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September 09, 1993 - Image 26

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Page 6-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition-Sp
Ken Sugiura

ursday, September 9, 1993

Final Fou

They're pop-icon
big, but they're ours
Perhaps the first inkling I had about how fast this group's popularity has
rocketed came two springs ago, when the five rambunctious youths collec-
tively known as the Fab Five were written up in a magazine.
This in itself, I suppose, is no big deal. After all, they had a lengthy spread
in Sports Illustrated before theyhad even shotonebasket for Michigan. And
their likenesses have graced television screens, posters and countless t-
shirts. So what was the big deal about yet one more article?
The magazine was French.
The Fab Five, or the 5 X's (pronounced five times) as they like to call

Michigan basketball and hockey teams

by Ryan Herrington
Daily Basketball Writer_
AtMichigan'sMedia Day lastOcto-
ber, Juwan Howard succinctly told the
worldjust what the 1992-93 Wolverine
men's basketball team had in mind as it
began the long and arduous season.
"Our goal is to not lose any games
and win any championship that comes
through our door," Howard said, as
matter-of-factly as someone ordering a
pizza for delivery.
Unlike a 15-footj umpshot, subtlety
is notone of Howard's strengths. Yethe
and the rest of the Wolverines had a
mission going into the season extrane-
ous from the lights and sights of New
Orleans.
"I thinka goal thateverybody shoots
for, and football has accomplished it
(five times in a row), is to win the Big
Ten championship," Michigan coach
Steve Fisher said. "We haven't done
that since 1986."
Indeed, in Fisher's less than lengthy
three-year career, he and the rest of the
Wolverines have accomplished every-
thing but bringing a conference title
home to Ann Arbor. However, the Wol-
verines would find out the hard way that
winning the Big Ten would be a little
more difficult than simply "not losing
any games."
The consensus among the media
prior to the season was that the Big Ten,
from top-to-bottom, was the toughest
conference in the country. Yet, despite
all the hoopla over how deep the confer-
ence was, it was clear after the first two
weeks of league play that the race for
the championship would be between
MichiganandIndiana,ledbyAll-Ameri-
can Calbert Cheaney. Both squads
breezed through their first two confer-
ence opponents before meeting on Jan.
12 atCrislerArenain agame thatwould
go down to the wire.
With Indiana ahead, 76-75, an odd
Indiana violation prior to a Hoosier
free-throw attempt allowed Michigan
to control the ball for the final posses-
sion. The Wolverines pushed the ball
upcourt and senior James Voskuil took
a three-pointer from the left side of the
hoop with three seconds on the clock.
The shot went off the front of the iron
and was rebounded by Chris Webber,
whokattempted a put-back that was
blocked by Indiana's Alan Henderson,
clinching the Hoosier victory.
Dejected by the one-point defeat,
the Wolverines refocused, rolling toa5-
1 Big Ten record before suffering their
second conference loss of the season on
Jan. 31. This time Michigan faced an
emotional Iowa team that was playing
for the first time at home without their
defensive standout Chris Street, who
was killed in an auto accident the week
before the game. The Iowa City crowd
would not let the Hawkeyes lose this
contest as Acie Earl scored 19 points in
the 88-80 victory.
At this point, with Indiana still unde-
featedin conferenceplay, any loss would
cause irreparable damage to Michigan's
Big Ten title hopes. While never mak-
ing any game look easy, as a slim 73-69
road triumph over Michigan State on
Feb. 2 and a tough 84-76 win over
Purdue on Feb. 7 would attest, the Wol-
vermes continued to win. Thus, their
Valentine's Day rematch with the Hoo-
siers in Bloomington became the de
facto Big Ten championship game.

With strong perimeter shooting,
Michigan extended its 46-44 halftime
lead to 70-61 with 11:32 left. However,
the Hoosiers' man-to-man pressure
proved too tough as Indiana would go
on a devastating 28-8 run. Down 11
points with 1:08 left, the Wolverines
attempted a harried comeback, bomb-
ing three-pointers with great success
but to no avail. A Webber triple at the
buzzer made the final 93-92 --another
one-point defeat.
Indiana had all but sealed the confer-
ence title.
"We're probably not in the Big Ten
hunt anymore, but we have a lot to look
forward to down the road," Fisher said
after the game, alluding to the NCAA
tournament.

by Adam Miller
Daily Basketball Writer
One moment in time?
No. The Michigan men's basketball
team's run through the NCAA tourna-
ment was much more than that.
Starting in Tucson, Ariz., continu-
ing through Seattle and culminating in
New Orleans - the Big Dance in the
Big Easy - the Wolverines defied the
odds to reach the NCAA Finals for the
NC AA WRA P- Up
second year in a row.
But all everyone seems to focus on is
"the moment," the fateful call by for-

crown in five years.
"We had chances to win, and unfor-
tunately we didn't get it done," Michi-
gan coach Steve Fisher said. "(Nort
Carolina) will go down as champions,
and that's what we so desperately wanted
to be."
Perhaps you shouldn't overlook the
path the Wolverines took to the champi-
onship game, either. The highlight of
the run would have to be the semifinal'
contestagainst Kentucky, an 81-78 over-
time thriller. A showcaselfor the Fab:
Five-Webber, center Juwan Howa
forward Ray Jackson, guardJimmy King
and guard Jalen Rose - the group
scored all buteightofMichigan'spoints.
However, offense was not the story
of the game-Michigan's defense was.

I

I

FILE PHOTO
The lottery pick slams home a deuce like only he can. Michigan hoops
will sorely miss Webber's talents and character.
themselves, are bigger than Ann Arbor, bigger than the state of Michigan,
bigger, it seems, than college basketball itself. They are a commodity that
apparently cannot be contained by the boundaries of our nation.
But that particular instance was not the only time I was confronted with
the reality of just how conspicuous the Fab Five, and truly, the entirety of
Steve Fisher's club, has become.
There was last season's game at Wisconsin. Sold out for weeks,
Wisconsin Field House filled early with fans who wanted to see them up
close. During warmups, fans stood five and six deep around the perimeter
of the court hoping for a glimpse of the Wolverines. Meanwhile, the
hometown Badgers went through the pregame drills virtually unnoticed.
Funny, I thought, that these people who are supposed to retch at the sight
of maize and blue (Soon, you too will discover the Wolverines are the
scourge of the Big Ten) have come en masse merely to watch the team
practice layups.
A traveling circus is what they are. The throngs of autograph seekers
mobbed around the Michigan lockerroom door following each game, the
blinding popping of flash bulbs, and the kids decked out in complete
Michigan regalia are testaments to that fact. And those are just the road
games.
No matter where you go; Houston, where Michigan opened last season,
or Tuscon, where the Wolverines played their opening round games of the
NCAAs, there is always a sizable following.
Whatever it is, the long, droopy shorts, the black socks and shoes or the
jaw-dropping quotes, the Fab Five, or however they will be referred to now
(John, Paul, Ringo and George took Fab Four), are pop-icon big. How big?
Ray Jackson, the least famous of the five, has gained notoriety for being
the least famous of the five.
And yet, they are us.
Though Chris Webber has left the nest and is headed toward the riches
of the NBA, there are still four: Juwan, Jalen, Jimmy and Ray. Four juniors,
young men with incomprehensible talents, but at the same time, classmates
of ours.
And while this winter we will undoubtedly see them thrill us, shock us
and provide a panoply of indelible memories, we will also see them in
McDonald's or studying in the library or sitting behind us in lecture. They
are, after all, students, like you and me.
Just make sure to attend their class down at Crisler Arena.

I

Fab Five member Jalen Rose rejoicesa
consecutive Final Four.
While not looking impressive,
Michigan would win its final seven
conference games, avenging its earlier
loss to Iowa with a victory at Crisler on
March 2 and pulling out overtime victo-
ries against Michigan State and Illinois.
The Wolverines would finish the
season 15-3 in the conference, second
only to Indiana's 17-1 record (the lone
loss coming at the hands of Ohio State
in Columbus). However, the Wolver-
ines' confidence had not been hindered
going into the tournament, even with
the difficult wins at the end of the sea-
son.
"If I were a betting man," Webber
said on the eve of Michigan's first-
round game, "I'd bet on the Maize and
Blue."

after Michigan topped Temple in the Seattle Kingdome to enter its second

ward Chris Webber with 11 seconds
remaining in the national champion-
ship game. That miscue practically
sealed the title for North Carolina, as the
Tar Heels converted both technical free
throws, and later free throws as Michi-
gan was forced to foul, to win Dean
Smith's second Superdome champion-
ship, 77-71.
Some say you shouldn't focus on
that one moment. Doing so will force
you to miss the rest of that game, which
saw Webber score 23 points and grab 11
rebounds. Which saw graduated guard
Rob Pelinka spark a three-point barrage
in the first half, propelling Michigan to
a 14-point lead. And which saw Michi-
gan come within, well, mere moments
of winning itssecondNCAAbasketball

Led by NBA lottery pick Jamal
Mashburn and point guard Travis Ford,
Kentucky had beaten its earlier tourna-M
ment foes by an average of 31 points.
In a defensive effort led by Jackson
and King, all the Wolverines did w
limit Ford to 16 points, with just tw
triples. While there was no containing
Mashburn, the forward did foul out with
over three minutes remaining in the
extra stanza.
Finally,adefensive "moment" sealed
it for the Wolverines. As Michigan led}'
by three with less than five seconds"
remaining in OT, Webber blocked
Kentucky's inbounds pass, sending"
Michigan on to the finals and the Wild-
cats home.
See TOURNAMENT, Page 11

I

fleralded as the best pizza around.

Or even square.

Four fifths as fabulous in
Fisher 's future forecast

t*e
., .

1985--Best in Ann Arbor*
1986--Best in Ann Arbor*
1987--Best in Ann Arbor
1988--Best in Ann Arbor*
1989--Best in Ann Arbor*

1990--Best in Ann Arbor*

_--

1991--Best in Ann Arbor*
1992--Best in Ann Arbor*
1993--Best in Ann Arbor*
*Michigan Daily "Best of Ann Arbor" readers' polls.

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by Ken Davidoff
Daily Basketball Writer
On theday Chris Webberannounced
his intention to turn professional, he
mentioned that he would bet all his
money on the Wolverines winning it all
this coming season. Then a silent pause
hit the room as Webber contemplated
his words.
'That's a lot of money," a reporter
shouted out, voicing everyone's thoughts.
Indeed, maybe toomuchmoney tobet
can a siuad full nf talent hut lckino in

exciting and competitive product. But-
mysteries abound after that quartet.
Only three other players return: sel-.
dom-used senior forwardJason Bossard,
sophomore guard Dugan Fife, who,
showed the potential to become an im-
portant role player, and sophomore for-
ward Leon Derricks, who desperately
needs to add some meat to his 190-
pound frame.
New-comer Houston guard Bobby
Crawford, the lone blue-chip recruit:
Fisher has eicnMr eince the F h Five.A

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