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February 01, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-01

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Signing day
Today is the first day that high school seniors are eligible to sign national
letters of intent with collegiate football teams. Gary Moeller will find out
how he fared in this year's recruiting wars. Read tomorrow's Daily to do
the same and find out about the team's1995 freshman class.

Page 8
Wednesday,
February 1.1995

I

Icers search for answer
No. 1 Michigan unhappy with recent effort

Blue faces road-
weary Wisconsin

0

By Tom Seeley
Daily Hockey Writer
Most good teams go through some
kind of mid-season slump when their
play does not meet their expectations,
but these minor setbacks do not usually
land them in first place.
However, after what was arguably
its worst performance of the season, the
Michigan hockey team woke up Mon-
day morning to find itself in the top spot
in the WMEB college hockey poll.
Last weekend, the Wolverines
struggled to earn three points against
the seventh- and eighth-place teams in
the CCHA. After tying Western Michi-
gan Friday night, and escaping with an
overtime victory over Illinois-Chicago
Saturday afternoon, the Wolverines
backed into the top spot when the pre-
vious No.1 team, Maine, was upset by
UMass-Amherst.
"Everyone realizes that the play
this weekend wasn't the reason why
we're No. 1 in the country," Michigan
captain Rick Willis said. "It's because
Maine lost to the worst team in college
hockey."
Even though the Wolverines have
not been firing on all their pistons since
a5-1 triumph over Lake Superior State
Jan. 13, the fact remains that they have
not lost a game since a 4-3 setback at
the hands of Minnesota Nov. 26.
"We're concerned about (the re-
cent play)," Michigan coach Red

Berenson said. "Our team is not on a
roll right now, even though our team is
on a roll (in terms of its recent record).
"I'm never going to be satisfied that
our team has played their best, but I
know that we can play better than we
played last weekend."
In additiontoaNo. 1 ranking,Michi-
gan finds itself tied with Bowling Green
for first place in CCHA. But with 10
conference games remaining in the
schedule, current standings do not hold
a lot of weight in the Wolverine
lockerroom.
"Everything is temporary right now.
It's not like (first place) is a big deal,"
Berenson said. "We'd like to end up in
first place, and to do that we have to
beat the teams that we're fighting with
and then win the games that we should
win. We have our work cut out for us."
While the consequences of
Michigan's recent play have not been
that harmful, the team has much higher
standards for themselves.
"We don't expect to have points in
the season like that where we're not
playing well," Willis said. "We expect
to play well all the time.
"We realize that we haven't been
playing as well as we can in the last
couple of weeks. We definitely are
having a little slump, but it's nothing
that this team can'tovercome. We have
a great team, and we've just got to start
playing like it."

By Paul Barger
Daily Basketball Writer
The Michigan and Wisconsin
men's basketball teams had one
major thing in common entering the
1994-95 season.
High expectations.
Currently, both teams have fallen
short of their lofty preseason goals.
Michigan (5-2 Big Ten, 11-8 over-
all) has been solid in conference
play, but has struggled through its
non-conference schedule.
Wisconsin (3-4,9-7), on the other
hand, has been a complete disap-
pointment.
Stan Van Gundy was handed the
coaching position after Stu Jackson
left to become the general manager
of the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies.
With All-American candidates
Michael Finley and Rashard Griffith
coming back to Madison, it looked
as if Van Gundy had inherited a
conference contender.
Instead, the Badgers are in eighth
place in the conference and are play-
ing themselves out of the NCAA
tournament.
Finley, the Badgers' all-time
leading scorer with 1,947 points, is
putting up impressive numbers this
season. The senior leads Wisconsin
in points, assists, steals and is sec-
ond in rebounds.
He is the Big Ten's No. 2 scorer
in conference games, averaging 23.7
points.
"It's great to know that every
time we take the floor one of the
best players in the country will be
on our side," Van Gundy said.
Griffith has been solid for Wis-

consin as well. He leads the Big Ten
in rebounds, averaging 11.9 in con-
ference games and 10.9 overall. The
sophomore is also No. 1 in blocked
shots during conference games.
Wisconsin's biggest problem this
year has been playing on the road.
The team is 1-5 away from Madi-
son, including an embarrassing 92-
76 loss to Eastern Michigan in De-
cember.
Ironically, the Badgers will face
a Wolverine squad that has.struggled
at home. Michigan is 4-3 at Crisler
Arena and has not won there since
beating Iowa in double overtime
three weeks ago.
"We have to go out there and
take the advantage that we have,"
freshman Maurice Taylor said. "We
can't lose to them at home and ex-
pect to go to Wisconsin and win."
Michigan's loss to St. John's
Sunday came just as the Wolverines
were gaining momentum. Since a
loss to Penn State on Jan. 8, Michi-
gan had registered road victories
against Northwestern, Illinois and,
most impressively, Indiana. The
only defeat during the stretch was in
Ann Arbor at the hands of Michigan
State 73-71.
The Wolverines are tied for sec-
ond place in the conference with
Purdue. An NCAA tournament bid
is still in doubt, though, because of
the six non-conference defeats.
"Our goal is still to stay in con-
tention for the Big Ten title and to
gain a berth to the NCAA tourna-
ment," Taylor said. "We need a con-
fidence builder after the loss to St.
John's."

Maceo Baston blocks a shot in Michigan's loss to St. John's Sunday. The
Wolverines hope to get back on track when they play Wisconsin tonight.

Pusztai leads netters' effort at Big

chance to win. By Brett Krasnove
Daily Sports Writer
SToday's question: What NHILAl-tar was theCCHA's 1989 "Game, set, match, Pusztai."
The Champaign-Urbana crowd
Rookie of the Year when he played for the Spartans? heard it Saturday, then heard it again
Sunday and heard it once more Mon-
Name: Phone: day before Michigan's Peter Pusztai
finally surrendered to Minnesota's Russ
Loel, 1-6, 6-1, 2-6, in the finals of the
Big Ten Men's Tennis Singles Cham-
pionship.
Pusztai, a junior, wasn't the only
success story to come out of Illinois.
Three other Wolverines stormed their

way into the Round of 16 or further,
including quarterfinalist John Costanzo,
freshman David Paradzik and junior
Geoff Prentice, who both advanced to
the round of 16.
"It is the best overall tournament
that we've played this year and we've
played some good ones," Wolverine
coach Brian Eisner said. "The reason
this was the best was that, four of our
players reached the round of 16; last
year (at the Big Ten Singles Champi-
onships), none reached the round of
16."

The 10th-seeded Pusztai advanced
to the finals with a hard-fought victory
over the 12th seed, Minnesota's Stefan
Tzvetkov, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6). Pusztai
had rolled through the first three rounds.
In the quarterfinals he faced rival
Ben Gabler of Minnesota, after having
lost when the two faced off at the Rolex
Tournament in Wisconsin in Novem-
ber. This time, he regained his pride by
defeating the Golden Gopher, 6-7,7-6,
6-3, Sunday.
Pusztai, however, wasn't im-
pressed with how he did won thematch.

Ten singles
"It was more like a moral victory
that I could fight out a match, but I
don't think I played all that well,"
Pusztai said.
Unseeded Geoff Prentice was the
surprise of the tournament with a sec-
ond round victory over No. 2 Jayson
Bedford of Michigan State.
Costanzo, the tournament's fifth-
ranked player, felt encouraged by the
lower seeded players' success.
"You really see how good our team
is when our five guy (fifth seed) can
beat the top players in the Big Ten."

WRESTLING NOTEBOOK:
Rawls' knee injury prompts crucial decision

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By Jed Rosenthal
Daily Sports Writer
Despite a win over Northwestern
last weekend, the Michigan wrestling
team suffered onehuge loss. All-Ameri-
can and captain Jesse Rawls forfeited
his match because of a knee injury. It
has now been diagnosed as a torn ante-
rior cruciate ligament and the 177-
pounder may be out for the season.
"I went home Saturday night sick,"
Michigan coach Dale Bahr said. "We
won the battle but lost the war."
Doctors informed Rawls that he has
two options - he can either have the
proper surgery to repair the knee or he
can continue wrestling with the injury.
What might pose a bigger problem
is that Michigan has no backup at
Rawls' weight class. For now, the team
must juggle its lineup for Saturday's
matches against Purdue and Indiana.
Freshman Bill Lacure, who alternates
with Jake Young at 150-pounds, will
move to the 158-pound class. No. 5
Jeff Catrabone will be bumped to 167
and force No.6 Chad Biggert to fill in
for Rawls.
"(Injuries) are something you must

deal with in athletics," Bahr said. "What
can you do? You can't crawl into a
foxhole and hide. We've got to pick up
our spirits and carry on."
EN FUEGO: With its win over North-
western last Saturday, Michigan is
riding a three-match win streak. Even
more impressive is that all of the victo-
ries are over ranked Big Ten oppo-
nents. The Wolverines spanked then-
No. 6 Michigan State in East Lansing
and whipped then-No. 4 Penn State at
Cliff Keen Arena before manhandling
the No. 25 Wildcats.
"Our overall record is 5-2. Both of
our losses came down to the wire.
Those matches could have gone either
way," Bahr said.
Michigan's win over Northwestern
extended its all-time record over the
Wildcats to 62-6-1. The Wolverines
are undefeated in 15 of their last 16
including win streaks of seven and
eight against the Wildcats.
STEPPING IT UP: Freshman Airron
Richardson has become more relaxed
at the heavyweight position. After suf-
fering heart-breaking losses against Il-
linois and Lehigh in deciding matches,

STEPHANIE LIM/Daily
Chad Biggert will step up a weight class because of Jesse Rawls' injury.

Richardson has made significant con-
tributions in the last three. Against Penn
State, he avoided getting pinned by No.
I Kerry McCoy to secure a victory for

the Wolverines.
"I am getting more comfortable
closing now," Richardson said. "I know
that I just have to wrestle my way."

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