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December 03, 1997 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-03

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Scores mt-As

MEN'S NCAA
BASKETBALL
(3) Kansas 90,.
(4 A R:ZONA 87
(9) X AVIER 8.,
Central ichigan 54
(10) Uah 64,.
PROV DENCE 58
(D2) IOWA 90,
Drake 60

(18) FLA. ST. 90.
Florida Atlantic 52
(21) ARKANSAS 108,
Bethune-Cookman 42
Penn State at
BRIGHAM YOUNG, inc.
NORTHWESTERN 90.
Troy State 52
ILLINOIS 88,
Texas-Pan Amer. 60

WOMEN'S NCAA
BASKETBALL
No. 2 UCONN 67,
Villanova 27
(20) ALABAMA 104,
Samford 43
No. 21 Arkansas at
ORAL ROBERTS, inc.

PRO
BASKETBALL
WASHINGTON 95,
Seattle 78
SAN ANTONIO 90,
New York 84
Atlanta 112,
DALLAS 79

Wednesday
December 3, 1997

Shaky start? Could get Shakey-er

By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
Here, please, have the ball, we insist.
No, no. It's OK. Take it. Oh, you don 't
want it? Don 't worry, we'll give it to you
anyway.
While this is not literally what the
Michigan basketball team is saying these
days, the Wolverines have displayed
extreme kindness to their opponents in
the first four games of the season.
A disturbing trend is occurring -
Michigan (3-1) is turning the ball over

far more than it should.
The Wolverines have recorded 89
turnovers to 51 assists in the first four
games. This includes Sunday's season-
high, 27-turnover performance (10
assists) against Detroit. It took a last-sec-
ond layup for the Wolverines to pull out
a 54-53 win.
While the Wolverines had trouble
breaking the Titans' full-court press, they
committed many silly turnovers against
the half-court defense as well.
"Eighty-percent of the turnovers that

we have had in the last few games have
come in the half-court," Michigan coach
Brian Ellerbe said. "Because of the pres-
sure, you remember the ones in the back-
court because they are easier to pick out
in the course of the game."
Press or no press, Michigan will try to
buck the trend when it faces Florida
International (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. tonight in
Crisler Arena. The game, which will be
the first-ever between the two teams,
will not be televised.
The Wolverines are giving the ball to

Ann lemire leads the Michigan women's hoops team Into Grand Rapids tonight.
women travel in
Grand tl tonight

By B.R Luria
Daily Sports Writer
The crowd won't be rooting for one
team in particular, but don't think that
tonight's game isn't important to the
Michigan women's basketball team.
The Wolverines (4-1 overall) travel to
the Grand Rapids Community College
Gerald Ford Fieldhouse tonight to take
enCentral Michigan (3-2) in a game in
ich neither team has the home court
advantage.
The Wolverines are coming off a 104-
72 victory over Furman in the consola-
tion game of the Florida International
Tournament over the weekend. The vic-
tory followed a heartbreaking 69-67 loss
to host Florida International.
Pollyanna Johns continued her domi-
nance underneath the basket during the
tournament and was named to an all-
*Ornament team for the second time this
season. Johns scored 24 points in the
victory over Furman and added 17 in the
losing effort against the Golden
Panthers.
Central Michigan comes into the con-
test having been blown out in both of its
games last weekend. The Chippewas
lost, 71-49, to Colorado on Saturday and
fell to St. Joseph's on Sunday, 77-51.
In each of their three wins, the
*ippewas had at least three players
scoring in double digits. Shelley Woods
leads the team in scoring, averaging 13
points per game. Just behind her is Kerry
Nora, who averages 12.8. Julie Miller,

the leading returning scorer from last
year's team, is averaging 10.8 points, and
she also leads the team with 15 steals
through five games.
While Central Michigan's scoring has
been spread out among the players, it
hasn't been distributed on the floor --
Central Michigan is woeful from 3-point
range.
The Chippewas have converted only
nine of 37 attempts from beyond the arc,
while their opponents have made 22-of-
50 tries. Michigan, on the other hand, is
deadly from 3-point range. The
Wolverines nailed eight 3-pointers in
just one game last week, a 93-81 victory
over Illinois State.
The Wolverines are also improving
from the free-throw line after struggling
early in the season. Against Furman on
Saturday, Michigan converted 25 of 34
attempts from the charity stripe, good
for 73.5 percent. The Wolverines were
shooting only 61.7 percent from the line
entering Saturday's game.
Michigan was' predicted to finish
fourth in the conference in preseason
polls and still has several kinks to work
out before the Big Ten season starts on
Dec. 28.
Michigan coach Sue Guevara has
repeatedly stressed the importance of
cutting down on turnovers and improv-
ing from the free-throw line. With a few
more games under their belts, the
Wolverines hope to be ready when Ohio
State comes to town on Dec. 28.

their opponents as if the game is being
played "winners-outs" streetball style -
where the team that scores gets the ball
right back.
If the Wolverines aren't careful, their
turnovers could mount against them
tonight. The Golden Panthers, who hail
from the East Division of the Trans
America Athletic Conference, forced 18
and 21 turnovers in their two wins over
Long Beach State and Lafayette this past
weekend.
Marcos Rodriguez, otherwise known
as "Shakey," is in his third year as coach
of the Golden Panthers.
But it is Rodriguez's nickname that
well suits the Wolverines and the way
they have brought the ball up the court
against the full-court press.
On Sunday, there were many times
when the guards were trapped in the cor-
ners or not aggressively cutting to the
ball, forcing the forwards to dribble the
ball to mid-court.
"I don't think we have been as aggres-
sive as we need to attacking the press,"
said Michigan forward Jerod Ward, who
is off to a quick start, averaging 14.3
points. "We just get the basketball and let
the press attack us and then we back up
and we're on our heels.'
Ward, who had three turnovers against
Detroit to go along with his 12 points,
sometimes found himself - instead of
Robbie Reid, Louis Bullock or Travis
Conlan - taking the ball up the court.
Maceo Baston and Robert Traylor also
had the burden of getting the ball to the
mid-court line.
The return of Conlan could help. He
played 24 minutes off the bench in his
first action of the regular season, scoring
two points with an assist and two steals.
The co-captain was sidelined for a
month after suffering a broken right
wrist in the first exhibition game, against
Athletes in Action, on Nov. 3.
For at least one more week, Conlan
will wear a soft cast made of silicone
rubber. Because of the cast, Ellerbe said
he will not start. There are still things
that Conlan may have trouble doing.
"I don't really have the confidence
level to drive and pull up and shoot,"
Conlan said. "I can shoot a wide open
shot. I can shoot free throws, I can drib-
ble the ball fine.
"I want to get this cast off so bad,"
Conlan said."It's frustrating because you
can't do what you want to do.
Sometimes I try to dribble-drive and pull
it back out and say maybe I can't make
that shot:'
Conlan and the Wolverines will have
to keep an eye on Golden Panthers fresh-
man Raja Bell. The junior forward, who
transferred from Boston University, has
averaged a team-high 21.3 points in
addition to 5.8 rebounds per game.

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Maceo Baston and the rest of the Michigan men's basketball team face Shakey Rodriguez's run-and-gun, press-oriented
Florida International team tonight. The Wolverines are averaging more than 22 turnovers per game.

Seniors lead first-ever tourney-bound 'M' spikers

T.J. Berka
ily Sports Writer
The Michigan volleyball team saw
many records and streaks fall this sea-
son. It set records for conference wins
with 13 and for overall wins with 20.
The Wolverines broke a 20-game losing
streak against rival Ohio State and made
the NCAA Tournament for the first time
ever.
As the season wore on, opposing
aches were more and more impressed
,yMichigan's experience and poise.
Much of that poise can be attributed to
this year's senior class of Linnea
Mendoza, Sarah Jackson and Darlene
Recker.
Mendoza, Jackson and Recker have
seen just about everything in their tenure
at Michigan. The Wolverines have gone
from an NCAA afterthought to a top-30
program in the past four years, and the
niors have had a lot to do with it.
"ach one of them offers very differ-
ent things,' Michigan coach Greg
Giovanazzi said. "I'm not one to demand
that-players hang out with each other off
the court, but the three of them have
been part of a great team on the court."
Mendoza, Michigan's all-time assist
leader, is the vocal leader on the court.
Currently sixth in the nation with 14.1
assists per game, Mendoza is known as
*uch for her work ethic as for her sets.
"Lirinea has been a leader because of
her desire to make a mark," Giovanazzi

said. "She has great talent, but her dedi-
cation to getting better has made her a
leader.
"She has been in the top 10 in assists
for the past two years and is intent on
becoming one of the elite players in the
country."
On her way to becoming one of the
nation's best, Mendoza has passed many
milestones. After becoming Michigan's
all-time assist leader last season, she has
passed the 4,000-assist milestone and is
only 11 assists away from totaling 5,000
over her career. She also passed the
1,000-dig barrier three weeks ago
against Iowa.
Jackson is also one of Michigan's all-
time elite volleyball players. A three-
time Academic All-American, she was a
preseason All-Big Ten selection as well.
"Sarah keeps the team loose,"
Giovanazzi said. "She has a lot of self-
confidence and has a lot of experience,
both from her play and her sister's expe-
rience.
"She is a very calm presence out on
the court."
Jackson's sister, Jenny, was an All-Big
Ten player at Ohio State and is currently
a member of the U.S. National Team.
She is not the only member of the
Jackson family, however, to rack up
noteworthy statistics at the collegiate
level.
Jackson passed the 1,000-kill plateau
against the Hawkeyes and finished the

regular season with 1,068 kills, second
in Michigan history.
She is 56 kills away from all-time
leader Michelle Horrigan, who graduat-
ed in 1993. If the Wolverines make a run
in the tournament, Horrigan's mark is
not out of reach.
Recker's road has been quite different
from the roads that Jackson and
Mendoza took at Michigan. A backup
middle blocker behind Jackson and
junior Linsey Ebert, Recker has only
seen spot duty in her final season as a
Wolverine.
Recker and freshman Joanne Fielder
make up the heart of Michigan's second
team and battle with the starters at every
practice. Their talents help the
Wolverines simulate match conditions
in practice sessions.
"Darlene can start for most Big Ten
teams, but doesn't get that much playing
time due to Jackson and Ebert,"

Giovanazzi said. "She is the leader of
the second team and helps get the first
team prepared for their upcoming
games."
Recker, unlike Jackson and Mendoza,
was redshirted for her freshman season,
making her the oldest player on the
team. She is also the only remnant from
Giovanazzi's first recruiting class at
Michigan.
"Recker came in here as a raw ath-
lete" Giovanazzi said. "She really didn't
have the conditioning necessaryto play
when she arrived here, but she has real-
ly worked to become a high-quality
player."
The Wolverines have set many histor-
ical precedents on their way to their
first tournament appearance. And while
Michigan has enough talent to remain
on the national scene, the senior class of
1997 will not be forgotten in terms of
leadership and desire.

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