts both hands on it, and then jams it through.
"That's just part of the creativity of the ball club,"
King said. "We have a lot of people that can create
things, and we're aware of what each other can do.
That's part of the chemistry on the team."
For the Wolverines, spectacular plays are made
because they can lead to easy baskets. Michigan gets a
quick score and the fans get what they want to see. And
the players get a certain satisfaction out of it, too.
"We have fun on the court, every second we play,"
Webber said. "Part of that fun is doing things we can do
that may seem like showing off. Jimmy had about six or
seven dunks today, but if you can do it, it's not showing
off. When you execute things correctly, do what's in
your game and play hard and have fun, then it's
Michigan head coach Steve Fisher congratulates standout forward Chris Webber on his all-around effort in the
Wolverines' defeat of Temple. Webber contributed in all facets of the game Friday evening and dominated Sunday.
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