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October 27, 1997 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-27

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - October 27, 1997 - 78

Keady has Boilermakers poised for run at Big

Ten title

By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
CHICAGO -- Two things were noticeably
missing yesterday at the Big Ten Media Day -
Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight and the
Michigan basketball team's media guide.
While the lack of the Wolverines' media guide
S not a surprise due to the recent firing of
,higan basketball coach Steve Fisher and
Friday's hiring of Brian Ellerbe as the Wolverines'
interim coach, Knight's absence raised some eye-
brows.

A Big Ten representative informed the media
prior to Indiana's turn at the podium that Knight
had received permission from the conference to
not attend yesterday's luncheon.
Instead, Ron Felling, a Hoosier administrative
assistant whose job entails watching the team
from the stands, took the microphone.
But he didn't get 9ff to a good start.
"Oh, opening remarks ... huh," he said as he
stood there, unfamiliar with the conference's for-
mat.

the annual preseason media luncheon, Felling said
Knight was holding his annual coaching clinic.
According to Felling, the clinic was, "somehow
scheduled on the same day as this event."
Did Knight, who has never been a fan of the
media, have any words of wisdom for Felling to
tell the press?
"Coach (Knight) didn't give any messages to
relay to you," Felling said. "How's that?"
But Purdue coach Gene Keady, whose Purdue
team returns all five starters from last season and

season Big Ten men's basketball poll, chuckled
when asked about Knight's absence.
Keady said he conducted his own fall clinic
yesterday and, "everything was great until we
practiced."
The Boilermakers' coach, returning for his 18th
season as Purdue's man in charge, provided the
most opinionated point of the afernoon. Keady
said coaching nowadays is completely different
than when he started, referring to the trends of
Generation-X players.
"They want to have fun, they don't want people

telling them what to do, Keady said. "They want
to do things at their own rate, but they don't want
to be on time. Because of our society right now,
that is my biggest hang-up.
"Although l love kids and I love teaching, I love
coaching, I love my job, Generation X has a prob-
lem. It couldn't be me."
Besides the absence of Knight and the
Michigan coaching situation, the biggest topic of
conversation was the inception of the Big Tet
tournament, taking place March 5-8, at the Uniteol
Center in Chicago.

When asked why Knight did not show up for was picked to finish first by the media in the pre-

Women's basketball
coaches seek respect

By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
CHICAGO - The Michigan
women's basketball team has had prob-
lems earning respect - in the confer-
ence and in the nation.
But at yesterday's Big Ten media lun-
cheon, the lack of respect the Wolverines
receive wasn't the only thing on
Michigan coach Sue Guevara's mind.
The Big Ten conference is having prob-
lems of its own in that area.
"Watching all the basketball that I've
watched in the past year, I think we're
one of the top leagues in the country,"
Guevara said. "But we haven't been in a
Final Four yet as the Big Ten. Until we
get there, we're not going to get the same
type of prestige that the Southeastern
Conference gets."
Northwestern coach Don Perrelli
agreed, but said that's an excuse rather
than a valid reason.
"We haven't had a history of Final
Fours or national championships,"
Perrelli said. "And I guess until we get
that, people will look at us as a confer-
ence that is looking to be recognized."
Perrelli was like a preacher, giving
anyone with a pen and a notebook his
sermon on respect.

He spoke about the Big Ten and its
reputation as a step-sister to the major
women's basketball conferences, like the
Southeastern Conference and the
Atlantic Coast Conference. And he said
the problem starts in the Big Ten itself.
"If you're not going to say that my
team is as good as Toledo, or Bowling
Green, or Boston College - who are
getting votes (in the Top 25 polls) -then
there's something wrong," Perrelli said.
"There's something wrong in this room."
While most coaches were complain-
ing about lack of respect, one was show-
ing a lot of it. Ohio State first-year coach
Beth Burns said respect for the Big Ten
was one of the reasons she left San Diego
State, a Western Athletic Conference
team.
"At San Diego State, I had to win the
WAC to make the tournament," Burns
said. "If I win the Big Ten, I've got a
good chance at the national champi-
onship"
Burns took San Diego to the NCAA
tournament four times. And, ironically, if
Burns can bring the same success to
Ohio State, the nation's respect for the
Big Ten has a good chance to improve -
something all the coaches would appre-
ciate.

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Molly Murray and the Michigan women's basketball team hopes to build on last
season's 7-9 Big Ten, 15-11 overall finish. Murray's teammate, center Pollyanna
Johns,was selected to the preseason all-Big Ten team.

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ELLERBE
Continued from Page 1B
During the search, which lasted almost
two weeks, Goss consulted with the
team's captains - Traylor and senior
Travis Conlan - who relayed the play-
ers'.desire to retain the current staff.
Sunior Louis Bullock and the rest of
team had a message for Goss.
"We voiced our opinions to keep our
family together" Bullock said.
CBS television analyst Billy Packer,
on the other hand, had a lot to say about
the way the University dismissed Fisher.
"It was all handled about as poorly as
you can ever handle a situation," Packer
said. "If you decide you are going to
make a change in your coaching position,
t make a change and say, 'We are
ng after a different coach.'
"But the cloud in which (Fisher) was
dismissed, as if he was attached to the
major violations - I don't understand
the University at all:'
Packer said. Fisher was unfairly made
the scapegoat when he was fired, and that
Goss-was to blame for the chaotic search
that ensued.

"College basketball showed a horrible
picture of how something was poorly
handled by somebody who was ill-
equipped to handle it," he said.
As for Ellerbe, the television analyst
said the Wolverines' team leadership will
allow for a smoother transition for the
new coach. But Packer was curious
whether Goss would erase the word
"interim" from Ellerbe's title.
"The only thing that I find difficult is
whenever that term "interim" is attached
to your name - at what point in the sea-
son are you no longer the interim guy?"
Packer said.
Whatever the future holds for Ellerbe,

right now his players are relieved that
there will be no drastic changes on the
court, which could have happened had a
coach from outside the program been
brought in.
"We are going to be able to add on to
the things that we've already put in,
instead of just deleting everything,"
Bullock said.
The only threat that the sharp-shooting
Bullock may have to worry about is
Ellerbe's claim about his own shooting
prowess.
"If you come to Michigan, you will
never be the best shooter in the program,"
Ellerbe said. "I am."

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