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March 16, 1998 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-16

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BASKETBALL

CLA 'D'
rustrates
Traylor,
ichigani
e.e
y Dan Stillman
aily Sports Editor
ATLANTA - It was supposed to
e "pick your poison" for UCLA
gainst Michigan yesterday - stop
he Wolverines inside, hope they
't beat you on the perimeter, or
them outside, and hope they
on't take over the game in the post.
But UCLA decided to go for it all,
nd it worked, just barely, but
nough.
We wanted to swarm the post
nd make them beat us over top,"
CLA coach Steve Lavin said. "The
ey wwas you had to be quick and
xpend a lot of energy, with the
' kness getting into the post and
ping on those lob passes, but also
ujck getting out to the three-point
hdoters."
tJCLA thwarted the Wolverines'
ecently potent 3-point shooters
xept for for Robbie Reid, who
corched the Bruins with a six-of-
eight shooting
perform an c e
from beyond
the arc. But
even Reid was
eventually
silenced as
only two of his
treys came in
the second
half.
ayr Meanwhile,
Robert Traylor
struggled in the
>'despite scoring 19 points.
They did a great job of playing
post defense," Traylor said "They
switched up a lot, fronted, played from
behind.... We couldn't really get the
ball down low like we wanted to"
The most surprising part of the
game, however, was that the Bruins
beat the Wolverines at their own
game. Michigan wanted to avoid a
fast-paced, transition game and
wear the Bruins down with their
f-court offense.
The Bruins not only obliged, but
also managed to excel in their half-
court attack.
Forwards Kris johnson and J.R.
Henderson combined for 38 points
on I I-of-24 shooting, with a higher
thari expected percentage of those
points coming from in the paint.
Meanwhile, Toby Bailey would
t let the Bruins' athleticism be
otten, as he scored from all over
the floor, pouring in 19 points.
Even though the Wolverines did
dominate the inside in one category
- they outrebounded UCLA 26-9
on the offensive glass - Michigan
could not capitalize, failing to rack
up many second-chance points.
For all the success the Bruins had
against Michigan, they still could
not put the Wolverines away, until
is Johnson stepped to the free
ow line. Johnson made 8 of 8 free
throws in the final 37 seconds.
'I have been in this situation
before, and I wanted to be the one
there to take the pressure," Johnson

said. "I just knocked them down like
I always do. Any of the three seniors
would have wanted to be in the same
situation."
Oh yeah, one final part of UCLA's
egy- those three seniors just
rppen to have 1995 national cham-
pionship rings.

The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 16, 1998 - 58
Seniors go out on
sour note with loss

By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
ATLANTA - The bitter end has come for the
remaining members of Michigan's 1994-95 fresh-
man class, which was given the name Fab Five II.
The senior class of Travis Conlan, Maceo Baston
and Jerod Ward brought its four-year Michigan
career to a close after the Wolverines were defeated
by UCLA yesterday at the Georgia Dome.
All three players were major contributors in
Michigan's 25-9 season in Brian Ellerbe's first
year as coach.
The trio was recruited by Michigan coach Steve
Fisher, who was fired at the outset of the season.
Without Maurice Taylor, who left after his junior
year for the NBA and now plays for the Los
Angeles Clippers, and Willie Mitchell, who trans-
ferred to Alabama-Birmingham after his sopho-
more year, Baston, Conlan and Ward led a veteran
Michigan squad this year that gelled toward the
end of the season.
Four years ago, the three took a back seat to the
remaining members of the Fab Five - Ray
Jackson and Jimmy King. And now four years,
three NCAA Tournaments and one National
Invitational Tournament - which Michigan won
last year - later, their time at Michigan is over.
"I'm trying to repress my feelings" Baston said.
"I guess it will sink in on the plane.
"I worked hard and I'm happy I chose Michigan
... I've had a lot of good memories and I love each
and every one of the guys here."
Baston, who came back from a broken foot
injury he suffered toward the end of the season,
was used as a starter and a sixth man off the bench
in his four-year career.
When he returned to the lineup after missing
four games, Ellerbe brought Baston off the bench.
In the Wolverines' final of the Big Ten
Tournament, Baston chipped in 16 points off the
bench, contributing in Michigan's win over Purdue
to capture the conference tournament title.
Yesterday, the Wolverines got solid production
out of Baston. He scored 1I points and added six
rebounds. He had two dunks midway through the

second half that keyed a Michigan run to bring the
Wolverines back from a double-digit deficit.
Ward also contributed in Michigan's last-minute
runs. Although he shot 5 of 16 from the field, it
was Ward who headed Michigan's comeback in
the last seven minutes.
The 6-foot-9 senior from Clinton, Miss. nailed a
3-pointer with six minutes remaining, stole the
ball on UCLA's following possession and dribbled
in alone to send in a thunderous dunk to bring
Michigan within three points, 67-64, with 5:35 left
in the game.
Ward's 3-pointer with 26 seconds to go in the
game sliced the deficit to two, 79-77, but UCLA
forward Kris Johnson made six free throws to ice
the game.
Ward's numbers in his final game ar Michigan
was 16 points, 10 rebounds (seven offensive
boards), two steals and no turnovers.
Conlan's assist-to-turnover ratio in the past few
weeks has been a large factor in Michigan's suc-
cessful end of the season. In the Big Ten
Tournament, Conlan was a great floor leader for
Michigan, dishing out 21 assists while only com-
mitting two turnovers in the three-day tourney.
Yesterday, Conlan struggled. He had four
assists, but had four turnovers. Conlan missed his
only two 3-point attempts and had trouble guard-
ing Bruins guard Toby Bailey and forward Kris
Johnson.
Conlan - Michigan's co-captain, who has been
through so much in his Michigan career --said he
was proud to be a Michigan man. The spokesman
for Michigan on and off the court said the reason
Michigan didn't win was because of not doing the
two things that have gotten the Wolverines to the
NCAA Tournament: defense and unselfish play.
"The things that got us to this point, we didn't
do very well today: play good defense and make
the extra pass," Conlan said. "That came back to
bite us."
Because of that, Conlan, along with Baston and
Ward, ride into the sunset earlier than they would
have liked, putting an end to the trio's Michigan
career.

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Michigan lost to UCLA yesterday, bringing to a close the careers of Maceo Baston, Travis Conlan and
Jerod Ward. Baston had 11 points and six rebounds; Conlan had two points and four turnovers; Ward
had 16 points and 10 boards. None of it was enough - Michigan was sent packing by the Bruins.

Goss: Ellerbe 'a front-runner' for the job
Athletic Director plans to choose from list of 5 candidates by April 8, if not sooner

By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Editor
ATLANTA - Michigan Athletic
Director Tom Goss said he would
name a permanent men's basketball
coach by April 8, the end of the
signing period for recruits, and
could make a decision as early as
this week.
Goss also said he has narrowed
the list of candidates to five and that
interim coach Brian Ellerbe, who
was named to the position less than
two weeks before the season, is "a
front-runner."
Ellerbe's stock has risen in the
wake of the team's success this sea-
son.
The Wolverines won the Big Ten
Tournament last weekend and
advanced to the second round of the
NCAA Tournament with Friday's
victory over Davidson.
Michigan's season ended yester-
day when UCLA knocked the
Wolverines out of the tournament
with an 85-82 win. The Wolverines
ended the season 25-9.
Asked on Saturday if a Michigan
victory over UCLA would earn
Ellerbe the permanent job sometime
this week, Goss said, "I'm not nec-
essarily saying that I won't have a
coach by that time frame, but I'm
not basing it on beating UCLA. If
so, I would've done it based on win-
ning the Big Ten (Tournament) or

based on having a better record than
we had a year ago."
The 34-year-old Ellerbe was hired
by former coach Steve Fisher over
the summer
after serving
three years as
head coach at
Loyola College
in Baltimore,
Md.
Goss pro-
moted Ellerbe
from assistant
to interim head
Ellerbe coach on Oct.
24, two weeks
after the firing of Fisher.
Goss has said he would name a
permanent replacement immediate-
ly following the season.
Ellerbe has earned increased con-
sideration for the job at Michigan
thanks to the team's surprising suc-
cess under his guidance.
"I think the environment that we
threw him into - not everyone
would have achieved success in that
environment," Goss said.
"I have great admiration and my
admiration continues to grow for
Brian Ellerbe.
"He understands what I want to
accomplish for Michigan and he
understands the hard work that he is
putting in probably helps him versus
someone I haven't met."

Ellerbe's performance off the
court has also drawn praise.
"It's having the judgment to do
something versus when not to do
something," Goss said. "He's had
some situations ... on his plate this
season, where it would've been very
easy for him to make a different
type of decision.
"On the integrity piece and the
honesty piece, he's stepped up pret-
ty clearly."
Michigan junior co-captain
Robert Traylor, who considered
leaving school for the NBA last
summer, said that his decision to
return for his final year of eligibili-
ty would be dependent on Ellerbe's
return.
"I don't want to play for three
coaches in four years. It's not what I
came to college for and I feel
strongly about that," Traylor said. "I

"on the integrity piece and the
honesty piece, he's stepped up
pretty clearly. f
- Tom Goss
Michigan Athletic Director

don't think it'll be fair to me or any-
body else that's part of this team to
have to play for another coach next
year."
While speculation concerning the
job has continued to grow among
the fans and media, Ellerbe said last
week that his future should not be a
distraction.
"I don't think it's fair to talk about
the job or anything right now,
because it takes away from how well

our team is playing," Ellerbe said.
"We're playing very well. That's the
real story."
The Michigan coaching jot
opened up following months of alle-
gations of wrongdoing within the
program.
Fisher was fired just two days
after a University-hired law firm
released a report citing three
"minor" violations in the program.

Bullock's shooting woes doom
Wolverines' chances to advance

Connued fm Page 1B
Bullock shot an air-ball on a 3-point attempt with
approximately 10 minutes remaining in the game and
the 35-second shot clock running out.
Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe pulled Bullock out of
e game and talked with the struggling shooter.
'Louis struggled early and we pulled him aside,"
Ellerbe said. "But we are gonna dance with the guy who

has got us here and he has been playing as well as any-
one in the country lately."
Bullock was soft-spoken after the game, but even in
his poor performance, he said it's "a team game."
Michigan lost as a team.
"It's not all my fault because we are a team," Bullock
said. "I'm just speaking as a competitor, someone who
expects to go out and play well all the time. Today I did-
n't play to the level that I am capable of."
Brian Ellerbe pulls Michigan guard
1r -a D-11-L -n1-l~

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