Page 2-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, April 6,1993
timeout seals victory for
From the ,
show unity after miscue
NEW ORLEANS - Games rarely get decided by one play. Sure, it
makes for good drama, but usually the sequence isn't worthy of such signif-
icance. Oftentimes the designated play symbolizes a larger problem, dis-
played by the losing competitor. Maybe a missed free throw, or a failure to
snatch a key rebound, seems to be responsible for the result, but a closer
look at the box score may show that the team had trouble with that facet
throughout the contest.
That rationale won't quite cut it, though, for Ken
Michigan's loss last night to North Carolina. The Davidoff
Wolverines played a nice game, certainly good enough
to come out victors. And Michigan fans had to feel
somewhat confident down 73-71 with 20 seconds left
and the ball. After all, Saturday night's triumph over
Kentucky had proven that Steve Fisher's club could
come through in the clutch.h
First, it should be noted that the Wolverines were
lucky to get the ball past the half-court line. Chris
Webber, after receiving Pat Sullivan's missed free
throw, blatantly traveled in front of the Tar Heel bench.
Coach Dean Smith grew furious at the official for not
calling anything. Michigan fans, relieved, likely - , -
wondered where Webber's head was.
They found out a few seconds later, as Webber called for a time out near
the Michigan bench. Fisher and the assistant coaches cringed at the motion
of Webber's hands. Michigan supporters fell back in their seats as they real-
ized that Webber's manuever - asking for a time out where none existed
- meant two free throws and the ball for the Tar Heels.
Knowing how many time outs your team has left can be compared to
being aware of how many outs there are in baseball - it has great influence
on how you approach the situation. Either Webber didn't know or he knew
and he forgot, and it's hard to dispute that his decision did indeed cost
Michigan the game.
"I think (time outs) were (discussed in the huddle), but like I said before,
they weren't quite specific to every player on the team or we wouldn't have
called the time out," Fisher said. "We thought they had been made aware.
But I'm the guy who is responsible for that."
Webber, while saying he did not know Michigan had no time outs left,
did not deflect the blame.
"There were 20 seconds left. I started to dribble the ball, we were down
by two, the ball was on our side of the court, I picked up my dribble, I called
time out," Webber explained. "And I cost our team the game."
He stated that phrase three times in the approximately five minutes that
he sat facing the national media. His devestated demeanor reflected his emo-
There were so many other ways the Wolverines could have lost. They
could have simply been outplayed, or fell on a buzzer-beater, or been vic-
timized by poor officiating.
All of Michigan's critics who crawled under their respective rocks after
Saturday night's inspiring victory will slither back out into the spotlight to
regain their glory. Congratulations, they just got enough artillery to last
them well through next November.
In the next month, we will find out if last night marked the end of the
Chris Webber era at Michigan. There's no need to sugarcoat anything.
Judging from his previous comments, if he does choose to turn professional,
he will consider this period of his life unfulfilled. It's a shame one play can
mean so much, but as Webber himself would tell you, life isn't fair.
"I picked up the
timeout, and I cost
our team the
- Chris Webber
"This team would
not have been
here without Chris
you get in the heat
of battle some
things happen that
you say just can't
- Steve Fisher
"I wanted it for
this team and this
staff ... We might
not be the best but
- Dean Smith
hurts anytime. We
had a great season
and a great run in
the tournament. I
from our team or
any of our
- Jalen Rose
hurts more than
last year. It's my
last time0to put on
uniform. I came in
as a freshman and
we won a national
another one since
then, but life goes
on. We had a great
- Rob Pelinka
T AP PHOTO
Tar Heel stars Eric Montross and George Lynch are a picture of intensity while Jalen Rose laments a UNC basket.
Wounds already begin to heal
by Andy DeKorte
Daily Basketball Writer
NEW ORLEANS - Every game the Michigan
basketball team won this season, they forgot last year's
championship loss a little more. The rotten feeling
stormed back in last night's championship game to
haunt the Wolverines for another year.
When the tournament started this year, standout
forward Chris Webber said anything less than six
victories would mean they had failed. After Coach
Steve Fisher got Webber's ear, Webber recanted, but he,
obviously meant what he said.
Although the majority of conversation will be about
Webber's mistakenly calling for a time out, the players
and the coaches will have to continue. A 31-5 season is
nothing for Michigan to be ashamed of. Unfortunately,
the season they had will be forever remembered by the
mistake. Yet no blame should be placed and Fisher had
a firm grasp on the reality of the situation.
"I wish that it didn't happen, but it did," Fisher said.
"I'm not going to quit trying. I'm not going to quit
playing. I'm not going to quit being me."
North Carolina coach Dean Smith understood what
the miscalculation cost Michigan, but he wouldn't
blame Webber for the loss any more than Webber's
"(The play) didn't necessarily mean we wouldn't
win," Smith said. "It's all part of the game. We had
plays earlier in the game that were pretty ironic - a
guy falling down makes a basket. I've often said you
have to be lucky and good."
The Wolverines have felt they were good enought to
win last year and they certainly felt that way last night.
In the lockerroom after the game a somber attitude
prevailed. However, no one sang taps.
"I told the guys, 'Hold your heads high, you fought
hard, we just didn't win the game,"' Wolverine center
Juwan Howard said. "There is no reason to get down on
ourselves. North Carolina played a great game. We're
here and we lost to the other team. That's how the game
Howard, Webber and the rest of the Wolverines may
have a chance for redemption. Guard Jalen Rose
thought last year's loss may have made this one easier
"Definitely last year made a difference," Rose said.
"Last year we put all our emotions in a ball of wax and
when the wax burst we didn't know what to do."
Taking lessons from one situation to the next is
always a goal but is not possible for the seniors. Last
year's loss could not soften the blow for them.
"A defeat this year, my senior year, is tougher than
any loss we've ever had," Wolverine forward James
"I won it as a freshman, and it would have been
great to come in and go out with one, but it didn't
happen," Pelinka said. "It's harder than last year. It's
my last year, my last time playing for Michigan."
The returning players will continue. No one's career
is in shambles. No other team in last year's Final Four
could match the Wolverines' achievement. Last year
they shcocked the world. This year they did not shock
anyone, but maybe they proved something after all.
Chris Webber and Ray Jackson team to stuff a Brian Reese shot attempt.
Continued from page 1
dous performance by Webber. He
shot 11-for-18 with one free throw
for 23 points, including Michigan's
last basket, a putback of a missed
Jalen Rose three which made the
score 72-71 with 36 seconds left.
Webber also collected 11 rebounds
and three blocks in being named
Michigan's sole representative on
the All-Tournament team.
"He's a great player and we knew
we were going to have to do a great
inh t inv nhim- " sairdWilliams-
FG FT Rb.
Mi. M-A M-A 0-T A F Pt.
Lynch 28 6-12 0-0 1-10 1 3 12
Reese 27 2.7 4-4 4-5 3 1 8
Montross 31 5-11 6-9 2-5 0 2 16
Phelps 36 4-6 1-1 1-3 6 0 9
Williams 31 8-12 4-4 0-1 1 1 25
Sullivan 14 1-2 1-2 0-1 1 2 3
Salvadorl 18 0-0 2-2 2-4 1 1 2
Rodl 11 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 2
Calabria 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Wenstrom 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Cherry 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 27.65 18-23 10-29 13 10 77
FG%- .491. FT%- .783, Three-point goals:
5-11. .455 (Williams 5-7, RodI 0-2. Phelps 0-1,
Reese 0-1). Blocks: 4 (Lynch 2, Montross,
Salvadori). Turnovers: 10 (Phelps 5, Reese 2,
Lynch. Rodl, Williams). Steals: 7 (Phelps 3. Rodl
2, Lynch, Williams). Technical Fouls: none
"Chris Webber is
the heart and soul
of this team, and
he should not be
blamed for our
loss. It's unfortu-
nate this is how
the game will be
- Rob Pelinka
Webber 33 11-18
Jaksn 20 2-3
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