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Sports Desk: 647-3336
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Players: Fisher is a scapegoat
By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
Former players and present Michigan coaches showed feel-
s s of disgust yesterday over the firing of Michigan basket-
coach Steve Fisher.
The news reached far beyond the Ann Arbor limits. Former
Wolverines and their families from all across the nation blew
steam about the way things were handled and felt sorry for
the players in the post-Fisher era.
The harshest reaction came from Fab-Five phenom and
now Washington Wizards NBA star, Chris Webber.
"After all the things he's done for Michigan, it's rather
spineless of the University," Webber said in an Associated
Press report. "I know a lot of basketball players who have
Wn through the program the last 50 years that feel like they
e no allegiance to the school anymore."
Webber, who was the first of the talented recruiting class to
bolt to the NBA in 1993 after Michigan lost to North Carolina
in the NCAA championship game, 77-71, spoke highly of his
ex-coach and said that it is going to hard to replace him.
"They used to call him Barney Fife, because he was so
honest," Webber said. "And that's the way he is. I wouldn't
want to be the next guy coming in. It's going to be hard for
him to get some love."
It looked as though Fisher received that love and support
over the weekend.
The Detroit News reported that the scene inside Fisher's
house Saturday night was an emotional one. According to the
report, freshman guard Brandon Smith said that everybody
inside Fisher's house was crying.
A spokesman for Fisher at his home Sunday night said the
former Michigan coach refused to comment and that every-
thing he had to say would be at an afternoon press conference
Current Michigan coaches of other sports not only were
angered by Athletic Director Tom Goss's firing of Fisher, but,
now with Fisher gone, were upset with the ways the last few
Michigan basketball coaches have been treated.
"It seems all the high-profile basketball coaches here at
Michigan walk in the door and are carried out feet first,"
Michigan wrestling coach Dale Bahr said. "It happened to
Johnny Orr, Bill Frieder and now a wonderful family-man in
Steve Fisher. They don't get the respect within the Athletic
Frieder left uncerimoniously from Michigan in 1989 to
become coach of Arizona State. Just before the 1989 NCAA
tournament had begun, Frieder said he was going to take the
position at Arizona State. Athletic Director Bo Schembechler
chose Fisher to run his team, beginning immediately with the
first round of the tournament. Fisher and the Wolverines went
on to win the championship, beating Seton Hall, 80-79 -
Steve Fisher hugs Sabrina Lloyd, Maurice Taylor's aunt, after
Michigan won the NIT in March.
giving Fisher a perfect 6-0 career coaching start at Michigan.
Rumors circulated, though, that Frieder and Schembechler
didn't get along.
See FISHER, Page 38
Michigan 3, Minnesota 2
Michigan 23, Northwestern 6
Icers upset Gophers,
V INNEAPOLIS - It takes some
time for a team to mature into a single,
cohesive unit. For the Michigan hockey
team, it seemed to take a whole period.
The Wolverines won two games in
their first weekend of action. After
defeating Minnesota, 3-2, on Friday, the
Wolverines demolished Toronto, 9-2,
A come-from-behind victory Friday
he Target Center in Minneapolis set
stage for yesterday's blowout at Yost
The Wolverines were running on all
cylinders in their first home game of the
season. After freshman defenseman Bob
Gassoff scored Michigan's first goal in
his first collegiate game, the Wolverines
never gave the Varsity Blues a chance to
"Toronto wasn't as strong a team as
0 were," Michigan coach Red
erenson said. "But they're big and
strong and the same age as we are. We
hockey team sur-
on Friday night,
3-2. The game,
played at the
Target Center in
MALLORY SE. FLOYD
just took advantage of this as a tune-up
For the first eight minutes, the
Wolverines allowed the Varsity Blues to
keep the game close. Michigan couldn't
capitalize on a Toronto penalty 1:08 into
But after Gassoff's goal, the flood-
gates opened with a three-goal first peri-
od for Michigan.
"They shouldn't have played with us
even for a minute," said freshman Scott
Matzka, who also scored his first career
The Gassoff goal was an all-freshman
score, as Josh Langfeld and Troy Kahler
each notched an assist. Nine newcomers
competed in the blowout, with Gassoff,
Kahler and Bill Trainor seeing action for
the first time this the season.
"The freshmen seem to be fitting in'
Berenson said. "They have things to
learn, but they seem very coachable."
The game was so secure after the first
period that Berenson pulled starter
See SWEEP, Page 78
a charm for
By DanIelle Rumore
Daily Sports Editor
The way the first quarter was going, it appeared that the cycle
was going to continue. Two offsides penalties in the first six
plays of the game, seven penalties overall and trouble finding
the end zone from the red zone early on made it look like
Michigan was still struggling to rip its albatross, Northwestern,
from around its neck.
But after another reliable defensive performance, timely third
down conversions down the stretch and a little bit of luck, the
sixth-ranked Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten, 5-0 overall) put together
a good enough game to beat Northwestern for the first time in
three attempts, 23-6, in front of 106,048 at Michigan Stadium.
The Wildcats (0-3, 2-5) have given the Wolverines fits the
past two years, beating Michigan two years ago at Michigan
Stadium and last year in Evanston. The Wolverines, like in
Saturday's game, entered each of the previous two contests with
a No. 6 ranking and an undefeated record before losing both
games, leading to back-to-back subpar seasons.
"Yeah, it (the two losses) was brought up a lot," Michigan
wide receiver Russell Shaw said. "I'm just glad we beat them,
because they have been in our way the past two years."
The Wolverines were plagued by another shaky offensive
effort, including two consecutive turnovers in the third quar-
The Wolverines amassed 141 total rushing yards, but tail-
back Chris Howard was the only Michigan player to rush for
more than 20 yards. He carried the ball 18 times for 90 yards,
39 more yards than fullback Chris Floyd, tailback Clarence
Williams, running back Anthony Thomas and quarterback
Brian Griese combined.
Griese was steady in the pocket, completing 23 of 36 passes.
for 244 yards and two touchdowns. But he and the rest of the
Wolverines had trouble converting in the red zone early on, and
he was sacked once.
The Wolverines' offensive sputter forced them to rely on their
defense, which turned in yet another near-perfect performance.
For the second-straight game, the defense held its opponent
See WILDCATS, Page 5B
Defense will have
to cany this team
y ou can hear them now. All the believers counting
down until the Penn State game, making plane
reservations to California (and Florida, just in
But this time, there is no doubt
the Wolverines have the kind of
defense that can win games all by
itself. Two touchdowns allowed all
season. The six points that
Northwestern put on the scoreboard
actually raised Michigan's points
JOHN per game average from 5.0 to 5.2,
LEROI still tops in the nation.
Out of Well, if the 5-0 Wolverines want
Bounds this year to be different from the
past four, their defense had better
win some games, because the
offense probably won't.
Not that they've been bad with the ball - they
haven't - but Mike DeBord's offense is meant to con-
trol the ball and make the most of its opportunities. The
only nroblem is. sometimes. Michigan can't even hold
Jerame Tuman (80) celebrates one of his two touchdown receptions with linemen Jon Jansen (77) and
Zach Adami (68). Tuman caught five passes in all, for a total of 79 yards.
M' volleyball looking
for 'Magic' combo
By Josh Klelnbaum
Daily Sports Writer
Oliichigan volleyball coach Greg
Giovanazzi has been searching for the
Saturday, he found them, as Karen
Chase and Jane Stevens helped
Michigan beat No. 25 Illinois at Huff
Hall for the first time since 1983, 15-
12, 15-12, 15-13. But on Friday, he did-
n't, and No. 10 Wisconsin swept the
Wolverines, 15-12, 15-7, 15-10.
The victory over Illinois improved
Wolverines' conference record to 5-
1, the best start in the program's histo-
The Magic Two is Giovanazzi's term
for the right combination of outside hit-
ters. Chase, Stevens, Sarah Behnke and
Anne Poglits are the candidates, and the
pairing can change on any given day.
A oninct Wienncin the Wolverines
played one game and returned to the
bench with only one kill, four errors
and an attack percentage of minus-.600.
"Karen just played poorly on Friday,"
Chase's struggles affected the whole
team. In the first two games of the
match, the Wolverines' attack percent-
ages were a measly .128 and .122,
So Giovanazzi plugged in Behnke,
and the freshman responded. She had
10 kills, all of them in the third game,
as the Wolverines jumped out to a 7-0
"She was just on fire in that third
game," Giovanazzi said. "All of her
skills showed in that game."
But then, what is typically the
Wolverines' biggest strength, their side-
out game, collapsed, and the Badgers
came hack to take the game cdesnite the
Dhani Jones and
Hughes on the
run all afternoon.
Jones, who led
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