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December 06, 1993 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-06

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6 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, December 6, 1993

From questioning to confidence
Crawford makes adjustments to lead Wolverine three-point barrage


When Bobby Crawford left
Houston's Eisenhower High School to
embark on his freshman campaign at
Michigan, everyone knew he could
After all, the consensus high school
All-American shot 52 percent from the
field while averaging 22 points a game
his senior season, and scored a school-
record 2,324 points in his four-year
prep career.
But the college game is a big step
Sure, he had already proven in high
school that he could hit the NBA-range
triple, but through the first three games
of his Wolverine career, Crawford hit
only two of his 11 shots, and just one of
his six attempts from behind the arc.
Coaches wondered if he could hit
the open shot. Crawford himself won-
dered the same thing.
In those games, he let mistakes
bother him. He let mistakes take him
out of the game.

"Against Tulane, he showed that he
was a freshman," Michigan coach Steve
Fisher said of Crawford, who was 0-
for-5 shooting with three turnovers
against the Green Wave. "He panicked
when he made his first mistake. But
he's smart enough to learn from his
Crawford studied film ofhisjumper
and worked with assistant coach Scott
Perry on his shot. He returned to a
routine he established in high school
that he had gotten away from recently
- staying after practice every day to
shoot extra shots.
AfterFriday'spractice, heremained
and took 100 shots with Perry rebound-
ing, making sure he squared up every
Crawford knew that Saturday's
game against Tennessee-Chattanooga
- a team that features a collapsing
zone defense - would be the perfect
opportunity to show the coaches he
was still the consistent shooter he was
in high school, and not the 19 percent
shooter his early stats indicated.

"We looked at the film of them
against Alabama and there were a lot of
holes in their zone," Crawford said. "I
knew I was going to get the shots."
He got 'em alright.
And he made 'em, to the tune of 22
points on 7-for-9 shooting (5-for-7 from
three-point range) to tie Juwan Howard
for the game's top scoring honors. In
fact, Crawford's contribution was quite
timely for the Wolverines, who fought
offapersistent, smallerMoccasin squad
to win, 97-86.
"If it weren't for Bobby, we
wouldn't have survived," Juwan
Howard said.
"He really did spark us today,"
Fisher said after the game. "He was the
catalyst that kept us going."
In fact, Crawford wasn't the only
one joining in on the three-point hit
parade. The Wolverines made more
threes (11) than they had attempted on
average in the previous three games.
Jalen Rose knocked down four, and
Dugan Fife chipped in with two.
"Defensively, we were trying to

'If it weren't for Bobby,
we wouldn't have
Juwan Howard
on teammate Bobby@
back down to Juwan Howard and they
kicked it out to guys like Crawford and
Rose," said Moccasin forward Bran-
don Born, who had four threes. "That's
what broke our backs."
But what really brought a smile to
Fisher's rosy-cheeked face was the fact.
that Crawford did not play like a fresh-
man, leaving the mistakes he did make
behind him.
"He realized you can't dwell on
something that's in the past," Fisher
said. "Today, I do think that he wasn't
worried 'Will it go in? Won't it?"'
After his performance Saturday,
Crawford showed that if he has an open
shot, chances are good that it will. -_

Bobby Crawford hit for a career-high 22 point in Michigan's win over
Tennessee-Chattanooga, but his defense also sparked the Wolverines.

a. At% ga. A9% a AN ^- ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Aft- AnN

The free throw line is also known as the charity stripe and Ray Jackson's
shooting from the line this season has needed quite a donation of success to
bring his average up to that of the rest of the Michigan starters.
Going into Michigan's matchup with Tennessee-Chattanooga, the junior
forward had hit 57 percent of his free throws. The percentage was the lowest
among the Wolverines' starting five.
Jackson knocked down nine of his 11 free throws against the Moccasins,
including his first seven tries, before clanging his eighth and ninth attempts.
His average is now a respectable 68 percent.
Jackson attributed his success to buckling down.
"I just concentrated more and took my time," Jackson said. "I've got to
make the most of all the opportunities I get."
While Jackson may have seen a rise in his average, Michigan's free-throw
shooting remains a weak point four games into the season. As a team, the
Wolverines are hitting 65 percent of their attempts from the line after a 22-for-
34 showing Saturday.;
FOUL PLAY: Dugan Fife is sure making up for lost time. After playing
sparingly last season, Fife has taken over the starting point guard spot and is
averaging less than two turnovers a game in 27 minutes per contest.
While he has been successful controlling the ball, he has, not been as
successful controlling his hands. Fife is the only Michigan player to foul out
this season and has done so twice; first in the opener against Georgia Tech and
then against Tennessee-Chattanooga Saturday.
"I feel like I'm getting jinxed or something," Fife said. "They were weak
fouls. I've got to try to play defense without using my hands so much. (On the
last one) I just tried to get away."
HEATING IT UP: The Wolverines' shooting remains almost as hot as asphalt
on a summer's day. In each of its four contests this season, Michigan has shot
over 50 percent from the field, including Saturday's 51 percent. The team's
success from three-point range is just as scorching.

Jackson remedies woes
at the free-throw line
With their 11-for-22 performance against UTC, the Wolverines have con-
nected on 45 percent of their shots from downtown. The school record is 47
percent, accomplished in the 1988-89 season.
The Michigan defense was cooling off defensesjust as much as its offense was
lighting up opponents until the Moccasins nailed 53 percent of their attempts from
the field. It was the first time a Michigan opponent has connected on more than
50 percent of its field goals so far this year.
"We did not play solid halfcourt defense," Michigan coach Steve Fisher said.
"They spread the floor on us."
PUTTING UP THE POINTs: With its 97 points in Saturday's contest, Michigan
topped the 90-point plateau for the first this season, a feat accomplished six times
last season. The last time the Wolverines had done so was in a 98-97 overtime
victory at Illinois, March 13, 1993.
The 86 points the Mocs totalled was the most given up by Michigan since that
same game with the Illini.
RETURNING THE FAVOR: Michigan's matchup with UTC Saturday was the first
time the schools have ever met but they will get to see each other again. A rematch
is scheduled for next season in Chattanooga.
Moccasins' coach Mack McCarthy cherished his team's chance to play the
"We usually only get the opprotunity to play this caliber of a team in the
NCAA tournament," McCarthy said. "This is great experience. The fact that they
are coming back to our place next year is a huge bonus for us."
How'D THEY DO THAT?: The loudest cheer of Saturday afternoon came at the
close of one of the most unique halftime shows in existence.
Leader of the acrobatic Ashton family, Mike Ashton lay on his back while
flipping 10-year-old Lianna and nine-year-old Miles with his feet. The children
were repeatedly tossed and thrown like two-by-fours, bringing the astonished
crowd to its feet.
Originally from Australia, the four-member act (including wife and mother
Leslie) was recently voted the most popular in the NBA. Descendants of the
family have been performing the show for eight generations.

Long streak of games ending for Blue
with game against U-D Mercy tonight

Five games in 10 days is a lot to
ask of any team. How about two
When Michigan takes on Detroit-
Mercy tonight at Crisler Arena, both
teams will be ending stretches of
schedules that even an NBA team
would find challenging. The Wolver-
ines (4-0) have defeated Georgia Tech,
Tulane, Cleveland State and Tennes-
see-Chattanooga to begin the season.
"It's real tough," said Michigan
center Juwan Howard. "It's more
mental thanl physical. Guys are a little
tired. Still, we're into it mentally."
His teammate Ray Jackson attrib-
uted the fatigue to the competition.
"It's taken its toll because we've
played four good teams," Jackson said.
"It's not as hard to stay focused when
you're trying to win and do so con-
While they have also faced a gru-
eling early docket of games, the Ti-
tans (1-3) have opened the season in
- -1 >s It

quite the opposite direction of the
Wolverines, losing their first three con-
tests before emerging victorious in the
consolation game of the First Bank
Classic in Milwaukee Saturday. De-
troit-Mercy knocked off Texas South-
ern, 79-73.
The game is a homecoming of sorts
for two people in the Detroit-Mercy
basketball program. Head coach Perry
Watson will make his first trip to Ann
Arbor since leaving the Wolverines to
head up the Titans this past summer.
Watson, who coached Michigan'sJalen
Rose at Southwestern High School in
Detroit, was a Michigan assistant for
two seasons before heading off to the
Motor City.
The other person coming back
home to Crisler Arena is Tony Tolbert.
The 6-foot-3 senior guard out of De-
troit played for Michigan coach Steve
Fisher before transferring to U-D. In
his first season with the Titans, Tolbert
averaged 20.4 points a game and was
selected 1993 Midwest Collegiate Con-
ference Newcomer of the Year as well

as garnering first team all-conference
Tolbert has elevated his game to
another level this season, scoring 24
against Texas Southern and a whop-
ping 41 of the team's 63 points against
Wisconsin-Green Bay in the opener
of the First Bank Classic. The Titans
dropped that game, 74-63.
"Tony Tolbert and (former Wol-
verine) Sam Mitchell were two of the
reasons I came to Michigan
Despite their record, Michigan
coach Steve Fisher knows that the
Titans are going to be ready to play.
"They're going to come in enthu-
siastic," Fisher said. "No matter who
they play, they're'going to come out
The schedule makermay have been
cruel to Michigan in having so many
games in such little time, but at least the
Wolverines have some time off before
their next contest against Duke Satur-
day at lp.m. in Crisler Arena. The
Titans, on the other hand, must face
Bowling Green Wednesday.
i - . - t

Continued from page 1
to turn up the speed of the game and
led at the break, 51-41.
The Wolverines continued to in-
crease the tempo in the second half
to take advantage of their smaller,
quicker lineup. It worked and they
led by 17 points with 12:14 showing
on the clock.
"We wanted it a bit slower than
this," McCarthy said of the overall
pace of the game. "(Michigan) puts
an awful lot of pressure on you. And
if you don't take advantage of the
opportunities to push the ball down
the floor, then you're really playing
into their hands."
The Moccasins made their way
back into the game off the strength
of solid outside shooting and Michi-
gan misses. But Crawford and
Howard thwarted the UTC come-
back, allowing Michigan to walk all
over the Mocs at last.
Michigan's game plan demanded
conversion of three-point shots
against UTC's 2-3 zone. The Mocs
often triple-teamed Howard on the
low post and it was imperative for
the Wolverines to kick the ball to
the outside. Crawford (five three-
pointers), Rose (three) and guard
Dugan Fife (two) were there to put
away the shots.
"Their zone called for us to get
the three-pointers," Fife said. "The
key was just to make them."
Wolverine forward Ray Jackson
was revived at the charity stripe,
canning nine-of-11 free throws in
the game. Rose was big on the

Juwan Howard attemps a block on Tennessee-Chattanooga's Roger Smith.
boards, grabbing 11 rebounds, and
also scored 18 points. "After I hit the first couple (three-
Crawford, though, was the key pointers), I really got into the game,"
for Michigan, scoring more bench Crawford said. "I looked at the film
points than the team has gotten all and I knew I was going to get the
year. shots."
Hanson 34 6-11 4-6 1-6 1 2 17 Jackson 33 3-7 9-11 3-6 7 3 15
Born 31 7-13 2-2 0-3 1 5 20 King 28 2-10 1-2 0-2 1 2 5
Smith 31 4-7 0-2 3-10 2 5 8 Howard 36 9-15 4-9 3-8 2 2 22
Robb 34 7-11 0-3 0-2 85 15 Fife 27 3-5 0-0 2-5 45 8
Copeland 33 7-16 1-2 1-7 8 3 18 Rose 29 6-12 2-2 2-11 3 3 18
Henderson 8 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 3 2 Crawford 26 7-9 3-5 0-3 3 2 22
Whitlock 11 2-4 0-0 0-1 1 5 4 Saint-Jean 10 1-2 1-1 0-3 0 2 3
Woods 8 0-2 00 1-110 0 Derricks 5 0-1 1-2 0-100 1
Burns 5 0-00-0 0-1 1 0 0 Bossard 6 1-2 t;2 0-0 0 03
Neal 4 1-1 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 Totals 200 32.63 22.34 11-40 1919 97
Moore 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 FG%:.508. FT%: .647. Three-point goals: 11-22
Totals 200 35-66 7-16 6-35 2324 86 .500 (Crawford 5-7, Rose 4-6, Fife 2-4, King 0-3,
FG%: .530. FT%: .438. Three-point goals: 9-21, Bossard 0-1, Howard 0-1). Blocks: 1 (Saint-Jean).
.429 (Born 4-7, Copeland 3-8, Robb 1-2, Hanson Turnovers: 18 (Crawford 4, Rose 4, Jackson 3,
1-3, Whitlock 0-1). Blocks: 2 (Hanson, Whitlock). Howard 2, King 2, Saint-Jean 2, Fife). Steals: 6
Turnovers: 17 (Robb 5, Hanson 4, Copeland 3, (Crawford 2, Derricks, Fife, Howard, Jackson).
Henderson 2,Born, Neal, Smith). Steals: 4 Team Rebounds: 4. Technical Fouls: none.
(Copeland 3, Robb). Team rebounds: 4.Techntcal
Fouls: UTC bench.
UTC................. 41 45 - 86
Michigan..........51 46 - 97
At: Crisler Arena; A:13, 247

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