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March 30, 1992 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-30

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BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK

The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday- March 30, 1992 -Page 5
t Talk no longer cheap for rookies

Webber' s big game
spells redemption
by Albert Lin
and ,John Niyo
Dail Baktbl Wrters

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Chris Webber wanted to have a good game
yesterday after fouling out in only 18 minutes of playing time Friday.
Webber said he did not get much sleep Saturday night and was feeling
somewhat ill through the game, but he did not show it. He played like a
man possessed, scoring 23 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and blocking
fve shots. He also threw down four vicious dunks.
"(The ability to bounce back) is the sign of a winner," Webber said. "I
*didn't want to score a lot of points. I knew if I could rebound, get some
steals, assists, and blocked shots, we could do well. I knew if I could do
those things without fouling, I would be a factor.
"I tried to be as intimidating as possible today. It wasn't cockiness or
anything like that. It was just a mental game. We needed every edge we
could get against this team because they had our number. We just wanted
to make sure history didn't repeat itself."
TO KISS A ROSE: Webber gave a dejected Jalen Rose a kiss - ala
Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson - after Ohio State had tied the game at
57.
"We always laughed when they did it and said we're never going to do
it, but Jay did it to me when I fouled out of the Oklahoma State game,"
Webber said. "I was like, 'Man, he must really mean he's gonna win this
;game for me.'
"(At the 57-57 tie), he put his head down. I just did that and told him
everything was going to be all right. You just play your game and don't
let it bother you."
TV STAR: Juwan Howard informed the media after yesterday's game
that Bill Cosby had faxed a letter to both Michigan and Temple - his
alma mater - offering the teams a TV appearance if either reached the
Final Four. Howard wants Cosby to pay up.
"Just give me a couple of minutes, I'll be all right. I don't need any
money just put me on the show."
The Cosby Show is in its last season, so it is not known whether
Howard will ever get his chance at Hollywood stardom.
JACKSON ON JACKSON: Michigan's Ray Jackson had a lot of
help in holding national player-of-the-year candidate Jim Jackson to 20
points on 9-for-21 shooting with nine turnovers.
"Before the game, (my teammates) were like, 'Go out and play D' you
know what it's about,"' Jackson said. "They trust me. I know if he gets
past me, they're going to be there to help. it's just like a relationship -
you gotta have a lot of trust."
Ohio State's Jackson, weighing the possibility of giving his final year
of eligibility and heading to the NBA, said "I'll sit down with my parents
and decide whatever is best for me. I'll probably be back, but I don't
know yet."
ALL-STARS: Rose was voted the Southeast Regionals' most outstand-
ing player. Michigan's iron man played all but nine seconds of the
Wolverines' two games. He twisted his ankle on play at the beginning of
yesterday's second half and had to sit out momentarily. Joining Rose on
the all-tournament team were teammate Chris Webber, Ohio State's Jim
Jackson and Lawrence Funderburke, and North Carolina's Eric Montross.
GOOD COPY: They are showstoppers. The media has learned quickly
that when Michigan's five first-year players talk, you had better listen.
"I'm afraid to ask what they might have said," Michigan coach Steve
Fisher joked as he took the podium at Saturday's press conference after
the five rookies had exited.
The brash young group was certainly the featured attraction, fielding
questions from reporters - ranging from the redundant to the outlandish
- for more than 30 minutes.
One writer asked the Michigan starting five whether or not they
thought they would win four national championships. He told them that
he wanted a simple yes or no from each of the five.
They gave him what he wanted.
"Yes," Rose said loudly into the microphone at the far left of the table.
And they went right on down the line in order.
"Yes," said Jimmy King right after Rose.
"Yes," said Howard.
"Yes," said Ray Jackson.
And at the end of the table, Webber just leaned back in his chair and
smiled. No need for a translation.
Several other times, the players took the opportunity to chide the me-
dia. Rose took issue when someone asked when the Fab Five realized they
could make it this far in the tournament.
"It's been a reality from the beginning (of the season)," Rose said.
"Now it's becoming a reality to you."
Which doesn't surprise Fisher one bit.
"Jalen Rose, more than any of them, makes good copy," Fisher said,
adding that this was the same Jalen Rose who finished an CBS interview
with Billy Packer and Jim Nantz by saying, "I'll see you in Minneapolis."
"They're extremely confident," Fisher continued. "They're fearful of
nothing, smart and knowing they have a lot to learn, but not always will-
ing to admit it to you guys."
WHO YA' CALLING 'LITTLE': When the subject of trash talking
came up at Saturday's press conferences, Ohio State guard/comedian
Jamaal Brown pulled no punches.
"They didn't have any reason to talk the last two times we played them
(both OSU victories)," Brown said. "I don't want to start anything, but we
had big leads both times. They're fresh out of high school. They're still
little kids, but they play with a lot of confidence - that's the Wolves."
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: The Rupp Arena crowds have been de-
cidingly partisan toward Ohio State. The Buckeye faithful filled nearly

three-quarters of the arena.
"The fans were great," Ohio State coach Randy Ayers said. "When the
kids came back to the lockerroom after (Friday's) first warmup session,
they were really excited about being in Rupp Arena and the crowd."
"You get the home environment and the crowd is going for you,"
Brown said. "We like to get the crowd in the game and behind us - the
emotion and intensity builds. It's just like playing at home."
SO YOUNG, SO GOOD: Opponents continue to be amazed at the way
the young Michigan team has performed.
"They're a great basketball team," Oklahoma State guard Sean Sutton
said, following his team's defeat at the hands of the Wolverines. "If they
stay together, they're going to be something special as far as the future of
college basketball. They have a lot of talent and made a lot of great
plays."
Buckeye coach Ayers gives much of the credit to the job Steve Fisher
has done coaching the team.
"He's done a great job keeping this young group focused," Ayers said
before yesterday's matchup. "Certainly, when you have players the cal-
iber of Webber and Rose. they nlav beyond their years.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Shock the
world. Again?
Michigan answered that question
with a resounding "Yes!" yesterday,
by exacting revenge on Ohio State to
advance to the Final Four.
"I told you we were gonna shock
the world," Juwan Howard yelled as
he left the court, repeating over and
over the phrase that Glen Rice and
the 1989 Wolverine team carried
with them to the national title.
John Howard
told us that a
Niyo long time ago.
So did his
teammates -
especially the
four other
rookies -
' many times
throughout
the season.
yx But not
manylistened.
runaway train
we call a
basketball team started rolling back
in November not many people
expected a group of first-year
players to play the way they did.
Even fewer, though, expected them
to talk the way they did. Rookies
aren't supposed to have Final Four
hopes and national title aspirations.
So when Howard proclaimed be-
fore the season, "We're on a mis-
sion," writers and reporters dutifully
jotted it down with nods and patron-
izing smiles. He'll learn not to say
foolish things like that in time.
And when Chris Webber said, "If
I didn't think we could win a na-
tional championship, I wouldn't
play," it was more of the same thing.
Talk is cheap, right?
Yesterday, though, actions spoke
louder than words. Actions like
Jalen Rose =- who played all but
nine seconds in the two games in
Lexington - knocking down a
clutch shot in the lane to pull Michi-
gan to within two at 61-59 with
three minutes to play.

If you play back all those bold
statements, now they make a little
more sense.
"It's been a reality from the be-
ginning," Rose told the press Satur-
day when asked about Final Four
'TO PAY BACK DUKE,
WE MUST TAKE
CINCINNATI IN THE
MINNEAPOLIS INVITA-
TIONAL.'
- Chalkboard in
Michigan lockerroom
hopes. "Now it's becoming a reality
to you."
Rose, the regional MVP, and his
teammates applied the latest dose of
reality yesterday. Shock treatment.
And this lesson the Wolverines
are teaching the college basketball
world is not over yet.
"TO PAY BACK DUKE, WE
MUST TAKE CINCINNATI IN
THE MINNEAPOLIS INVITA-
TIONAL," read the chalkboard in
the Michigan lockerroom yesterday.
That message sums up the atti-
tude that is responsible for all this
madness. The best way for the
'It's been a reality
from the beginning.
Now it's becoming a
reality to you.'
- Jalen Rose
Michigan guard
Michigan players to prove the
doubters wrong is to go back and
beat all the teams they've lost to.
They did that with Purdue, Min-
nesota, and Indiana in the second
run through the conference schedule.
Now, with a third crack at Ohio
State, they've crossed that team off
their list as well.
That only leaves one - Duke.
"We're not going to say anything
about that until we beat Cincinnati,"
was King's response to that ques-
tion.
Are you listening?

Wolverine Jimmy King scores on a monster dunk in yesterday's 75-71 win
over Ohio State. King finished the game with 15 points.

Or Webber getting inside posi-
tion and putting back a Rose miss
with 28 seconds left to send the
game into overtime.
Or Jimmy King draining a 3-
pointer from the top of the key in the

extra period that gave the Wolver-
ines a lead they would not lose.
These are the plays that make
champions - something which this
Michigan team is now dangerously
close to becoming.

Cincy slams Tigers, 88-57

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Cincinnati
stopped Memphis State for the fourth time
Sunday. Next stop - the Final Four.
The 12th-ranked Bearcats got big games
from Herb Jones and Nick Van Exel to beat
Memphis State, 88-57, and claim the Midwest
gegional title, sending them to their first Final
Four since 1963.
"I'm kind of numb. I don't really know
what to say," said Bob Huggins, who is in his
third year at Cincinnati. "We don't have egos
and people who worry about statistics. We've
just got guys who want to win."
Cincinnati (29-4) will play Michigan in the
NCAA tournament semifinals Saturday at
Minneapolis.
Memphis State, like Cincinnati a member
of the first-year Great Midwest Conference,
ends its season 23-11.
"It's not always the team personnel-wise
that's better" Memphis State coach Larry
Finch said. "They execute and they do things
they have to do, what else can I say? They've
done it convincingly each time."
Jones had 23 points and 13 rebounds,
helping the Bearcats outrebound Memphis

State by seven. Cincinnati had outrebounded
the Tigers by eight per game in the three pre-
vious meetings this season.
The Tigers' Anfernee Hardaway, who
made just 13 of 39 shots in the first three
games, scored 12 on 4-of-9 shooting. He
picked up three first-half fouls and fouled out
with 5:28 to play.
"We missed so many easy shots today and
they capitalized," Hardaway, said. "I can't tell
you why we shoot so bad against them, but we
do."
Cincinnati looked rattled early, turning the
ball over four times in the first eight minutes
against the Tigers' pressure. Memphis State
took a 20-17 lead at that stage, thanks to a 7-2
run in which David Vaughn scored five points.
Cincinnati settled down midway through
the half and took the lead for good behind
seven straight points from Van Exel, who
capped the surge with a 3-pointer that made it
30-26 with 6:56 to go.
"I wasn't trying to take over," Van Exel
said. "The shots were just open for me. If they
miss open shots, we've got to go down and
capitalize, and we did."

University of Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins receives
congratulations from guard Anthony Buford.

MEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL FOUR

MICHIGAN

c

a

NATIONAL
CHAMPION

CINCINNATI

BERT H. UJWI M EY METRODOME
WM#EAPOIJS, WN#4ESO1A
APRIL 4$,1992

DUKE

INDIANA

Andrew M. Levy / DAILY GRAPHIC

BASKETBALL
continued from page 1
even more than they did, and we
took it."
Two things Rose said in the
lockerroom after the game. "Dream
'R:nht .nw +h srp'

believe yesterday. The Wolverines .
also took care of some business they
hadn't bested during the season.
"Right now, there's a feeling of

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