148 - The Michigan Daily - Tpoff'99 - Thursday, November 11, 1999
Thursday, November 11, 1999 - Tipo
AP Top 25
Nov. 8, 1999
1. Connecticut (21)
2. Cincinnati (19)
3. Michigan State (20)
4. Auburn (4)
5. Ohio State (3)
6. North Carolina (3)
7. Temple (2)
16. Illinois -
18. St. John's
22. Oklahoma State
25. Miami (Fla.)
ESPN/USA Today Top 25
Nov. 5, 1999
1. Connecticut (9)
2. Michigan State (8)
3. Cincinnati (8)
5. North Carolina (2)
6. Ohio State (2)
7. Temple (2)
19. St. John's
One small step for La Veil .
An Ann Arbor native comes to play for the team he grew up watching
BY DAVID DEN HERDER
OTHER9 RECEIVING VOTEs: Maryland 195, WVake Forest 151, Oklahoma 63,
Georgia Tech 38, Indiana 22, New Mexico 21, Fresno State 19, Louisville 18,
Arkansas 17, North Carolina State 12, Oregon 12, UNLV 12, Virginia 12, Tulsa
11, Weber State 11, Murray St 10, Siena 9, College of Charlston 8, Bradley 7,
Rhode Island 7, Detroit Mercy 6, Mississippi State 6, Massachusetts 5,
Michigan 5, Delaware 4, New Mexico State 4, Xavier 4, Akron 3, Memphis 2,
Georgetown 2, UNC-Charlotte 2, Iowa 1, Missouri 1, Princeton 1
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Gonzaga 89, Wake Forest 43, Indiana 40, Oklahoma
31, Louisville 28, Georgia Tech 26, North Carolina State 22, Arkansas 20,
Alabama 18, Fresno State 15, Detroit 12, Xavier 12, Bradley 11, Virginia 10,
Georgetown 6, Butler 5, Siena 5, Tulsa 5, Colorado 4, Delaware 4, Murray
State 3, New Mexico 3, Evansville 2, Indiana State 2, Kent 2, Michigan 2,
Oregon 2, St. Joseph's (Pa.) 2, Valparaiso 2, Weber State 2, Charleston 1,
Mississippi 1, UNC-Charlotte 1
Senior guard/forward Darius Taylor, who walked on to the Michigan basketball
team as a freshman, was rewarded for his hard work with a scholarship this year.
Big Ten preseason polls
Big Ten coaches top five preseason picks (with 98-99 records)
1. Michigan State (15-1 Big Ten, 33-5 overall)
2. Ohio State (12-4, 27-9)
3. Illinois (3-13,14-18)
4. Purdue (7-9, 21-13)
5. Indiana (9-7, 23-11)
Big Ten media top three preseason picks
1. Michigan State
2. Ohio State
Coaches Preseason All-conference Team
JOHN GUESS AGENCY
INSURANCE FOR EDUCATIONAL EMPLOYEES
have saved on
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Student season tickets for this
season are still available. The pack-
age costs $100 for 19 games.
Students receive a free Maize Rage
t-shirt with the purchase.
Single-games tickets, which go
on sale Nov. 15, will cost $12 and
$15. Michigan does have a special
$6 single-game ticket for all home
games except Duke.
Tickets can be ordered at
Michigan's Website: mgoblue.com,
or by calling the Michigan Ticket
Office at 764-0247.
Student tickets can be picked up
immediately at the office on 1000
S. State St.
They say you grow up faster being
raised in a college town. The fast-
paced lifestyle, the bustling social
atmosphere - "everything moves so rapid-
ly," says LaVell Blanchard, an Ann Arbor
native. "People come in and out, because
their parents come in for a few years and
leave, so your friends come and go."
When Blanchard made the decision to
attend Michigan this past summer, it comes
as little surprise that, more than the city
itself and the acquaintances therein, his
family was a big factor in the decision.
"Ann Arbor has its advantages and dis-
advantages," said Blanchard. "If you want
to know about me, you can go to my fami-
ly. They've been there for the whole situa-
In a town where friends come and go,
and in a sport where coaches leave the pic-
ture just as quickly as they entered,
Blanchard has learned to rely on his par-
ents. An only child, he has taken inspiration
from the calm sources of stability in his
"They were always the ones who were
there, my mother and father, when things
got rough and when things were good."
That said, the son's decision to stay was
strictly his own. LaVell Blanchard, Sr. has
enjoyed watching his son's success (and
sometimes non-success) in basketball over
the years, but college was a decision he felt
best left to the student.
"That was a long, drawn-out process,"
said Blanchard Sr. ofthe past summer. "He
was weighing academics, and I just tried to
be as supportive as possible. I see so many
fathers try to live through their sons, and I
didn't want to do that. It was his decision."
His decision to go to Michigan - just
like it was his decision to pick up a basket-
ball and keep dribbling. Blanchard Sr. says
he never pressured his son to play hoops,
although he didn't take exception to it
"LaVell knew if it was time to mow the
lawn, he could get out of it by going to play
basketball," said Blanchard Sr. But it
became more and more apparent to the
father over the years that hoops were a
legitimate passion in his son's life.
16.9 ppg, 4.3 apg
19.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg
11.7 ppg, 7.2 apg
13.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg
16.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Media Preseason All-conference Team
Cleaves (unanimous selection)
Cory Bradford So. G Illinois
15.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
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LaVell Blanchard's presence in the frontcourt
could be a giant leap for Michigan's program.
"He left home with two gym
bags and a bag of potato
- LaVell Blandard, Sr.,
on his son's short move to Michigan
"I knew it was starting to get serious,
because for a while he didn't have a driver's
license," Senior recalls. "He was playing so
much that he didn't take the time to take a
There were many teams, some better
than others, and many coaches likewise.
Countless opponents in various gyms -
and Blanchard Jr. has tried to take some-
thing from each.
"You take a little piece from everybody's
game," said Junior. "A little bit of personal-
ity from everybody. You see what they did
well and you try to incorporate that into
your game, and into tihe way you treat peo-
Blanchard Jr. has taken a great deal from
his father's playbook off the court - and
there was even a time when he learned on
the court. But Senior remembers that fate-
ful day when he ceased to be the teacher -
at least under the hoop.
"Everything he threw up was going in,"
says the father, recalling the first one-on-
one defeat at the hands of his son. "It was
over so fast, like 10-0. 1 accused him of
cheating," he said, chuckling.
And so,.careful not to abandon his off-
the-court kinship with his parents, LaVell
moved on to more formidable basketball
"Just being in the gym, playing around I
met a lot of the guys on (Michigan's) team,"
said Blanchard Jr.
But at Pioneer High School, kitty corner
to Michigan Stadium, he had bigger fish to
fry - for the time being.
His freshman year in high school,
LaVell's basketball team managed but one
victory on the season. The next year, the
Pioneers mustered four, and his junior year
It was a moment shortly after that third
dismal season that Blanchard Sr. remem-
"In I I th grade," recalls Senior, "he said,
'Dad, I can win this."'
And by "this," Junior meant the state
The next year, in the face of three-
straight losing seasons and in the face of
spotlight-sharer Jason Richardson (who
took Michigan's Mr. Basketball honors,)
Blanchard Jr. guided his Pioneers to a deci-
sive victory in the final over Richardson's
high school, Saginaw Arthur Hill, and to a
Class 'A' state title.
"He never talked about the next level,"
said Blanchard Sr. "He'd always say, well if
I could just get through this game."
And listening to the father, you can feel
the pride within him, hard as he tries to
mask it from public view. You get the sense
that senior is glad junior stayed in town -
if for nothing more than the chance to see
"He left home with two gym bags and a
bag of potato chips," says the father. "He
comes home to wash his clothes, but does-
n't say that much. I'll ask him how things
are going and he says, 'There'smalways room
Plenty, in fact, at Michigan these days.
And perhaps for a time it will be challeng-
ing at Crisler Arena. But Junior's been
through it before, and seems to has the
work ethic accomplish his
"I think he tries to be a perfectionist
sometimes," said LaVell Sr.
But should LaVell, Jr. someday return to
do laundry - and instead of giving his
father the "room for improvement" line, say
something to the effect "Dad, I can win this
"Then," pauses the father. "Then I'll be
Then, Michigan will be back.
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"You take a little piece from everybody's
game," said Blanchard.