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January 19, 1999 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-19

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Quote of the we
It might be the cerea
eating in the momM
- Michigan guard)
attempting to e
Josh Asselins i
Suddenly, 'N
a 'highly efi
By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Writer
Before the Crisler Arena crowd could settle
down after Louis Bullock's 3-point shot, his back-
mate Robbie Reid stole the inbound pass.
passed to Bullock, got the ball back and
effortlessly knocked down his second 3-pointer of
the game, along with the notion that Michigan's
basketball season will be nothing more than a col-
lection of dud losses, with the occasional home
victory thrown in.
With each pump of his fist in the air, Reid's -
and Michigan's - confidence grew. Just the way
it has all season.
"I think it's definitely evident, we've gotten bet-
t4 Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said. "How
much better? I don't know"
Confidence is sprouting in Crisler as if the
Wolverines had just read "The Seven Habits of
Highly Effective Basketball Teams," And it might
have come just in time. Michigan is one of just
five unranked teams in the Big, bad Ten. Before
the Wolverines knocked Ohio State out of the AP
Top 25, the Buckeyes had been No. 21.
When Michigan's basketball season started,
with a 69-62 loss to Florida International, the pre-
d" ors and the pundits were foreseeing all sorts of
tl s for the Wolverines. But only the most opti-
mistic dared suggest that Michigan would have
beaten four ranked opponents - three from the
Big Ten - halfway through January.
But, on Jan. 19, here they stand, the proud pos-
1''

Less than a month ago, Josh Asselln was struggling
t - but he's bettered his career scoring high i
Indiana ends
EST LAFAYETTE (AP) - Coach shake hi
Knight decided to give Lynn ground a
Washington a rare start Saturday and it Jason
paid off. Morris P
The recruit from San Jose Junior 10 rebou
College contributed season highs of 12 1) won t
points and 10 rebounds in No. 23 Illinois (8
Indiana's 87-76 victory over No. 13 After I
Purdue on Saturday. six minu
"We made up our minds yesterday straight
that he would start in this ball game," 2:11 rem
Knight said. "He rebounded, he defend- Bradfo
edell. He did a hell of a job." left to cu
ke Recker scored 24 points to lead quickly
Indiana's offense. The Hoosiers, who missed a
hadn't won at Mackey Arena since 1993 desperati
and had lost six of the last seven games Bradfo
between the teams. Illinois w.
Indiana (3-3 Big Ten, 16-5) snapped a No.
three-game losing streak on the road, all NORTHwi
conference games. Purdue (2-2, 14-4) A 10
took its only lead on the game's first have bee
basket. most tea
*rdue reduced a 10-point second- Evan Esc
half deficit to 65-62 after a basket by Wiscon
Greg McQuay, who had 17 for Purdue, with a 1
Jaraan Cornell led the Boilermakers four free
with 18. on Satur
Indiana opened a 72-62 lead on two survived
free throws by Recker and a 3-pointer for a 57-

The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 19, 1998 - 58

ekend
Ai he's
g."
Louis Bullock,
xplain forward
improved play

I Michigan 84

Player of the game
Forward Josh Assein
Asselin had the best game of his career, scor-
ing a career-high 22 points, ting a career high
with 10 rebounds and blocking four shots. He
also added three assists while committing
just two fouls and one turnover

* Ohio State

74

I

4' looks like
ective' team
sessors of a burgeoning frontcourt, the inside-out-
side threat that comes with it and a basketball team
that is surpassing most preseason expectations.
No longer will it be sufficient for opponents to
shut down Bullock and Reid, the way it was for so
many teams in the desperate, confused days of
November and December. Michigan opponents
now ignore the big men at their peril.
Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien pointed out that
last season's Big Ten included a few teams - one
of them his own - that other teams could mark
down as 'should-wins' Doing that this season
would be dangerous, he thinks.
"I think after maybe the first month, it became
apparent that there are some very good basketball
teams in this league" O'Brien said. "When you
look at one through 11 you'd be hard-pressed to
determine who the worst teams in the league are."
What has also become apparent is that most of
these teams are only "very good basketball teams"
on their own court. Away from home, most don't
fare as well.
Indiana, Wisconsin and now Ohio State have all
fallen to unranked and unnoticed Michigan at
Crisler. But still, Michigan hasn't proven that it
can win anywhere outside Washtenaw County.
"How valuable is a road win?" O'Brien said.
"Any win in this league, you should hang it on the
mantelpiece. It's not easy to win games in this con-
ference."
Maybe not, but at least so far, Michigan's mak-
ing it look easier than expected.

Michigan stats leaders

SCORING
PLAYER V!
Bullock V
Reid z
Smith 1
Asselin 2
Vignier 2
REBOUNDING
Vignier 3
Asselin IH
Bullock 5

s. OSU
19
13
22

SEASON
21.0
12.7
8.7
8.5
6.3

0

7.7
5.5
4.5

FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Asselin .563 .537
Young .000 .514
Vignier .000 .510
FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
Bullock .750 .876
Reid 1.000 .815
Jones .667 .811

ASSISTS
Reid
Bullock
Smith
STEALS
Smith
Reid
Bullock

4
3
3
1
2

3.1
2.
2.
1.5
1.2
1.1

AP PHOTO
The Wolverines came away with another impressive victory this weekend, handing Ohio State a 10-point
loss and movin'g to 3-2 in the Big Ten.

Asselin's improvement astounds

By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
Nobody on the Michigan men's bas-
ketball team seems to be able to
explain it. Not that they're overly con-
cerned with doing so.
As far as the Wolverines care, the
recent play of forward Josh Asselin can
remain one of those beautiful things
that just happens. It's like the tele-
phone. You don't need to understand
how or why it works, as long as it
keeps working.
And Asselin has been working for
the Michigan offense. He poured in a
career-high 22 points in Saturday's vic-
tory over No. 21 Ohio State, his 6-11
frame giving the smaller Buckeyes fits.
For the third straight game, Asselin
was a bona fide offensive option, tak-
ing pressure away from consistent
scorers Louis Bullock and Robbie
Reid.
Which begs the question: What has
gotten into Asselin?
Bullock, who benefited to the tune
of 19 points from Ohio State's defen-
sive focus on Asselin, isn't sure.
"It might be the cereal he's eating in
the morning," joked the guard.
But whether Asselin is eating his
Wheaties or not, Bullock is glad to
have the help the help on the offensive
end. "He's posting up more aggressive-
ly than he has all year," Bullock said.

"Consequently, he's getting us going
by taking care of the ball and making
good decisions."
Asselin doesn't have any answers for
his newfound offensive punch either.
"I really haven't changed anything
from the games in the past," Asselin
said. "We just realize that we've got to
help out Robbie and Lou more on
offense for us to be a really good
team."
With Asselin, Bullock and Reid
combining for 62 points, Michigan's
offensive balance was too much for the
Buckeyes. While Ohio State's guards
had their hands full trying to limit
Bullock and Reid's long-range fire-
power, Asselin was manhandling the
Buckeyes' undersized frontline. Center
Ken Johnson, the only Buckeye able to
match Asselin's size, fouled out with
more than six minutes left trying to
stop Michigan's newest offensive
threat.
A month ago, the words 'offensive
threat' used in the same sentence with
Asselin's name would have been met
with snickers. Hampered by foul trou-
ble and ineffectiveness, Asselin strug-
gled though the early months of the
season. Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe
even removed him from the starting
lineup at one point in mid-December.
Now, the sophomore's place in the
starting rotation seems secure.

AP PHOTO
g with foul trouble and a sore
n each of the past three games.

road

He has re-written his career-high
mark for scoring in each of the last
three games, scoring 16 points in the
Jan. 5 win over Indiana and 17 in last
week's loss to Michigan State before
breaking the 20-point barrier against
the Buckeyes. A tough pace to main-
tain, but Ellerbe, who has been calling
all season for another scorer to shoul-
der some of the burden for Bullock and
Reid, isn't complaining.
"He was very aggressive today,"
Ellerbe said of Asselin's performance
against the Buckeyes. "We've got to
continue to make sure that we get a
third and fourth guy involved in the
offense."
Saying Asselin was "involved" is
putting it mildly. He was all over the
court Saturday, tying another career-
high by grabbing 10 rebounds and
adding four blocks and three assists.
When Asselin got the ball he made
strong moves, drawing fouls or finding
the open man when the defense col-
lapsed on him.
He looked like a legitimate Big Ten
post player. One might even go so far
as to describe him as a force in the
paint.
So it really doesn't matter if the
Wolverines can explain Asselin's dra-
matic improvement. If he keeps play-
ing this way, it's Michigan's opponents
who will be looking for some answers.
BUCKEYES
Continued from Page 18
sive, as Michigan had to control Ohio
State's highly touted backcourt of
Michael Redd and Penn. The two, who
combine for 34.9 points per game for the
Buckeyes, form a formidable duo, Penn
the playmaker and Redd the scorer.
But Bullock and Reid contained them
well, primarily with man-to-man
defense and weak-side help from others.
Bullock held Redd to 8 points, while
Penn scored a team-high 17 on Reid, but
had just three assists.
Redd, last year's Big Ten scoring
leader and freshman of the year, was
plagued by shooting woes throughout
the first half, as he hit just three of 10
shots, including 0-for-3 from long
range. In the second half, he attempted
just two shots, one from beyond the arc,
but both were off target.
"We knew coming into this game that
it was important to defend their guards,"
Bullock said. "Fortunately, today every-
one gave help and tried to make things
tough on them."
Ohio State made use of an aggressive
full-court press, trying to force turnovers
underneath Michigan's own basket, but
the Wolverines did a good job of break-
ing it and capitalizing off of it, frequent-
ly converting easy buckets on the other
end of the court.
"The guy who received the ball did a
good job breaking the press," Ellerbe
said "And once we crossed half-court,
'we madego na "

Sa

Michigan State 51, Illinois 49
Indiana 87, Purdue 76
Minnesota 75, Iowa 70
Wisconsin 57, Northwestern 49

1irdue
s hand and help him off the
and say, 'It was a good shot:"
Klein scored 15 points and
eterson scored 11 and grabbed
nds as Michigan State (14-4, 3-
the 10th of its last 11 games.
8-9, 0-5) has lost five in a row.
falling behind by 10 points with
utes left, Illinois scored nine
points to close to 44-43 with
aining.
rd scored with four seconds
t the margin to two and Illinois
fouled Antonio Smith, who
free throw to set up Bradford's
on shot.
rd and Victor Chukwudebe led
ith nine points each.
17 WISCONSIN 57,
VESTERN 49
-minute scoring frenzy would
,n enough for Wisconsin to beat
ams. Most teams don't have
chmeyer, though.
nsin opened the second half
6-1 run, and Sean Mason hit
throws in the final 30 seconds
day as the 17th-ranked Badgers
a late scare from Northwestern
49 victory.

T,
lo!
M
w
PL
i

Standings and Results
Conference Overali
eam W L W L
ma 4 1 13 2
lichigan State 3 1 144
isconsin 4 2 16 3'
'hio State 3 2 13 5.
lichigan 3 2 9 9
linnesota 2 2 11 3
.irdue 2 2 14 4
diana 3 3 15 6
orthwestem 2 3 9 4
enn State 1 4 9 6
inois 0 5 8 9
aturday's games:

Today's game:
Purdue at Ohio State, 7:30, ESPN
Top 25 weekend results
1. Connecticut (15-0) beat Pittsburgh 81-58.
2. Duke (17-1) beat norida State 98.73.
3. Cincinnati (16-1) beat Oklahoma 72-59.
4. Stanford (15-2) beat No. 10 UCLA 72-59.
5. Maryland (16-2) beat No.9 No. Car. 89-76.
6. Kentucky (15-4) beat Mississippi 63-57.
7 Arizona (12-2)>lost to No. 16 New Mex. 79-78,
8. Auburn (17-0) beat Florida 88-69.
9. No. Carolina (15-4) beat N.C State 59-56.
10. UCLA (12-4) lost to No. 4 Stanford 72-59.
11. StA John's (15-3) beat Rutgers 88-78.
12. Iowa (13-2)lost to No. 19 Minnesota 75-70,
13. Purdue (14-4) lost to No. 23 Indiana 87-76.
14. Michigan State (14-4) beat Illinois 51.49.
1S. Kansas (12.4) beat Texas 76.67.
16. New Mexico (16.2) beat No.7 Arizona 79-78
1 Wisconsin 16-3) beat Norihwestem 57-49.
18. Syracuse (12-5) lost to Rutwers 74-71
19. Minnesota (11-3) beat No. 12 lowa 75-70.
20. Texas Christian (14-3) beat Colorado 92-89.
21. Ohio State (13-5) lost to Micdigan 84-74.
22, Oklahoma State (12.4) beat Tex. Tech 69-55
23. Indiana (16-5) beat No. 13 Purdue 87-76.
24. Aukansas (13-) beat Georgia 82-79.
25. Clemson (12-6) lost to Virginia 65-s.
Saturday's bX score
Ohio State (74)
FS FT REB
miN MA MBA 0-T A FPTS
Singleton 28 3-5 0-2 4-5 0 2 6
Sanderson 20 2-3 1-2 1-2 0 2 6
Johnson 18 34 2-2 2.4 0 5.8
Penn 33 5.15 5-8 1-4 3 3 17
Redd 32 312 2-7 1-3 1 1.
Coleman 8 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 2 5i
Brown 21 2-6 000-2 1 2 4
Savovic 14 34 5-11 4-7 2 4 12
Smith 1. 00 00 0-0 000'
Steele 1 0-1 0.0 1-1. 0 0 0
Reese 13 3-4 0-0 0-2 106
Dudley 7 1-2 0-0 1-3 0 0 2
Herron 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 2780 15321939 8 21 74
FG%: .450. FT%:469.3-pointFG: 5-16-313
(Penn 2-5, Sanderson 1-2, Coleman 1-2, Savovlc 1.
1, Redd 0-4, Brown 0-2). Blocks: 4 (Johnson 3,
Dudley) Stem: 7 (Penn 2, Singleton. Sanderson,
Redd, Savovic, Reese). Turnovers: 17 (Penn 4,
Brown 3, Singleton 2, Johnson 2, Savovic 2, Reese
2, Sanderson, Redd). Technical Fouls: none.
MICHIGAN (84)
MifN UiA MA O1TA F PTA
Asselin 34 9-16 4-6 5-10 3 2 22
Smith 27 5-8 3.4 2-4 3 5 13
Vignier 15 0.2 2-2 2-3 1 4 2
Reid 37 7-13 1-1 2-9 4 4 21
Bullock 37 6-13 34 0.5 3 1 19
Jones 22 1-3 2-3 0-0 1 4 5
Taylor 1 0-1 0-00-0 0 0 0
Scott 1 0.1 0{0 0-0 0 0 0
Oliver 2 0-0 0-0 0.0 01 0
y n 23 0.1 2-2 9-4 1 2 2
Szndar 1 0-0 0-0 1-0 00 0
Totals 200 28-58 17-221238 1623 84-
FG%: .483. FT%: .773. 3posnt FG: 11-19. .579.
(Reid 6-10, Bullock 4-7, Jones 1-2). Blocks: 6
(Asselin 4, Smith. Vignier). Steals: 6 (Bullock 2,
Reid, Vignier, Asselin, Smith). Turnovers: 2.9 (Jones
5, Reid 4, Vinier 3, Smith 2. Bullock 2, Asselin,
Oliver, Young). Technical Fouls: none.
Ohio State.............. 30 44-74
Michigan ...................31 53 -84
At: Crisler Arena
Attendance: 11,334

AP PHOTO
A.J. Guyton helped lead Indiana to a 72-62 win over Purdue on Saturday, and the
Hoosiers improved to 3-3 in the conference.

i

,

I

NJ

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