vs. Lake Superior/Northeastern winner
Sunday, 2 p.m.
Friday, 10:30 p.m. (CBS)
Blue's center of attention
By TIM RARDIN
DAILY BASKETBALL WRITER
The difference between the
Michigan men's basketball team
packing its jerseys away until next
November and preparing for a Re-
gional semifinal matchup against
Maryland Friday is contained in one
6-foot-9, 250-pound body.
While many of the Wolverines
have struggled of late, center Juwan
Howard has been the go-to man for
Michigan, responding with new ca-
reer-highs for scoring in three of the
last five games, dating back to the
Wolverines' matchup with Purdue,
After averaging over 19 points a
game through much of the regular
season, the Chicago native scored a
career-high 27 against Purdue, 21
against Penn State and a new high
of 32 against Northwestern to close
out the regular season.
In the tournament, Howard has
stepped up his play even more, pour-
ing in 28 points against Pepperdine,
and then his latest career high of 34
to go along with 18 boards against
Texas last Saturday.
"He's played the best he's
played, probably ever," Wolverine
coach Steve Fisher said. "He's mak-
ing good decisions as far as when to
shoot and when not to shoot. He's
putting himself in a position to get
Indeed, he has averaged 20 shots
a game during this stretch, after av-
eraging less than 14 attempts before
that. Lately, the rest of the Wolver-
ines have been making a point of
pounding the ball inside to their
favorite big man.
"My teammates know that when
we need a basket, they can come to
me," Howard said, "and they've
been coming to me."
Still, when Michigan faces Mary--
land, it will likely have a bit more
trouble going to him.
The Terrapins pose a much more
sizeable team than either of the Wol-
verines' first two tourney opponents,
and should present more problems
for Howard than the Waves orLong-
"I'll be shocked if he gets as
many shots as he did against Texas,"
said Fisher, referring to the 24 at-
tempts Howard amassed Saturday.
"They're big all over the floor. They
will sag, and it will be harder for
him to get the ball."
Howard's ability to get his share
of touches will be a huge key for the
'M' past first two
Wolverines, especially considering
the lack of offensive punch the rest
of the starting lineup has provided
in the tournament so far.
Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray
Jackson and Dugan Fife have aver-
aged a combined 46 points in the
tournament thus far.
"At the beginning of the year,
we had a lot of different players
contributing, so (Juwan) didn't have
to score as much," Jackson said.
"Now that some other people aren't
scoring as much, he's stepped up
his game another level."
Despite Maryland's size,
See feature on Maryland
freshman phenom Joe
Smith on page 10.
True, but the Terrapins have tal-
ent of their own, namely athletic 6-
foot-10 Joe Smith, who leads the
team in scoring (19 ppg). Smith was
named the Atlantic Coast Confer-
ence and Associated Press Rookie
of the Year.
"He presents problems because
he's mobile," said Fisher of Smith,
who was not recruited by Michigan.
"He's more mobile than Alan
'My teammates know that when we need a
basket, they can come to me.'
- Juwan Howard
Howard remains confident as the
"I'm used to playing against big
teams - Big "Pig" Miller at Michi-
gan State, Alan Henderson at Indi-
ana, Glenn Robinson and Ian
Stanback at Purdue, (Lawrence)
Funderburke and (Gerald) Eaker at
Ohio State," said Howard, a third-
team All-America selection this sea-
son. "The list goes on and on.
(Maryland's size) doesn't pose a
problem for me at all.
"It's not height that matters. It's
Henderson, yet he can present some
of the same problems. He can dunk
over you, and he's capable of facing
up and putting in the 15-footer."
Howard, however, downplayed
"Smith is a good player, but their
supporting cast is very good too,"
he said. "You don't hear much about
them. As far as me having problems
with (Smith), it might be vice versa."
His coaches and teammates cer-
tainly hope so.
Michigan center Juwan Howard goes up for a rebound along with teammate Jalen Rose in Saturday's game against
Texas. Howard has led the Wolverines in the tournament, including a career-high 34 points against the Longhorns.
Spikers extend streak over weekend
By MELINDA ROCO
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
With victories over Notre Dame,
Purdue and Indiana State in a full
* weekend of competition, the Michi-
gan men's volleyball team increased
its winning streak to five matches.
The Wolverines made quick work
of Notre Dame, defeating the Fight-
ing Irish, 15-5, 15-13, 15-11.
"The whole team played solid
against Notre Dame," Michigan coach
Duane Storti said. "It was our most
consistent performance so far."
* The Boilermakers gave Michigan
a tougher time while taking a quick
seven-point lead in the first game of
The Wolverines came back to get
a 13-13 tie, but Purdue pulled away
for a 15-13 first-game victory.
The next three games were just as
close, and despite 22 serving errors,
Michigan finished off strong, 15-13,
"We got off to a slow start against
Purdue, but after we got going, we
were able to tie the first game at 13
and eventually take the next three,"
Storti said. "As long as we kept serv-
ing tough, I didn't mind the errors.
You just have to be patient and even-
tully the serves will takeeffect, which
Michigan finished the weekend
off by blowing away Indiana State,
15-4, 8-15, 15-4, 15-10.
Middle hitter Brad Yeager domi-
nated the net all week, totalling 16
kills against Purdue and Indiana State,
while helping the outside hitters with
11 blocks. Outside hitter Chad Engel
totalled 13 kills and gave the Wolver-
ines the passes they needed on de-
fense and service reception.
Michigan hopes to keep its mo-
mentum going this weekend at the
Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball
Association (MIVA), a two-day tour-
nament hosted this year by Central
Last year, Michigan finished 16th
overall in the 30-team invitational.
This time around, the Wolverines
expect to finish in the top four.
"We don't know who we're
matched up against, but it doesn't
really matter. Whoever shows up on
the other side of the net is who we
play," Storti said.
"It'll be the same way at Colle-
giate Club Nationals," he added. "Ev-
erything we're doing now is really
gearing for Nationals. We'll be see-
ing teams from different parts of the
country and with different playing
styles than what we're used to seeing.
"What we're trying to develop dur-
ing practices are different alternatives
and strategies so that when we have to
make different decisions during a
match, we have something to go to."
Despite the fact the Wolverines
are undefeated since spring break,
Storti is not overly ecstatic.
"A winning streak doesn't really
mean anything to me," he said. "It's
just win, lose or draw. What's impor-
tant is how we're playing and that
we're learning more about the game
as we go along."
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