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March 16, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-16

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''17.,xMarch 16, 1995


By Ryan Whie
*Daily Basketball Writer
DAYTON, Ohio - Call Damon
Stoudamire a born-again Wildcat.
Arizona's starting point guard,
suspended for last Saturday's game
against Arizona State due to NCAA
violations, is back, and in his opinion,
better than ever.
"As far as my situation with the
NCAA, I'm eligible and I'm not
*going to comment," said
Stoudamire, who refused to answer
any questions on the subject. "On
the bench Saturday, I realized how
much I love basketball and how
quick the sport I love can be taken
"It's rejuvenated me and made me
That could spell big trouble to-
morrow forNo.12seedMiami (Ohio)
*(22-6 overall) when it faces No. 5
Arizona (23-7) at 12:30 p.m. at Day-
ton Arena.
Stoudamire averaged 23 points
and 7.4 assists per game during the
regular season, and a hungrier
Stoudamire could create an even
bigger problem than theRedskins
"He's a great challenge for both
myself and our team," said Miami
senior Derrick Cross, who will draw
the bulk of the defensive assign-
ment against the first-team All-
American. "We're going to have to
just step it up and play as hard as we
Redskin coach Herb Sendek had a
bit of a different philosophy on how
to guard Stoudamire and the rest of
*the Wildcats.
"I can maybe hope that the offi-
cials majored in history and not math
and (we can) try to get six or seven

'M' readies for first round
Final NCAA Tournament run begins for Jackson, King

By Scott Burton
Daily Basketball Writer
DAYTON, Ohio - Three years
ago attheNCAA Tournament, agroup
of precocious freshmen embarked on
a most remarkable journey. Unfamil-
iar with the adage that experience
makes might, the youngsters known
as the Fab Five led Michigan to the
finals of the tournament.
The last remnants of the group
that shocked the world are preparing
to do it again as the 1995 tournament
gets underway. But seniors Ray Jack-
son and Jimmy King aren't brash rook-
ies anymore.
As the Fab Two prepare for their
first-round contest with Western
Kentucky (26-3) at 10:00 tonight,
.they speak instead of the, impor-
tance of leadership and a desire to
take their wealth of experience in
past tournaments and fine-tune it
for one last run.
"The overall picture looks pretty
good," Jackson said. "I think we can
make a strong run if we can come out
and play with the intensity and intel-
ligence that I know we are capable
Equalling past performances
would be quite a feat. In King and
Jackson's first two years at Michigan,
the Wolverines advanced to the Na-
tional Championship game twice.

Last season, Michigan reached the
regional finals. Additionally, for the
first time in the two seniors' careers,
they enter their first-round game as a
lower-seed than their opponent.
Even if the ninth-seeded Wolver-
ines advance past theNo.8 Hilltoppers
tonightMichigan's next matchup will
likely be with No. 1 Kansas.
But Jackson and King have learned
something in their years at Michigan:
Pre-tournament expectations often
have little bearing on tournament per-
In 1992, when Michigan made its
historic run to the national title game,
it was seeded sixth. When the Wol-
verines returned to the finals the next
season, they overcame tournament
favorite Kentucky.
Overall, Michigan is 13-3 in
NCAA Tournament games during the
past three years.
"The reason we are here and the
reason we have been here the last four
years are to the right of me and left of
me - King and Jackson," Michigan
coach Steve Fisher said.
"They have played more NCAA
Tournament games than anybody else
in the field and they will need to lead
the way for Michigan in this one, and
I am sure that they will."
However, the Hilltoppers don't
plan on being just another obstacle

in Michigan's quest for glory. Un-
like the Wolverines, Western Ken-
tucky is a nationally ranked team
(No. 21) with a ton of momentum
heading into tonight's contest. The
Hilltoppers have won 12 straight
games and 24 out of 25.
Included in that is the
Hilltoppers' Sun Belt Conference
tournament championship, which
earned them an automatic berth in
the big dance.
Yet the level of competition they
faced falls well short of the schedule
many other tournament teams took
on. Western Kentucky lost its only
contest against a ranked foe this sea-
son when Massachusetts defeated the
Hilltoppers, 91-72, Dec. 17.
"Even though we have done a lot
ofthings, wehaven'twon abiggame,"
senior forward Darius Hall said. "But
we have a great record. People don't
look at that. I guess it is our turn to
show people that we can play and that
our record wasn't a fluke."
The '92-'93 Western Kentucky
team did just that. That team went
24-5 in the regular season and also
fought criticism of playing a weak
In the NCAA Tournament, the
Hilltoppers advanced to the Sweet
Sixteen, beating Seton Hall in the

Michigan's Jimmy King gets some help stretching during practice yesterday.

Wolverine women gymnasts
hold final home meet of season




ques tions
at League
*By Juiie Keating
Daily Sports Writer
In the last in a series of speeches
sponsored by Michigan League Pro-
gramming, women's basketball coach
Trish Roberts spoke and answered
questions about the team, the season
and individual players.
Roberts began by talking about
her strategy and how it affected their
*season. She is a firm believer in afast-
paced offense and a deliberate de-
"I believe that good things happen
if we work extremely hard," Roberts
In her first two seasons as the
Wolverines' head coach, Roberts'
teams struggled with injuries, post-
ing a 5-49 record.
With a rigorous schedule this past
season, the Wolverines relied on six
returning upperclassmen, as well as a
strong recruiting class, and finished
the season at 8-19.
Roberts commented on top play-
ers Jennifer Brzezinski, Jennifer
Kieferand Silver Shellman. With such
a strong nucleus of players, the fact
that the Wolverines had only one jun-
ior and no seniors seemed to go unno-
*ticed all year, she said.
"With such a young team, Michi-
gan can look forward to a bright and
promising future," Roberts said.
Roberts gave the athletic depart-
ment credit for giving her the opnor-

By Michael Joshua
Daily Sports Writer
For five members of the No. 5
Michigan women's gymnastics team,
Saturday's meet will be the last regu-
lar-season home appearance of their
illustrious careers.
Co-captains Beth Wymer and
Kelly Carfora, Li Li Leung, May May
Leung and Debbie Bermen will close
out their careers against No. 10 Penn
State, North Carolina State and Mas-
sachusetts at Crisler Arena.
"This will be the last meet for our
seniors,"junior Wendy Marshall said.
"We hope to send them off with a
happy farewell."
The Wolverines (5-0 Big Ten, 15-
2 overall) set a new season-high score
of 196.625 last Friday at the RYKA
Invitational. If Michigan comes any-
where near that score, the team should
have no worries about getting a win
for the seniors.
"(North Carolina State) is an up-
and-coming team and (Massachusetts)
is coming off a poor showing last
weekend," senior Li Li Leung said.
"Penn State, which was supposed
to be our toughest competition, has a
rash of injuries, so I don't know how
much competition they will be."
The Nittany Lions defeated the
Minutewomen last weekend at the
six-team Lady Bulldog Invitational
in Georgia. Penn State finished fifth
(191.55), one spot ahead of Massa-
chusetts (190.525). The No. 1 Bull-
dogs won the meet with a score of
This meet also marks the last com-
petition for the Wolverines before the
Big Ten and the NCAA Championship.
"We hope to beat our highest score
and get more comfortable being at.
Crisler Arena (the site of the regional
championships)," Marshall said.

Within the last few weeks, Michi-
gan has established itself as one of the
elite teams in the country. The Wol-
verines defeated three top-10 teams
(Kentucky, Florida and UCLA) and
broke school records in the uneven
bars, vault and team score.
"(This year's team) is our most
talented team ever," Marshall said.
The only teams to beat the Wol-
verines have been No. 1 Georgia and
No. 2 Utah. What does Michigan have
to do to scale to the top of the gymnas-
tics' world?
"We need to have more consis-
tency in the finer details," Leung said.
"It is the last few tenths (of points)
which will take us over 197."
Saturday will be an emotional meet
for the Wolverine seniors. This class
has brought Michigan to where it is
today. In the past four years, Michi-

We hope to
send (the seniors)
off with a happy
-- Wendy Marshall
Michigan gymnast
gan has amassed 87 wins and only
nine losses.
However, the team will not reflect
upon the moment until after the meet
is complete and the victory secured.
"I have mixed feelings. Of course
I'll be sad, but at the same time it is
time for us to move on with our lives,"
Li Li Leung said.
"I'm sure you'll see some tears."

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The Wolverines face the Wolfpack, Nittany Mons and Minutewomen Saturday.

Watch as Michigan goes for its second
straight CCHA postseason title.
Semifinals - Saturday, I p.m.
Final - Sunday, 2 p.m.
TICKETS: $16, $12*, $8

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