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January 28, 1998 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-28

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 28, 1998

Veteran Purdue coach regarded as best in the Big Ten

Continued from Page 10
have pointed out.
It helps the lower-seeded teams, the under .500 teams.
If one of the lower echelon teams such as Minnesota
(1-6) or Ohio State (0-6) - gets hot, then it can quick-
ly go from conference cellar dweller to NCAA qualifi-
And then there's the thought that if there is an on-the-
bubble NCAA tournament team, an early exit from the
conference tournament could dash any hopes ofjoining
the NCAA 64-school field.
But put aside those scenarios. Four games in four
days. College basketball teams rarely play two straight
games, let alone four.
"We're talking now about qualifying for one of those
top five spots in the league," Keady said, "so we don't
have to play four games in order to go the championship
game (of the conference tournament) and then be in the
NCAA automatically."
For the first time, seeding is not just something that
Big Ten coaches and players will find out about while
watching TV on the second Sunday of March.

"I get along with them
because I'm honest with
them and enthusiastic.."
- Gene Keady
Purdue men's basketball coach
on his relationship with his players

Big Ten teams are jockeying for one of the top five
spots in the conference tournament, since a top-five
seed means a bye for the first day of the tournament.
KEADY ON SociETY: In today's age of sports, top col-
legiate players rarely stay in school for the full four
years. Instead, they head to the NBA after three, some-
times even two, years of college ball.
Then ther- are those like the sensational Kobe Bryant
who skip college altogether and jump to the pros.
There's also incidents of players not respecting their
coaches, highlighted by the Latrell Sprewell incident.
Times sure have changed for Keady. The coach who
took the helm for the Boilermakers in the 1980-81 sea-
son has been around such collegiate stars as Joe Barry

Carroll and "Big [Dog," Glenn Robinson.
Keady doesn't blame today's kids for their problems.
Instead, he cites today's parents.
"I don't think the kids are different, I think how
they're raised is different because of one-parent fami-
lies," Keady said. "Society has a lot different standards
toward what is right and wrong."
"The education system is a lot different as far as dis-
cipline. l'm not blaming the children. I think it's us ...
But they probably would've said the same things back in
the 40s when I was in school"
How does Keady relate to today's players?
"I get along with them because I'm honest with them
and enthusiastic because I love what I do." he said.
ELLERBE ON KEADY: Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe,
who will be on the opposite sideline of Keady in
"Thursday's game, has high praise for the Purdue coach.
Ellerbe, in his first season as coach of the Wolverines,
said that if a coach remains with one team for as long as
Keady has, something's working.
"nytime you have that kind of experience, for that
long, you're very good at what you do' Ellerbe said.
"Obv cusly, lie's one of the best coaches that's ever seen
the sidelines"


Continued from Page 10
freshman Luke Recker

have led the

Michigan State
guard Mateen
Cleaves (right)
battles for a
loose ball in the
Spartans' Big Ten
battle with
Cleaves has led
the Spartans to
sole possession
of the conf-
erence lead.

Indiana charge with 16.9 points and 15.0
points per game, respectively.
The Hoosiers survived another Bobby
Knight casualty as ihe General's coaching
style was too much for sophomore Jason
Collier. Collier, who said he couldn't take
the verbal abuse, transferred to Georgia
Another prominent transfer was
Wisconsin's Sam Okey., who was suspend-
ed for the beginning of the regular season
and left school last month. Okey didn't get
to play in the Badgers' new 16,500-seat
Kohl Center, which Wisconsin (3-5)
unveiled two weeks ago.
Okey was accused of possession of
marijuana and was charged regarding an
incident this past summer in which Okey
was caught using a fake ID. Just this week,

Okey announced that he would transfer to
Iowva, but won't be allowed to play i!
January, 1999 at the earliest.
At 4-2 in the Big Ten, Iowa is the most
difficult team to figure out. After starting
off the season 14-1. the HIawkeyes lost on
their home floor to the Spartans by 21
points, and then fell to the Illini.
Freshman sensation Ricky Davis has
provided immediate scoring production,
leading the Hawkeyes with 13.0 points a
game, and Iowa coach Tom Davis' press-
oriented defense can always cause havoc
for conference foes.
Michigan plays the Hawkeyes on
Sunday in Iowa City. In such a tight con-
ference race. each game is important for
the Wolverines.
"These road games coming up against
Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State are defi-
nitely wins for us that we have to get in
order to be champions," Michigan guard
Travis Conlan said.
Penn State (2-4), Northwestern (1-6),
Minnesota (2-6) and Ohio State (0-6) are
the teams struggling in the conference.
'The one major surprise is how quickly the
Gophers have fallen after last year's Big
'en championship and Final Four appear-
t Heed i

Ann Lemire penetrates the Iowa defense off the dribble in Sunday's 69-65 over-
time victory over the Hawkeyes.

s ;.
,::>>oc rr ....1 . .:

Continued from Page 10
Her 11.8 points per game made her
third on the team in scoring. Add to that
3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game
and a team-high 46 percent shooting
from behind the 3-point line, and you
have a versatile player that is very diffi-
cult to defend.
Four times this season, Lemire has
led the team in scoring , including most
recently a 23-point performance in a
victory over Michigan State.
Lemire had a unique opportunity this
past summer, as the lone Wolverine on
the Big Ten All-Star Tour team: She
played six games in Austria, the Czech
Republic and Slovakia.
"It was a lot of fun" Lemire said. "It
was great to not only see teams in
Europe, but to get a chance to get to
know players from other Big Ten
Lemire played in all six games, start-
ing one. She averaged 7.5 points and
3.3 assists.
"The opponents were great. I really
enjoyed it." Lemire said. "I thought I
did pretty well. I felt I was as good as
anyone there."
Basketball came early for Lemire.
Her father, Jerome, played in college
for Central Michigan, and the sport was
a natural choice for Ann. By the time
she was seven or eight years old, she
was playing competitively.
In high school, Lemire was the star
on a Frankenmuth team that went 97-7
in her four-year tenure, including an
undefeated state championship in 1993.
Her senior year, she was named All-

American Honorable Mention and was
runner-up for Miss Michigan
Despite offers from across the coun-
try, Michigan was an easy choice for
Lemire. She wanted to stay close to4
home, and Michigan was the only in-
state team she even considered.
She arrived in Ann Arbor with high
expectations and lofty goals her fresh-
man year- including a goal of Big Ten
Freshman of the Year - only to tear an
anterior cruciate ligament before the
conference season even hegan.
"It was really tough," Lemire said. "I
had personal goals I set for myself, and
I lost all that." 4
Now Lemire is in a position to make
up for what she lost. With six games
remaining before the Big Ten tourna-
ment, the Wolverines are poised to
make a serious run at the tournament
championship, and gain their first-ever
berth in the NCAA tournament.
With star center Pollyanna Johns
playing below capacity with a knee
injury, Lemire has the chance to step
"I need to contribute more offensive-
ly," Lemire said. "I am the emotional
leader of this team. We don't know if
Pollyanna is going to be back. I have a
responsibility to step it up and make up
for her loss."
The final six games look grueling a-
four on the road, two against teams that
have already defeated the Wolverines.
But Lemire sees no reason why
Michigan can't win them all.
"They're all teams we can beat?
Lemire said. "We have beaten four of
them, and we should have beaten the
other two."

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