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January 09, 1998 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-09

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COLLEGE
BASKETBALL
(1) N. Carolina 96,
GEORGIA TECH 75
(5) Arizona vs.
WASHINGTON ST., inc.
(10) UCLA at
OREGON STATE, inc.
Illinois 76,
(11) Iowa 64

WAKE FOREST 70,
(24) Clemson 66
MIAMI (OHIO) 72,
Eastern Michigan 64
LOUISVILLE 73,
Depaul 57
MICHIGAN STATE 63,
Wisconsin 40
GEORGIA STATE 95,
Florida Int'l 93

PRO
BASKETBALL
Seattle 109,
CLEVELAND 84
NEW JERSEY 89,
Orlando 87
Sacramento at
DALLAS, inc.
Indiana at
HOUSTON, inc.

PRO
HOCKEY
BOSTON 5,
Phoenix 2
Philadelphia 3,
CAROLINA 3
Montreal 8,
N.Y. ISLANDERS 2
Washington 5,
N.Y. RANGERS 3

Friday
January 9, 1998

Saving grace

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Robert Traylor's interior play was a big reason Michigan was able to beat Duke
last month, and the Wolverines will need him inside tomorrow against Michigan
State as well.
6partanS pay visit toL
MichiL an tomorrow

By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan basketball coach Brian
llerbe was at a loss three weeks ago.
is team had just followed an upset
of then-No. 1 Duke with an 89-83
overtime loss to Eastern Michigan.
His, and the rest of the coaching
staff's problem all season: to get the
Wolverines to play with the same
intensity, the same kind they showed
against Duke, every game.
'1 have a pile of books on my
d&sj," said Ellerbe, who was looking
fur any help he could get to motivate
.team.
Well, something finally worked.
The Wolverines proceeded to run
dffsix victories in a row that carried
them to their current No. 18 ranking.
-.Even though everything went
wrong for the Wolverines in
Tuesday's 80-62 loss to Indiana, just
as -much went right during the six
victories that preceded the debacle in
,oomington at a hostile Assembly
he Wolverines (2-1 Big Ten, 12-4
overall) will look to rebound from
:their poor shooting and rebounding
performance against Indiana when
they host Michigan State (1-0, 8-3)
tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.
"I'm hoping that we're mature
enough to handle this loss and not let
it be a compound situation," Ellerbe
said.
The Wolverines' successful stretch
ally began back on Dec. 13, when
Michigan scored its biggest victory
in recent memory - the 81-73 win
over the top-ranked Blue Devils.
But when Michigan followed the
~upset with the loss to Eastern
Michigan four days later, it looked
like this season would be the same
old story for the Wolverines - they
4lay well in big games, but play down
inferior opponents.
The Wolverines then went on a
tear, however, winning their next six
games by an average margin of 27.2
points. While some of the victories
came against pushovers such as
Tennessee-Chattanooga and
American University (Puerto Rico),
others were more impressive, includ-
ing a 32-point win over then-No. 19
Syracuse and a 13-point win at
Wisconsin.

The victory over Syracuse capped
off a series of three games at the
Puerto Rico Classic in which the
Wolverines really seemed to find
their stride. Michigan defeated
Murray State 76-53 in first game of
the holiday tournament on Dec. 24.
The Wolverines' 94-49 wasting of
Division II American (Puerto Rico)
the next day would have seemed
rather insignificant had then-ranked
Arkansas not been upset by
American the previous day. Michigan
then won the tournament with its vic-
tory over Syracuse.
The Wolverines' success in Puerto
Rico was in sharp contrast to their
performance in last year's Rainbow
Classic holiday tournament in
Honolulu. In that tournament, then-
No. 4 Michigan fell to two unranked
teams, Memphis and Pittsburgh, and
set the tone for a late-season col-
lapse.
During the six-game winning
streak, Michigan held opponents to
34.4 percent shooting and outre-
bounded the opposition by 19.3
boards per game. At the same time,
the Wolverines made 55.9 percent of
their shots from the floor, including
over .500 from 3-point land.
The players "understood the
urgency to play with emotion and
enthusiasm," Ellerbe said.
The Wolverines hope to regain
some of the intensity that they lost in
Bloomington, as well as play better
fundamentally, in tomorrow's game
against a Spartan team that had won
four straight going into last night's
game with Wisconsin, including a
74-57 shocker over then-No. 5
Purdue at West Lafayette.
"The two biggest keys will be tran-
sition defense and rebounding,"
Ellerbe said.
The Spartans have outrebounded
opponents by almost 14 boards per
game and have allowed only one
team all season to shoot better than
50 percent from the floor.
Guard Mateen Cleaves leads the
Spartans in scoring (15.8 ppg) and
assists (7.4 apg), while forward
Antonio Smith carries the Spartans
on the glass with 9.4 rebounds per
game. Freshman guard Charlie Bell
has also made an impact, scoring
10.3 points per game.

Turco has
carried the
Wolvennes
all his career
By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports Writer
Nestled somewhere between the glow of an
NCAA record and the shadow of a teammate's
arraignment on criminal charges, Michigan net-
minder Marty Turco has a pair of hockey games to
play this weekend.
Turco will be vying for the NCAA record for
career victories tonight at 7, when the Wolverines
(11-2-1 CCHA, 17-4-1 overall) face Bowling
Green (2-10-2, 4-16-2) at Yost Ice Arena. And if
Turco falters in setting the record, he will have
another shot Saturday night at Western Michigan
(4-1 1-1, 5-15-2).
No one has downplayed the hype this weekend
more than the 6-foot senior, who has started for
the Wolverines his entire career. Perched at 111
victories and on the verge of eclipsing former
Michigan goaltender Steve Shields' record,
Turco seems calmer than he has ever been on the
ice.
"I would love to get the record over with, just to
get the focus off of it," he said. "Our program is
team-oriented, and as much as my name has been
associated with the record, it's an awesome tribute
to our program."
It's tribute that no one would have expected four
years ago, when Turco was a couple of inches
shorter, about 25 pounds lighter, and a lot less sure
of himself.
With Turco's predecessor Steve Shields leaving
a career record for victories behind him, Turco had
unbelievable, almost unrealistic standards to fol-
low. The bar for success at Michigan had been
raised.
But from the beginning, Michigan coach Red
Berenson never failed to back his netminder.
"I've always thought he could make the differ-
ence in a game, but he didn't get the recognition
partially because our team was expected to be a
good team regardless of who was in goal,"
Berenson said.
"But I think now when you start looking back
you will see one of the reasons we had a good
team was because of Marty Turco, and vice versa."
While Turco tries to shift the spotlight away
from himself tonight, players and coaches alike
realize the danger of overlooking a cellar-dwelling
Bowling Green team - especially with the light
of an NCAA record shining in the foreground.
The record "is a distraction, and typically if you
make a big deal of these types of things you end
up with a poor performance," Berenson said.
"We're trying to play that down.
"We want to make sure we have a strong game,
a strong performance at home first. The Turco
thing, the record, is going to happen anyway so we
can't worry about whether it's tomorrow night or
not."

*I

WARREN ZINN/Dail
After three years and 111 victories, Marty Turco stands on the cusp of history. Poised to break Steve
Shields' NCAA record for victories by a goaltender, Turco continues to maintain his cool composure.

Berenson is especially wary of the Falcons, con-
sidering their 1-0 upset of CCHA leader Michigan
State one month ago.
"The pressure we need to put on our team is the
fact that we're playing a team that can upset us,"
Berenson said. "We need to play well at the start
of this game."
But no matter how much Berenson plays up
Michigan's competition tonight, it seems that the
largest hurdle the Wolverines have tonight pre-
sented itself earlier this week. In addition to
Turco's record chase, Michigan defenseman Chris
Fox's arraignment on assault charges has provided
another untimely distraction for the Wolverines.
Charged with "assault with intent to do bodily
harm" resulting from an incident during a game in
a summer hockey league, Fox has not been sus-
pended from the team and every person involved
with the squad has supported him - starting from
the top.
"We all believe in Chris Fox as a person, and
this alleged attack is not the Chris Fox ,we know"
Berenson said. "He is not a criminal anid he is not
a person that is out to maim people, so it's unfor-
tunate that other people are attacking Chris Fox."
Teammate and captain Matt Herr echoed his
coach's statement, and added his own thoughts on
the adversity facing the Wolverines.
"This is a big weekend for us ... it is a good test
of character for our entire team," he said.

f

A tale of
two goalies

~1

If all goes according to plan, Marty
Turco should break former Michigan
goaltender Steve Shields' NCAA
record for career victories tonight.
Below are the career totals for each, but
remember: Turco still has half a season left to
play.

Turco
140
111
18
Sault Ste. Marie,
Ontario

Games
Victories
Losses
Hometown

Shields
144
111
25
Toronto,
Ontario

Shields (right) played for Michigan
for the four years preceding Turco
giving Michigan an eight-year run
of two straight goaltenders with
more than 100 victories each.
No other NCAA goaltender has
reached triple digits in victories.

Wp
Woodson to announce his plans this morning

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan's Heisman Trophy winner,
Charles Woodson, has called an 11 a.m.
press conference at Schembechler Hall
for today, at which he is expected to
make an announcement so anti-climac-
tic that yawns may be aplenty at the
assembly.
Woodson will announce that he is
foregoing his final year of collegiate
eligibility to apply for the NFL Draft,
where many predict him to be one of

the top five players selected.
Woodson's older brother, Terry
Carter, was quoted in a Detroit newspa-
per yesterday as saying, "A year like
this is kind of hard to top off, isn't it?"
The deadline for declaring for the
NFL Draft is midnight tonight and the
last few days have seen a number of the
nation's top stars announce their candi-
dacy. Most players waited until their
teams concluded their seasons with
bowl games before making announce-
ments.

The other top Heisman vote-getting
underclassmen have already decided to
pass on their remaining eligibility and
opt for the professional ranks.
Marshall's sophomore wide receiver,
Randy Moss, made his announcement
yesterday.
Washington State junior quarterback
Ryan Leaf made his the morning after
the Rose Bowl and Nebraskajunior tail-
back Ahman . Green declared
Wednesday afternoon.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said Jan.

2, that he was aware of the decision
Woodson made regarding his future,
but would not reveal it to the public..
Woodson led the Big Ten in interp-
tions this season with eight, whiJe
becoming the first primarily defensive
player to win the Heisman Trophy.
He also won the Walter Camp Player
of the Year Award, as well as the Bronko
Nagurski Award, given to the natioii's
best defensive player, and the -Jim
Thorpe Award, presented to the top
See WOODSON, Page'liI

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