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February 02, 1996 - Image 10

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-02

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Webber out for season
Former Michigan basketball star Chris Webber will miss the rest of the
NBA season after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder Thursday.
Webber, who signed-a six-year, $57-million contract before the season,
saw action in only 15 games for the Washington Bullets. Team officials
say he should be healthy in time for next season.

11

Friday
February 2, 1996

10

Morrison questionable
as 'M' faces Ohio State

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Writer
To say the least, this is going to be an
interesting weekend for the Michigan
hockey team.
The No.4 Wolverines (15-4-1 CCHA,
20-5-1 overall) face the pressure of
ending their first streak of two games
without a win since they lost three
straight late in the 1993-94 season. They
will try to break that streak tonight
when OhioState(3-13-4,5-13-4)comes
toYost Ice Arenaforaweekendtwinbill.
But don't be quick to jump the gun
and think that Michigan is in a state of
crisis. Wolverine coach Red Berenson
prefers to call it a chance for a team
introspection of sorts.
"After having all of the offensive
success, we started taking defense for
granted and it really hurt us this week-
end," Berenson said. "We need to refo-
cus on what made us a good team -
little things like faceoffs and defensive
zone coverage."
Michigan will get the rare opportu-
nity to play a team twice in as many
weeks. The Buckeyes tied the Wolver-
ines, 4-4, last Friday in Columbus.
However, Ohio State was a mere 110
seconds away from a win with a 4-2
1ad, but Bill Muckalt and Blake Sloan
each scored with under two minutes left
to force overtime.'
Neither team could break through in
the extra five minutes.
Berenson is glad that his team can
come right back and play the Buckeyes
again this weekend.
"It's good for us," Berenson said.
"Our memories of them are fresh."
Memories are nice, but it's a lot bet-
ter when your players are fresh also.
Center Brendan Morrison, who
sprained his wrist in last Saturday's 6-
5 loss to Bowling Green, is question-

able for this weekend. He practiced
yesterday but his status is still up in the
air.
Morrison will be examined by a doc-
tor today and then a decision will be
made on his availability.
With or without their star center, the
Wolverines still have some important
areas of their game to improve on if
they are to be successful this weekend.
For starters, Michigan will need to
improve on its pathetic power play of
last weekend, which clicked on only
one of 12 opportunities. Previously, the
Wolverines were a combined 18 for 29
with a man up.
The Michigan penalty killing unit
also allowed its opponents to score 40
percent (4 for 10) of the time last week-
end. That broke the Wolverines' 49
consecutive penalty kills streak that ran
from the beginning of December
through the third period of last Friday.
Besides the special teams play,
Berenson was also concerned about
Michigan's defense, which suffered a
serious letdown last weekend.
"We need better defensive zone cov-
erage by both our forwards and our
defensemen," Berenson said. "The
Bowling Green game was a good ex-
ample. They scored three goals on re-
bounds and loose pucks."
But most of all, now that February is
here, the stretch run of the regular sea-
son has started.
And Berenson is aware of how that
will affect the style of play from here on
in.
"We're at the point in the season
where teams are going to play tighter
and games are more important to every-
one," Berenson said. "And now we've
established an offensive reputation
where teams are really going to concen-
trate on defense against us."

agers hope
S
By Michael Rosenberg
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's basketball team is in critical condi
tion, but it may have found a cure for its losing spell.
Ohio State.
The Wolverines have dropped three straight Big Ten
contests, including an 80-59 debacle to Purdue Tuesday
night. But the schedule says Michigan plays the Buckeyes
tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in Columbus, and common sense
says the Wolverines should win.
By almost any measure, Ohio State just isn't very goo
The Buckeyes had their worst Big Ten season ever last yea
finishing with a2-16 record. This season has not been much
kinder to Randy Ayers' squad. Ohio State is 2-6 in the.
conference, 9-8 overall and nowhere near anyone's top 25
The No. 22 Wolverines (4-4 Big Ten, 14-7 overall) wilL
drop out of the rankings themselves if they lose to the
Buckeyes. Then again, Michigan may drop out even with a
win. The Wolverines looked downright awful against the
Boilermakers, culminating an eight-day, three-game trip
from first place to .500 in the conference.
"(Purdue) handled us, but the thing about that is we've got
another game Saturday," guard Louis Bullock said. "We'v
got to go to Columbus and get a win there."
That hasn't been as easy as one might think. Ohio State is.
7-2 at St. John Arena, including a win over Wisconsin
Wednesday.
This year's Ohio State team resembles the Fab Five- in
age. The Buckeyes start four freshmen along with senior
Rick Yudt. Their leading scorer is rookie point guard
Damon Stringer, although Jermaine Tate and Yudt also
contribute. If Ayers' squad has a strength besides youth, it
would have to be depth. Eight Buckeyes play significant
minutes.
Tomorrow night, Michigan and Ohio State probably
won't look like they are playing for a trip to the Final Four.
But not long ago, they were.
The season was 1991-92. Ohio State boasted a Big Ten
championship, the top seed in the Southeast, and an All-
American in guard Jimmy Jackson. Michigan started five
mouthy freshmen who until then had mostly just boasted.
That was about to change.
The Wolverines, seeded sixth in the Southeast, madeitall
the way to the regional final, where they met the Buckeyes,
who had beaten them twice already that season. Michigag
prevailed, 75-71, in overtime for the Fab Five's first trip to
the Final Four.
That Michigan win was dramatic and important. Tomor-
row night's game won't have that kind of drama or inpor-
tance. The Wolverines aren't playing for the Final Four. All
they want to do is avoid a fourth straight loss.
"We just have to come out and think about how we would
play ifwe didn't have this athleticism," said forward Maurice
Taylor. "We need to quit relying on our athleticism and start
relying on our minds."

Robert Traylor and the Michigan men's basketball team faces Ohio State tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Michigan swimmers return to conference competition

By Marc Lightdale
D~aily Sports Writer
Last weekend, the Michigan women's
swimming team ran into Alabama and Au-
burn, two Southeastern Conference teams
who swam at a torrid pace.
This weekend, that pace should come to a
halt as the Wolverines
(4-0 Big Ten, 5-4 over-
all) face the cellar dwell-
ers of the conference,
Indiana and Ohio State.
At the end of last
year's Big Ten Cham-
pionships, Michigan
finished No.I while In-
diana took ninth place.
The Hoosiers will have
an opportunity to re- Gustin
deem themselves tonight at 7.
This weekend's meets will provide the
Wolverines with an opportunity to recuper-
ate from the array of illnesses and injuries
that have ravaged the team.
Beth Jackson, Jodi Navta, Alegra Breaux,

Kim Johnson and Jenny Kurth are currently
on the disabled list.
Michigan coach Jim Richardson does not
expect that it will be easy to overcome the
loss of these top-notch swimmers.
"When you lose (Rachel) Gustin,
Johnson or Navta," Richardson said. You
are not going to have anyone step in at
their level."
There is some good news for the Wolver-
ines, though. Gustin has recently joined the
team after a long absence due to a shoulder
injury.
"It's been really frustrating," Gustin said.
"I have been doing rehabilitation for two
hours a day. Swimming is what I am used to
doing."
Richardson's top priority is the health of
the 15 swimmers who have been unable to
compete.
"I am not concerned about Indiana and
Ohio State," Richardson said. "I am more
concerned about getting healthy."
Richardson has little reason to be worried
about Indiana based on past history. The

"I am not concerned about Indiana and
Ohio ,State. I am more concerned about
getting healthy .
- Jim Richardson
Michigan women's swimming and diving coach

Wolverines are 16-5 against the Hoosiers in
dual meets and have won the past eight dual
meets against Indiana.
The Hoosiers last beat the Wolverines in
1986. However, Richardson believes his
team shouldn't look past the Hoosiers de-
spite trouncing them last year, 136-87.
"Indiana is a much better team this year,"
Richardson said. "Karen Campbell, a fresh-
man, is an impact swimmer.
"When you bring a blue-chipper on a
squad, it lifts the other swimmers' play.
They are a much improved team."
In contrast, the Ohio State meet should be
more of a recreational event based on the

fact that they have only 12 swimmers
and are in a state of rebuilding.
With just over three weeks until the
Big Ten Championships, the Wolver-
ines appreciate the success that they
have achieved despite the tremendous
adversity.
Richardson believes the team has im-
proved throughout the campaign.
"The signs that we look for are all
there," Richardson said. "Across the
board, people who are healthy are start-
ing to swim considerably faster.
"If we can get healthy, we will be a
formidable team."

0

Michigan's remaining schedule:

Team
at Ohio State
at Purdue
Iowa
Indiana
at Penn State
Minnesota
Michigan State
at Illinois
at Northwestern
Wisconsin

Date
Saturday
Feb. 10
Feb. 13
Feb. 18
Feb. 22
Feb. 24
Feb. 27
Mar. 2 or 3
Mar. 6
Mar. 9

6

I

Women's basketball readies for Purdue, Illinois

FacultqI Staff! Students!
l

it

Frustrated bq traffic congestion?
Concerned about the environment?
TrginQ to save moeq?

By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan? Crisler Arena? No prob-
lem.
That is what Michigan women's bas-
ketball coach Trish Roberts fears her
conference opponents arethinkingwhen
they travel to Ann Arbor these days.
But it's also the Wolverines' home-
court mentality, or lack thereof, that
Roberts is concerned about.
Michigan has a chance to improve on
this with a home-and-home weekend
pair at Crisler starting tonight.
The Wolverines (1-8 Big Ten, 7-12
overall)take on No.22 Purdue (5-4, 12-
8) tonight at 7:30. Michigan will meet
Illinois (3-6, 9-10) for the second time
in two weeks at 2 p.m. Sunday. The
Illini dumped the Wolverines, 92-77, in
Champaign Jan. 19.
Crisler Arena hasn't been much of a
home for Michigan recently.
"I'm sure Purdue will be coming
into Crisler Arena expecting to win,
which a lot of teams do," Roberts
said. "That's one thing we've been,
really emphasizing to our players.1
They have to got to take control of

their own home court."
"They have to think that coming into
Crisler Arena is not an automatic win."
Nothing has been automatic for
Michigan.
The Wolverines have been mired in a
frustrating pattern the past couple of
games. Michigan has a tendency to play
one half aggressively and then come
out of the lockerroom flat for the final
20 minutes.
Roberts said, part ofthe solution could
be to change the starting lineup. With
the energy, defensive intensity and of-
fensive output Michigan's Silver
Shellman, Catherine DiGicinto and
Akisha Franklin have recently provided
off the bench, Roberts may have to do a
little more than just tinkering.
One thing is for certain. Franklin,
who has averaged just under 10 points
the past three games, will start tonight
against Purdue. She replaces Amy
Johnson, who has struggled with her
shot.
Roberts has enjoyed Franklin's re-
cent play and what she does for the
team.
"Akisha gives us that extra ball-han-

diler and extra defense we need on the
perimeter," Roberts said. "She's the
one player who could penetrate and
make things happen."
Franklin and the rest of the Wolver-
ines must get up for the Boilermakers.
And Michigan must prepare for a physi-
cal, grind-it-out battle.
Purdue sports three players over 6-
foot-0, highlighted by pre-season All-
American Stacey Lovelace. The 6-foot-
4 senior center leads her team in points
(14.3 per game), rebounds (8.3 per
game) and total block shots (32).
The Boilermakers have balance, too.
Forwards Tonya -Kirk and Jannon
Roland average 12.8 ppg and 14.3 ppg,
respectively.Purdue coach Lin Dunn
can't be that happy about her squad's
record. But it's not as if the Boilermak-
ers have faced cupcake teams. Seven of
their losses were to top 15 teams.
And Purdue's four Big Ten losses
have been by an average of 5.8 points,
including two overtime games and one
double-overtime contest.
Illinois is a different story, however.
The Illini have lost three straight since
their victory over Michigan two weeks

ago, including blowout losses to Penn
State and Ohio State.
Illinois' Ashley Berggren and Krist"
Reinking pose problems for Michigan.
The Wolverines already know what
Berggren can do. She leads the confer-
ence and is ninth in the nation in scoring
at 24.1 ppg. Berggren tagged Michigan
for 29 points and pulled down 13 re-
bounds in the two teams' priormeeting.
The Wolverines must also cncen-
trate on guarding Reinking, who canned
five 3-pointers and finished with 25
points against them the last time out.
"We put so much effort on Berggre*
(in the last game)," Roberts said. "We
really didn't expect Reinking to play as
well and shoot as well as she did."
It is Berggren who Michigan admires
even more. The two-time Big Ten Player
of the Week drives the lane with no
hesitation and always seems to find the
basket.
"She's what the coach calls a
'scorer,"' Roberts said. "She doesn't
look good doing it, but she gets thejON
done. She's one of those do-it-all bull-
dozer players that every coach drools to
have."

Share your ride to U of M by parii pating
in the AATA RideShare program.
You'll travel more smoothly and easily.
You'll help to reduce air pollution.
And you could save hundreds of dollars a year.
Pick up a RideShore application
at the Michiaan Union Information tenter.

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