Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday- March 15,1993
Seniors bow out in style
Five Wolverines close out Crisler careers in Northwestern romp
by Adam Miller
Daily Basketball Writer
The Michigan men's basketball
team paid tribute to its seniors Sat-
urday against Northwestern at Cris-
ler Arena, prevailing 86-60. The
contest was the last home game for
guards Michael Talley, Rob Pelinka
and Sean Dobbins, center Eric Riley,
and forward James Voskuil.
The festivities started before the
game. Each senior was introduced to
the crowd and took center court ac-
companied by family.
Following the ceremony, Michi-
gan struggled in the first half and
held only a four-point lead at inter-
mission. The seniors, four of whom
- all but Dobbins, the walk-on -
had received significant playing time
ibefore the break, sat out the first
four minutes of the second half as
the starting sophomores ran off the
first 10 points of the stanza for a 45-
31 lead. Then the seniors started to
First came Riley, replacing
Juwan Howard with 15:31 remain-
ing. Three minutes later, Pelinka and
Voskuil came back in, and Talley
followed two minutes after that.
Riley, who had sat down when
Pelinka and Voskuil re-entered, re-
turned to the court with 9:29 left.
And for the next five minutes, the
Wolverines played with four seniors
on the court; only Howard or Chris
Webber represented the underclass-
men at the time.
But the Michigan students were
not satisfied. There were five se-
niors, after all, and they wanted an
all-senior lineup. So with just under
seven minutes left, the chant began.
If it were not his final home
game, such a chant could have been
seen as sheer folly. Dobbins had
only played in eight games the entire
year and had scored but one point on
However, no one has ever ac-
cused the Michigan student fans of
being logical, so when Dobbins took
off his warmups with five minutes to
go and sat down next to Michigan
coach Steve Fisher, he received a
thunderous ovation. And when he fi-
nally entered the game with just un-
der two minutes left, well, imagine
the result for yourself.
Dobbins played the rest of the
game, missing two opportunities to
add to his season point total, but he
said the experience was enjoyable,
"You know we have a real spe-
cial group, and it was real emotional
(at the end)," Dobbins said. "It was
really, really nice."
Dobbins was not the only focus
of the fans' attention. As is custom-
ary for their final Crisler appearance,
all seniors (except Dobbins) were
taken out of the game, individually,
with a few minutes remaining so that
they could be cheered one last time
at Crisler Arena.
"It was a good, all-out team per-
formance," said Pelinka, who fin-
ished with eight points, including
one three-pointer. "That's the way
we wanted to go out."
However, Pelinka sounded the
theme of the bunch when he quali-
fied his statements by saying, "I'm
not satisfied until we win the NCAA
"It was real nice the time I had in
the game," Talley said. "But you
know I'm never satisfied."
Talley, who had six points, said
he had unfinished business in the
NCAA tournament, stating "I'm go-
ing to go out there and try to do
whatever is necessary to win the
Riley, who had nine points on a
perfect 4-for-4 shooting afternoon,
voiced a similar mission.
"That woul u satisf ,,' Riley
said. "We're motivate( f. finish that
Voskuil, who electrified the
crowd with back-to-back triples in
the second half on his way to a 11-
point finish, seemed to sum up the
graduating group's mission.
"The NCAA (title) would be nice
for everybody on our team, espe-
cially the guys who won't ever come
back," he said.
Chris Webber hugs fan favorite senior Sean Dobbins as he walks off
Crisler's court for the last time. Dobbins and his classmates all saw
relatively significant playing time in Saturday's 86-60 win.
may awai Webber
by Ken Sugiura
Daily Basketball Writer
After getting his Achilles' tendon stepped on early in the game,
Michigan's Chris Webber returned to deliver one of his finer performances
of the season. The forward was 11-for-12 from the field (.917), his only
miss coming on a three-point attempt.
Webber was stepped on and hobbled off the floor to the training room,
but soon returned to the court.
"He had a five-minute stretch where he was the only guy on the floor, it
looked like," Michigan coach Steve Fisher said. "He rebounded, he scored,
he did a little bit of everything."
Webber's 24 points were three shy of his season-high, set against North
Carolina in Hawaii. In addition, he collected 13 rebounds and handed out
four assists, all in 28 minutes.
His performance Saturday comes on the heels of his recent selection as a
first-team All-American by Basketball Weekly. Also, he is a finalist for the
James Naismith Award and the United States Basketball Writers As-
sociation Player of the Year Award.
HIDE AND SEEK: On the last play of the game, Fisher schemed up a
devious plan to get his walk-on guard, Sean Dobbins, a clear scoring
opportunity. While Northwestern shot free throws at the other end of the
court, Fisher called Dobbins over to the bench, where he hid him behind
Webber and Jalen Rose, who were standing at the edge of the court.
As Juwan Howard inbounded the ball, Dobbins sprung out of the
"It kind of worked, I got the ball and I made an all-right move, but the
ball kind of got away and it just didn't happen," Dobbins said of his behind-
the-back maneuver towards the basket. "It got away just a little bit, and by
the time I got it back, the defense got over there."
THREEDOM RINGS: The Wolverines hoisted up 13 three-point tries,
connecting on five. James Voskuil led the way with a 3-for-4 day, while
Rob Pelinka and Rose both hit one.
Voskuil's trio of treys ties him with Jimmy King for eighth place on the
Michigan all-time three-point list, with 58. Meanwhile, Pelinka's three-
pointer gave him 41 for his career and moved him out of a 11th-place tie
With 3:26 left in the second half
of Michigan's 86-60 slaughter of
Northwestern Saturday, little-used
senior guard Sean Dobbins entered
the game to a sea of applause. After
what seemed like days of chanting,
"Dobbins! Dobbins!" and "Put him
in!" the Wolverine faithful finally
got what it wanted: a chance to pay
tribute to a person who had put three
years of effort into a project, only to
sit and watch whenever things really
mattered. Everyone delighted in see-
ing Dobbins get his time in the spot-
Who was the guy he came in for
You might recall him. About 6-
foot-9. Local kid. Tends to dunk a
lot. Sometimes dances on the scor-
er's table after a dramatic win.
And while the crowd spent the
day rightfully thanking Dobbins and
his fellow seniors for their years
spent in a Michigan uniform, it may
have also been seeing Mayce
Edward Christopher Webber III play
in Crisler for the last time.
It has been an interesting year for
Webber. When you're regarded as
the star of the team, sometimes
there's nowhere to go but down.
Think of the general buzz surround-
ing the Fab Five this season: Juwan
Howard came'into his own with his
post moves and rebounding. Jimmy
King has developed into the
Wolverines' best all-around player.
Ray Jackson can be an offensive
force now, too. Jalen Rose's statis-
tics are a little down, but he has be-
come even more of a leader. Chris
Webber? Well, he's supposed to
produce his 20 points and 10 re-
It's the curse of the superstar.
Everyone expects him to win the
player-of-the-game title every time
out, and when he doesn't, then
something is wrong.
The most recent edition of
Sports Illustrated calls Webber the
"Least Improved Player" in all of
college basketball. The writer
claimed that Webber has lost some
of his quickness from last year, and
that he has b(en an inconsistent
scorer, noting the s x points Webber
tallied in the March 2 game against
That nomination seems at best
unfair. How exactly did the reporter
go about researching this category?
He failed to mention that in the Iowa
game in which Webber tallied his
season-low point total, the Wolver-
ines won convincingly. Webber
doesn't need to lead the squad every
time out, not when his team has the
kind of depth it does.
Webber, to put it mildly, was
quite perturbed over this criticism.
"The guy doesn't know what he's
talking about," he said. "I do what's
best for our team ... Personally, I
don't think I'd be up for a lot of
awards if I was the least improved
player. Whoever said that doesn't
know anything about basketball. I
have no respect for that person. I
don't think he should be able to be a
journalist because obviously he
doesn't know what he's talking
about ... One day, whenever I see
that guy, and he sees me, the rest of
my college career and my profes-
sional career, I'm gonna get the last
laugh. Whether it's the national
championship or whenever it
Webber says he has not decided
whether he will indeed turn profes-
sional next year. Either way, he's
bound to have more criticism head
his direction. Going pro? But you
have so much you can still work on,
Chris. And whatever happened to
your rhetoric about education?
Staying another year? What for?
You'd be the first or second pick in
this year's NBA draft. Remember
how they ripped on Shaquille
O'Neal for coming back for his
It seems that no matter what he-
does, he can't win.
Webber watched all the pomp
and circumstance involved with the
seniors' exits. And part of him wish-
es he could one day go through the
"I could just see the five sopho-
mores here going out with that (sort
of ovation)," he said. "Michigan has
a lot of respect for us, and I really
appreciate that. They (the fans) defi-
nitely exemplified that today. And of
course, in my heart I would love to
be around for that moment. But I
also have to take care of business
matters and stuff like that. But I love
Michigan. It's a great university, and
I wouldn't change anything I've
done here for anything in the world."
It would be the greatest upset
since the 1969 New York Mets if
Webber were around Ann Arbor for
his senior year farewell. If he elects
to leave now, he should be thanked,
for playing a gargantuan role in two
of the most exciting years in the his-
tory of Michigan basketball, not
lambasted for failing to live up to his
so-called potential. And if he pro-
gresses as "little" as he did this sea-
son, he'll be able to buy Sports
Illustrated in around two years.
Continued from page I
Michigan forward Chris Webber,
who led all scores with 24 points,
was reluctant to blame fatigue and
gave the Wildcats some credit.
"They slowed the ball down and
we had a couple turnovers, so basi-
cally that was it," Webber said.
"They played a control-type game
which is great for them."
Unfortunately for the Wildcats,
Michigan took control quickly to
start the second half. The first
Northwestern field goal of the half
came with 16:54 left in the game,
which made the score 45-33. It only
got worse, 49-35, 53-37, and then
61-41 at the 9:13 mark.
Besides the turnovers, rebound-
ing played the greatest role in the
second-half outburst. After being
out-rebounded, 18-16, in the first
half, Michigan cleaned off the glass
in the second half to lead for the
To complement his post play, se-
nior forward James Voskuil pushed
his three-point shooting to 49 per-
cent with three makes within a
"It felt like summertime," Vos-
kuil said. "Every shooter knows how
it is when you get in the groove and
you're getting your hands on the ball
when you want it and you get that
feeling that you're not going to miss.
It happened today and it felt really
good. It was a good way to cap off
The tournament atmosphere that
revved the Wolverines' engines in
their first two games last week
clearly did not exist Saturday. How-
ever, the acrobatics that highlighted
some of the earlier big Wolverine
wins did make a return.
A three-on-one break early in the
second half included Webber, Jalen
Rose and Ray Jackson. Rose got the
ball to Webber, but the Wildcat de-
fender stayed on Webber. Webber
dropped the ball over his back and
cleared out the defender. Jackson
took Webber's pass and slammed
the ball down with authority.
It was the last home game for the
seniors and like Voskuil, they all
said they enjoyed it.
With only seconds remaining in
the game, seldom-used walk-on
guard Sean Dobbins nearly com-
pleted an impressive move with a
-Continued from page 1
the No. 1 seed," Howard said. "You
see Georgia Tech in your bracket
and they're playing well, so you
realize its not going to be easy."
Noticeably absent from the list of
Big Ten squads receiving bids was
Minnesota. The Golden Gophers lost
their final game of the season to
Ohio State, finishing with a 9-9
mark in Big Ten play. While many
felt a .500-record would get them
into the tournament, primarily due to
the strength of their conference
schedule, the NCAA selection com-
mittee looked the other way.
"I think Minnesota deserved to be
in," Fisher said. "I'm somewhat sur-
prised they're not in. They were ob-
If the Wolverines defeat Coastal
Carolina - a fairly safe if consider-
ing that no No. 1 seed has ever lost
to a 16th seed in NCAA history -
Michigan would play on Sunday
against the winner of the Iowa State-
The Wolverines are quite familiar
with the Cyclones, having defeated
them on Dec. 19, 94-72.
"We know a little bit about Iowa
State, and UCLA has got a terrific
program, so the winner of that game
will be a very stiff challenge," Fisher
said. "We're hoping we're playing
one of those two teams on Sunday."
And while Michigan's trying not
to look beyond Coastal Carolina, the
temptation is dangerously great, ac-
cording to forward Chris Webber.
"Of course, I'm not going to lie
(about looking ahead)," Webber
be for a team, because when it
comes down to it hard work gets you
there," Webber said. "No matter if
its the best team or the worst team,
all that matters is execution and how
hard you play defense. If we play
defense and rebound our first two
games, hopefully we'll come out
Unlike last season, when Michi-
gan entered the tournament as a sxth
seed and was not expected to make
much noise, the Wolverines are now
one of the team's favored to take the
NCAA crown. This has its pluses
"We know what it takes to get to
the championship," Jackson said.
"We just need to stay mentally
"There are going to be upsets,"
Fisher said. "We have to hope we're
PG FT Rob.
Min. N-A N-A 0-T A F Pts.
Neloms 32 2-13 8-10 3-5 2 1 12
Howell 24 4-7 1-2 2-3 2 3 9
Rankin 34 4-8 1-2 2-5 3 4 9
Baldwin 32 5-11 1-1 1-3 4 1 11
Kirkpatrick 28 4-6 0-1 1-2 1 3 8
Williams 9 1-3 1-2 0-1 0 0 3
Lee 14 0-3 0-2 0-0 1 0 0
Rayford 8 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 2 2
Simpson 7 0-0 1-2 0-1 0 1 1
Purdy 5 1-1 1-2 0-2 0 3 4'
Yonke 5 0-0 1-2 1-1 0 0 1
Ling 1 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Kreamer 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 226. 15-26 11-27 14 18 60
FG%- .407. FT%- .577. Three-point goals:
1-4,_250 (Purdy 1-1, Baldwin 0-2. Lee 0.1). Team
rebounds: 2. Blocks: 1 (Vonke). Turnovers: 18
(Rankin 4, Baldwin 4, Neloms 3, Howell 3,
Kirkpatrick 2, Williams, Rayford). Steals: 6
(Baldwin 2, Williams 2, Rankin, Purdy). Technical
FG FT Rob.
Mina M-A N-A 0-T A F Pts.
Webber 28 11-12 2-4 7-13 4 1 24
Jackson 19 2-6 0-0 0-2 5 14
Howard 25 5-7 4-10 2-8 1 3 14
Rose 25 4-6 0-0 1-3 1 3 9
King 26 0-4 1-2 0-1 3 1 1
Riley 20 4-4 1-3 2-6 2 1 9
Pelinka 19 3-6 1-1 2-3 2 2 8
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