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6- The Michgan Daily - Tipoff 93- Thursday, November 18, 1993
And then there were four...
The Michipn D
By RACHEL BACHMAN
You remember it like it was yes-
Your mom or dad gave you a
tissuefulfarewell at the airport gate, or
waved good-bye from acar as they left
you standing in front ofabustling dorm
to spend your first night at college.
At that moment, you weren't un-
like the 1993-94 Michigan basketball
Upon All-American and NBA top
draft pick Chris Webber's departure
to the Golden State Warriors after his
sophomore year, Michigan found it-
self minus its leader, the biggest fifth
of the Fab Five.
He was more than just an out-
standing player; he was a den mother
of sorts. Only most den mothers don't
block9l shotsper season, like Webber
did last year.
"We'll bemissing him on the court,
but not just his points and rebounds,"
Michigan coach Steve Fisher said.
Suddenly, a team that had many suc-
cesses can no longer hide under
Webber's protective wing. Also,
youth and inexperience are no longer
Michigan, like a wide-eyed col-
lege freshman, has had reality thrust
in its collective face.
"I've got some concerns on our
team," Fisher said. "(But) we're going
Webber to NBA forces Wolverines to stand on their own
to be good. I'm convinced of that.
When you've got four starters back
and when you've got the athleticism
that we can have in spots, you're
going to be good."
Justhowgood, though, isas uncer-
tain as the result of your first blue book
Illinois coach Lou Henson stated
his thesis clearly: The Wolverines are
the ones to beat.
"When you look at the Big Ten, I
think you've got to go with Michi-
gan," Henson said. "Webber's a tre-
mendous player, but they didn't get to
the championship game just because
"Tboseotherplayersare very, very
talented. They have experience, they
have confidence. We don't do many
things in life that we don't think we
can do. Well, they think they can win,
and I think they can, too."
But as any diligent student will
ten you, good grades do nota Rhodes
Scholarmake. There's plenty of work
to be done in order to pick up where
Webber -not to mention four other
keyplayers-leftoff. Michigan must
recover from its setbacks before count-
Webber was not the team's only
loss. It also graduated five seniors,
three of whom (Eric Riley, James
Voskuil, Michael Talley) were major
contributors in the pre-Fab Five era,
andanother-three-point gunner Rob
Pelinka-- who was the only non-
To say that lack of size will be a
problem for Michigan is like saying
that college tuition gets a little more
expensive every year. Michigan will
gofromoneof the biggest teams in the
Big Ten - with seven-footer Eric
Riley, 6-foot-10 Howard and the 6-
foot-9, pumped-up Webber -to one
of the smallest ones.
"Our greatest strengths from the
last two years are now our liabilities,"
Fisher said.Notonlyis the team smaller
vertically,but when the rosteredplay-
ers stand side-by-side, it comes up
short horizontally, too.
"A year ago, we had nine players
who started forMichigan atone time or
another,"Fishersaid. "Today, we have
nine on scholarship."
Some Wolverines will have to get
"Cliff's Notes" of Michigan's
playbook to adjust to the immediate
demands of more scoring and in-
creased playing time.
Ultimately, though, the fate of the
andJalen Rose's hunched shoulders.
"We've already told (Howard)he
can't get in foul trouble," Fisher said.
"Can't get hurt and can't get in foul
"If it takes extra scoring or extra
the team," Howard said. "The main
focus is going to be playing smart,
smarter than I have played in the last
Continued from page 7
Wolverines to twoconsecutiveNCAA
championship games, the first at the
ripe age of 19.
With the Final Four starting line-
ups almost intact, hopes for the black-
socked, baggy-shorted juniors remain
high, but not as high as in the past.
"The pressure of expectations
won'tbe as high withouthim," Fisher
said. "If we losea game, it may not be
A strange thing happens when you
step out of someone's shadow and
start casting your own. When you go
tocollege, you get to show your pro-
fessors what you can do. When you
start a Webberless season, you can
show the world what you can do.
"Our main goal, like it's always
been, is to win the Big Ten and then
win a national title," Howard said.
"We'll just see how it goes."
"The goal is to try to get better
every game and try towinthe BigTen
title," Rose said.
And what about the postseason?
"NCAAsareall aboutarun," Rose
continued. "(Experience) is the num-
ber one factor that we have going for
us. We're the only team that's been
there the last two years."
Just as the Michigan basketball
team is beginning a season of self-
reliance, Webber, tooisembarkingon
a second adventure, not unlike going
off tocollege. The only difference is,
he won't have to borrow quarters for
the dryer from the guy next door.
AF RFrs Tam lm erica
Jason Kidd, California
Billy McCaffrey, Vanderbilt
Grant Hill, Duke
Glenn Robinson, Purdue
Eric Montross, North Carolina
First Team All-BigTen - media
Jale Rose Michigan
Michael Finley, Wisconsin
Glenn Robinson, Purdue
Deon Thomas, Illinois
Jawan Howar ,Michigan
second team AN-Bi t
Damon Bailey, Indiana
Voshon Lenard, Minnesota
Shawn Respert, Michigan St.
Alan Henderson, Indiana
LawrenceFunderburke, Ohio St
W-a a am
Tuesday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Mitch Albom, voted #1 sportswriter six times by the
Associated Press Sports Writers, will be at Borders for
a book signing. His latest book, The Fab Five, details
the incredible 1992 season of Michigan's five fabulous
freshmen, Howard, King, Jackson, Webber and Rose,
known for their dazzling skill, trash-talking attitude and
unswerving dedication to sports. Come meet the author.
BOOK SH ' 303 S. State at Liberty
Mon-Sat 9-10 * Sun 11-6
668-7652 o parking validated
Juwan Howard (25) and Jimmy King will have to repeat defensive efforts like
this one if Michigan is to have a chance at another Final Four appearance.
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