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ause or effect
ay back in October, Tom
Goss stood up and said he
was steering the Michigan
asketball program in a new direction.
fter months of allegations and investi-
ations, enough was enough, Goss said.
'ime to head in a new direction. Steve
isher was out as coach, and Brian
rbe was in - for a while, anyway.
nd now, with the season over, the
me logic that cost Fisher the
ichigan job is ultimately the same
gic that gives the job to Ellerbe for
Think of it this way: Whether Fisher
as directly responsible for anything
at went wrong during his tenure
ecame immaterial in Goss' eyes. It
idn't matter if Fisher was lying or
ling the truth; it didn't matter if he
ly knew the extent of Ed Martin's
fluences or not. The point was, bad
hile Fisher was
t charge. So he
And just the
pposite can be
r. Maybe you JIM
eve that he
e right buttons Rose
here others Beef
adn't and moti-
ated a group of underachievers into
le best Michigan season in years.
Maybe, on the other hand, you think
nyone could have done his job, and
at the Wolverines were successful
ecause a team full of NBA players
*lly decided to bear down and con-
entrate for an entire season. It doesn't
atter. Maybe they were fired up by
isher's situation. Maybe Robert
raylor and Jerod Ward and Maceo
aston were simply concerned about
heir NBA Draft prospects. In the end,
one of it matters.
The bottom line is this: Good things
appened while Ellerbe was in charge.
e gets the job.
nd, truth be told, that's probably the
vay it should be.
Certainly, some things could have
en done differently - maybe
trandon Smith deserved more minutes,
nd maybe Michigan should have
dund an answer to UCLA's defense
ist weekend - but lots was done well.
Traylor's game progressed through-
ut the year like it hasn't at any other
me since he's been at Michigan. Ward
omed into a bona-fide weapon at
' ivision I level, scoring and
ebounding in the second half of the
eason like many people thought he
ever would. Travis Conlan learned to
un the offense, play tough defense and
>k to score, all at the same time -
omething he didn't do in his first three
ears. Josh Asselin was given a chance
nd responded, proving to be more of a
layer than anyone thought possible.
oes Ellerbe deserve the credit in
ach of these cases? Probably not all of
Does he deserve some credit? Of
Eourse. Maybe he wasn't the only rea-
Despite loss, icers gain No. 3 at Yost
NCAA West Regional host Michigan opens Friday against Princeton at 8:30 p.m.
By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports WXriter
For the first time in seven seasons, the
Michigan hockey team was a bubble team for
the NCAA Tournament.
But after waiting patiently since Friday night
after losing, 4-2, to Ohio State in the CCHA
semifinals, the Wolverines can relax.
"I personally feel that we deserved to be in
because of our record, not because of our recent
play," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "I
feel fortunate that we get a chance to rebound in
a tournament environment"
Michigan is the third seed in the West
Regional, to be held at Yost Ice Arena, and will
face sixth-seeded Princeton on Friday at 8:30
p.m., with the winner advancing to face No. 2
seed North Dakota on Saturday.
On the other side of the West bracket, top
seed Michigan State will face the winner of the
game between fourth seed Ohio State and fifth
seed Yale. With a loaded bracket, the excitement
of making the cut could be short-lived. Yost will
host four of the top eight teams (No. 1 North
Dakota, No. 2 Michigan State, No. 5 Michigan
and No. 7 Ohio State), including the top two.
Nevertheless, Berenson's concern now shifts
to the Tigers, about whom he admittedly knows
"We don't know much about Princeton,"
Berenson said. "They're not a team that a month
ago people< slotted this high, but obviously
they're on a run."
Despite his lack of information, Berenson is
well aware of one thing: Michigan's trouble with
ECAC opponents. Earlier this season, the
Wolverines dropped a game to Colgate, 2-1.
Though the deep regional is a large hurdle
toward the NCAA semifinals in Boston,
Berenson hopes the possibility of a home-ice
advantage will make the difference,
"If we are to have a home-ice advantage, our
students and fans from Ann Arbor are going to
be the key for us," Berenson said. "Our fans and
especially our students have meant so much to
this program. Anyone who comes to Yost this
weekend is going to be in for a treat. You may
see the best college hockey you have ever seen."
But Berenson was quick to point out that
hosting a regional isn't always enough to push a
team on to the NCAA semifinals, citing
Michigan State in 1994 and 1996. In each year,
the Spartans failed to win at Munn Ice Arena.
Even with Berenson's hesitation, Bill
Muckalt wasn't shy to say it would give the
Wolverines an edge.
"It should be a huge advantage playing inYost
with the fans," Muckalt said. "We gotta take
advantage of that, and hopefully get the crowd
into it early."
Inside: Full coverage of Michigan's CCHA
playoff loss. Pages 4-5B.
I. - . -JOHNKRF/al
After losing Friday night to Ohio State, Geoff Koch and his
Michigan teammates have set their sights on the NCAAs.
Blue rocks to
tune of three
By Jordan Reld
Daily Sports Writer
CLEVELAND - For the eighth straight year, the
Michigan wrestling team returned from the NCAA tourna-
ment with at least one All-American. And for the third
straight year, one of those honorees was 167-pounder Jeff
Catrabone. He, along with teammates Bill Lacure and
Airron Richardson, closed out his Michigan career with
All-American honors as the team finished 12th at the tour-
nament with 39.5 points.
"Bill, Airron and Jeff came here together, and for the past
four seasons they have been the heart and soul of Michigan
wrestling," assistant coach Joe McFarland said. "For them
all to finish and leave as All-Americans - well, that's a
great way to go out."
Catrabone finished third in the 167 bracket with a 5-1
record. His only loss came in the semifinals to eventual
champion Joe Williams from Iowa. Seeded fifth in the tour-
nament, it took a sudden-death win over No. 2 seed Mark
Smith of Oklahoma State for Catrabone to finish third.
With the score tied at four at the end of the first overtime,
Smith chose the down position to begin the tie-breaker. In
the up position, Catrabone had to deny Smith an escape for
30 seconds. As the clock ticked down, Catrabone held
Smith's ankle as the two crept toward the out of bounds
area. The Cowboy coaches and fans thought Smith had
escaped, but it was ruled after time had expired, and
Catrabone was named the third-place winner.
"When he won the coin toss and chose down, I knew it
would be tough," Catrabone said. "He has great hips, and I
knew if I held him there he'd just turn one way or the other
and get out. So I went low, picked an ankle and held on for
See SENIORS, Page 3B
By T.J. Berka
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - Throughout this season, Michigan
women's swimming coach Jim Richardson has been saying
that he is not concerned about where his team places, just
how hard it works and how it fights.
According to the placement and the effort put out by the
Wolverines at the NCAA Championships this weekend,
one can assume that Richardson's request has been grant-
The Wolverines finished seventh at the NCAA
Championships with 249.5 points, matching their final
national ranking. Stanford also matched its ranking, win-
ning its sixth national championship in seven years. The
Cardinal ended up with 422 points, outdistancing runner-
up Arizona by 44 points.
"People ask from time to time 'Does it ever seem the
same" Stanford coach Richard Quick, who has won 12
national championships as the coach ofTexas and Stanford.
"Each year the chemistry is different, the athletes are dif-
ferent, and it never gets old."
The main element in Quick's formula this year was
freshman swimmer Misty Hyman, who won five titles -
For four long years, Bill Lacure graced the mats as one of Michigan's finest wrestlers. Last weekend, he bowed out at the NCAA
Championships in Cleveland. Lacure finished as an All-America selection, joining teammates Airron Richardson and Jeff Catrabone, who gar-
nered similar honors.
soar at Big Tens
on for all of Michigan's success, but
ive credit where credit's due - last
ear's team didn't even make the
Don't forget, Michigan won 25
ames and won the Big Ten
ournament this season. Regardless,
e's no disputing the bottom line:
.d things happened while Brian
illerbe was the boss.
Whereas Fisher had to be fired for
vhat went on at the end of his tenure,
Ellerbe gets the job because of the suc-
:ess his team had in the past few
nonths. Maybe Fisher wasn't directly
esponsible for everything that went
vrong, but it didn't matter - he still
ost his job. By the same logic, Ellerbe
awarded with the permanent job -
Sther he was responsible for this
rear's successes or not.
Goss said that Ellerbe "handled a
lifficult situation very well," and
leserved a shot at the job. But, truth be
old, it's even simpler than that.
By David DenHerder
Daily Sports Writer
It wasn't the heaviest trophy.
Not yet, anyway. But the
Michigan men's gymnastics
team did walk home from Crisler
Arena with a good share of hard-
ware this past weekend.
While hosting the Big Ten
Championships this past week-
end at Crisler Arena, the
Wolverines scored 226.625
points to finish sixth in a field of
seven at the conclusion of the
team competition on Friday.
But all was not lost, as
Saturday's individual finals saw
the Wolverines shine.
After undergoing reconstruc-
tive knee surgery just I1 months
ago, Michigan freshman Justin
Toman scored 9.725 on parallel
bars to become the Big Ten co-
While still in high school,
Toman tore his left ACL after a
dismount on still rings. The
injury, however, left him unde-
"The minute I knew it was
torn, there wasn't any doubt in
my mind that I would come back
and be as good as - if not better
than I had been," he said.
But despite the personal
adversity, Toman gives a lot of
credit to his teammates for his
"Here, I have a whole team of
13 other guys supporting me and
backing ne up, for whatever I
do," Toman said. "When I'm up
there on the events and I hear
them cheering for me, it just
gives me the extra confidence
that I need."
NAT HAN RUFFER/Daly
Justin Toman overcame knee surgery to take top honors on parallel
bars at this weekend's Big Ten Championships at Crisler Arena.
only Wolverine named to the all-
conference team, he was not the
only one to walk away with Big
Michigan freshman and high-
tition much of the year and was
the highest scoring freshman in
the all-around on Friday.
Coming into the Big Ten
Championships, Roulston was in