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December 11, 1992 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-12-11

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Men's and Women's Gymnastics Ice Hockey
Coed Mixed Pairs Intrasquad vs. Kent State
Today,6 p.m. Today and Tomorrow, 7 p.m.
Cliff Keen Arena Yost Ice Arena

The Michigan Daily

Friday, December 11, 1992

F

Page 13

Kansas Can

Wait

Several foes stand between 'M' and Jayhawks

by Adam Miller
Daily Basketball Writer
Sure, the sixth-ranked Michigan men's basketball
team (3-1 overall) plays former Michigan assistant
Mike Boyd's Cleveland State ball club (1-0) - featur-
ing ex-Wolverine Sam Mitchell in his first game for the
Vikings - Monday night at Crisler Arena.
And yes, the Wolverines also face Central Michigan
(2-1) Dec. 21, and Eastern Michigan (1-2) Jan. 2, also at
Crisler. But that's not what you're thinking about.
You're with Chris Webber. You want Kansas.
Not so fast. Michigan wouldn't face the nation's No.
2 team until the championship game of the Dec. 28-30
Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. To get there, the
Wolverines will have to down Nebraska on the 28th and
No. 5 North Carolina on the 29th.
But to really pull yourself back down to earth, re-
member the Dec. 19th game. It's at the Palace of
Auburn Hills. It's on ESPN. And it's against former
Michigan coach Johnny Orr's Iowa State Cyclones.
This game may not feature the intensity it did when
Bill Frieder coached the Wolverines and it was mentor
(Orr) against student (Frieder), but it won't be a relax-
ing one, either. For one, the Cyclones (4-1) hold the se-
ries lead on Michigan, 5-4. For another, while the last
meeting was two years ago (pre-Fab Five), the results
have undoubtedly made their mark on each school.
The game in 1989 was in Ann Arbor, and Michigan
ran up its largest victory margin ever on the Cyclones,
101-78. The next year in Ames, Iowa State did the same
to Michigan, though the margin was smaller, 81-72.
"It makes for a good matchup because Johnny Orr is
still very, very highly thought of in the state of Michi-
gan," Wolverine coach Steve Fisher said. "He is a per-
sonality. He will dazzle the crowd and the press with his
one-liners."
And, of course, Orr is the winningest men's basket-
ball coach in Michigan history.
Now consider Nebraska. A top-25 pick in most pre-
season polls, the Cornhuskers (3-0) sit squarely in the
No. 25 slot. Junior forward Eric Piatkowski (6-foot-7,
215 pounds) leads the Huskers; last year he averaged
14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds a game.
Coach Danny Nee said before the season that Pi-
atkowski has "NBA talent and ability." He'll be one to
watch as Nebraska, which lists only the winner's
bracket in its media guide, tries to derail Michigan's
matchup plans.
Fisher said he's less concerned with individual
Huskers than with the quality of the team as a whole.
"From what I can gather, they ought to be a con-

tender to Kansas in the Big Eight," he said. "They'll be
a good challenge for us. They will bring a very talented,
confident team to Hawaii."
And never - never - overlook North Carolina (4-
0). Webber isn't: his statement after this year's loss-to
Duke was, "We still get to play North Carolina and
Kansas." If the Wolverines beat the Cornhuskers, and
the Tar Heels defeat Southwest Louisiana, he'll be at
least half right.
Dean Smith's club holds the No. 5 spot in this
week's Associated Press poll, and for good reasons -
size and experience. Michigan's lineup of Webber,
'From what I can gather,
(Nebraska) ought to be a contender
to Kansas in the Big Eight. They'll
be a good challenge for us. They
will bring a very talented,
confident team to Hawaii.'
- Steve Fisher,
Michigan basketball coach
Howard and Riley will not give the Wolverines a size
advantage in this game. Montross, a seven-footer, and
senior forward George Lynch (6-foot-8) are but two of
nine Tar Heels standing at least 6-8. Three are at least
seven feet tall.
That's size, here's experience. Of the 16 on the
North Carolina roster, 12 are juniors or seniors. And
along with Montross and his 11.2 points per game last
year, Smith's club returns forward Lynch (13.9 ppg)
and swingman Brian Reese (9.8 ppg).
Fisher said they might be the best team in the ACC.
Yes, he meant possibly better than Duke.
Finally, there's No. 2 Kansas (3-0), the team that
knocked off Indiana at the Hoosier Dome on Dec. 5.
Led by senior guards Rex Walters (16.0 ppg. last year)
and Adonis Jordan (12.8 ppg), the Jayhawks enter the
Rainbow Classic as the odds-on tournament favorites.
"They were a Final Four-caliber team last year,"
Fisher said, "and they're a better team (this year) than
they were a year ago."
But don't get carried away with yourself dreaming
of a Michigan-Kansas showdown Dec. 30 on ESPN.
That's only a distant possibility. None of the coaches
from Michigan's prospective tournament opponents
were willing to comment on these potential games.
It's too far away, they said.
They're probably right.

Eric Riley scrambles for a loose ball as Michael Talley looks on in Wednesday's game against Bowling Green.
These seniors, along with the rest of the Wolverines, will have a busy schedule over the holiday break.

INA A-A A A A A A

A A A A A A

BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK

If it's Friday, this
must be Ann Arbor

50% OFF STUDENI
-

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"

by Ken Sugiura
Daily Basketball Writer
Finals got you down? Stressed
for time? How does playing four
basketball games in nine days in
three cities sound? The past week or
so, the Michigan basketball team has
had the added task of playing a
mother lode of basketball games.
r Last Tuesday night found the
Wolverines in Houston, playing the
Owls of Rice at The Summit. Re-
turning Wednesday morning, Michi-
gan kept its bags packed. Friday, the
road show known as the Michigan
basketball team headed down To-
bacco Road for the Saturday show-
down with Duke.
This week, it was Detroit Mercy
(Monday) and Bowling Green
(Wednesday). Both games, thank-
fully, were in the homey environs of
Crisler Arena. So perhaps Wednes-
day's 79-68 yawn-o-rama over the
Falcons could be expected.
"To be quite honest, I think they
did a workman-like job," Falcon
coach Jim Larranaga said. "They
played four games in eight or nine
days. That's a lot for college-age
kids."

This debacle is the result of the
NCAA's effort to make life easier
for its student-athletes. This season,
the NCAA pushed the beginning of
practice from Oct. 15 to Nov. 1, as
well as delaying the start of the
regular season schedule.
With finals just around the cor-
ner, maybe it's understandable. No,
considering it was Michigan, it was
pretty much expected. In Wednesday
night's 79-68 triumph over those
nasty Falcons from Bowling Green,
the Wolverines were feeling a little
giddy.
Michigan's band of merry men
turned the contest into something of
a comedy hour. First, there was
Chris Webber. After knocking the
ball out of bounds, the call against
the Wolverines was made. Ever the
sportsman, Webber flashed a toothy
grin and complimented, "Nice call,
ref."
Later, at the foul line, forward
Ray Jackson took the opportunity to
put his arm around a referee and
catch up on old times. Finally, at the
tail end of the contest, after a ques-
tionable call was made against Jalen
Rose, Jimmy King ran up to WJR's

courtside microphone and delivered
his commentary on the call.
"I can't repeat what I said," King
said after the game.
ONE-EYED JACK: Late in the
game, center Juwan Howard was
fouled, getting poked in the eye.
Howard remained in the game, and
despite the handicap, sunk both free
throws.
Earlier in the game, with both
eyes fully functional, Howard had

missed his first two free throws.
THE NUMBERS RACKET: The
Wolverines shot 16-for-22 from the
line, including a 4-for-4 performance
from Rose. Michigan's conversion
rate of 73 percent is tops for the sea-
son ... Webber was held under dou-
ble figures in rebounds for the first
time this season. He had six ..
Webber's six blocks matched his ca-
reer-high, equaling his effort against
Central Michigan last December.

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