r: f 1INATIONAL
Ottawa at n
LOS ANGELES, inc.
Golden State at
L.A. CLIPPERS, inc.
KANSAS CITY 3
N.Y. Mets 5
Chicago White Sax 7,
ST. LOUIS 1
San Francisco 5,
San Diego 7,
March 11, 1997
6lea B lue
By Tracy Sandler
jaily Sports Writer
The All-American boys.
This old-fashioned stereotype
brings to mind many images, of
which probably none are wrestling.
Yet, the Michigan wrestling team's top
three wrestlers are All-American boys,
in more ways than one. First, they're
All-Americans. Second, and more
important, they're leaders.
On a team loaded with youth, junior
-And tri-captain Bill Lacure (150
pounds), Jeff Catrabone (167 pounds)
and Airron Richardson (heavyweight)
provide a sense of big-match maturity
and intensity for the underclassmen.
You can see it every day in practice.
and each is
unique in his
g ui da n ce. V
jAlthough he is
p eparati on,
with' I ti
advice & tructive criticism to
his tee Richardson is more of
a, quiet leader, leading by example,
working hard and staying completely
Injuries have been a major reason
for the youth of Michigan's starting
lineup. Beginning with All-American
Brandon Howe's season-ending shoul-
der surgery in August, the team has
been bombarded with setbacks.
Freshman Damion Logan suffered the
same fate as Howe with a Jan. 22
surgery, after hurting his shoulder at
the Las Vegas Classic on Dec. 8. Brian
\paro (134 pounds) had elbow
surgery in September. And over the
past month, 118-pound Chris Viola's
season-long shoulder problem has
been acting up.
At last weekend's Big Ten champi-
onships in Minneapolis, the
Wolverines started four freshmen and
three sophomores, in addition to
Lacure, Catrabone and Richardson.
Five members of the team were partic-
Cipating in their first conference cham-
pionships. More bad luck struck dur-
ing the meet, as 190-pound Frank
Lodeserto separated his shoulder.
As a result of these injuries, the
Wolverines have looked to their All-
Americans all season to come through
in the clutch - and they have.
Against Northwestern, with
Michigan trailing going into the
meet's final match, the team needed
Richardson to pin his opponent. He
id1, giving the Wolverines a 19-18
Catrabone compiled a 27-3 season
record, while Lacure went 25-6.
Then, when it counted most, the
zjuniors stepped up. At the conference
championships, each tri-captain quali-
fied for the finals, and each came in
second, but that does not diminish
what they accomplished.
They wrestled well throughout the
tournament, winning close matches
and dominating opponents. In the
finals, Lacure faced Iowa's two-time
NCAA champion, Lincoln Mcllravy,
while Richardson faced Penn State's
national champion, Kerry McCoy.
Catrabone, the No. I seed, lost to sec-
opd-seeded Kevin Wilmot of
Disappointed as they were with
their results, Lacure, Catrabone and
kichardson are finding the silver lin-
irg in their collective cloud: They
have the NCAAs in two weeks - a
chance to rectify any mistakes. (
"It gets me more excited (for
nationals)' Catrabone said. "It gets
'mc more motivated to work hard.
Third time being runner-up at the Big
Tens is really starting to piss me off.
Something's got to change. I've just
-got to go out there, relax and do what
'got to do.
"How have I got to do that? I'm not
sure. I've just got to work hard in prac-
tice and realize that I'm going to have
t beat these guys."
As soon as his match was over,
NIT already an
By John Leroi
Daily Sports Editor
One day hardly erased the stunned
feeling the Michigan basketball team felt
Sunday night. While fans may not be
surprised at the decision, the Wolverines
are still reeling after their exclusion from
the NCAA tournament.
Most thoughts of the postseason still
revolve around the NCAA tournament,
not the NIT - the tourney Michigan
(19-11) accepted a berth to play in.
"Right now we're still in a state of
shock," Michigan junior forward
Maurice Taylor said yesterday, "because
the field of 64 came out, and we were
"I'm not saying that I think we got
gypped, that we should be in, I'm just
saying that it's kind of hard to believe
that Michigan is not in the NCAA tour-
"Right now we're dealing with it
because we have to."
Michigan co-captain Travis Conlan
said that although every Wolverine
would rather play in the NIT than end
the season, Michigan players were all
still pretty depressed.
"I think were in a little funk right
now," Conlan said, "just a little daze
because were disappointed, but tomor-
row in practice that will all be taken
"Right now we'rejust finally realizing
that we're not in. It's just sinking in now."
There was much speculation that the
Wolverines, upset that they weren't invit-
ed to the 64-team NCAA tournament,
would reject an NIT bid. But late Sunday
evening, after a brief team meeting,
Michigan decided to play in the NIT.
Both Taylor and Conlan made it per-
fectly clear that the NIT was not the
postseason tournament they wanted to
be playing in, but added that a tourna-
ment, no matter which one, is better than
nothing at all.
Some thought Michigan would reject
an NIT bid because a berth in the 32-
team tourney would put the Wolverines
in a no-win situation: They'll have to win
the whole tournament for their postsea-
son run not to be a disappointment.
But Conlan said fans who felt that
way don't matter much to Michigan
"If we don't win the NIT, there will be
a lot of skepticism and people saying
that we shouldn't have made the NCAA
tournament," Conlan said. "But we're
just going to go out there and prove that
to ourselvc. That's the person you have
to live with - yourself.
"We'll really find out who our true
fans and our true friends are now."
The Wolverines will host Miami (Fla.)
at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night.
Although there is only one other NIT
game that night, the game will not be
Michigan coach Steve Fisher admitted
he knew next to nothing about the
Hurricanes (16-12). Assistant coaches
Scott Perry, Brian Dutcher and:Scott
Trost were watching film of Miami
while Fisher addressed the media yester-
Some players used their day of to
watch tape of the-Hurricanes as well, and
Fisher said he would do the same.
"They're a real -athletic team,"
Taylor said. "They're erratic at times,
but those are the teams that scare you
BIG TEN NEWS: Ohio State 'made
sweeping changes in its men's and
women's basketball programs yesterday,
firing coaches Randy Ayers and Nancy
Ayers and Darsch, both having
enjoyed great success with their teams in
the early 1990s, had two years left on
The men's team has gone 10-17 the
past two seasons, including 5-13 in the
Big Ten this season. The women finished
12-16 and were 3-13 in conference play.
"These are terribly difficult decisions,
but ones that I felt had to be made in the
best interest of the university," Ohio
State athletic director Andy Geiger said
after dismissing both coaches in separate
-The Associated Press contributed
to this report.
Despite feeling slighted by the NCAA selection committee, Michigan junior Maceo Baston and his teammates now must focus
on a new task. The Wolverines will host Miami (Fla.) on Thursday at Crisler Arena in the first round of the NIT. The game will
not be telecast.
All-Big Ten teams as selected by the media (* signifies tie)
First team - Kiwane Garris (Illinois), Bobby Jackson (Minnesota), Evan
Eschmeyer (Northwestern), Chad Austin (Purdue), Andre Woolridge (Iowa).
Second team - A.J. Guyton (Indiana), Sam Jacobson (Minnesota), Louis
Bullock (Michigan), Brad Miller (Purdue), Pete Lisicky (Penn State)*, Sam
Third team - Eric Harris (Minnesota), Maurice Taylor (Michigan), Antonio
Smith (Michigan State), John Thomas (Minnesota), Ryan Bowen (Iowa).
Player of the Year - Bobby Jackson (Minnesota). Freshman of the Year -
A.J. Guyton (Indiana). Coach of the Year-- Clem Haskins (Minnesota).
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