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February 02, 1998 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-02

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - February 2, 1998 - 3B

& JRose
Former Fab Fiver speaks his mind about time at 'M'

SPRS 4 a 4, I

--.I-

When Jalen Rose arrived at Michigan
as afreshman in 1991, everyone on cam-
pus alreadv knew him - he was one of
the Fab Five. For the next two seasons,
along with classmates Chris Webber
Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray
Jackson, they 'shocked the world' with
their long shorts and alley-oops.
After his junior season, Rose left
Michigan for the NBA - one year after
Webber declared his eligibility. Rose left
school as one of only two (now three)
players in Michigan history to record
1,500 points, 400 rebounds and 100
steals. He also set the U-M scoring
record by a fieshman with 597 points.
Drafted by the Denver Nuggets 13th
overall in 1994, Rose spent nearly two
seasons with the Nuggets bef re he was
traded to the Indiana Pacers. Now in the
Pacers' maize and blue, Rose seems to
have found a home in the Indiana back-
court.
The Daily's Jordan Field recently sat
down with Rose to talk about his favorite
video games, the Fab Five and Michigan
football.
Daily: When you first arrived at
Michigan as a freshman, you were a part
of one of the most coveted and publi-
cized recruiting classes in the history of
college basketball. Did you feel pressure
as a part of the Fab Five to succeed at
Michigan'?
Rose: There was a lot surrounding the
whole situation, but I thought we han-
* died it well. It allowed the five of us to
grow up fast, and looking back, that
helped all of us become men.
Sure, there was pressure, but at times
I enjoyed it. Everything is so new going
away to school, but I was so excited it
really didn't matter.
D: How are your relationships now
with those four guys?
R: We are all still close. We watch
each other's games, Chris actually just
paged me and he was watching the game

tonight. We still support each other and I
know that will never stop. We spent a lot
of time together at Michigan on and off
the court and I think we are all thankful
for those times together.
D: Yourself and Webber and Howard
have all seemed to find a home in this
league, but unfor-
tunately Jimmy
King and Ray
Jackson haven't
been successful as
of yet in the NBA.
How do you react ;
to that situation?
R: Well, it's
very unfortunate.H
I feel those guys
can play at this
level, and they are
just like so many f~
other people out
there - they just
need a chance. It's
like any other job3
out in the world, you need an opportuni-
ty to prove you can handle the job. I
know they can do it, but hopefully they
will have the chance to prove to some
other people that they can do it too. And
for the meantime, I'm going to do my
best to represent. I
D: You guys had some great teams at
Michigan but never won the NCAA title
game. How did you react to the infa-
mous Webber time-out near the end of
the championship game against North
Carolina?
R: I'm thinking "we don't have any." I
was just like, Oh, man. But when it hap-
pened we were only down one, and real-
ly I didn't think that mistake was going
to make us lose the game.
To me the game still wasn't over. I
wasn't thinking "he blew the game" or
anything because even after that we were
only down three, so I was still thinking
we could win.
D: How do you think it would have

been different had you guys won that
game?
R: Well, no one could say 'they were
good, but they never won it.' In life win-
ning isn't everything and I felt we
accomplished a lot while we were at
Michigan, and winning that game would
have been great,
but wouldn't have
changed too many
of my memories
from school.
But you know,
for the state of
Michigan and for
the University it
would have been
great to win the
>:<championship.
For so long
Michigan has
been predomi-
nately a football
school, but win or
lose I felt that
team put the basketball program on the
map and really instilled a lot of pride in
the program and in the school.
A lot of people came out to support us
those years and regardless of how the
five of us perform in the pros or how
much money we make, we will always
be remembered as the Fab Five. And I
love that.
D: Aside from your teammates, I also
know you were very close with Perry
Watson, who was your high school
coach at Southwestern, and an assistant
at Michigan while you were there. Do
you still speak with him often?
R: Oh yeah. He is like a father to me.
He was a counselor, mentor and every-
thing to me in high school, college and
still now. I talk with him often, especial-
ly in the off season or when I'm in town.
He's taught me a lot about basketball and
about life.
D: What are you best memories from
going to school at Michigan?

R: My best memory is just being a
part of it - the whole thing. I loved
every moment of it. Playing ball, going
to class, meeting people. Those years
were the best times of my life. I'll never
forget it.
D: I know you played a lot of video
games at school. Is that still something
you do in your free time? And what it's
like to see yourself in the video games?
R: Oh yeah. I've been playing a lot of
Madden '97 and '98 basketball. It's cool
to see myself on the basketball games.
It's weird because I love playing the
games, but I hate being myself because I
get too mad if I miss a shot that I know
I would have made.
I like being Washington and playing
with Chris and Juwan and seeing what
they can do for me.
D: What about in real life? Chris and
Juwan have met up in Washington play-
ing together. Do you ever think about
playing with them again in the NBA?
R: It would be nice to play with them,
sure, but, hopefully I've found a home
for myself here with Indiana. I love the
guys here and it's not too far from home
so that my family or friends can visit me
and come see me play. It's important to
stay close to people like that from home.
D: I know Webber was pretty vocal
about the Steve Fisher firing. How do
you feel about the whole situation?
R: I've got a lot of love for Steve
Fisher. I'm disappointed that he doesn't
have his job there anymore, and it's
unfortunate the way it happened. But
what happened, happened.
Hopefully if he wants to coach again,
he'll find a job that makes him happy. He
did a great job with us when I was at
Michigan, and if he finds a new team to
coach, then that will be one more for me
to root for.
- For questions or suggestions about
futue or past Q&A s, Jordan Field can
be reached over e-mail at
jmfield~ajunich.edit.

ALAN
GOLDENBACH
The Bronx Bomber
Memo to Goss: Ellerbe i
theinman for the posfi'n
B rian Ellerbe and I could relate to one another. Not that we have had the chance
to do so or anything, but we're in similar situations that few can envy: As of
right now, neither one of us knows what we will be doing next fill.
I'm graduating in May and the Michigan men's basketball coach, excuse me,-
Michigan interim men's basketball coach, is in the midst of what appears to be
nine-month job interview. Our futures are about as stable as Steve Fisher's loyalty to
Michigan.
While the former ringleader of the Wolverines' circus contemplates suing the
employers that he says he will always "love" his successor is finding success under
circumstances for which not even Dean Smith could have prepared a winning game
plan.
Some people may feel that I have no reason to gripe about my job prospects, but
few can argue with Ellerbe's, who has been professional and classy enough to keep
them entirely to himself thus far, while Michigan is on pace for its best season since
1993-94, when Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard were playing out the string and
Robert Traylor was in the I11th grade.
Michigan needs to make a clear-cut decision on Ellerbe's future - and for that
matter, Michigan basketball's - now. Who is going to be the coach of this team
next season? (Heck, I might as well send Tom Goss my resume.) Better yet, who is
going to play for this team next season? (Maybe I'll try to walk on as a grad student.)
Goss said when he fired Fisher that he had long-term goals for this program. But
unless he makes a decision on who will lead the Wolverines, they will be going in
circles chasing their own tail.
The recruiting season is in full stride and while many schools have snagged
prospects during the early signing period, Michigan has just one commitment for
next year - Detroit Catholic Central forward Chris Young.
Conceding that Traylor will forego his senior season and apply for the NBA
Draft, which he nearly did last season, Michigan is looking at a starting lineup next
season of Louis Bullock, Robbie Reid, Brandon Smith, Josh Asselin and Peter
Vignier or Young.
And the Athletic Department is worried about selling tickets for this season?
Good gracious, Superfan may even be scared to venture into Crisler next year.
Michigan needs a coach now, whether it is Ellerbe or not, to put behind its program
for recruiting purposes.
Sure the names of Seton Hall's first-year coach Tomny Amaker and George
Washington's Mike Jarvis have surfaced as possible replacements. Amaker comes
from the Mike Krzyzewski school of coaching down at Duke, so basketball smarts
and clean programs are fundamental Xs and Os for him. Jarvis is the perennial big-
job candidate who always finds a way to stay in Washington, D.C.
But forget about Amaker and Jarvis for a minute and consider doing to Ellerbe
what Michigan did to Fisher. Nine years ago, that is.
Strip the interim label and give the guy the reins of the program. After yesterday's
very impressive victory over Iowa, Ellerbe looks like he will do what few thought
even Fisher could do this season with this bunch - take Michigan back to the
NCAA tournament. Perhaps they will even win a game there. But let's not get ahead
of ourselves.
Ellerbe has won over this team. Let's face it, many, if not all of the Wolverines
came to Michigan because of Fisher. They were comfortable with him and his peo-
ple and wanted to play for them.
Then, when faced with the opportunity of playing for someone who they had no
choice in selecting, many of them felt cheated. Remember, although college athletes
don't select their school's coach, they do select their own coach. No one on this team
selected Brian Ellerbe. Yet Ellerbe has given these players all that they could have:
asked for - victories. More victories at this point in the season than any one of the
players on this team have experienced.
Why not hire Ellerbe? Because he's not the big name that a school like Michigan
needs and thus he won't be able land top-notch recruits? Maybe that's what
Michigan needs -someone who shies away from the glitz and instead just concen-
trates on getting the job done. After all, it was the glamour of the Fab Five that ini-
tially landed this program in hot water.
But even if Michigan decides not to hire Ellerbe, some decision needs to be made
now. Decide what Ellerbe's job will be with this team next season, if he even has
one, and make an announcement: "Michigan is looking for a basketball coach for
next season. Interested candidates, talk to Tom Goss."
It's an awful situation Brian Ellerbe is in right now. For all he knows, Michigan
could tell him in April, "Thanks for 20 victories, but you can go find yourself anoth-
erjob." Michigan needs to show him the respect he deserves for the surprising suc-
cess and excitement he has brought to Crisler Arena. Make a decision on his future
now because delays will only hurt this program in the long term.
-Alan Goldenbach can be reached via email at agold~umich.edu.

Johns vs. Barnes? Not 'if you ask Pollyanna

By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
There she was. Pollyanna Johns, the big, 6-foot-3
center of the Michigan women's basketball team, lying
on the floor after Quacy Barnes, the big, 6-5 center for
* Indiana, muscled a rebound out of her hands. The frus-
tration on her face told the story of the game.
Johns and Barnes will both say the game wasn't
about them. They'll both explain how there are ten play-
ers on the court and basketball is a team game.
Don't listen to them.
Johns, arguably the best offensive center in the Big
Ten, and Barnes, arguably the best defensive one, were
the marquee matchup in Indiana's 67-58 victory over
------..---------- Michigan.
Basketball "I think Quacy has a little
more ability away from the bas-
Commentary ket, but Johns is better than
----------------- Quacy around the basket,"
Indiana coach Jim Izard said. "We tried not to put
Quacy on Johns too much to keep Quacy out of foul
trouble."
Johns set the pace early, converting on a three-point
play just two minutes into the game after being fouled.
"I don't think it's any different from playing any other
person," Johns said.
But after jumping out to an 8-0 lead, Michigan's
shooters went ice cold. And when they turned to Johns,
Barnes was right there. Barnes, whose 6-5 frame gives

her two inches on her Michigan counterpart, kept Johns
from hitting a field goal the rest of the half, holding her
to just two free throws.
Johns grabbed seven rebounds in the first frame, four
of them offensive, but some credit may go to
Michigan's dismal shooting - when you miss 23 of 30
shots, your teammates have plenty of chances on the
offensive boards.
Trailing by 12 at halftime, Johns responded in the
second half. The senior hit 4 of 6 shots from the field.
added three free throws, six more rebounds - five of
them offensive - and blocked two shots, keying a stir-
ring comeback bid. But it was too little, too late.
Although Barnes only blocked two shots - just
below her season average of 2.1 -- her defensive effort
was an impressive one. Using her tall frame to take
away shots in the low post, she frequently forced Johns
and Tiffany Willard to kick the ball back out to the
perimeter shooters, who were having trouble finding
the net.
She was also very tough to defend, and Michigan
resorted to fouling her, sending her to the charity
stripe 12 times - although Michigan coach Sue
Guevara suggested it was poor officiating that sent
Barnes to the line, not her team. Barnes capitalized,
hitting 11 of the free throws on the way to a 19-point

Michigan coach Sue Guevara said. "I know she had 19,
but I1 were from the free throw line"
While Barnes' strong play was influential to the
game, depth was just as important for the Hoosiers'
inside success. Forward Cindy Kerns provided a more-
than-adequate complement to Barnes. sometimes draw-
ing Johns off of Barnes. Kerns. a 6-2 junior, scored i I
points, grabbed five boards and blocked a career-high
four shots.
Michigan couldn't answer with a second inside pres-
ence. Willard tried, but in 10 minutes, she scored three
points, picked up two fouls, turned the ball over once
and took two 3-pointers, neither of which came close to
touching anything but air.
"We were able to play three players on Johns, and
they could only play one on us," Izard said. "That
worked to our advantage. We could use Quacy, Kerns
and Summar Maines."
When all was said and done, the two centers' lines
were eerily similar. Barnes had 19 points on 4-of-12
shooting. Johns had 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
Barnes added 10 rebounds, two blocks and two
steals. Johns added 14 rebounds, two blocks and one
steal.
But after the game, Barnes and her team could cele-
brate a hard-fought Big Ten road victory, while Johns
sat next to her coach in the press room, her sullen face
showing the pain of her second loss in three games.

performance.
"I thought we did a good.

job on Quacy Barnes,'

HOOSIERS
Continued from Page lB
However, it was not the layoff that
caused Michigan's flat play and poor
shooting, especially in the first half,
according to Molly Murray.
"We continued to do a lot of shoot-
ing in practice," Murray said. "I think
you saw a different team in the first
half than you have been seeing and
that included poor shooting. But I
wouldn't attribute it to the week off."
Murray's comments reflected the
battle against inconsistency that
Michigan has waged throughout the
Big Ten portion of its season.
Coming into the Indiana game, the
Wolverines were coming off a dra-
matic overtime victory against Iowa
last Sunday and seemed ready to
- mount a late-season run.
"It's frustrating. You know, we
played well against Iowa and then to
come out flat against Indiana just
baffles me," Guevara said. "I didn't
do a good job this week in practice."

The Wolverines have another week
off before they travel to Purdue next
Sunday to battle the Boilermakers,
who the Wolverines defeated at
Crisler Arena on Jan. 9 when Purdue
was ranked No. 23 in the nation.
The Boilermakers have since
dropped out of the national rankings,
but they still sit in third place in the
Big Ten.
Including the Purdue game,
Michigan has five games left in the
season - four of them on the road.
The Wolverines have beaten three
of those five teams already this sea-
son.
As they try to position themselves
for the Big Ten tournament and'make
their bid for an NCAA Tournament
invitation, the Wolverines, and espe-
cially their coach, realize the impor-
tance of every game.
"This one hurts," Guevara said.
"The good thing is that we have five
games left. Every single one is going
to be tough, there's no doubt about it.
But we can still get it done."

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