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February 16, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-16

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Jerry Welsh has been fired as coach of the Ohio
State hockey team, the school announced
Tuesday. Welsh coached the Buckeyes since 1976
and led the team to a 328-381-56 overall record in
his 19-plus seasons. Assistant coach John Markelli
has been appointed interim coach.

Page 8
Thursday,
February 16, 1995

Fisher
answers
questions
at League
By Jennifer Ivanelli
For The Daily
There are a great many unanswered
questions pertaining to the future of
Michigan basketball.
Yesterday, coach Steve Fisher tried
to decrease that number when he made
himself accessible to students and the
community at the Michigan League as
part of the "From the coach's mouth"
senes.
After a brief introduction, students
drilled Fisher with questions about his
continued recruiting success and what
he felt this year's team was capable of
achieving by the
endoftheseason.
Fisher attrib-
uted much of1
Michigan's re-
cruiting success
to the reputationf
of the school and "I.
the athletic pro-;
gram.
"Right now Fisher
we are at the apex of our white-hot
reign. I couldn't walk 30 paces (in any
major city) without seeing somebody
with long shorts or a No. 4 Michigan
jersey," Fishersaid. "Kids identify with
our Michigan basketball team."
With all of this popularity, attention
must be given to what happens when
the program gets players who have
high expectations placed upon them.
Jerod Ward is a perfect example.
"(Ward) has had the most difficult
adjustment. He got a label placed on
him that he didn't ask for," Fisher said.
"Jerod had more expected of him than
anyone on our team because of what
you've read about him before he got
here."
Maceo Baston, on the other hand,
has been making progress game by
game.
"Baston has gone from getting two
minutes early (in the seasoq), to a guy
who now knows he's in that three-man
rotation," Fisher said. "He's going to
get 20 plus minutes every game."
With all of the new talent on this
year's team, people questioned Fisher
on why the Wolverines weren't having
the same success as the last big recruit-
ing class - the one that contained
seniors Ray Jackson and Jimmy King.
"Part of the reason that we were
successful (when Jackson and King
were freshmen) was an extraordinary
will to win and a personality spear-
headed by Jalen Rose, who pulled the
others along with him," Fisher re-
sponded.

Cagers to face
tough road test

0:

The Michigan women's basketball team will play its final four conference games over break, which will have a big
impact on its placement in the Big Ten tournament next month.
'M' track reares or s

By John Leroi
Daily Basketball Writer
While students flock to warm
beaches, familiar homes or random
local bars over spring break, the Michi-
gan women's basketball team will be
facing some tough competition. With
three tough contests on the road sand-
wiched around one home game, the
Wolverines would have little time to
concentrate on classes anyway.
The four games over the break round
out the Big Ten schedule for Michigan
(3-9 Big Ten, 8-14 overall) and will
determine how it is seeded for the Big
Ten Tournament in March.
"We're looking at these next four
games as sort of a mini-season," for-
ward Jennifer Brzezinski said. "If we
play the way we can, we can win them
all."
Michigan plays both Northwestern
and Michigan State away from the
friendly confines of Crisler Arena to-
morrow and Sunday, respectively. Next
weekend, the Wolverines return home
to face Iowa before heading to Madi-
son to take on No. 21 Wisconsin.
Sunday's contest against the Spar-
tans will be televised by SportsChannel
America as the Big Ten Game of the
Week.
The Wolverines are coming off an
82-65 home loss to No. 12 Penn State
that coach Trish Roberts deemed a
"moral victory." But Michigan would
like to score a few real wins in order to
move up in the conference standings.
And even though the Wolverines are
playing as well as they have all season,
some victories may be hard to come by.
Although the Spartans remain in
sixth place in the Big Ten, they may be
Michigan's toughest challenge. Michi-
gan State is riding a four-game win-
ning streak that includes an impressive
pair of road victories at Iowa and Wis-
consin.

Leading the Spartan attack arese-
nior guards Christine Powers and Tanya
Place.
But Michigan State's biggest
threat is senior forward Kisha Kelley
- the reigning Big Ten Player of
the Week. An All-Big Ten selection
a year ago, Kelley ranks third in the
conference in scoring, averagng
17.2 points per game. She also leads
the Spartans in rebounds, steals'ind
blocked shots. Sunday, Kelley
poured in a game-high 26 points on
10-for-l1 shooting to stun the Bad-
gers. For the weekend, the co-(ap-
tain tallied 38 points, 14 boa' s
seven assists and made all six of he*
attempts from the charity stripe.
"Michigan State has really been on
aroll lately," Brzezinski said. "They'it
come out fired up, especially because
we beat them last time."
Kelley needs only 49 points to pass-
Kris Emerson as the Spartans' all-time
leading scorer.
A major key to controlling Michi-
gan State is stopping Kelley and the
restof the Spartan's hot shooters.Miclii-
gan State is 8-0 when shooting 50 per-
cent or better.
Another challenge forMichigan will
be playing Wisconsin in the UW
Fieldhouse. The Badgers drew 11,500
fans against Michigan State Sunday-=-
the first sellout of a women's eventein
Wisconsin history. A threat almost as
imposing as the rowdy crowd is fer
ward Barb Franke. The junior was a
second-team All-Big Ten selectionlast
year and is averaging 16.5 points and
just under eight boards per game this
season.
A week ago, the Badgers were in a
first-place tie in the Big Ten. After the
loss to Michigan State, Wisconsinp
slipped all the way to third place.
See BASKETBALL, Page -9

By Dan Stillman
For the Daily
With eight days remaining until the
Big Ten Championships, feelings of
hope and doubt are circulating through-
out the Michigan women's track and
field team's lockerroom. The Wolver-
ines travel to Ypsilanti for Saturday's
Eastern Michigan Classic.
According to sprinter Lamika
Harper, the team has struggled with its
confidence this season. . I
"Everyone has been putting them-
selves down," the sophomore said. "It's
time to stop focusing on what we
haven't been able to do in the past and
start believing in ourselves."
Saturday's meet marks Michigan's
final tune-up before the conference

championships.
While 26 teams will participate this
weekend, the Wolverines take on a
passive role, entering athletes in only
one or two events.
"We're going to take it easy this
week," Michigan coach James Henry
said. "We're winding down before the
Big Tens."
The Wolverines won the Big Ten
title a year ago, but their chances of
repeating may be in jeopardy.
Much of the doubt lies in the incon-
sistent performances of the sprinters
and short-distance runners. Although
they showed signs of improvement
Saturday in East Lansing, this group
has struggled throughout the season.
Harper is particularly disappointed

with her performance.
"The Big Tens will be a chance for
me to make some corrections for what
I failed to accomplish earlier in the
season," she said. "I haven't been able
to rise to another level."
Henry believes that the Wolverines
are of championship caliber, and he
said that Wisconsin and Illinois pose
the biggest threat to a Michigan cham-
pionship repeat.
"We need to match-up with Illinois
in the sprints, quarter-mile and multi-
event. Our middle distance and dis-
tance runners need to match-up with
Wisconsin," Henry said. "If we ac-
complish both of those, we'll have a
good chance, especially since Illinois
has no distance runners."

Rodriguez's emotional play powers Blue to success

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Writer'
If the Michigan men's volleyball
team was the Detroit Pistons of 1989,
then Ernesto Rodriguez would play the
part of Dennis Rodman.
That may be an extreme compari-
son, but two things that one can imme-
diately pick up about Rodriguez are his
unrestrained personality and his explo-
sive talent-two characteristics of the
ex-Pistons Bad Boy.
Rodriguez, a sophomore outside
hitter who hails from Guaynabo, Puerto
Rico, is among the leaders on the Michi-
gan squad in both statistics and intan-

gibles. He piles up both a high number
of kills and a high level of emotional
output on the court.
"Ernesto plays with soul," Michi-
gan coach Jennifer Slosar said. "He's a
spirited individual. All of his actions
on the court are not fake and he plays
with incredible heart."
On the court, Rodriguez is hardly
passive.
"Ernesto is a player who thrives on
emotion," Michigan captain Stan Lee
said. "He likes to talk a lot on the court
and that gets him going all the time."
And trash talking is a part of the
emotional game that Rodriguez never

shies away from.
"I need to talk a little trash during
the match because it's part of the men-
tal game," Rodriguez said. "But I only
do it to gain an edge because I'm not
too big and (my opponent) has to notice
who I am."
Three weeks ago in a match against
Illinois, Rodriguez showed how his
talk propels his play. Down two games
to none, an injured Rodriguez entered
the match that he was not supposed to
be healthy enough to suit up for.
Almost immediately, an opponent
began feeding Rodriguez a little bit of
his own medicine. Rodriguez re-

sponded with some of his own trash
talk and backed it up by some of his
usual top-notch play. His performance
got the Wolverines rolling and soon
they were on their way to a five-game,
come-from-behind victory over their
conference rivals.
"That was, by far, the one match
that I have enjoyed the most in my life,"
Rodriguez said. "I guess I was the
spark because the other guys played
theirhearts out forthe rest of the match."
There have been times, though,
when Rodriguez's mouth has gone too
far and has gotten him into trouble. He
labeled a referee "officer" while argu-
ing acall during amatch two weeks ago
at the Collegiate Classic Tournament
and received ared card for the outburst.
The penalty resulted in Michigan los-
ing a point, but that attitude is a key part
of the Rodriguez package.

"(His emotions) get him in trouble
sometimes, but at the same time, it
elevates the level of play of the couft,"
Slosar said. "It can be a curse at timzes,
but it has helped us more than not."
Slosar is the first to testify that*
Rodriguez's smart play on the court,
along with his combination of power
and finesse, is unparal led on the Micht-
gan squad.
"He's a very smart player who uses
his intelligence in every aspect of the
game," she said. "He's a money player.
and a go-to man in pressure situations
because of how he uses his head."
Rodriguez had a profound impadt.
on the Wolverines, and the conference
in general, a year ago. After arriving in
the United States from Puerto Rico in
Sept. 1993, Rodriguez garnered Alt
See RODRIGUEZ, Page 9

U I ________________________

EXAMS ARE HERE
Be Prepared!
.upper level ade Iaa4 a&e 6687172

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due to Spring Break, 1995

PIBLICATIONDATE.
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