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January 11, 2000 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-11

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MEN'S NCAA
BASKETBALL
(24) Utah at
*AN DIEGO STATE, inc.
(15) Texas at
(5) Connecticut, inc.
WOMEN'S NCAA
BASKETBALL
(2) ENNESSEE 79,
Arkansas 69

Clemson 60,
(9) NORTH CAROLINA 59
(4) LOUISIANA TECH 90,
South Alabama 33
(6) Penn State 82,
MINNESOTA 30
NBA
BASKETBALL
Vancouver 112,
BOSTON 103

CLEVELAND 111,
LA Clippers 106
New Jersey 100,
ORLANDO 94
MILWAUKEE 137,
Charlotte 87
Utah at
SAN ANTONIO, inc.
Dallas at
PORTLAND. inc.

UI1t £iIi& owu u

Tracking 'M' teams
CheCk out the No. 9 Michigan men's swimming and
diving team this weekend. The Wolverines face No.-
Stanford at Canham Natatorium at 6 p.m. on Friday w
and noon on Saturday.
Tuesday
January 11, 2000 L I

I

Thomas just first piece of Carr's puzzle

By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Editor
I- the back of a darkened room,
Lloyd Carr sat uneasily. His work-
horse tailback this season, Anthony
Thomas, was busy telling the assem-
bled media: "This is the thing y'all
have been waiting for ... I will be
staying for my final season."
ir has more waiting to do. Days
gtbwclosing business on the 1999
seaso, the uncertainties of a new
seas are beginning to stir and flut-
ter. hat about the defensive line?
WiI Arew Henson be too preoccu-
pie' vith the Yankees? (It is a con-
trae al obligation.) How will the
Wo erines fare with a quarterback
tha has never started a game?
mas will stay, Carr knows. He
kndw more, but even his coach's
*oWJ won't tug an answer out of the
futate.
The past season is in the books.
The Wolverines fared better than
expected - and might have soared
higher still had it not been for two
people.
Any chance at a national title
slipped through the Wolverines' fin-
P 'Malley,
Scarpace
accepting
jiew roles
By Stephanie Offen
Daily Sports Writer
Four of the top five goalies in the
CCHA were present at Munn Ice Arena
for.Michigan's 2-0 shutout of Michigan
State this past Friday.
In his first game back after suffering
a Lisfrancs sprain on Oct. 9, Josh
Blackburn faced Michigan State's Ryan
*iller. While Miller and Blackburn
stared down each other on the ice, the
No. 2 and No. 5 goalies in the confer-
cnce watched on.
Tied for second in the CCHA in goal-
tending, Michigan State's Joe
Blackburn played backup to Miller.
And Kevin O'Malley, who won eight
games for the Wolverines, took the spot
in the stands that Josh Blackburn had
' een keeping warm for the last three
onths.
O'Malley and L.J. Scarpace replaced
Blackburn after sustained the injury
only two games into the season.
Q'Malley, who played backup to
Blackburn for those games, was chosen
asthe first replacement. But after three
consecutive losses, Michigan coach
Red Berenson went with Scarpace, a
transfer from Western Michigan.
But now, with Blackburn back in the
neup and the Wolverines atop the con-
rence standings thanks to the victory,
O'Malley and Scarpace have been
yanked out of the starting position as
quickly as they were forced into it
"I think that game Friday got every-
one's attention as to who our starting
gpalie would be," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "So now maybe these
guys can relax a little bit because the
pressure's off. Or they can think they
Olson, W

gers the same time Rocky Harvey did
in the final minutes of Michigan's
loss to Illinois. The score gave the
Fighting Illini a 28-27 lead to which
he added another score, heaping
insult upon a team already smarting
from having lost to Illinois. Illinois!
They might never have been in that
position had they been able to stop a
freshman from Michigan State. In the
fourth quarter of Michigan's 34-31
loss to the Spartans, Dawan Moss
pierced a comeback attempt led by
Tom Brady with his second-down,
14-yard scamper. The score widened
Michigan State's lead to 17. The
Spartans wouldn't score again, but
Michigan would fall short of glory
by a field goal.
Who knows what moments will
prove to be the Wolverines' undoing
next season? Or if any moments will
be worthy of regret?
How's this for your classic, Big
Ten team? Flashy wide receivers and
a big-time quarterback.
Inexperienced defense. Maybe the
end of the world really is upon us.
The Wolverines lost starters Rob
Renes and Josh Williams on the

defensive line, and Dhani Jones, Ian
Gold and James Hall at linebacker.
Just one senior departs from the sec-
ondary, but it might have been the
most consistent defensive back -
Tommy Hendricks. Now, Michigan
might have to try to outscore its
opponents.
The Wolverines certainly have the
weapons for that. Dave Terrell's
intentions for next season (national
title, Heisman Trophy) are well-
known. Drew Henson's ability, or at
least his potential, is obvious, as is
Justin Fargas' speed.
What isn't as Well-known is how
big a void Aaron Shea's departure
will leave at fullback. Michigan will
have two tailbacks, in Thomas and
Fargas, but will still need a fullback
to block for them. At times,
Michigan will both have Thomas and
Fargas in the backfield.
"There's a great chance" of that
happening, Michigan running backs
coach Fred Jackson said. "The prob-
lem is, who's going to do the block-
ing? You can get by with a few snaps
like that."
And Carr isn't sure how long a

team with an inexperienced defense
can last in the Big Ten.
CLASSIC CONUNDRUM: Play a
tough team that gets little national
respect and risk a season opening
loss? Or take the heat for avoiding
the second-ranked team in the
nation?
Carr will take the heat ... and keep
it off of Drew Henson in his first col-
legiate start. Yesterday, Carr said he
didn't want to hear how the
Wolverines appear to have black-
balled the Hokies from the Kickoff
Classic. While he wouldn't confirm
directly that the Wolverines have
been asked to play, he did discuss the
exercise in futility that playing a
tough schedule has become.
The participants in this season's
Sugar Bowl, the duly designated
BCS national title game, were the
champs of the Atlantic Coast
Conference (Florida State) and the
Big East (Virginia Tech).
"Some of these teams," Carr said
without naming names, "have played
very easy schedules. So certainly
there's no incentive to play the most
difficult schedule."

Anthony Thomas answered one of many questions facing the Wolverines by
announcing yesterday that he would return to Michigan for his senior season.
Berenson: Fighting
serves a purpose

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
If Michigan coach Red Berenson had
written college hockey's rulebooks, the
game would look quite a bit different.
While fighting is grotesque to some
people - those people usually aren't
hockey fans - Berenson's rule book
would probably allow for the occasional
tussle to keep people honest.
The educated hockey follower knows
that, at nearly every level, fighting is not
only tolerable, it's an integral part of the
game. Fighting plays a crucial role in a
delicate system of checks and balances.
Before any player can think he owns the
ice, a swift and vicious takedown will
knock the perpetrator off his high horse.
"Fighting is not a part of college
hockey, but it's still a part of hockey,"
Berenson said. "I'm not totally against a
good fight every once in a while to set-
tle something, rather than (have) guys
swinging sticks, acting tough or acting
brave"
But Berenson didn't write the college
hockey rulebook. In fact, a number of
the rules were made by the Presidents'
Council of the Universities, according
to Mark Sertich, the chairman of the
NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee.
"The NCAA gets a lot of direction
from the Presidents' Council of the
Universities," Sertich said. "Most of
(these rules) come directly from there.
They don't condone anything like that.
But all other levels of hockey call for it.

"If our rules committee said fighting
is okay, we wouldn't be on that rules
committee."
The issue has arisen again on the
heels of Michigan's 2-0 victory over
Michigan State this past Friday.
As time expired in regulation,
Michigan State's Sean Patchell deliv-
ered a vicious crosscheck on Michigan
freshman J.J. Swistak, who in turn retal-
iated. An all out rumble ensued.
"I took a shot from the back and got
emotional, so I just turned around and
hit him," Swistak said. "I didn't expect
it to turn out like that, but it was kind of
fun."
An intense Bob Gassoff-Damon
Whitten fight highlighted the melee
before the referees wrestled the two
apart.
"I'm not going to penalize Gassoff,"
Berenson said. "The other guy went
after him and he didn't have a choice.
"Now (Whitten) isn't going to bother
Gassoff again with any false challenges
because he knows it could lead to a
fight. But I'm not upset at Gassoff.
Once he got into it, I hoped he'd take
advantage of it and make sure he won
it."
Berenson does not promote fighting,
but after playing in the NHL for 17
years and coaching there six more, he
believes that the confrontations serve
their purposes because players are pro-
tected.
See FIGHTING, Page 12

JESSICA JOHNSON/Daily
After Michigan's 2-0 shutout over Michigan State, Josh Blackburn secured his position as Michigan's starting goalie. That
leaves former starters L.J. Scarpace and Kevin O'Malley competing for the role of backup goaltender.

have to compete harder to be the back-
up goalie, otherwise they will be sitting
in the stands"
Which is exactly where the two
goalies don't want to be after sharing
the starting position.
"I've been practicing really well, so
I'm not worried," O'Malley said. "I've
provend I can play in this league. I've
won eight games for this team. It just so
happens that as soon as you play a bad
game everyone gets on you. And if you
don't have a chance to win another
game then everyones down. But I'm not
down, and no one in that lockerroom's
down, it's just that people remember
you for that last game."
Earlier in the season, O'Malley also
recorded two wins against Miami, the
3lverines

team Michigan will face this weekend.
But as both goalies know, a good per-
formance at practice means everything
with the back up position currently up
for grabs.
"I just need to work hard in practice
and challenge the guys and challenge
Josh," Scarpace said. "If I were cutting
practice and taking a day off, that would
bring everyone down. So I have to come
to practice and keep working hard and
be positive."
All three goalies currently share time
in net during practices, and Berenson
said that he is currently leaning towards
alternating 'the goalies in the backup
position, while Blackburn continues to
start in net.
"Blackburn playing doesn't bug me a

bit" O'Malley said. "Look at him,
there's not a better goalie in the nation.
Who can come back after three months
and get a shutout against Michigan
State? I don't think anything's going to.
change and I hope it doesn't."
Blackburn's return began changing
of roles for O'Malley and Scarpace.
Each one of them will now compete for
the spot on the bench instead of the spot
in net.
But if this season has taught the team
anything, it is that one's spot can change
at any moment.
"They're both an injury away from
being the starting goalie on this team
and that's exactly what happened earlier
this season," Berenson said. "Hopefully
they learned something from that."

await news of MRI

V £

Uao
., ao D

By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
It looked harmless at first.
Michigan's Otto Olson was just
doing what he always does - strategi-
cally taking his aggression out on an
overmatched wrestler, this time
Northern Iowa's Randy Pugh.
The referee awarded Olson his due
points for an attempted takedown.
.Olson cut Pugh loose for a better hold
and, slowly, he began to lift back off of
Pugh.
* Who knew that in two seconds,
Olson's season - and Michigan's, for
that matter - would hang by a thread.
,Pop.,
It was such a subtle noise - hardly
anyone could hear it over the raucous
wrestling crowd. But Olson did.

Otto Olson's blues?
The loss of Otto Olson could be cat-
astrophic to the Wolverines. Here's
why:
M Ranked No. 1 in the country at
the 174 weight class.
Compiled a 19-1 record this sea-
son before his injury Friday against
Northern Iowa.
N Runner-up in his weight class at
NCAA Championships in 1999.
0 1999 All-American as a
sophomore.

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