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November 14, 1996 - Image 26

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-14

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88- The Michigan Iy -9Tip6ff' - Thurs November 14, 1996 9
BluewarmshuptfouNON-CONFERENCE
Blue warms up with four Midwestern cupcakes

S

BIG TEN

The chigan Daily - Tipoff '9

a

State still looking up

By Danelle Rumore
The Michigan men's basketball team
will face non-conference opponents
Ball State, Cleveland State, Bradley
and Detroit in a span of a week and a
half.t
And probably the most excitement
generated from the games will come
from watching former Villanova coach
Rollie Massimino mess his hair and
dance around the sidelines for his cur-
rent club, Cleveland State.
The Wolverines, for the most part,
easily disposed of their nonconference
schedule last season, going 11-3 before
the start of conference play.
They should have another relatively
easy time with this early bunch this
season. With the exception of
Cleveland State, the other three teams
are all legitimate forces in their respec-
tive conferences, but they will probably
have trouble stacking up with
Michigan's muscle.
The Wolverines face Ball State in
their first non-exhibition game. Bonzi
Wells is Ball State's shining star, an
offensive giant and go-to guy who con-
trolled much of the scoring and
rebounding last season. The junior for-
ward led the Mid-American Conference

with a 25.6 scoring average.
The Cardinals lost guards Marcus
Norris and LaSalle Thompson, leaving
a big hole at the off-guard spot.
The losses mean the do-it-all Wells
will need to do a little more.
Bradley went to the NCAA
Tournament for the first time in school
history last year. But the Braves lost
four starters from last year's 22-8 team.
Most notably, the departure of Chad
Kleine, Dwayne Funches and Deon
Jackson leaves the frontcourt gasping
for air. The trio combined for 29 points
and 13y rebounds per game.
Junior Adebayo Akinkunle is the
only returning experienced post player,
but he averaged a mere 5.3 points and
3.5 rebounds.
The Braves rely heavilyon senior
guard Anthony Parker, one of the best
backcourt players in the nation.
"(Parker) will be the best player in
the Missouri Valley," Michigan coach
Steve Fisher said.
Parker averaged 18.9 points, 6.5
rebounds and 3.5 assists, becoming
Bradley's best all-around player since
Hersey Hawkins.
Bradley will rely upon Parker to
avoid sinking in the Missouri Valley.

Former :assistant:::coach .Perry..:Watson:.:: :::;::......:>.......;:....TE
and eonDerricks are part of the .....
departed Michigan family that jumped r:~ ~ ~ E R I
ship for Detroit.:...:........
"We'll be (Detroit's) No. 1 game,"'U.SAT j AL;CEL D.TA V is
Fisher said. Io~ esnagis thgn: Tissso n aganst Michigan.
The Titans return four starters from 1 J2 '9 CrI$"e"A"'n~ 7:30 p.m. 11./30/96 Cleveland, 7 p.m.
last year's 18-11 team. Derricks and
Brian Alexander shore up the paint and 095.96 MAC record: 11-7, 4th place 1995.96 MCC record: 3413, 9th place
Jermaine Jackson and Carl Pickett take 995-90 record: 16412 1995.96 record: 5-21
care of the backcourt. Postseason: None Postseason: None
Watson taught the Titans how to play
defense, which should help them make Cow;h Ray McCallum (Ball State, '751 Coach: Rol lie Massiminio(Vermont, '56)1
a run at the Midwestern Collegiate RecordI at BalilSt.: 51-35 (3 seasons)' Record at Cleveland St,: First season
Conference title. .:Career record: 5135 (3 seasons) Career record: 427-278 (23 seasons)
Cleveland State is the only team out
of the four that is not at or near the top BRADLEY VITALS: DETRoIT VIT~s:
of its respective conference. This season against Michigan* This season against.Michilgan:~
Massimino inherits the Vikings, who 12/2/96 Crisler Arena, 7.30 p.m 12/5/96 Crisler Arena, 7:30 p.m.
finished 5-21 last season.
Senior Eric Nichelson is the best ±9998MYtC record: 1.53, 1.st place ±995-96 MCC ecord: 8-8, 4th place
returner of the bunch and one of 1995* - 1995-98 reco:d 18-1
Cleveland State's only legitimate front- !ts snNOA firet round Postseason: None
line players. He averaged 11.5 points,
and 4.7 rebounds last season. And " ac' ..... Motlliriart I:(Il etyn.'77) c:FPerry.Watswi (E. Michigan, '72)
Massimino's enthusiasm might help e~at&de 365sastis .ord at etro:473(3sans)
give the Vikings a few more victories. Crreod12 2(7sasoh aerrcr: 73 3saos
'M'says Aloha' to Classic field

Two sides to Lions' coin

By John Leroi
Beating Michigan in basketball is so
important in East Lansing, professors
actually cancel class so students can
attend the game.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo thinks
he's landed a freshmen class that can
help him top the Wolverines.
Six-foot-one point guard Mateen
Cleaves is anprized recruit from Flint.
Michigan wanted him, but Cleaves, rated
the third-best prep pointguard in the
nation, wanted immediate playing time.
He'll probably get it. Not because he's
ready - he's been hampered by back
injuries and managed just three points in
the Spartans' Green-White game - but
because Izzo has no where else to turn.
Michigan State lost the Big Ten's lead-
ing rebounder, Jaime Feick, to gradua-
tion and the conference's most accurate
shooter, forward Quentin Brooks.
For the Spartans to have any success,
they'll need a huge season from 6-foot-3
guard Ray Weathers. The senior aver-
aged under 10 points per game last year
but has looked much better this season.
Weathers, a natural shooting guard,
won't have to play the point this year,
with Cleaves and junior Thomas Kelley
doing most of the ball-handling.
"Thomas had an up-and-down year
but picked up a lot of experience;' Izzo
said. "With Cleaves coming in, hopeful-
ly the point-guard position will be
solid."
State lost all three frontcourt starters
but returns 6-foot-9 Jon Garvaglia, who

has a decent outside shot to compleme
a powerful inside game.
But on the mind of most Michiga
State fans is the freshman class, heade
by Cleaves and 6-foot-9 forward A.
Granger, one of the best prep forwardsi
the Midwest. Toss in 6-7 swingma
David Thomas, 6-1.0 center Ken Mille
and redshirt freshman Morris Peterso
and the Spartans have one of the to
recruiting classes in the Big Ten.

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By Alan Goldenbach
Cleveland. Columbus. Long Island.
Michigan has to deal with some bad road
trips this year. But that's the breaks of the
schedule. Tough luck.
Yeah, tough luck the Wolverines have
to spend the last week of December in
Honolulu.
For the fourth time in seven years,
Michigan will make a midseason trip to
Hawaii. The Wolverines are part of an
eight-team field for the Rainbow Classic,
a tournament they won four years ago
when they knocked off Nebraska, Kansas
and North Carolina in consecutive days.
This year, the field isn't quite as
competitive. Washington State,
Maryland, Memphis, Northwestern,
Pittsburgh and Georgia join host
Hawaii to round out the tournament. In

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fact, it would be a disappointment to
Michgan fans if the Wolverines don't
come away with the title.
The Wolverines draw Memphis as
their first-round opponent. The Tigers are
scrambling to find someone to plug the
gap in the middle created by Lorenzen
Wright's decision to bolt to the NBA after
his sophomore year. Coach Larry Finch's
plan is to go with a combination of junior
college transfers, Michael Brittian and
Torian Richards. However, neither of
these 6-foot-9 centers has the strength to
stand up to Michigan's beefy frontline.
Memphis will rely on forward Cedric
Henderson as its main scoring threat.
Henderson averaged 12.6 points per
game and connected on 39 percent of
his 3-pointers last year. Those numbers
should increase as he sees the ball more
often this year. Sunday Adebayo, a
transfer from Arkansas, won't be eligi-
ble until next semester.
Maryland poses the strongest threat
to the Wolverines. The Terrapins return
forward Keith Booth, a preseason All-
ACC selection and maybe the confer-
ence's most versatile player. However,
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besides Booth, Maryland has very little
offensive punch without another player
averaging even six points per game
Washington State sports one of the
Pac-10's top players in guard Isaac
Fontaine, who led the conference in
three-point shooting last year at an
astounding 48.5-percent clip. However,
he will be looked upon to shoulder a
much heavier load than in the past to
compensate for the losses of forward
Mark Hendrickson and point guard
Donminic Ellison. And that might be
too much to ask of him.
Georgia is the wild-card team of this
field - a wild card because no one
knows what to expect from the Bulldogs.
They return none of their starters from a
squad that reached the Sweet 16 last year.
Georgia will rely heavily on a bevy of
junior college transfers. The group is
led by Lorenzo Hall, Derrick Dukes
and Devin Baker, who will probably
make up Georgia's starting frontcourt.
In the backcourt, point guard Ray
Harrison, one of only five returning let-
termen, is the only Bulldog with start-
ing experience.

By Danielle Rumore
The best way to look at Penn State's
season might be to look at the good news
and the bad news.
The good news: The Nittany Lions had
an outstanding 1995-96 campaign under
coach Jerry Dunn. Penn State got off to
an 18-2 start and went undefeated in its
new arena, the Bryce Jordan Center.
The bad news: That was last season.
This season, a rash of injuries and the
loss of key players to graduation make
this squad one big question mark.
The good news: Sophomore center
Calvin Booth, the league's top shot block-
er last year, returns to anchor the front-
line. The rail-thin Booth makes up for
what he lacks in size with his tremendous
wing span - he blocked a school-record
101 shots last season.
The bad news: Booth and Williams
may not be able to compensate for the
loss of starters Matt Gaudio and Glenn
Sekunda. The two combined for 26 points
and 12 rebounds per game last season.
And senior Rahsaan Carlton, who
missed last season with an arthritic knee,
may not be able to return to his old form.
The good news: The Lions might have
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the best backcourt in the Big Ten with
seniors Pete Lisicky and Dan Earl.
Lisicky set school records for 3-pointers
with 89, and Earl led the conference in
steals (1.9).
The bad news: The backcourt tandem
may turn into a solo act. Earl, who has
been plagued by lower-back problems
since last season, is a big question mark
for the season.
"I know as of now, he hasn't made a
decision (about playing)," Lisicky said.
The bottom line: This Penn State team
is like a pendulum - it can swing either
way. Earl and Carlton are the keys, plain
and simple.

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