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February 01, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Uhe Aitckian Jadl


page is

l3ack to reality,
low expectations
for MIc hikan
As the students in section two of Crisler Arena
wearily rose to their feet after watching Iowa
administer the coup de grace to Michigan on
Saturday, one fan remained in his seat, staring blankly
at the scene in front of him. In his hands he held two of
the yellow, cardboard '3-pointer' signs handed out
before the game, held so the two '3's faced each other
in a silent prayer for an eight-point basket - and a
Michigan win - that wouldn't come.
Michigan hasn't won since they beat Ohio State on
Jan. 16. They're in a four-game hole, with Northwestern
.Ohio State coming up next. On the road. It feels
gall hope for the season is gone - for the first time
in six weeks. -
Funny, but weren't these guys supposed to stink all
year? Wasn't this supposed to be not just a rebuilding
season but a redesigning one? Put on a yellow T-shirt,
get pumped up with a little "Maize Rage" and all of a
sudden Cazzie Russell, Chris Webber and Three Mills
are supposed to prance out onto the court and take the
Maize and Blue to the Promised
Land.3 x
Hate to say it, but you knew
s was going to happen. Nine
d 13 sounded pretty darn OK
in October. Didn't it? 3-6 in the
Big Ten? Without any frontcourt
to speak of? Not too shabby for
Ellerbe's first official season. RICK
But now, its bummertime FREEMAN
again at Crisler. Reality has Freeman of
come crashing down around the the Press
ears of the Wolverines - and
their fans. The bench has only
bred 18 points in the last four games. Josh Asselin,
who took off like a rocket after the Indiana game, when
he scored career highs in three straight games, to aver-
age 18.3, has become human once again. In Michigan's
last four games - all of them losses - the sophomore
has scored 28.
This was what was supposed to happen. Remember?
But it didn't. Michigan surprised Wisconsin, shocked
Indiana, and all of a sudden, the Wolverines were
movers and shakers in the toughest conference in
America. The frontcourt began to play years beyond
Air collective experience, and even though they lost to
chigan State, they knew. If only, if only they could
put together a complete game, they'd be exceeding all
the expectations and the hype.
Hype? Expectations? Where did those come from?
They weren't supposed to be anywhere approaching a
good team this season. Before the season, Louis
Bullock said the Wolverines might be lucky to win
three or four Big Ten games this season, if that. Well,
they've got three so far.
Give credit to Robbie Reid and Louis Bullock. Not
averaging 35.2 points a game. And not for being
michigan's top two 3-point shooters ever. Give them
credit for not whining that they aren't getting any help.
It would be easy for them to pout that the coach that
brought them to Michigan got a raw deal. They won't
end their careers in the NCAA Tournament. They'll
probably end them in Chicago. They could be secretly
cursing this fact. But they won't let that out. Instead
they'll talk about how the frontcourt's learning. Robbie
Reid will talk fundamentals with Peter Vignier, get him
pumped up, rather than ask why he can't dunk on every
These guys gave themselves - and their fans - a
e that had them batting eyelashes with both top 25
polls and looking like candidates for the NIT.
No Michigan fan expected to be on their feet at
Crisler at all this season except to go to the Mr. Spots
booth while Mateen Cleaves and his buddies played
keep away. But the electricity in the building as
Michigan tossed off Ohio State two weeks ago was
more like 1989 that 1999.
After that, Michigan was 3-3 in the Big, bad Ten and
had knocked the Buckeygs out of the polls. to leave the
;inference with a paltry six teams in the rankings. Two,
Ohio State and Michigan, both received votes. OK,
Michigan got only one vote, but still, the AP poll was-
n't even in the Wolverines' vocabulary in November.

"There were no expectations" before the season,
Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said. "And we created
And for a while, they soared above the expectations
they built for themselves. But four straight losses have
brought them back to reality. There might even be more
blessings this season. Michigan's two freshmen, Leon
Jones and Chris Young haven't found their limits yet.
indon Smith is long overdue. But for now, salvation
will have to wait.
- Rick Freeman can be reached via e-mail
at rickfree@umich.edu.

'M' answers, raises questions

By Geoff ag8ion
Daily Sports Writer
The strength of its schedule was
The strength of its character was
With its play on Friday night, the
Michigan women's basketball squad
answered more than a few questions
as it upend-
ed Ohio r
State 85-711 WISCONSIN 70
to move to 5-
4 in the Big MICHIGAN 46
Ten while
posting a 13-6 record overall. But
the celebration was short-lived, as
Guevara and her squad came up
short yesterday as they fell to
Wisconsin 70-46.

Serving as potent catalysts in
Friday's win, Michigan's Stacey
Thomas and Alayne Ingram, who
teamed up for 48 points Friday, com-
bined to manage a dismal eight, yes-
"It was a very frustrating after-
noon," Guevara said. "It's disap-
pointing, after how well we played
Friday night, to come in and play
like we did today."
In netting a mere 46 points, yes-
terday marked the first time since
the season's first game that only one
Wolverine scored in doubled figures.
"I thought we couldn't shoot any
worse than we were," Guevara said.
"We got down and we just couldn't

And in mustering a 30-percent
shooting effort from the floor,
Michigan's offensive output was its
lowest in almost two months.
"It's always frustrating not being
able to score," Anne Thorius said.
"We had some good looks, they just
weren't falling"
Part of that inability to score
stemmed from Wisconsin's second-
half defense that kept the ball away
from the Michigan# post while
thwarting the Wolverine's outside
"We didn't do a good job getting
the ball to the post," Guevara said.
"We weren't hitting anything from
the perimeter either. You have to
See BADGERS, Page 6B

Michigan's Alison Miller couldn't control the ball, and the
Wolverines couldn't control the Badgers yesterday.



Iowa wears
down 'M'
n fourth
straigt loss
By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Editor
At times, it just seemed like Iowa
had an extra player out there. And then,
during one possession, they actually
Midway through the first-half, Iowa
was applying its swarming full-court
pressure with six players on the floor.
And while you wouldn't know it from
the way the Hawkeyes was all over the
court on
Saturday, .IOWA81
eventually MICHIGAN 68
cleared the
matter up
and the y returned to having five play-
It didn't help Michigan any. The
16th-ranked Hawkeyes used this relent-
less defense and its mammoth frontline
to wear down an exhausted Michigan
team, 81-68.
"We lost to a good basketball team,"
Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said.
"They're very deep, and they play with
a lot of passion and purpose."
Nowhere was Iowa's depth more of
an advantage that it was in the post. The
Hawkeyes (5-3 Big Ten, 14-4 overall)
were able to continually bring strong
bodies off the bench, tiring out
Michigan's smaller and less experi-
enced frontcourt. Iowa enjoyed a 37-17
edge on the boards over Michigan (3-6,
9-13). The Hawkeyes grabbed a whop-
ping 16 offensive rebounds in the con-
"Every game, I say we should domi-
nate inside," said Iowa center Jacob
Jaacks, who came off the bench to

Brandon Smith and his teammates took one in the face on Saturday, falling to No. 16 Iowa, 81-68.

Elway bid
style, 34-19
'The Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) - What a perfect way
for John Elway to say goodbye.
The man who spent his first 14 NFL
seasons without a Super Bowl ring got
his second straight last night, weaving
his magic for what could be the final
time and gaining revenge on former
coach and adversary Dan Reeves and
his upstart Atlanta Falcons.
The final score was 34-19 over an
Atlanta team that was its own worst
enemy as the 38-year-old Elway, who
was the unanimous choice for MVP,
completed 18 of 29 passes for 336
yards and one touchdown and ran
three yards for another score. The total
yardage was third best in Super Bowl
Elway refused to say whether he

AP PHOTO J un ra - A-v a v av v
See HAWKEYES, Page 58
H o kycmJ S Z C.ch a .n c e to ta k e
CCHA led
By Chis Duprey
Daily Sports Editor
NOTRE DAME In a weekend that tested soul as much
as stickwork, the Michigan hockey team emerged with a
heartbreaking one point.
One point, courtesy of Friday night's 3-3 tie at Michigan
State - not the two victories the Wolverines almost had,
which would've given them first place in the CCHA outright.
Saturday's 3-2 road loss to Notre Dame cost Michigan (14-4-
3 CCHA, 17-64 overall) a share of first place with the
Spartans, heading into the conference season's final nine
Fighting dead legs from Friday's intense battle, the
Wolverines entered the contest against Notre Dame (12-6-2,
15-7-3) with hopes of handing the Fighting Irish their first
home loss of the season. But a valiant two-goal comeback in
the third period proved not to be enough, as Michigan's road
woes continued with another defeat.
"This team did not quit," Michigan coach Red Berenson
sad "We verv we.ll could ha~ve won this came. We had the

John Elway departs the field after winning his second Super Bowl. Elway was a
unanimous choice for MVP in the Broncos' 3419 victory over Atlanta.

"I'm going to take some time, relish
this year," Elway said. "You got to love
those challenges. We got the team; we
got the nucleus here to do it. It defi-
nitely throws a kink into my thinking."
In addition to the Falcons, who did
everything they could to self-destruct
on offense, Elway's accomplices were:
U Darrien Gordon, who intercepted

Fullback Howard Griffith, who
had two 1-yard touchdown runs.
Terrell Davis, the league MVP,
who carried 25 times for 102 yards for
his seventh consecutive postseason
100-yard game, breaking an NFL
record set by John Riggins.
Wide receiver Rod Smith, who
caught five passes for 152 yards and


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