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December 09, 1999 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-09

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10A The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 9, 1999

The Daily Grind=
To M'fans:
jump on tihe
bandwagon
Nice work. You guys just made it.
You packed pretty quickly, espe-
cially considering this was a trip
you weren't even planning to take. But
the wins started mounting - 4-0, 5-0,
6-0 - and so did your interest.
It might have
been after ANDY
Michigan's come- LATACK
back win over
Detroit, a team that
had made the
NCAA
Tournament two
years running. Or
maybe it was after
the Wolverines
beat Georgia Tech, COUNTER
a quality ACC pro- LATACUC
gram, on the road.
But at some point in the last week, the
thoughts came raining into your head
like one of Gavin Groninger's deadeye
three-pointers.
Michigan might be decent this year.
At the very least, the young Wolverines
were gonna be exciting.
You wonder, are tickets still avail-
able?
Don't be ashamed of joining the
Michigan basketball bandwagon. It's
good to be excited about your team and
those that have been through thick and
thin will grudgingly slide over and make
room for you. As far as college basket-
ball fans go, it's the more, the merrier.
And your timing is impeccable.
Because as I'm sure you know, No. 14
Duke comes to town on Saturday.
Which means one of two things for
those of you that barely made the train
as it was pulling out of the station.
If Michigan loses to Duke, this will
be the shortest ride of your life. You'll
return home from the game and scour
the top 25 for your next favorite team.
Michigan's exciting and terrifyingly tal-
ented squad will fade from your mind.
Until they win a few in a row again.
But if Michigan beats Duke, all but
assuring the team of its first national
ranking in over a year, you can blend in
with the crowd.
Nobody will know that before
Saturday, Blanchard, Gaines &
Crawford could have been a law firm
company for all you knew. You can
adopt that 'down-since-day-one' men-
tality, keeping your Duke ticket stub as
proof that you were a fan even before
the huge win.
I'm not saying Michigan will beat
Duke. I'm not saying it'll lose. I'm
merely welcoming you late-comers to
the bandwagon, because truth be told,
you guys make up an important part of
college basketball.
You think members of 'The Izzone'
- Michigan State's student section,
which I reluctantly admit is second only
to Duke's Cameron Crazies in terms of
rowdy fans I have witnessed - were
huge Michigan State fans for all their
lives? No way. Many of them just hap-
pen to be going to the school during a
period when it's very trendy to be a
backer of Spartan basketball.
So what do the Wolverines have to dc
to get your ever-changing allegiance?
The answer seems to be to beat Duke.
At least, that's what it was two years
ago. That Michigan team lost its season

opener to Western Michigan, and many
of you must have twisted your ankles
making your leap.
But almost a month later, the
Wolverines beat then-No. I Duke in
Crisler, a game for which fans showed
up in droves. It was one of my favorite
Michigan sports memories, as die-hards
and bandwagoners united one
December afternoon to simultaneously
lose their minds for a few hours. For the
only time in recent memory, Crisler
Arena was a tough place to play.
So I can't fault you guys, because
you do fill the seats and can yell just as
loud as real fans. With the exception of
last year, when Michigan's 0-2 start
knocked the wheels off the wagon
before it could even get out of the
garage, bandwagon boarding has been
as much a fixture as baggy shorts in the
recent history of the program.
For many reasons, though, this is
bothersome. Michigan fans are about as
loyal as your average NBA player (oh,
so that's where Tony Massenburg ended
up) and that's confusing given the rela-
tive success of Michigan's recent teams.
Sure, Michigan hasn't made a serious
NCAA Tournament run since members
of the Fab Five were still around, but it's
not like the Wolverines are chopped
liver as far as college basketball pro-
grams go. If you go to Northwestern, I
can see writing off your team after an
early loss or two.
But bandwagon jumping just seems
like it would be so darned unfulfilling

Quote of the game
"'I probably would have told him I'd have
to see it to believe it."
- Michigans Leon Jones, when asked what
he would have said if someone told him in
July that Michigan would start the season 6-0.

Player of the game
Guard Jamal Crawford
The freshman scored 27 of the team.' 75
points on 10-fer-18 sIiootinifi the ield.
He also played a game-high 39 minutes.

I0

Michigan 75

Kent

73

I

Crawford keeps the ship afloat in first half

By Mark Francescuttl
Daily Sports Writer
The scoreboard read Kent 40,
Michigan 38, but the Wolverines were
thankful for the tight score.
A poor first half, preserved by fresh-
man Jamal Crawford, kept the
Wolverines from looking at an upward
second-half climb.
"The first half, I give it a D or D-
minus," Crawford said. "We weren't lis-
tening to the coaches like we were sup-
posed to do"
Crawford began to listen when the
Wolverines fell behind 35-25 with just
4:42 remaining until halftime. The
freshman went on a tear, netting 13 of
Michigan's 15 points in the next four
minutes.
"Really? I seriously didn't know
that," Crawford said. "I knew the guys
were in foul trouble, and I wanted to be
more aggressive. I knew I could get
around my man and could make some-
thing happen."

Crawford played 19 minutes in the
first half, and the entire second, as
Kevin Gaines and LaVell Blanchard sat
on the bench in foul trouble.
In his four-minute run to bring the
Wolverines back into the game,
Crawford shot 3-for-3 from the field
including two 3-pointers, and also went
4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
"That one kid Crawford -- he's going
to be a dynamic player here one day"
Kent coach Gary Waters said. "He's
going to be one of the best players in the
Big Ten if he continues to play like that."
Crawford was able to find his open
shot thanks to Kent lessening its defen-
sive frontcourt pressure. The Golden
Flashes stifled Michigan's guards early,
but had to fall back when the referees
started blowing their whistles.-
"There was some crazy foul calls,"
said Waters, as the referees called 12
fouls in the first six minutes. "We had to
lighten up on our pressure because of
the (foul) issue. If we touch them, they

call a foul"
Ellerbe had other worries than just
fouls, moreover, his team's inability to
execute in the first half.
"We were stubborn at executing on
both sides of the floor," Michigan coach
Brian Ellerbe said. "You can only stay
young for so long. We have to grow up."
Michigan will need to mature fast in
the first half by Saturday, when the
Wolverines face off against national
power Duke.
Michigan especially has to grow up in
rebounding and turnovers. For the sec-
ond straight game, Michigan gave up 10
offensive boards in the first half. The
Wolverines also turned the ball over a
whopping 14 times before intermission.
Only down two at the break, Kent's
inability to build a big lead gave the
Wolverines a perfect opportunity to win.
"We thought they played pretty well
in the first half, and we didn't play well
at all," Crawford said. "We then felt like
we were still in it. The coaches said it

was ours to win"
But things didn't
way, as even the
couldn't execute to
defensive end.

go all Crawford's
offensive leader
his liking on the

Kent reserve guard Trevor Huffman,
whom Crawford guarded most, jolted
the Wolverines for 19 points on 7-of-I5
shooting.
TICKET UPDATE: According to
Michigan Marketing Director Tom
Brooks, the Duke game on Saturday at 4
p.m. is sold out. However, despite what
was announced at Crisler Arena last
night, Michigan State tickets are still
available to faculty and students only.
STUDENT FREEBIE: Michigan plans
on giving out more than 100 Nike head-
bands at Saturday's game. The move
comes in response to Crawford's unusu-
al headgear - a headband in his team's
color. Brooks won't know the color of
the headbands until the Michigan
coaches decide what color jerseys the
Wolverines will wear against Duke.

FG FT REB
MINA M-A MA OT A F PTS
Thomas 23 3-6 0-0 3 4 2 0 7
Massey 25 4.10 0 1 4-7 1 2 8
Whonoo 30 4-10 0-0 0-2 1 1 8
Shaw 36 5-9 5-6 3-6 2 3 15
Mitchell 25 17 0-0 1-2 2 4;3
Huffman 26 7-15 3-3 0-3 1 1 19
Vaughn 9 1-2 0.0 0-1 0 3 2
Meers 11 2-5 0-0 1.1 22.:6
Warren 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Perry 14 1-2 3-6 0-1 0 4 5
Totals 200 28-66 11-1616-33 11 21 73
FG%:.424. Frx%: .688. 3-point FG: 6-15, .400 (Meers 2-
4, Huffman 2-6, Thomas 1-1, Mitchell 1-3). Blocks: 1
(Thomas). Steals: 7 (Shaw 3, Massey 2, Thomas
Whoton). Turnovers: 14 Wa rton 3, Vaughn 3, Thomas
2, Shaw 2, Massey, Huffman, Warren). Technical Fouls:
none.
MICHIGAN (75)
FG FT REB.
MIN M-A M-A 01 A F PTS
Jones 35 5-8 4-7 3-6 2 2 16
Blanchard 25 2-7 0-0 2-7 1 3 4
Asselin 16 4-5 0-1 1-4' 0 4 8
Crawford 39 10-18 5-6 0.0 4 2 27
Gaines 18 1-2 2-3 1-2 4 5 4
Groninger 28 2.4 0-0 1-2 1 1 6
Young 7 0-1 2-2 0-1 0 0 2
Anderson 1 2-2 0-0 0-1 0 3 4
Vignier 21 2-3 0-0 1-5 2 0 4
Totals 200 28-50 13-19 1031 14 20 75
FG%~: .560. FT%: .684, 3-point FR: 6-14,.429. (ones 2-
2, Groninger 2-3, Crawford 2-6, Blanchard 0-2, Gaines
0-1). Blocks: 8 (Asselin 3, Crawford 2, Jones, Blanchard,
Groninger). Steals: 3 (Blanchand,. Crawford, Vignier).
Turnovers: 21 (Crawford 5, Asselirn 4, Blanchard 3,
Gaines 3. Jones 2. Anderson 2, Groninger, Vignier.
Technical Fouls:7none.
Kent.:... n...40 33 -73
Michigan. -.38 37 - 75

0'

At: Crisler Arena
Attendance: 8,723
Barkley is finished
From staff and wire reports
Houston forward Charles Barkley
ruptured a tendon in his knee in the first
quarter against Philadelphia last night
and will need surgery that could end his
career.
Barkley, who says he is retiring after
the season, was going up to block a shot
by Tyrone Hill when he lost his balance
and hit the floor hard with 4:09 left in
the first. He will need surgery and is
"most likely" out for the year, Rockets
spokesman Tim Frank said.

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