= The Daily Grind =
i kay, bear with me on this,
mde Florida State beats
lorida by 78, knocking
the Gators entirely out of both ls
T ber the Seminoles are forced to for-
felt ery victory in which Peter
Warck saw action because tt is
learned that the receiver was simultane-
ously playing in an over-45 touch foot-
ball league under a different name. That
could totally happen. Now if Virginia
Tech decides to go to the Liberty Bowl
ver the Sugar
I turn away in ataCn
disgust, leaving the
two peons sitting in
my lecture hall to
continue this BCS-
induced drivel. For
the time bing,
such crystal ball
gazing is useless.
Here's what we COUNTER
w: It's impossi- LATAC
ble for Michigan
to play in the Sugar or Rose Bowl. It's
equally impossible for the Wolverines
to get dragged to the Sun Bowl. But
that's all that is set in stone until we see
who's left standing when the dust clears
on the college football regular sason.
So forget about the BCS standings
for a minute. While placing your foot-
ball frenzy at the forefront of your col-
iye sports consciousness, you are
gecting one of your dearest friends.
He arrives every year about this
time, only to be ignored as you devote
yourself entirely to the Valvoline
Halftime Report. He sits on the couch,
anxiously waiting for the Michigan-
Ohio States and Florida-Florida States
that overshadow him to come to an end
so you will acknowledge his existence.
He waits patiently, partly because he
*lerstands what is riding on those
games and partly because he is such a
But the least you could do is offer
your new visitor some pork rinds as
ou watch the end of college football's
regular season. Because, believe me, in
bout a week, college basketball will be
he best friend you've ever had.
Unnoticed by most because of the
ction on the gridiron, the college bas-
all season began in earnest exactly a
ago. And in those seven days -
bile you were busy trying to figure out
hether Michigan needed Penn State or
ichigan State to win in this weekend's
ame-- many of the things that make
ollege basketball great took place.
Two top-five teams - Connecticut
od Ohio State - were upset in their
first game of the season.
The Preseason NIT is currently throw-
s host of highly-ranked teams togeth-
l or a tournament, as are other early-
eason events like the Maui Invitational
nd the DirecTV Great Eight. As always,
here will be some fabulous games in
ovember and December.
So while the football season finishes
p its conference championship games
nd then takes a siesta until bowl time,
ollege basketball is building up a full
ead of steam.
And when college hoops gets going,
's no stopping it. There are multi-
games televised on virtually every
ay of the week, maximizing game-
atching potential at any time.
Got some time in between classes?
undue and Chaminade play in Maui at
p.m. next Monday.
Insomniac? A first-round game from
he Great Alaska Shootout begins at
'idnight on Thanksgiving Day. Now
hat's something to be thankful for.
ne the season starts, college basket-
1 is on TV more than Carson Daly.
It's this frequency that'makes the
port so appealing. With games being
layed just days apart, there's no week-
ong, post-loss mourning period as
here is in football. Your team is going
o lose; it's their ability to recover from
s loss 72 hours later that will deter-
k ne the success of their season.
College basketball also deftly strad-
the fence between two schools of
ght on scheduling. It doesn't have
n overly short season that places exces-
ive emphasis on every game. This
pproach works for football - a sport
s rough that adding more games to the
seaon would be grounds for a lawsuit.
College hoops also avoids agonizing-
yoong seasons that render most regular
son contests useless. Welcome back
he NBA on NBC, sponsored in part
'he not-too-short, not-too-long
shedule is essential to the excitement
othe sport. There are few enough
mes that they all matter, but enough
that one bad day doesn't send fans
t on the ledge of their apartments.
It's one of the many things that
akes the sport great - I can't even
art talking about the NCAA
ournament without needing my med-
- atidn - and has me excited as hell
it's starting up again.
o welcome back your old friend
college basketball with open arms. He's
been away for a while, but in the com-
ing months you guys are going to
spend some quality time.
And please don't bore him by talking
aout the BCS.
-Andy Latack is intentionally schedul-
ing his winter semester classes around
the NCAA Tournament. E-mail him at
Thursday, November 18,
1999 - The Michigan Daily - 13A
M' inks third defenseman o class
By Chris Grandstaff
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan hockey team contin-
ues to put the pieces of next season's
team together, adding yet another
The Wolverines closed the fall
signing period by inking defenseman
Reilly Olson for the 2000-01 season.
Olson now joins Andy Burnes and
Mike Komisarek as part of
Michigan's early signing crop.
"Reilly will be a perfect fit for this
program," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "He's a smart kid
who's interested in engineering here
at Michigan, and he's a very talented
Olson, who is also a skilled offen-
sive player, will add a scoring punch
to an already solid, but thin
"Reilly gives us an offensive ele-
ment that we don't currently have,"
Michigan associate head coach Mel
Pearson said. "He reminds me of
Patrick Neaton who we had a few
years ago. He's a good skater, a very
good puckhandler and likes to jump
in offensively. He will add some
offensive talent to our blueline."
In 23 games for the Vernon Vipers
of the British Columbia Hockey
League, Olson has recorded three
goals, eight assists and I1 points.
The Wolverines, because of the late
defection of three blueliners in the
offseason, needed to stregihen their
defense. With the signing, Michigan
has now solidified its defense of the
"This group of defensemen will
add some size, skill and toughness
which helps fill our needs for the
upcoming years," Pearson said.
"These are elements we need to go
forward and compete in the CCHA.
In addition, all three are very sound
academically, and that is part of what
attracted them to Michigan."
The Wolverines now have the mak-
elngs of yet another very strong
recruiting class. Michigan has had
arguably one of the strongest classes
in each of the past two seasons, a
tribute to Berenson and his staff.
But the coach sees.an extra incen-
tive for the blueliners of the class of
"When they come in we try to
s ow them how they'd fit into our
t m," Berenson said. "Obviously
with defensemen, they can see that
we have an opening.
'One of the things they see that
they like is that we don't hold them
back. We want you to participate
and add to the offense as well as the
defense. We have three defensemen
in on our first two power-play units,
so we include defensemen in a lot of
Injury report: Michigan forward
Scott Matzka, who missed Saturday's
game against Miami, should play
Friday against Lake Superior State at
Yost Ice Arena. Matzka suffered a
bruised sternum against the
RedsHawks Friday night in
Cincinnati, but "should be fine for
Friday," Berenson said.
Defenseman Bob Gassoff, on the
other hand, is still questionable.
Gassoff is suffering from strep
throat, a condition which has allowed
him to participate in only the first
hour of practice this week.
"I'd say he's a question mark for
Friday," Berenson said.
Andy Burnes D
Mike Komiserek D
Rejy Olson D
Islip Terrace, N.Y.
Grand Prairie, Alb.
Michigan freshman John Shouneyla will have company next season from three
defensemen, who signed.letters of intent with Michigan yesterday.
Soccer bids farewell to
senior Beren oWSky
By David Mosse
Daily Sports Writer
Saying goodbye is not easy, and
that has never been more true than in
the case of Amber Berendowsky, a
player who has epitomized Michigan
women's soccer and put the program
on the national map.
"We are saying goodbye to the
greatest senior class we've ever had,"
Michigan coach Debbie Belkin said.
"And Amber was certainly a big part
Last Saturday, when the final sec-
onds ticked down on the Wolverines'
season in a 1-0 NCAA Tournament
loss to Wake Forest, it marked the
end of a remarkable journey.
Berendowsky arrived on the scene
in 1996 as a marquee prospect from
nearby Brighton High School.
Michigan soccer was still just a baby,
entering the third season in its young
history. The Wolverines were thirst-
ing for credibility and yearning for
Berendowsky made an immediate
splash, leading the Wolverines with 19
points in her freshman season. Thanks
to her contributions and her growth as a
scorer, Michigan finished above .500
for the first time ever.
That season would prove to be a
sign of things to come, as
Berendowsky led Michigan to con-
secutive NCAA Tournament appear-
ances in 1997 and 1998.
1997 was especially sweet, as
Michigan posted an 18-4-1 record and
captured the Big Ten Tournament title.
The Wolverines were suddenly catapult-
ed into national prominence and
Berendowsky was right in the center of
1998 marked the season when
Berendowsky cemented her place in
school history by becoming Michigan's
all-time leader in goals (40), points
(113), and assists (33).
Ironically, this season was
Berendowsky's worst, in terms of sta-
tistics. She sustained an ankle injury
early in the year and was relegated to
spectator status for nearly half the
season. Berendowsky started just
five of 17 regular season games and
struggled to recapture her best form.
"My teammates were supportive
of me throughout my injuries,"
Berendowsky said. "They really
made me feel like a part of the
Berendowsky re-entered the fold
for the stretch drive and slowly
regained her swagger. Her top per-
formance came, fittingly, on Senior
Day against Butler, when she record-
ed her 31st career assist to earn the
Big Ten record.
Berendowsky was then an integral
part of Michigan's second Big Ten
Tournament title, and she chipped in
a goal in the 5-0 blanking of Wright
State at home in the first round of
the NCAA Tournament.
But her season and career came to
an end in heartbreaking fashion with
"It's an empty feeling right now,"
Berendowsky said immediately
afterward. "I am very sad to see this
Berendowsky can take some
solace in that she was Michigan's
best player against the Demon
In the face of constant pressure,
she was the one Wolverine who man-
aged to find open space and play a
Yet, Berendowsky has never
placed her individual performance
ahead of team goals.
The Wolverines fell short, but she
leaves behind a legacy that future
Wolverines will be hard-pressed to
top. And the best part is that she had
fun doing it.
"These were the best four years of
my life,".Berendowsky said. "I am
very proud to have played soccer for
the University of Michigan."
After losing to Wake Forest in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the Wolverines will have to deal with another set-
back - the graduation of a talented senior class, including star forward Amber Berendowsky.
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