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April 05, 1993 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-05

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I* , ,

The Michigan Daily-Sports Monday-A

April 5,199:3 -Page 5

K

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7

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t.p

Wolverines pass

test vs. 1
NEW ORLEANS - It's all about
learning, isn't it. College, that is. And it
seems that Steve Fisher, - no-control, rolls-
the-ball-out Steve Fisher - has done a good
amount of talking to his Wolverines, the no-
discipline, no-respect, under-achieving
Wolverines.
For that, Michigan, Ken
not Kentucky, plays
North Carolina tonight
for the title of the na-
tion's best.
Perhaps the first indi-
cation that Saturday.
would be different came
after halftime, the point,
of the game where
Michigan has often
played uninspired. If
you wanted to count the
number of times the
Wolverines had come out of intermission
flatter than a warm Coke, you'd need both
hands, and maybe a foot..
But there was no such occurrence in the
Superdome. The Wolverines maintained their
five-point halftime edge, and then pushed the
lead to 11 when Jimmy King finished off a
break with a layup for his only two points of
the game.
Given its track record, it was impressive,
maybe even startling, that Michigan, who's
first-half performance was as fiery, intense
and emotion-filled as any it had played all
season, failed to collapse like a house on fire.
But extending a lead? On Kentucky?
Unthinkable.
In the sellout crowd at the Dome, you
heard two things, depending on where you
were sitting. Among the Wildcat faithful, the
prevailing sentiment was, "Aren't they
supposed to take a mental timeout somewhere
soon?" On the Wolverine side, it was simply,
"Pinch me."
Kentucky did come back, though, but it
was not so much because of Michigan's
failure - as it had been in the past - as it

,entucky
was due to the Wildcat's success with the
three-point basket, in particular.
But with Kentucky back in the picture,
there was not a repeat of the Valentine's Day
debacle in Bloomington, when a similar surge
by the Hoosiers late in the game drove the
flustered Wolverines to launch threes at their
earliest convenience.
Nor was there a revisit to the Jan. 31 game
in Iowa City, when a flighty Wolverine club
committed turnover after turnover, made bad
decision after bad decision in giving away the
game to Iowa.
Nope. Michigan, heeding the past,
learning from its transgressions, tightened the
reins.
"We ran more set plays tonight than ever
because we were conscious of them getting
what we call flurries," Michigan guard Jalen
Rose said. "They'd hit a three, get a steal, get
a dunk, hit another three and before you
know it, you're on the negative side of a 20-2
run. We didn't want that to happen."
The Kentucky flurry amounted to a 13-2
spurt, and for the record, it went something
like three-layup-three-three-steal-dunk. It
brought the 'Cats into a 54-all tie. Thereafter,
Michigan guarded every possession with a
miser's greed, and battled Kentucky into
overtime.
This stretch run, there would be no throw
away inbounds passes to the opposing point
guard, like against UCLA. Likewise, no one
fouled any Wildcats shooting threes, as Rose
had done against the Bruins. The Wolverines
graduated past that, it seems.
The extra period set the stage for the
Wolverines to show all the world, once and
for all, that they weren't a bunch of streetball
playing dummies.
For it was in overtime that Michigan fell
behind by four. Instead of rushing the ball,
Michigan worked the ball patiently, and then
with 3:23 remaining, Juwan Howard pump
faked Jamal Mashburn into his fifth and dis-
qualifying foul. Thus liberated, Michigan dis-
sected Kentucky, coolly finishing out the

Michigan forward Ray Jackson tries to pass out of a trap by Wildcats Jamal Mashburn and
Travis Ford. The Wolverines were able to control the ball against Kentucky's press.

'nship game.

threes
cat Ford
it seven. The seven threes and .333
percentage were under the Wildcats'
tournament average for both cate-
gories. From the floor, Kentucky hit
.410.
Throughout the contest, the
-Wolverines tenaciously defended the
perimeter, rarely allowing the Wild-
egits to shoot open three-pointers.
Ballhawks King and Jackson spent
the evening in the faces of Ford and
Ollow guard Dale Brown, limiting
the Wildcats opportunities.
' "They have an inside-outside
game, where they try to drive and
,hen kickout," King said. "We tried
to eliminate that and make every
three-point shot they took con-
jtested."
King and company did so despite
Kentucky's effort to spring Ford
rn through a maze of screens.
"We said we had to chase Travis
Ford, and fight through picks and
:bt let him get good looks," Michi-
gan coach Steve Fisher said. "In the
-first half, we really did a good job
on that.
S"At times, we have been too ac-
.cepting of getting screened; tonight I
'think we did a good job of fighting
!.through, around and over them."

game on a 9-2 run. The highlights were Ray
Jackson's driving hanging layup to pull the
Wolverines within one, and Chris Webber's
spin past Gimel Martinez to give Michigan its
first and only lead of overtime.
"Kentucky's a terrific team," Fisher said.
"Tonight, we just had a little more down the
stretch."

What do you know. Michigan's band of
outlaws showed a previously unseen poise as
basketball wizard Rick Pitino's Wildcats
failed to rattle the Wolverines.
-Give Michigan an "A" for this test.
They've learned their lesson. All that's left is
the final exam.

Indiana's Cheaney named AP player of the year

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -
Calbert Cheaney has come a long
way since the days when he used to.
play basketball under a single
spotlight near his home in
Evansville, Ind.
Cheaney, the All-American who
led Indiana to a 31-4 record and to
the finals of the Midwest Regional,
was named The Associated Press
player of the year on Friday.
"When I got to Indiana my
freshman year, all I wanted to do
was contribute to the team and not
worry about anything like this,"
Cheaney said. "Fortunately, things
have ended up being p'retty good.
Never really in my wildest dreams
did I think this would ever happen."
Cheaney was chosen by sports
writers and sportscasters around the
country in balloting conducted

before the NCAA tournament.
Cheaney received 53 first-place
votes, beating Bobby Hurley of
Duke who had 25. Anfernee
Hardaway of Memphis State was
third with 21 first-place votes and
Kentucky's Jamal Mashburn was
fourth with 17.
Cheaney averaged 22.4 points per
game and helped carry the Hoosiers
to a 17-1 record in the Big Ten -
including two one-point victories
over NCAA finalist Michigan -
despite injuries to Pat Graham and
Alan Henderson that left Indiana
with fewer than 10 players at times.
Cheaney became the leading
scorer in Indiana history and Big
Ten history in the same game,
against Northwestern in March. He
scored the game's first seven points
to move past Steve Alford on the

school list, then later made a three-
pointer to overtake former Michigan
player Glen Rice on the Big Ten
scoring chart.
The 6-foot-7 forward finished his
career with 2,613 points and a-
shooting percentage of 55.9. He
made 43.8 percent of his shots from
3-point range. Cheaney was a two-
time AP All-American and Big Ten
player of the year in 1993.
Cheaney grew up shooting
baskets at a goal near his house in
Evansville. At night, the only thing
that lit the hoop was a blue light.
"I would have little scenarios
about winning basketball games. I
guess every little kid has that
dream," he said. "I used to do that,
scoring on Magic Johnson or Dr. J.
It was fun. Sometimes I'd go until
10 or 11. Sometimes if I couldn't

sleep I'd go outand shoot baskets."
The practice paid off. He
originally planned to attend
Evansville University, but chose
Indiana when the Hoosiers showed
an interest. He helped lead the
Hooisers to the Final Four in
Minneapolis last season, where
Indiana lost to the eventual
champions - the Duke Blue Devils
- in the national semifinal.
Cheaney obviously has few regret
about playing for Knight despite
never coming away with the elusive
national championship ring.
"I can't think about if I had gone
there," he said. "I made my choice
and my choice was Indiana.
Everything worked out well."
The next step is the NBA, where
he is likely to be a lottery pick.

announced this weekend by
the Associated Press.
All-America team
Calbert Cheaney, senior
forward, Indiana
Anfernee Hardaway, junior
guard, Memphis State
Bobby Hurley, senior guard,
Duke
Jamal Mashburn, junior
forward, Kentucky
Chris Webber, sophomore
forward, Michigan
Player of the Year
Calbert Cheaney, senior
forward, Indiana
Coach of the Year
Eddie Fogler, Vanderbilt

Stripe finally charitable
Strong shoolingfrom free throw ine keys M' victory

MiCHIGAN (81)
PG
Mi. M-A
Vabber 39 10-17
4Okkson 33 4-7
sbward 40 6-12
42 6-16
Kig k 33 1-3
FRleY 12 2-4
Pelinka 23 0-1
Vat~kuHl 3 0-1

FT
M-A
78
3.5
5-7
6-7
0-0
0-0
2-2
0-0

Rb.
O-T
6-13
5-8
1-3
6-8
1-3
2-4
0-1
0g-

A
0
1
3
I
3
1
0

F,
3
4
4
3
5
2
3

Ptb.
27
11
17
18
2
4
2
0__

Tstal. 225 28.61 25-30 15-38 9 24 81
FG%- .475. FT%- .767. Three-point goals: 0-
00( ose02 We r -, elnka0-1).
cs: Webbr ,Riey).Tum ers.:18 (Kng
Webber 3, Rose 3, Jackson 2, Howard 2).
S ea15: 8 (Howard 2, King 2, Webber, Jackson,
rse, Riley). Technical Fouls: none.
KENTUCKY (78)
PG F PT ,b.
W. .WA M-A O-T A P Pte..
Mashburn 41 10-18 5-. 3-6 2 5 26
Prlckett 27 1-6 7-7 3-7 2 5 8
Dent 27 2-6 2-2 2-3 1 4 6
Ford 45 3-10 4-4 1-5 6 2 12
own 27 6-10 0-0 0-1 1 2 16
Rhodes 14 0-1 1-2 0-1 0 4 1
F~dck 16 2-4 0-0 1-2 1 2 4
Martinez 6 0-3 0-0 0-1 0 3 0
Brassow 3 0-0 0-0 0-0000
18 1-3 2-2 2-3 0 0 4

by Ken Davidoff
Daily Basketball Writer
NEW ORLEANS - It played an essential role in all
four of the Wolverines' losses, and even when they won
it was criticized. Saturday, free throw shooting again
proved to be crucial - this time to the outcome of
Michigan's semifinal game against Kentucky.
Early in the contest, when a relatively easy Michigan
victory seemed possible, the Wolverines made their foul
shots at a record-breaking rate. As it grew tighter, and
then went to overtime, the game looked like it would
feature free throw shooting as a leading downfall indi-
cator for Michigan. As it turned out, the Wolverines'
performance from the charity stripe both kept them in
the match and clinched the decision.
Throughout the season, conventional wisdom stated
that you beat Michigan by getting it to the free throw
line. And the stat sheet held up that assertion, showing a
64.7 percent success rate for the season. Both Michigan
coach Steve Fisher and Kentucky coach Rick Pitino ac-
knowledged that the Wolverines have not performed
exceptionally well from the free throw line this past
season.

attempts from the' line to achieve this. As a result, the
Wolverines found themselves trailing, 76-73.
About two minutes later, Ray Jackson's driving
layup cut the Wildcat lead to 78-77, and Gimel Mar-
tinez's four on the shot sent Jackson to the line with an
opportunity to tie it up. However, Jackson missed the at-
tempt and it took another 14 seconds before Webber's
layup gave Michigan a lead it would not relinquish.
Fittingly, when the Wolverines had the chance to ice
their victory, they needed to hit free throws to do so.
With the score still 79-78, Martinez fouled Jalen Rose
with 21 seconds left. Rose calmly sank his two shots,
forcing the Wildcats to go for a game-tying triple. Ken-
tucky could not connect, and Michigan prevailed having
scored six of its 10 overtime points from the charity
stripe.
The Wolverines wound up hitting on 23 of 30 free
throw attempts, a .767 clip.
Rather than harping on the crucial missed attempts,
Fisher and his players chose to accentuate the overall
above-average effort from the line.
"We've got guys that don't wilt under the heat,"

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