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November 11, 1996 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-11

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - November 11, 1996 - 3B

Aussies
kick off
season for
Michigan
By Wi McCall
Dail SprtsEditor
Controlled desperation.
That was last week's practice theme
for the Michigan men's basketball
team, and it may also be an apt theme
for the team's attitude as it takes the
court tonight against the Adelaide
36'ers, an Australian professional
team.
After a week of controversy, confu-
n and a little hype, the Wolverines
finally get a chance to play get out of
the whirlwind and play some ball.
Sophomore
s1 s kn g a n "g (
swingmnan Toih
Albert White,
who had been x I n
expected to Adtade 36'ers
play a major When:7:30
role for the Where: C XslX.r
*lvernes this Arena
ason, was Wht Mth .n
released from first exlibitien
the team Friday gre me
and withdrew Nottie: The
from the Aussies lost, 9S
University the 90, to Purdue
next day. yesterday in West
White was Lafyette.
originally sus-
pended by coach Steve Fisher late last
month for undisclosed violations of
am rules.
Last week also saw the release of
the first major preseason coaches' poll
- CNN/USA Today - which has
Michigan ranked a heady ninth.
Aside from the fact that the 36'ers
have Aussie Olympian Brett Maher on
their roster, Fisher and his team know
little about fhe visitors from Down
,under.
But that's the good thing about exhi-
ion games - they allow for more
focus on fine-tuning of one's own
team and less focus on stopping the
opponent.
"I'm not going to worry about what
they do," Fisher said. "I'm going to
worry about what we do."
Defense, in particular, is what wor-
ries Fisher at the moment.
"Our defense is way behind our
offense," he said. "We're going to
*ve games 102-100 if we're not care-
Tul, because we don't defend very
well.
"You've got to have some despera-
tion with how you guard the ball," he
said. "You've got to get out there and
make (the opponent) feel threatened.'
Obviously, the Wolverines have to
be able to shift their focus from the tur-
moil off-court to preparing themselves

BARRY
SOLLENBERGER
Sollenberger in Paradise

Dream the dream oft
f ,
Big en hoops tourney-
it's the strangest thing. I mean ... I keep having this same dream. It's not just
any dream. It's not about money, fame or everlasting happiness. It's a rather
weird dream, you see, about something very, very different ...
The date is March 15, 1998, and the Michigan men's basketball team, led'by
junior All-Americans Louis Bullock and Robert Traylor, is playing Indiana in the
finals of the first-annual Big Ten basketball tournament.
Almost immediately, the dream starts to fade. But I am able to catch a glimpse
of the game's final moments ...
The Hoosiers lead by one with a few seconds to play ... Michigan has the ball
... Bullock passes to Traylor ... and Traylor goes up for the winning basket and
Then I wake up. Every time, at this same point. Without fail. It's the strangest
thing.
I can't figure out what's more frustrating: the fact that I never see the end of
the dream, or the fact that the likeliness of a Big Ten postseason toumament has
been, as you well know, a dream.
At least until now.
umu
As of today, the Big Ten is one of three major conferences without a postsea-
son tournament.
Why? Because for years, most Big Ten coaches, led by Indiana's Bobby
Knight, have been against it.
"To me, the conference tournament really detracts from the conference sea-
son," Knight said.
He has a point.
Today, every major conference receives one automatic bid into the tournatfent,
and that bid is given to the winner of the conference's tournament, not the con-
ference's regular-season champion.
A team can theoretically have a terrific season, win its conference's regular
season title, but lose in the conference tournament and not receive a bid to the
NCAA tournament.
It's happened before.
But only rarely. This is only a problem in smaller conferences, where only one
tournament bid is normally extended.
In major conferences, the winner of the regular-season title will receive an at-
large bid to the tournament, even if it loses in the first round of the conference
tournament.
Knight, always the pessimist, makes another argument against a tournament.
"I don't think there's anyway you can get the kids in a conference tournament
situation without them missing a considerable amount of class," he said.
Wait a minute. The tournament would start on a Thursday and run through
Sunday, which means the players would miss at most a day or two more than
they would under the current Big Ten schedule.
And besides, does it really matter how much class these players miss? Let's not
kid ourselves. Very few college basketball players give a hoot about their acade-
mics, and those that care will find a way to do their work anyway. Do these
explanations satisfy Knight?
What do you think? He makes yet another argument.
"I don't want to take my team some place for four or five days and play three
or four games," he said. "And then turn around and play in the NCAA tourna-
ment."
Hang on there, Bobby, a conference tournament might actually better prepare
Big Ten teams for the NCAA tournament. A conference tournament would give
the Big Ten more experience in a win or-else atmosphere.
And judging from the conference's 3-11 overall record in the NCAA tournament
See PARADISE, Page 10B

MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily
The Michigan men's basketball team opens its season tonight against an Australian professional squad. The Wolverines,
however, will be without high-flying Albert White, who was released from the team last week by coach Steve Fisher.

for the upcoming battles on the floor.
"We do need a game," Fisher said.
"It'll tell us a lot more about the little
things we're not doing. I'm sure we'll
have a lot of slippage."
Fisher said he's not particularly con-
cerned with the offense, although a
couple things could use some work.
"We will have the ability to score
points" he said. "(But) we've got to
take care of the ball - too many
turnovers - and we've got to do a bet-
ter job of offensive rebounding."
Crashing the offensive glass isn't

something the Wolverines should have
a problem with against Adelaide. At 6-
foot-7 1/2, center Leon Trimmingham
is the squad's tallest player.
Michigan's burly frontcourt of Robert
Traylor, Maurice Taylor and Maceo
Baston (who is nursing an injured
Achilles tendon and may not see
action) should gulp Adelaide's front
line down like a vegimite sandwich.
Michigan will have to step up its
defensive efforts on the perimeter to
counter Adelaide's long-range attack.
The 36'ers put up 21 three-pointers in

yesterday's 95-90 loss to Purdue, con-
necting on 10 of them.
Guard John Rilley - Adelaide's
leading scorer - alone accounted for
seven treys in a 33-point performance.
Trimmingham added 12 points and
nine boards, while Olympian Maher
added another dozen to go with seven
rebounds.
The 36'ers have been men at work
on their late-spring tour of North
America. Before visiting West
Lafayette, Adelaide lost at Butler on
Friday night.

INTRAMURAL
SPORTS
PROGRAM

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES
PRE-SEASON Entries Taken: Mon 11/11 & Tues 11/12 11am - 4:30pm
BROOMBALL Entry Fee: $30 per team

WRESTLING
MEET

Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Weds 11/14 6pm IMSB
Tournament Begins: Sun 11/17 at Yost Ice Arena '
Entries Taken: until Thurs 11/14 4:30pm IMSB (Main Ole)
Entry Fee: $5 for individuals/35 for teams
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Thurs 11/14 6pm IMSB
Weigh-In's: Monday November 18 9am - 3pm IMSB
Meet Dates: Tues, Weds & Thurs November 19, 20 & 21

ROADWAY PACKAGE SYSTEM
PACKAGE HANDLERS
PERFECT FOR
COLLEGE STUDENTS
Saving for tuition? Find part-
time work, year round at RPS! -
Earn up to $8.50per hour
Roadway Package System, a small
package delivery service, hires
package handlers to load and unload
package vans and semi-trailers. If
you are not afraid of hard work, are
at least 18 years old and want to
work 4-5 hours per day, Mon.-Fri.,

c*S ENI 0Rcw2C,
PORTRAITS
ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT[
LATDAY NO 2o -ON'T M155 OUT
Novmber 15,18-20
SOHIA B. JONES ROOM
Fis loor, Michigan Union

PRE-SEASON Entries Taken: Mon 12/2 - Thurs 12/5 11am - 4:30pm

BASKETBALL

Entry Fee: $30 per team
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Thurs 12/5 6pm IMSB
Tournament Dates: Sat & Sun December 7 & 8 @ IMSB

Start thinking about WINTER TERM IM ACTIVITIES!
Ice Hockey, Basketball, Team Racquetball, Team Badminton,
Swimming & Diving Meet, 3-Point Shootout, Free Throw Contest,
Pre-Season Volleyball, Relays Meet, Volleyball, Mini-Soccer,

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