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March 28, 1994 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-28

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4 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 28, 1994

M hRardin to Go
Michigan finds itself in
rare position: out of it
DALLAS - If at first you do succeed, trying again is no bowl of
The Michigan basketball team - led by the remaining
members of the Fab Five - reached the pinnacle of collegiate
hoops the last two seasons by reaching the final game of the NCAA
These Wolverines, with the lone exception of senior Jason Bossard, did
not know what it was like not to reach the Final Four. They did not know
what it was like to exit early and watch some other team play the first
weekend in April.
That is, until yesterday.
"It feels weird," Ray Jackson said. "We're used to being one of the last
teams to play and having everybody watch us."
"It's tough coming up first," Michigan coach Steve Fisher said,
referring to the fact that the losing team always addresses the media first at
the postgame press conference. "We've gotten used to being the follow-up
in these type of settings."
Indeed, Michigan has played that role only twice in the last two years,
bowing out in the final game both times. The Wolverines had won 14 of
their 16 tournament games before yesterday's 76-68 loss to Arkansas.
This team is used to success. But every time you reach the mountaintop,
it gets tougher to do it again, and tougher to take if you don't.
"We've been kind of spoiled going to the Final Four the first two
years," Jalen Rose said. "This is kind of a hard pill to swallow right now."
Especially hard considering how close they came. Though Michigan
lost by eight, the Wolverines had numerous opportunities to give
themselves the victory.
Down by as much as 14 in the first half, Michigan cut the lead to as
little as two with six minutes to go in the game. Then, down 71-68 with
1:04 to play, the Wolverines must have had visions of Final Four rings
dancing in their heads.
They were right where they were used to being, just a stone's throw
away from Charlotte, N.C.
But it wasn't to be. Rose had a good look at a 3-pointer that would've
tied the game, but he missed and was forced to foul the Razorbacks' Scotty
Thurman, a 73 percent free-throw shooter.
Thurman's two foul shots marked the beginning of the end for Michigan's reign
in the championship game, but the fact is, very little separated the Wolverines from
yet another trip to the Final Four. A free throw here, a defensive stop there, a bad call
here, and they reach the mountaintop once again.
"That key steal, that key basket, we never got," Rose said.
Of course, the fact that Michigan was so close to repeating its success
of the last two years is a bit of surprise in itself.
The reality is that Michigan accomplished more than most people
would've expected. With the losses of Chris Webber, and seniors Rob
Pelinka, Eric Riley, Michael Talley and James Voskuil from the teams
that helped secure the Wolverines' previous success, few expected this
Michigan team to get this far.
Most wrote the team off regarding a return visit to the place it had
become so used to going to the last two years.
"I am proud of the great run the last two years, but also proud of our run
this year because we did it when a lot of people doubted us because of our
depth and because we were without Chris Webber," Howard said.
"It hurts; we had the team and the talent to go to the Final Four," Jimmy
King said. "I truly believe we should be in the Final Four."
Should'ves, could'ves and would'ves aside, Michigan is not preparing
to play Arizona next Saturday.
No mountaintop experiences this year, but hey, maybe next time.
"It hurts badly right now for the coaches, the players, and the whole
Michigan family," Howard said. "We had a good chance and we just have
to move on to next year."
For now, though, two out of three sure ain't bad.

Ray Jackson (left) and Dugan Fife apply the trap to forward Dwight Stewart in Michigan's Great Eight loss.

Politicians, stars come out,

dads feel
the heat
DALLAS - For as much pres-
sure as the players on the Michigan
basketball team, and particularly the
remaining members of the Fab Five,
have had to deal within the last couple
of years, there are some who have had
an even harder time dealing with it.
Some, though physically removed
from the game, have been unable to
watch in the waning moments of the
Wolverines' countless nailbiters in
the tournament. They've even been
unable to sit still because they were so
They are the parents of these play-
ers, and for them, each game has
much more at stake than a win or a
loss. It's not just any player out on the
It's their son.
"I think it's easier for (the play-
ers)," said Jeanne Rose, Jalen's
mother, nodding her head."We suffer
every game, believe me."
"I hope it's more pressure on me
than it is on him because I get very
nervous," Gladys Jackson said.
"I think it's a whole lot more pres-
sure (for the parents)," said Jimmy
King's father, James, standing in the
concourse behind the seats, just min-
utes before Michigan's Regional
semifinal matchup with Maryland.
"I'm too nervous, that's why I'm not
sitting yet."
That anxiety was never more clear to
America than during last Friday's game
against Texas, in which CBS cameras
zoomed in on King's and Ray Jackson's
parents - writhing and shaking in their
seats near the end of the game, which
Michigan won narrowly, 84-79.
Down the stretch, the younger King
stepped to the stripe for his team several
times with the game on the line..
While King knocked down 6 of 11
free throws for the game, his parents,
and especially his father, sweated it
out before a nation of fans.
"I keep telling my dad, 'You got to
have confidence in me. You can't be
passing out on me,"' Jimmy said.
"They get caught up into it. The pres-
sure gets to them probably more than
the players. That's why they're so
theatrical out there.
"My mom can handle the pressure
(better than my dad)."
Indeed, in the final minutes of the
Wolverines' victory over the Terrapins, 4
King again went tothe line with anoppor-
tunity to ice the game for Michigan.
"We~have a lot of confidence in
his shot, but you can tell when he's
tired; he doesn't bend his knees,"
Jimmy's mother, Myoka, said. "He
tells me that even with 10,000 people,
he can hear my voice."
After missing his first four at-
tempts, King finally heard that voice.
"I heard her tell me to bend my
knees at the line before I made the last
one," King said with a smile:
One would think that now, in their
third NCAA tournament after watch-

ing their sons advance to a pair of
appearances in the final game, these
parents would be veterans of pres-
sure. They would've conquered the
all-consuming butterflies.
"You don't get used to it," Jeanne
Rose said, shaking her head.
"I feel a lot of pressure," Ray
Jackson, Sr. said, showcasing his stiff
black Stetson. "There's more pres-
sure now because they haven't won
the big one. The first year, we were
just enjoying it and seeing how far
they could go. Now, they're expected
to do a whole lot more."
Of course, adding to the pressure
is the fact that Michigan finds a way
to keep its games dangerously close.
"I like the excitement of the game,"
Jimmy King said. "The pressure we
could do without."
Jackson 33 68 0-0 2-5 2 4 12
King 32 2-7 0-0 1-5 4 5 5
Howard 37 11-17 &-115-13 0 3 30-
Rose 395419 2-5 4.81413
Fife 37? 1-8 2-2 137 14

The Michigan basketball team is
used to having big names in atten-
dance when it plays at Crisler Arena.
Lions running back Barry Sanders,
Atlanta Braves' pitchers Steve Avery
and John Smoltz as well as rap star
Hammer, among others, have attended
Wolverine games over the past two
Yesterday, they played before an-
other famous face, although this time
he was cheering against them.
In town for his brother's wedding
Saturday, President Bill Clinton,
along with wife Hillary Rodham
Clinton and daughter Chelsea,
cheered on his Razorbacks to victory
over Michigan.
As a result of the President's visit,
though, fans, media and employees
alike were channeled through a cus-
toms-like security station before be-
ing allowed to enter Reunion Arena.
The gates opened one hour earlier
than planned due to the extra security
Once in, reactions to his presence
at the game were mixed.
"We could've gotten here at two
o'clock," said Ed Davis, an Arkansas
fan from Dallas who thought the
President's appearance was a distrac-
"If it had been a Republican, it
would have been different."
What disturbed Vicki Rymer, a
Maryland fan as well as a professor at
the university was the issue of security.
"This arena doesn't seem to pro-
vide enough security," Rymer said.
"I'm really surprised that they would
permit him to come."
The coaches each got a handshake
from the President as well.
"He told me he enjoyed watching
our team play," Michigan coach Steve
Fisher said. "He took great pride and
respect in the way our guys played."
Arkansas coach Nolan
Richardson cherished the opportu-
nity his team had to play before the
nation's most famous Hog fan.
"His presence at the game was
something as a team we honored very
much," Richardson said. "I think he
was as proud of his Hogs as I was.
"We're 2-0 with him in the stands.
Maybe we should reserve some seats

family and friends here. It's great for
them to.see us in person instead of on
Jimmy's mother, Myoka, agreed.
"For him to actually play at Re-
union Arena is like him playing at
Plano East," she said.
Jackson's parents, Ray Sr. and
Gladys, who only see their son play in
person four or five times a year, rel-
ished the opportunity.
"It's great," Ray Sr. said. "A lot of
the contingent here are from Austin to
see him. It's a big thing."
"From Big Ray all the way down,
they're here," Mrs. King said.
forts in four games in the Midwest
Region, Michigan's Juwan Howard
was named Most Outstanding Player.
He led Michigan in scoring the Wol-
verines' four tournament games, av-
eraging 29 points per contest.
Joining Howard on the Midwest

for matchup
Region All-Tournament team were
Corliss Williamson, Scotty
Thurman and Clint McDaniel of
Arkansas, as well as Tulsa's Gary
Additionally, the Atlanta Tipoff
Club announced the winners of the
BAN/Naismith College Basketball
Player -of-the-Year Awards for the
top male and female players. As ex-
pected, Purdue's Glenn Robinson
earned the trophy for the men, while
USC's Lisa Leslie garnered the same
honor for the women.
The club also announced National
Coach-of-the-Year honors, which
went to Nolan Richardson and
Tennessee's women's coach, Pat
"Never have I had all these things
happen in one day," Richardson said.
"Coach of the Year, the President
hugs you and you win a trip to the
Final Four. That's a helluva day."

President Bill Clinton cheers on the Arkansas Razorbacks, the top
basketball team in his home state, as they beat Michigan yesterday.

ContInued from page 12
inside player," Howard said. "I knew
I had to try to prevent him from get-

Wolverines' day from the field
"The perimeter shot was not fall-
ing as well as I would have liked, so I
decided to go to the basket and try to
make something happen," Rose said.

Ndiaye 8 0-2 0F0 1-2 02 0
Saint-Jean 11 1-3 1-2 0-3 0 2 4,
Derricks 2 0-0 00 0.0 0 0 0
Crawford 1 00 0.0 00 01 0
Totals 200 2664 13.20 1643 1422 68
FG%: .406. FT%: .650. Threelmtt ont 3.317,
.176 (Rose 1-7, King 1-2, Saint-Jean 1-1, Fife
0.6, Ndiaye 0-1). Blocks: 2 (King, Saint-Jean).
Turmovers:16 (Fife 3, Jackson 3, King 3, Rose 3,
Ndiaye 2, Howard, Saint-Jean). Stls: 8 (Fife 3,
Howard, Jackson, King, Rose. Saint-Jean).

7.~u : f .. ."R______________________________.>__.:..___________j....._____


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