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February 11, 1998 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-11

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r|W Jl@ MiHome teams in CAPS
MEN'S COLLEGE No. 18 GEO. WASH. 61
BASKETBALL No. 22 Mass. 74,
lNo. 2 DUKE 86, DUQUESNE 68
Fonda State 72 No. 20 Syracuse 72,
No. 7 PURDUE 94 MIAMI, FLA. 63
Indiana 89, WOMEN'S
GEORGIA 86, COLLEGE
No. 12 Arkansas 70 BASKETBALL
No. 24 Rhode Island 69, RUTGERS 74,

No. 2 Connecticut 70
No. 9 Florida 110,
Central Florida 61
No. 13 Vanderbilt 65,
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 53
No. 21 CLEMSON 102,
Wofford 55

;fbe *ta hri

Tracking 'M' teams
The Michigan women's tennis team Will host
Tennessee tomorrow night at the Varsity Tennis
Center. The action will begin at 6 p.m.
Wednesday
February 11, 1998

ockey
surprising,
thlus far
By Fred Link
Daily Sports Writer
eseason predictions are funny
things. Sometimes they're accurate, but
more often they're not.
For instance, with 10 freshmen on
the roster, not many people gave the
Wolverines much of a chance of repeat-
ing as CCHA champions.
In fact, in their preseason poll, the
CCHA coaches picked Michigan to
finish third in the conference behind
ichigan State
hIami (Ohio). --------------
t with only HCk ey
ei gt games
reiing in the mme Y
reg1ar season, the -----------.
W6 verines have posted an impressive
174-1 conference mark and lead No. 3
Michigan State by three points in the
Qonfercnce standings.
As xpected, Michigan's best players
ave played like their best players. With
oals, Bill Muckalt has proven to be
tn of the most dangerous scorers in
college hockey.
.0,uba Berenzweig has become a
phystcal presence on the blue line, and
Marty Turco has proven that he is one
of'th best goaltenders in college hock-
ey.
Pibaps most important, the
W6┬░vrines have gotten unexpected
conibutions from players like Bobby
and Chris Fox, upperclassmen
wo htave been called upon to play
mni bigger roles on this team than in
the past.
Add some timely goals and a little
luck, and the Wolverines are having a
much better season than the coaches
predicted.
But wait. Maybe the coaches aren't
so wrong after all.
The Wolverines are 16-1-1 in games
*inst teams picked below them in the
coaches' poll - games they're expect-
ed to win. But Michigan is 0-4 against
Michigan State and Miami - the two
team the coaches picked to finish
ahead of the Wolverines.
SQ maybe the coaches are right.
Maybe this is an off-year for Michigan.
lt's not that games against the
Naiooks and the Fighting Irish aren't
important.
n fact, the Wolverines are in first
place because they found a way to beat
the less-talented teams while the
Spartans and the RedHawks have fal-
tered against lesser foes.
But if the Wolverines are going to
take the next step - by winning the
CCZ$A regular season or playoff
tit%- and make some noise in the
NCAA tournament - they'll have
to find a way to beat the elite teams
See HOCKEY, Page 12

Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien has made some tough decisions since taking
over this season. When he matches wits with Michigan coach Brian
Ellerbe tonight, he'll no doubt be ...

his I
By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Editor
When Jim O'Brien left his coaching
position at Boston College last April to
take the same job at Ohio State, he
probably couldn't have imagined the
Buckeyes' current situation - 0-9 in
the Big Ten and 7-15 overall - enter-
ing tonight's matchup with No. 21
Michigan at Crisler Arena.
"I never thought it was going to get
to that point," O'Brien said. "But I did-
n't anticipate the changes we had to
make."
Changes? What O'Brien did was
more like cleaning house.
Despite four consecu--

vay

Despite the team's strong statistics,
O'Brien is quick to point out that the
Buckeyes weren't exactly losing the
nucleus of a national power.
"Everybody talked about the poten-
tial of the team coming back, O'Brien
said. "But the bottom line was that
team had never won more than 10
games in one season."
But any consolation O'Brien may
have found in his team's situation was
soon dashed when the Buckeyes lost
yet another player, this one probably
more important than the other three
combined -- Stringer.
The junior guard and former Ohio
Mr. Basketball led the

tive losing seasons under
eight-year coach Randy
Ayers, there was hope
that this season would be
different - hope that
O'Brien could duplicate
what Maryland coach
Gary Williams did when
he left Boston College for
the Ohio State coaching
job in 1987. Williams
won 20 games during his
first season in Columbus.
But the hope and

---------------

Tonight's game
Who: Michigan vs. Ohio St.
Where: Crisler Arena
When:8 p.m., Ch. 6
Notable: Ohio State is still
searching for its first Big Ten
victory under coach Jill
O'Biien. Macco Baston is
doubtful for the contest
because of a foot injury.

Buckeyes in scoring,
assists, steals and minutes
last season, and was Ohio
State's best and most-
feared player.
The loss of Stringer was
out of O'Brien's control
- for a change - as: a
stress fracture in his back
has kept Stringer out all
season, effectively sealing
the Buckeyes' fate for the
season as well.
Now, 10 months after

expectation of a return to glory -just
five years earlier the Big Ten-champi-
on Buckeyes reached the NCAA
regionals - went by the wayside this
past September when O'Brien dis-
missed sophomore Trent Jackson and
juniors Shaun Stonerook and Jermaine
Tate from the team.
Stonerook was declared academi-
cally ineligible by Ohio State just days
before the season began, and Jackson,
along with current Buckeye Damon
Stringer, was charged with disorderly
conduct and resisting arrest.
The charges would later be dis-
missed, but scars remained.
"That was not easy at all," O'Brien
said. "The biggest thing for me was
some of those guys were not as com-
mitted as they needed to be."
It was an especially bitter pill for
O'Brien to swallow, considering the
talent he lost. Stonerook and Tate
played integral parts on last season's
team, and all three were on their way
to filling key roles in a bright future
for the Buckeyes.
Last season, Stonerook led the team
on the boards with 7.7 rebounds per
game.
Tate finished second in both scor-
ing, with 14.1 points per game, and
rebounding (6.4 rpg), but missed the
final 11 games due to a heart condi-
tion, while Jackson saw limited time
off the bench.

taking the helm, O'Brien will bring his
Buckeyes into Crisler Arena, minus
four key players from a season ago.
And minus the hopes and dreams of
a breakthrough season.
Nevertheless, O'Brien said he is just
as optimistic as he was the day he
accepted the Ohio State job.
"The commitment of the adminis-
tration to success and the passion of
the fans - Ohio State has some pretty
good potential," O'Brien said.
Considering the results thus far,
O'Brien has reason to be thrilled with
the support he and the Buckeyes have
received.
Just last week, fans filled St. John
Arena to near-capacity with crowds
upward of 10,000 and 12,000 for
games against Michigan State and
Purdue, respectively.
Although Ohio State fans have had
some reason to cheer - freshman sen-
sation Michael Redd is the Big Ten's
second-leading scorer - O'Brien has
to be pleased with the support consid-
ering his team's performance.
"I think everyone realized we were
going to have to take one step back:to
take two steps forward later" O'Brien
said.
BENCHING BASTON?: The results of
a CAT scan on Maceo Baston's foot
will be announced later today and his
playing status will be determined at
that time.

WARREN ZINN/ Daily
Brian Ellerbe (above) and Jim O'Brien have quite a bit in common. Each Is in his first season at a school where football over-
shadows basketball. The difference arises when observing won-loss records. The Buckeyes are winless in the Big Ten.

Kimball's proposal inspires
forgotten Michigan divers
*ue springboard specialists aimed for sleep after coach's challenge

100 T

DIVE INTO
BiG TEN
SPORTSEIN THE
DAiLy - EVERY
DAY.

By Jaob R. Wheeler
Daly Sports Writer
One week ago, the Michigan men's
divers. found themselves in an all-too-
familiar situation. The Wolverines were
stuck in the shadows of their counter-
parts on the swimming team once again.
The Michigan swimming and diving
eam had whipped Indiana, 154-86, on
Jan. 31. But the springboard specialists,
* hadn't won since 1997, were over-
matched by a stronger group of
Hoosiers. Only one diver -junior Brett
Wilmot - placed in the top three in
Air ;springboard event. On the other
side of Canham Natatorium, the swim-
mers won every single event.
Something had to be done.
They needed a boost, and Dr. Kimball
-whohas been teaching for almost 40
y rs at Michigan - prescribed it to
Diving coach Dick Kimball issued his
:arm a challenge and proposed a reward.
f the divers swept the top three places in
>oth the one-meter and three-meter

events against Michigan State this past
Friday, they could skip today's early
practice and sleep in this morning.
"That was just a motivational thing to
try and get them to do well," he said. "I
wasn't going to be here for the meet. So
I wanted to give them incentive before-
hand."
Kimball also coaches the women's
diving team and that took him out of
town Friday evening. But who says you
need to be present to instill motivation?
"Our coach gave us the challenge last
week that if we swept the top three spots
on both boards, we wouldn't have to
come in Wednesday morning," Wilmot
said. "It's nice to have a morning off
because we're usually in here five or six
times a week. So there was a little extra
incentive."
Unfortunately for Wilmot, he didn't
get to sleep in, because the Wolverines
fell just short of Kimball's challenge.
The team's star contributed his share -
winning both springboard events con-
vincingly, by more than 20 points each.

But Nate Shepard and Josh Trexler
couldn't wrap up a sweep. Shepard fin-
ished third in the one-meter dive and
fourth in the three-meter. Trexler took
second in the three-meter and fourth in
the one-meter event
"Overall, we did pretty well," Wilmot
said. "But going 1-2-3 is pretty tough.
Three people have to dive exceptionally
well for that to happen."
So the Wolverines didn't quite reach
Kimball's goal. They didn't sweep the
Spartans, they're not dozing their morn-
ing away and they certainly are not out
from under the swimming team's shad-
ow.
Nevertheless, Dr. Kimball's motiva-
tional medicine did the job. Michigan's
divers faced a strong Ohio State team on
Saturday, and nearly knocked off the
favored Buckeyes.
Wilmot, Trexler and Shepard all
placed in the top five in both events.
Wilmot finished just 3.6 points behind
the winner, Mike McIntyre, in the three-
meter dive.

mr-o, %N -7-

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