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February 11, 2000 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-11

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


Soccer recruits
The women's soccer team signed four
recruits for the 2000 season. Take a
look at the newest Wolverines.

3AW) Lg

michigandaily.com /sports

FEBRUARY 11, 2000


,4, 1 1




Groninger gets another crack at Indiana

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Editor

Junior Scott Matzka said Michigan "needs to get a little roll going (against
Western Michigan) and get some momentum" in order to earn an NCAA berth.
CCHA leaders,
in mUst-wln scenano

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
In mid-February 1998, the Michigan
hockey team was in the driver's seat in
the CCHA-conference race heading into
the final stretch of regular season play.
Heading into this weekend's series
with Western Michigan, the scenario is
the same.
In 1998, the Wolverines were in first
place in the standings with
Michigan State close on Tof
their heels. With three YOSTl
weeks left, the teams' fates Who: No.
were to be decided in a two- 1) rs. Weste
game series that pitted No. 1 14-3)
against No. 2. When: 7:35
Michigan State came out p.m. Sarrd
victorious in both contests Latest: To v
going on to claim the regu- crown. Mid
lar season and tournament ackon the
conference crowns.
But Michigan fans don't remember
that. Why would they? After all, that year
Michigan overcame all odds and won the
NCAA Championship, silencing every
This year, with four weeks left in the
season, Michigan (15-5-1 CCHA, 20-7-1
overall) has become the team to beat.
Last weekend with a victory over
Ferris State on Friday, the Wolverines
clinched a CCHA playoff berth.
Crunch time begins now.
The Wolverines host the Broncos this
weekend for the first time this season.
The puck will drop at 7:35 p.m. on
Friday and 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
f Even though Western may seem like a
weaker opponent after having been oblit-
erated by Northern Michigan, 6-3 and 7-
1, with seven games left in conference
play, the Wolverines cannot relinquish
anything. They must win every contest in
order to experience what only the current
senior class has ever done - win a
CCHA crown.
"We haven't been in this position my


first two years," Michigan junior center
Mark Kosick said. "It's exciting; at this
time last year Michigan State pretty
much had (the conference title) all
wrapped up. This year we have a chance
to get first place which is huge."
Standing in the Wolverines' way are
Northern Michigan (14-4-2, 19-7-2) and
Michigan State (13-7-1, 18-9-2) -
teams that currently occupy the number
two and three spots in the conference
4lGHT And in a series that has
:E ARENA huge CCHA post-season
Aichigan (20.7- implications, the
n Michigan (9- Spartans and Wildcats
face off twice this week-
.m. toa y, 7:05 end in East Lansing. The
ideal scenario for the
itheCCHA Wolverines would be a
on must get series split or a pair of
inning track. ties. But Michigan can
pray as much as it wants for a particular
outcome, but none of it will matter if the
Wolverines can't take care of business at
home against the Broncos.
"This is an exciting weekend," junior
forward Scott Matzka said. "We've got to
take care of ourselves. Now is the time to
start going and getting better.
"We need to get a little roll going and
get some momentum. If we win this
weekend and win next weekend, then it's
not just our league, but the country we
must focus on"
The last couple of weeks, Michigan
has struggled offensively failing to con-
vert on numerous opportunities - a
rather strange scenario for one of the
country's most prolific offenses.
Part of that may have been fueled by a
slew of injuries that held three of
Michigan's top forwards - Josh
Langfeld, Mark Kosick and Geoff Koch
- out of last Saturday's loss to Ferris.
This weekend, Kosick and Koch have
been placed back on the roster, but
Langfeld's absence caused the Michigan
coaches to shift the lines around in the
hopes of finding more offense.
"The last three games we've been
struggling to score," Matzka said.
"Things have gotten a little stale and they
decided to switch it up a bit. We just have
to score the goals."
All week long the coaches have
stressed the importance of the weekend
The players understand.
"We have to win our games,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "It's
as simple as that. We're in control of our
own destiny; we don't have to hope that
someone wins or loses. Our challenge is
to play better than we've played and to
win our home games."

Have you ever' seen the movie
Set in 1951, the classic film about
small-town high school basketball in
Hickory, Ind. exposes a state's addiction
to the game of roundball. Basketball
means everything to Hickory coach
Norman Dale, played by Gene
Hackman, an ex-college coach who
needs a fresh start in a town where no
one knows him. Hickory soon discovers
how intense and passionate Dale is on
the court.
Hackman's controversial, yet heroic
character has become a household
name in Indiana, igniting basketball
dreams in kids born and raised in the
Hoosier state - like current Michigan
guard Gavin Groninger.
Groninger grew up in Plainfield, Ind.
- 45 minutes away from Indianapolis
- watching Hoosiers, his favorite
movie, every chance he got. It pumped
him up; it brought tears to his eyes.
And by the time Groninger began
playing basketball at Plainfield High
School, the movie and the state-wide
atmosphere Hoosiers induced, had
turned him into an excellent shooter.
Indiana is known for its great shoot-
ers, past and present. The Pacers'
Reggie Miller has spent most of his
NBA career in an unconscious zone
from behind the three-point arch in
Market Square Arena. Indiana's best
player, A.J. Guyton, is feared for his
shooting touch.
But Groninger, the runner-up for
Indiana's Mr. Basketball as a senior at
Plainfield High, opted elsewhere when
it came time for college ball.

He turned down Indiana coach
Bobby Knight - the real-life Norman
Dale with similar motivational tactics
and a legendary temper - and Purdue
coach Gene Keady, two men who have
experienced plenty of success during
their tenures.
Instead Groninger came to Michigan
to play for Brian Ellerbe, the third-year
coach who's as nimble-legged as a
spring chicken compared to Knight and
Keady. He came to a program known in
the past for its bruising big men in the
In fact, the Wolverines' best 3-point
shooter in recent times, Louis Bullock,
didn't even make it in the NBA.
But in Ann Arbor, Groninger found a
place where he could play immediately.
The Hoosiers and Boilermakers are
experienced teams which may go far in
the NCAA Tournament this March,
Michigan is a freshman-laden team in a
rebuilding stage.
Groninger also preferred Ellerbe's
"players' 'coach" style to Knight's
unpredictable scare tactids and shock-
the-world attitude.
"I trusted Ellerbe," the sharp-shooter
said. "At Michigan I had a great oppor-
tunity to play every day.
"I wasn't sure what to think of
(Bobby Knight). For the most part I had
a positive experience when I visited
Indiana, but going into the lockerroom
at halftime, I thought about his chair-
throwing and player head-butting
tirades in the past."
But Groninger's Indiana homecom-
ing on Jan. 25 was not a happy one, as
the Wolverines fell to Knight's Hoosiers
by a ghastly 35 points in Bloomington.
The kid from Plainfield never found the
shooting touch he-perfected for six 3-

pointers against Georgia Tech on Dec.
1, going 0-for-6 from the field against
Indiana's stifling defense.
The embarrassing loss set off a five-
game losing streak from which
Michigan has yet to recover. But the
downtrodden Wolverines will try to
end this miserable stretch, Sunday,
when they host the Hoosiers at Crisler
Since the last meeting Michigan has
plummeted into second-to-last place in
the Big Ten with a 3-6 record, due in
part to the absence of leading scorer
Jamal Crawford. Indiana meanwhile is
putting together a phenomenal season.
With a 7-3 conference record, the
Hoosiers trail top dogs Michigan State
and Ohio State by only one game.

Who: Indiana (7-3 Big Ten, 17-4 overall) at
Michigan (3-6,12-8)
When: I p.m.
Absences: Jamal Crawford (suspended)
Radio: WVKA 1050 AM, WJR 760 AM
The Latest: Michigan wasembaassed in
Blkonington by 35 points, beginning its horrid
five-game losing streak. And it gets wose:leading
scorer Jamal Crawfxrd played in that game.
Indiana, meanwhile, ts only agameout of first
place in the tough Big Ten.
History book
A closer look at the last three
Michigan-Indiana matchups in
Ann Arbor:
JAN. 5, 1999. MICHIGAN 82,
INDIANA 70: The Wolverines ral-
lied behind 6-for-13 second half
three-point shooting to stun No. 8
Indiana and give themselves an
improbable 2-1 Big Ten record. It
didn't last.
FEB. 26, 1998. MICHIGAN
112, INDIANA 64: Sleeper forward
Jerod Ward scored a career-high 24
points as the Wolverines pulled
into a fourth-place tie with the
Hoosiers. The win, and another
against Penn State, catapulted
Michigan which won the inaugural
Big Ten Tournament the following
FEB. 16, 1997. INDIANA 84,
Wolverines blew a 20-point half-
time lead as Indiana's sharpshoot-
ing freshman A.J. Guyton torched
the Michigan backcourt for 31

"' t

Gavin Groninger hopes to show
Indiana that talent'can get away.

Women expect to extend streak

By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Wnter

A line from the late Big Pun's "Still
Not a Playa," is a fitting description
for this season's Michigan women's
basketball team.
The Wolverines began as a young,
unheralded team picked for the middle
of the Big Ten pack. No Michigan
players were named first- or second-
team all-conference in the preseason,
and the general opinion amongst prog-
nosticators was that the Wolverines
were a certified WNIT candidate.
Now, Michigan is crushing the
opposition on a regular basis.
To the surprise of everyone but
themselves, the Wolverines are 8-3 in
the Big Ten and 16-6 overall. They
completed Michigan's third-ever
sweep of Illinois and also defeated
defending national champion Purdue.
"We always want to control our
own destiny," sophomore forward
Raina Goodlow said. "We've got five
games left. It starts on Sunday."

The Wolverines will look to con-
tinue their winning ways on Sunday,
when they face the Indiana Hoosiers
at Crisler Arena at 4 p.m..
Although the Hoosiers have a less-
than-spectacular record (4-6 Big Ten,
9-12 overall), there is no risk of
Michigan taking this game lightly --
after all, Indiana beat the Wolverines,
77-72, in Bloomington on Jan. 6.
"Sure, there's a revenge factor, but
only in that we lost to them,"
Michigan assistant coach Eileen Shea
said. "I think that the kids knew what
they want to do with five games left.
They're thinking about taking care of
the next game and about defending
our home court"
A big factor in the first meeting
was the absence of point guard Anne
Thorius, who sustained a leg injury
during the gameday shootaround.
Thorius' absence allowed Hoosier
guards Heather Cassady and Jill
Hartman to freely penetrate the
Wolverine defense. Ifthey didn't score
themselves, they repeatedly found

center Jill Chapman standing alone
underneath the basket.
Chapman's 29 points and 10
boards, along with Cassady's 23
points, keyed Indiana's upset victory.
In order for Michigan to avoid an
encore performance, Thorius will
have to play a significant role in the
Wolverines' perimeter defense.
"We saw some film, and we
noticed how they kept penetrating on
us," guard Anne Thorius added.
"Cassady had about 25 points, and
what they were was penetration and
three-point shots. Definitely, we're
looking to take away her strengths.
This game is the first in a series of
winnable games to close out
Michigan's season. The only game in
which the Wolverines might be an
underdog will be when Michigan trav-
els to East Lansing to play Michigan
State (7-4 Big Ten, 16-6 overall).
"They are teams that we can defi-
nitely beat" Thorius said. "But, we
need to just go into the games and be
ready to play.


Senior Stacey Thomas hopes to keep
Michigan's winning streak alive this weekend.

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Big Ten seedings on the line for grapplers

By Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer

With four weekends'and four dual
meets separating the Michigan
wrestling team from the Big Ten
tournament, jockeying for seeds is
on the grappler's minds as they head
into weekend matches against No. 2
Minnesota and No. 23 Indiana.
The meet with the Golden Gophers
figures to have a big impact on tour-
nament seeding. Every Michigan

wrestler scheduled to
face at least one
ranked opponent.
The Golden
Gophers provide
Michigan with its
toughest challenge of
the dual match season.
All ten of Minnesota's
wrestlers are ranked in
the top 20, and three

Who: No. 10 Michigan vs.
No. 2 Minnesota and No. 23
When:7:00 p.m. tonight,
7:00p.m Saturday
Latest: Senior Joe Warren
returns to the Lineu after
missing two months oft action

challenge for Michigan.
He faces Herculean
heavyweight, Brock
Lesnor, who is ranked
No. 1 in the nation.
"(Lesnor) is a horse,"
Michigan coach Joe
McFarland said. "He's a
big imposing figure and a
great heavyweight, but i
think Matt will be ready
other end of the weight

spectrum, 125-pound freshman A.J.
Grant expects an equally large chal-
lenge from a much smaller wrestler
in Minnesota's third-ranked Leroy
Grant hopes to rebound from two
punishing matches against top fif-
teen opponents two weeks ago. HeO
lost a major decision to No. 9 Jason
Silverstein of Purdue two days after,
being pinned by No. 12 Ryan
Escobar of Illinois.
See GOPHERS, Page 11


are ranked in the top five.
Senior Matt Brink has the toughest

for him."
At the

_ ;

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