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February 02, 2000 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-02

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Snapshots
o tht!c DI;y potsWebsite for
11OT PictUres from J-1Michigan's loss to
the e ightrh-rankcd Spartans last night.
michigandaity. corn/s ports

Jr _S

WEDNESDAY
FEBRUARY 2, 2000

10

U

Like it or
not, this is
Mic4i an
1vs et al
A s Michigan coach Brian
Ellerbe grabbed the back of
is neck last night - sweat-
ing under the spotlights of the Crisler
press lounge and the national media
-something became quite clear.
"I just want to coach basketball,"
said Ellerbe with a slight shudder in
his voice, mak-_
ing eye contact
only with the
sea of recorders s
and micro-
phones at his
e w.If you can
believe any- DAVID
thing coming DEN HERDER
from the
Michigan bas- Double
ketball program Down
these days,
that's one of them. Brian Ellerbe has
a simple desire, and he is truly pas-
sionate about coaching Big Ten bas-
ketball.
But after each of the last three
games at Crisler Arena, reporters
have hardly focused discussion on
the x's and o's of Ellerbe's floor plan.
Team suspensions, transfer rumors,
legal questions and eligibility issues
have headlined press conferences,
and the embattled coach is visibly
worse for wear.
On Monday morning, I grumbled
over what I perceived as the unpleas-
ant task of waking up early and dri-
ving to East Lansing. The Michigan
basketball program had long since
cut off the media, and if anything
was going to be printed in the Daily
on Tuesday about this rivalry, it
would have to come from the
Spartans' mouths.
Cursing quietly as I walked
through the biting wind chill up to
the Breslin Center entrance, I was
not prepared for the things that hap-
pened next.
After finding my way to the
Breslin press lounge, I poked my
head in the door and, as-it seemed
nothing official was going on,
grabbed a cookie and a Diet Sprite.
A bit out of my element, I cracked
See DEN HERDER, Page 12

Flints toned

70

Crawford-less hoops
fall to Spartans by 20'

By Chris Duprey
Daily Sports Editor

On a night when it seemed like
the game was the least important
event happening, the Michigan bas-
ketball team put forth a gutsy fight
without Jamal Crawford, their lead-
ing scorer, but succumbed yesterday
to No. 8 Michigan State, 82-62.
The freshman came out for the
first of Michigan's three pregame
warmup sessions, then returned for
the second warmup in street clothes,
leaving Crisler Arena wondering
what had happened to Michigan's
key to a possible victory over :he
Spartans (7-1 Big Ten, 16-5 overall).
Michigan athletic officials noti-
fied the NCAA this past Friday that
Crawford might have violated a by-
law on amateurism while in high
school by living with a sponsor who
was not legally his guardian.
Michigan hoped that the matter
could be cleared up before yesterday
night.
But Crawford learned just 20
minutes before the game that the
NCAA had not finished its review
of the circumstances, and that the
athletic department would have no
choice but to declare him and his
16.6 points per game temporarily
ineligible, a decision that killed the
Wolverines (3-4, 12-6).
It is still unclear whether
Crawford will be given clearance to
play Sunday against Ohio State at
home, Michigan's next game.
"It gives you and your teammates
a distraction," Michigan forward
Brandon Smith said. "It changes the
mindset of the game. It changes the
roles and it's difficult to adjust."
"It wasn't a 20-point game,"
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
said, giving credit to the Wolverines
for picking up and moving on. "It's
a tough situation to find out 20 min-
utes before the game that your best
player is out."
Michigan, emotionally battered
even before the opening tip,,took the
court to win one for Jamal, as back-
court mate Kevin Gaines - who

played all 40 minutes in warrior-like
fashion - donned Crawford's tradi-
tional headband in his honor.
And in the absence of their floor
leader, the Wolverines gave a fight
he would have been proud to take
part in. Michigan State, expectedly
showing no compassion fo _
Michigan's plight, held leads of
eight, nine, and even I l points in
the first half, but the Wolverines
never went away - they stole
inbounds passes, recovered loose
balls and got as many garbage bas-
kets as they could to stay close.
"The one thing that Michigan has
is great athletes with very good
hands," , Izzo said. "We really
worked hard on getting rebounds
and not getting the ball knocked ou
of our hands."
Michigan's reward for their dili- -
gence: A deficit ofjust six points at
halftime, 38-32. The Wolverines
were in the game. It was all they
could ask for.
The Spartans, knowing full well
how Michigan was undermanned at
the guard position, picked up the
pace in the second half, running and
fastbreaking their way to a 12-2
period-opening run and a 50-34
advantage.
One could only wonder if the
Spartans would have shot as well as
they did from 3-point range (11-for-
22 for the game) had 6-foot-6-
Crawford extending his arms to
contest those outside shots.
Whenever Izzo substituted for his
starters, the Wolverines made up
ground, cutting the lead to II whil
Mateen Cleaves (19 points) and
Morris Peterson (32 points) sat.
But after the two All-Big Ten
players reentered the game,
Michigan State worked its trade-
mark inside-outside game to perfec-
tion, and the Wolverines had no
answer.
"Seeing them on TV doesn't d
them justice," Smith said.
Showing a national television
audience a Crawford-less Michigan
doesn't do the Wolverines justice,
either.

DAVID KATZ/Daily
The two in-state rivals, Michigan and Michigan State, scrambled for the ball all evening, but the Spartans emerged with an
82-62 victory. Their fans, "The izzone," overshadowed Michigan's Maize Rage for the second consecutive year.

Grapplers use week off to recover
By Jon Schwartz they find a way to win them all. team to have the extra days off.
Daily Sports Writer But after this past weekend, when "It'll be good to give these guys"a
their mortality was finally proven to chance to get away from the wrestling
The battered and for the first time, all of those still waiting for the ball to room," McFarland said.
beaten Michigan wrestling team has drop, the Wolverines are thanking "(Minnesota's) got a real solid line-
been something of an enigma whoever's looking out for them for up."

l
I

throughout the first half of the season.
They've been too good to believe.
The team apparently decided not to
give in to the masses and become dev-
astated by the injuries that could have
plagued its year.
The Wolverines wrestle in possibly
the toughest conference, and despite a
few gut-wrenchingly close matches,

giving them this weekend off.
With Amateur Wrestling News'
third-ranked Minnesota bringing its
act south to Cliff Keen Arena next
Saturday night, and No. 8 Michigan
on its first "slump" of the season (tie
against Michigan State, loss to Illinois
last weekend), McFarland feels that
now is as good a time as any for the

WELCOME BACK, WARREN: Perhaps
the most obvious advantage of this
weekend off is that it gives time for
133-pound senior, Joe Warren to
himself ready to once again don tl
Michigan singlet.
Warren, who injured him leg at the
Midlands. Championship on
See WARREN, Page 11

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