NEW YORK 85,
SAN ANTONIO 79,
New Jersey 78
N.Y. ISLANDERS 2
New Jersey 2,
Los Angeles at
-Iie cftiqn L-
Check out the Michigan gymnastics teams this weekend.
The men face Michigan State tomorrow at 7 p.m., while
the women take on Massachusetts on Saturday at 2
p.m., both at Cliff Keen Arena - so bring a sleeping bag.
March 11, 1998
After a sketchy early-season start plagued by a broken wrist, a new
gunner and shaky confidence, Michigan's 3-point shooters are
finding their rhythm - just in time. They call themselves ...
Hometown: Spanish Fork, Utah
3-pointers made: 63
3-pointers attempted: 159
3-point percentage: .396
Quote: "Shooting well can be
By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
ATLANTA - In this final stretch
of the season, including
Michigan's Big Ten Tournament
championship run, the Wolverines are
shooting at a remarkable clip from
behind the 3-point line. Maybe it's time
to give these 3-point hurlers a nickname
heading into the national collegiate
tournament that holds a moniker of its
own - The Big Dance.
Michigan guard Travis Conlan has one
in mind - 'The Bomb Squad."
"We walked by and we saw some guy
walking with a shirt, this big guy - this
big, fat guy - he was on the bomb squad
here in Chicago," said Conlan. "And I
said: 'Hey, we got to get a couple of those
shirts' and we started giggling about it. I
don't think we are going to get them
unless Bob Bland orders them."
Memo to Bland, the team's equipment
manager: Order them.
And Davidson, the Wolverines' first-
round opponent this Friday, better take
The Michigan 3-point shooters should
have donned th- Chicago bomb squad
shirts, an appropriate symbol of their
play lately, after their performances. in
this past weekend's conference tourna-
Even though Robert Traylor received
the Big Ten Tournament's most valuable
player award by dominating in the post,
much of Michigan's success can be
attributed to the red-hot shooting of
Conlan, Louis Bullock, Jerod Ward and
Robbie Reid from beyond the 3-point
Their numbers during the tourney
were remarkable. As a team, Michigan
shot 50 percent from 3-point land on 28
of 56 attempts over the three games. For
the season, the Wolverines scorched the
Big Ten at a 41-percent clip from beyond
the arc, nailing a school-record 212 treys.
Individually, the four players have told
Reid, the Michigan guard who
attempts most of his shots from behind
the 3-point are, led the way. The lefty
whose shooting style looks like he is
almost heaving the ball, couldn't miss
this past weekend.
Reid hit 10 of 15 3-pointers, including
a trey from the corner in the final min-
utes that quelled any chance of a Purdue
comeback. Earlier in the season, Reid
couldn't find the basket, a fact he chuck-
les about when asked about reasons for
his current hot streak.
It's not the hair. Reid said the haircut
he got at Campus Barber Shop had noth-
ing to do with his 3-point resurgence.
Even though he got some comments
about his hair from friends and relatives,
the new 'do had little to do with his per-
formance on the court.
"That stuff is all trivial," Reid said.
Travis Conlan looks to find another member of the Bomb Squad. Much of Michigan's
success can be attributed to making the extra passes to the perimeter bombers.
Sometimes he just doesn't have expla-
nations for his shooting.
"I make a few shots and everybody
says, 'How did you do that?,"' Reid said.
"The ball goes through the hoop. It's two
inches to the left as opposed to two inch-
es to the right."
For backeourt mate Bullock, accuracy
is rarely a concern.
When Bullock's on, it looks as if the
ball doesn't touch any part of the net. The
school's career 3-point leader -- with a
three-year total of 252 3-pointers -- is
Michigan's go-to guy from beyond the
Last weekend, lie didn't disappoint.
Bullock knocked down seven trifectas,
scoring 20 or more points in two of the
three games. But on Sunday, he was ofd'
and didn't put a point on the board until
midway through the second half.
H is shot had gone awry, but then, all of
a sudden, Bullock drained a deep trey to
remind the fans, players and coaches that
you can't keep him down for an entire
Bullock accounts some of his success
to his teammates also lighting it up from
"When those guys (Ward, Conlan and
Reid) are knocking down shots on the
perimeter, it takes a little heat off of me
also because my man may start watching
them and then I can get freed up:'
Bullock said. "We play so much better
with four guys shooting well because we
know the inside game will always be
But it was the loss of part of
Michigan's inside game that Bullock felt
was the turning point for the outside
shooters. When Maceo Baston went
down with a foot injury late in the sea-
son, sidelining the 6-foot-10 post pres-
ence for four games, the players knew
they had to step it up.
"I think when Maceo went out, there
was a sense of urgency among the
perimeter guys because Rob Traylor was
going to be the only guy down low,"
Bullock said. "We knew teams would
really collapse on him. And he's done a
great job all year of passing the ball back
out, so it's a chance for us to step up and
knock some shots down'
Conlan also attributes the surge in his
3-point shooting to the post players. The
senior - who has played point guard,
shooting guard and small forward this
season - said it's much easier to set up
for a 3-pointer with the opponents' play-
ers lingering in the post.
Having big guys like Traylor and
Baston leaves the perimeter guys, such as
"I'm shooting the ball probably the
best I have all year," Conlan said. "I'm
more confident obviously, but it's easy to
shoot a wide open shot. When Traylor
gets double-teamed, he kicks it out and
['m out there by myself for three sec-
After injuring his wrist in the begin-
ning of the season, Conlan is now play-
ing the best basketball of his career. In
addition to his 21 assist, two turnover
performance over the weekend, he also
nailed four of eight 3-pointers in the Big
It's all about the extra pass, whether it's
a quick feed from the post to the perime-
ter or a return pass from the top of the
key to the corner. Michigan shooters
have thrived on unselfish play.
"We are much more patient on the
offense," Conlan said. "We are making
the extra pass. It's much easier to take an
open shot than to have a hand in your
Contested or uncontested, Ward has
been unconscious from the 3-point line
of late. The 6-foot-9 senior forward has
showed a soft touch from all points
beyond the arc. In his last seven games,
Ward has drilled 18 of 38 (.474). He
ended the season red hot from long dis-
tance, draining eight of 18 treys.
Ward said the extra passing has partly
led to his and his teammates' 3-point suc-
cess as of late. But he also thinks that it's
the mental game that counts.
"I think we are shooting well because
we have a lot of confidence," Ward said.
"Like anything in life, the more confi-
dence you have, the more likely you will
How's this for confidence? In
Michigan's Big Ten Tournament semi-
final victory against Minnesota, Ward
showed that his confidence is sky high.
After Michigan stole the ball midway
through the second half, Ward led a
three-on-one fast break with many
Instead of giving the ball up, Ward
pulled up at the top of the key and con-
nected on a 3-pointer.
Ward's shooting performance in the
conference tournament led to a spot on
the all-Big Ten Tournament team. If
Ward shoots as well in the NCAA
Tournament as he has in the past few
weeks, opponents could be in for a tough
Reid thinks that hot 3-point shooting
rubs off on everyone else.
"Shooting well can be very conta-
gious," Reid said. "If someone gets hot, it
permeates to the other players and they
feed off each other's emotions"
Heading into this year's NCAAs, if
Michigan's outside game is on target, it
will make it harder for Davidson and any
future tournament opponent to guard the
Traylor showed that he's able to clog
up the paint so opponents have to double-
team him. But he's also displayed a
patience that contributes to the solid out-
If the opponents tighten their defense
on the perimeter, Traylor and Baston will
have an easier time getting good shots.
It all comes full circle. The post game
helps the perimeter game, and vice versa.
If both click for Michigan, then the
Wolverines could be in for a fun time in
the next few days.
But don't ask Traylor to get involved
in the Bomb Squad. When asked if he
wanted to get in on the 3-point show, he
said 'No, thank you.' ,
"Nah," Traylor said. "I'll stay in the
paint where I should be and enjoy watch-
ing the shooters do their thing."
, < .
Hometown: Temple Hills, Md.
3-pointers made: 88
3-pointers attempted: 188
Quote: "When those guys are
knocking down shots on the
perimeter, it takes a little heat
of f of me."
Hometown: Clinton, Miss.
3-pointers made: 47
3-pointers attempted: 123
3-point percentage: .382
Hometown: St. Clair Shores,
3-pointers made: 30
3-pointers attempted: 70
3-point percentage: .429
Quote: "I'm shooting the ball
probably the best I have all
Quote: "I think we are shooting
well because we have a lot of
Other Fab Fours
.NCAA No. 1 seeds
(Kansas, Arizona, N. Carolina, Duke)
a Michigan's regular-season finish
in the Big Ten standings.
m Years since Michigan won an
NCAA Tournament game
a Michigan State's NCAA seed
a Number of points Big Ten Player
of the Year Mateen Cleaves
scored against Minnesota
a Chris Webber
m The Fab Five - post-Webber
a Rowdy fans in Crisler Arena
a The Four Tops
a Years of college (for some)
a Nights in a weekend (for others)
a The Beatles
(George, Paul, Ringo, John)
m The Stooges
(Larry, Curly, Moe - and Shemp)
THE DAILY'S NCAA TOURNAMENT CONTEST
CONTINUES. BRING YOUR BRACKET TO 4W
MAYNARD BEFORE 11 A.M. TOMORROW.
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