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December 02, 1999 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-02

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Thursday, December 2, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - 13A


Player of the game
Forward LaVell Blanchard
The 6-foot-7fieshnan netted 18 points and 13
rebounds while holding Georgia Tech seven-foot
forward Jason Collier to just 10 points.

Freshmen keys to 'M' victory

attempts, the Yellow Jackets swarmed back to within
three points late in the second half, this after trailing
the Wolverines 48-38 at halftime.
Michigan committed 29 fouls in all, giving
Georgia Tech 41 free throw attempts compared to
only 13 on the Wolverines' end.
"I'm not supposed to comment on (the discrepan-
cy in free throw attempts)," Ellerbe said. "For us to
battle those odds on the free throw line and still come
out with a two tells you a little bit about this group."
And with each foul, the lead that Ellerbe's squad
had built on tenacious defense evaporated like the
morning dew.
Conscious that Wolverines Leon Jones and Chris
Young had already fouled out, and that three more
were on the verge of early exits, Georgia Tech's vet-
eran coach Bobby Cremins installed a deadly full
court press after his team fell behind 70-56.
"Because we- got in foul trouble we had some
combinations on the floor that normally don't work
together," Ellerbe said.
The press immediately forced two Michigan
turnovers, and frustrated guard Kevin Gaines, who
often found himself dribbling through three defend-
ers to set up the offense.
With 1:30 remaining in the game, Georgia Tech
forward Jon Babul sank a 3-pointer to bring his team
within three, igniting the crowd of 11,423 anxious
In retaliation, Gavin Groninger, Michigan's elu-
sive sharp shooter, hammered the nail into the coffin.
But as the matchups came t
1®A another feel was revealed
Michigan camp, and in the st
e? It wasn't a size well.
his stats. Blanchard "Welcome to the ACC!" scre
13 rebounds, and courtside fanatic at Phillips Arer
ke Michigan's bad a notably hard foul.
iating in for the tip. Could it be? Here, on this larg
points, tied with form, surfacing a sense of pride,
im high. Although patriotism in one's conference?
x three-pointers, Sources within the Michigan
)le getting recog- ball programs have admitted
they've found themselves root
- No. 23," said other Big Ten teams. The hono
>bby Cremins after conference is at stake, so go Min
a great shooter." Go Illinois! Should we? ... Go M
ichigan basketball Yikes. After the smoke cle
:re or less mutual Phillips Arena last night, analysi
Challenge began. Georgia Tec
I the conventional Bobby Cremins was all smiles
have to play Duke. topic (the only smile he cracker

Groninger used a pick to get open and connected on
his sixth 3-pointer of the game, widening the margin,
Groninger wasn't in the starting lineup, but he
stung the Yellow Jackets from beyond the arc from
the moment he entered the game. He nailed his first
3-pointer five minutes into the first half and con-
nected on another a little over a minute later.
When Groninger drained two more 3's within 27
seconds of each other, the Jackets knew he was their
Achilles' heel.
"They had to worry about our inside presence,"
said Groninger who hails from Indiana, where good
shooters are as rampant as corn fields. "Coming off
the bench, it's easy for them to forget about me at
times. I felt like if I hit a couple shots, I'd get in a
Cremins ordered his players to double-team
Michigan's sharp shooter, limiting his opportunities
in the second half, but Groninger still dropped two
more bombs, frustrating the Yellow Jackets more and
more with each effortless touch.
Georgia Tech guard Tony Akins scored on a dri-
ving layup with 43 seconds remaining, but Michigan
got the ball into the safe hands of Groninger, who
was fouled by Collier - the host team's biggest dis-
appointment of the game.
The frustrated senior Collier - who was the main
reason Georgia Tech advanced to the final round of
the Great Alaska Shootout last Saturday - had
failed to utilize his team's biggest asset, size. Despite
towering five inches over the freshman guarding
him, Collier was outscored 18-10 and out-rebounded
13-9 by Blanchard.
ogether, entire press conference).
in the "This thing is great to play," said
ands as Cremins. "This is a beautiful Arena and
(the Challenge) is great for college bas-
amed a ketball."
na, after Michigan Athletic Director Tom Goss,
who personally attended the inaugural
ger plat- challenge, was a bit more pensive.
or even, "I think these matchups are good for
the conference," said Goss, but added
basket- Michigan would approach future
it - Challenges cautiously. "Next year we
ing for already have two ACC teams on our
r of the schedule," Goss said. "The question is,
nnesota! do we need three?"
[ichigan An important question, but don't
expect Duke to get the nix anytime soon.
ared at "That's a good rivalry,"Goss said, who
s of the expressed interest in creating a similar
h coach rivalry with Pac-10 power UCLA.
on the "Nothing but good things can come
d at the from it.

Michigan (80)
Blanchard 39 7-1 3-3 13 4 3 18
'Asselin 18 3-8 0-004 04 6
Crawford 37 6-16 1-2 0-0 5 0 14
Gaines 29 3.10 2-3 0-~8 8 4 8
Groninger 34 6-11 0-1 0.2 1 3 18
Young 5 2-2 2-2 1-1 0. 5 6
Anderson 7 1-2 0-0 1-1 1 1 2
Vgier 17 4-7 0 o-12 2 4 8
Totals 200 32-69 813 102-36 22 29 80
FG% ,464. FT%: 615. 3-pont FC: 8-13 .615.
(Groningen 6-9, Banchard 1-2, Crawford 1-2). Blocks: 6
(Crawford 4, Assefin, Blanchard). Steals{ 10 (Gaines 3,
Asselin 2, Crawford 2, Vignier 2, Jones). Turnovers- 17
Blanchard 5, Gaines 4, Jones 4, Crawford 2, Asselin,
Young). Technical Fouls: none.
o22 1.4 0-0, 1-4 1 0 3
r 27 4-122-6 3-9 1 3 10
Jones 32 3-7 11-18 5-16 15 17
Akins 35 6-14 6-6 2-5. 3 ~2 19
Fein 37 5-13 3-5 1-5 3 1 16
Vines 18 0-2 02 01 12 0
Babul 20 24 3-4 4-4 1 1 8
Moore 9 2-4 0-0 1-3 0 3 4
Totas 200 23-60 25-41 18-49 11 17 77
FG%:.383. FTW:.610. 3-point FG: 6-22, 273 (Fein 3-
11, Babel I1, Floyd 1-3, Akins 1. Vines 0-2). Blocks: 8
(Jones 4, Fein 2, Akins, Collier) Steals: 8 (Vines 3, Jones
2, Fein, Babut, Moore). Turnovers: 22 Oones 6, Collier
4, Fein 4. Floyd 3, Alins 3, Vines 21. Technical Fouls:
Georgia Tech..... 38 39 - 77
Michigan. .....-.48 32-.80 .
At: Phillips Arena
f ~Attendance: 11,423

Michgon Vs.
Chattanooga, CrIer
Arena 2 p.m.
This season, the Mocs have already lost to
Old Dominion (the men's team, not the
women's?, Akom State and Sam Houston
State. Hmmm. Still, Brian Ellerbe probably
thinks Chattanooga, like every opponent, is
a 'quality basketball team; - so come to
Cisler ready for a tight game.
Michigan vs Kent CiserArena 7:30p.m.
Kent shocked the nation last season
when the Golden Rashes won the Mid-
American Conference Championship and
high-tailed it to the NCAA Tournament.
Led by senior center John Whorton, Kent
will try to prove that last year wasn't just
a "fluke.
Ten Days Until Duke

r 1



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