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November 19, 1992 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-19

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Women's Basketball Volleyball
vs. Finland National Team vs. Illinois
Tonight, 7 p.m. Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Crisler Arena Cliff Keen Arena

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, November 19, 1992

Page 9

Women hoops begin
new era with Roberts

Top-ranked cagers
open with Russians

by Rachel Bachman
Daily Basketball Writer
Considering the intensity with
which the Michigan women's bas-
ketball players were practicing last
night, it appeared that they were
preparing for the NCAA tournament.
In reality, the practice was simply
the final one before the team's first
and only exhibition game, against
the Finland National Team. The
Finnish team, 0-2 against college
squads before its game last night

over. Roberts has thrown the slate
out the window.
"Everything is different," Gray
said. "We have 15 running tests, and
if we don't complete all 15, we can't
The tests include five two-mile
runs, five 400-meter runs, and five at
200 meters. Each group of five tests
is run on one day, and the drills are
done three days a week.
"The first time through, only
seven of us passed," Gray said.
The drills are just one part of the
completely revamped Wolverine
work ethic.
"We put a lot of hard work into
the preseason," freshman guard
Tannisha Stevens said.
Roberts hopes that all the huffing
and puffing will translate into a more
disciplined squad.
What does the coach expect from
the Finnish team?
"I got a chance to scout them,"
she said. "They're an aggressive
team defensively. They're also
quick. If we play a tough, aggressive
man-to-man defense, we should do
Roberts expressed the desire for
more preparation before the presea-
"I could've used the two extra
weeks the NCAA took away," she
Because the basketball team has
one of the longest seasons of any
sport, the NCAA ruled to shorten the
preseason. In the past, the Wolver-
ines have opened practice on Oct.
"We've had some problems in
practice executing our offense,"
Roberts said. She stressed that a few
growing pains are to be expected
with all the changes taking place in
the program.
Ready or not, the women's bas-
ketball team takes to the court
tonight, and jumps into a new era.
Nine Michigan players will suit up.
The Wolverines return five se-
niors, including center Trish
Andrew, Michigan's all-time leader
in blocked shots.
"I just want them to play hard,
and get through this game," Roberts
added. "Then we can fine tune
things for the Toledo game (Dec.
From veterans to the two fresh-
men, determination to become a suc-
cessful team is a feeling shared by
all team members, including Gray.
"(Practice) is a lot harder than the
past few years, but if we win, it's
worth it."

by Ken Sugiura
Daily Basketball Writer
The voters have spoken.
They have decreed that of all the
basketball teams in the country,
there are none better than the one
from Ann Arbor. And now, the
Michigan men's basketball team sets
off on a four-month journey to prove
them right.
"I think it says a lot of people
recognize the quality of our players
and program," Coach Steve Fisher
told the Associated Press, "and the
strengths are perceived to be good."
After both the CNN/USA Today
and AP polls selected them the top
squad in the country this week, the
Wolverines open up their 1992-93
season with an exhibition game
against the Russian national team
tonight at the Palace of Auburn
Hills. Tonight's game marks Mich-
igan's first since it lost, 71-51, to
Duke in the NCAA finals.
The AP poll, released Monday,
gave the Wolverines 23 of the 65
first-place votes, and 1,536 points
overall. Checking in at No. 2 was
Kansas, with 19 first-place votes and
1,513 points. It is the first time
Michigan has been No. 1 since the
final 1977 regular-season poll. Point
guard Jalen Rose is not overly
thrilled with the ranking, however.
"I don't really care about that be-
cause last year we were ranked 28th
in the preseason," Rose said. "It
doesn't really matter. I'd rather be
No. 1 in the final poll."

The Wolverines have been prac-
ticing since Nov. 1, and are ready for
a new sparring partner.
"We can't wait to get started,"
freshman guard Dugan Fife said.
"We're getting kind of tired of play-
ing each other in practice."
Lost in the preseason hype of the
Fab Five and the No. 1 ranking are
the arrival of freshmen Fife and for-
ward Leon Derricks. The latter's re-
turn from a back injury gives the
Wolverines a clean bill of health.
"I'm sure I'll be nervous," Fife
said. "It's the first time I'll wear the
Michigan uniform. I just want to go
out and contribute."
The majority of the contributions
will likely come from the 10 return-
ing lettermen. Fisher will select his
starting lineup from the five sopho-
mores - Rose, Chris Webber,
Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and
Ray Jackson - and two seniors,
forward James Voskuil and center
Eric Riley. The sophomores started
together much of last season, includ-
ing all six of Michigan's NCAA
tournament games.
In the Russians, the Wolverines
face a tired opponent. Tonight's
match will be their fourth in as many
days. Monday, they fell to Beloit,
78-74 in overtime, after they left the
court in protest of a charging call.
Tuesday, Wisconsin played host to
the squad and lost, 87-81. Last night,
the Russians traveled to East
Lansing to play Michigan State.


against Northwestern, takes on the
cagers tonight at Crisler Arena.
Ranging in age from 19 to 33, the
Finnish team is hardly a conven-
tional college opponent for the
Wolverines. Some players have no
experience in international competi-
* tion, while one veteran has played
186 such games. The team's style of
play promises to be as diverse as its
"They like to run, they like to
press," junior forward Shimmy Gray
said. "They're an aggressive team."
Running and pressing are two
things the Wolverines should know a
lot about. With new coach Trish
Roberts has come some team alter-
ations. Most recently a coach at
Maine, Roberts brings her 72 percent
winning percentage to Michigan's
struggling program.
Some coaches change a few
things around from year to year, and
some wipe the slate clean and start

Jimmy King sees some action from a year ago. Michigan opens the 1992-93
season tonight with an exhibition game againstthe Russian nationals.
The top 10 teams in the Associated Press 1992 college basketball poll,
with first-place votes in parentheses.
Team Team
1. Michigan (23) 6. Seton Hall {2)
2. Kansas (19) 7. North Carolina
3. Duke (15) 8. Memphis State
4. Indiana (6) 9. Florida State
5. Kentucky 10. Arizona

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