figers trade; hoops top 25
ctioit and Houston complete what is
le biggest trade of the baseball winter
netings. Check online for the entire
ry plus the AP top 25 college
DECEMBER 12, 2000
USA hockey beats State,
now aims at Michigan
eason S end
uckily for Brian Ellerbe, Bill
Martin is a strong-enough man to
resist trying this case in the court
f public opinion.
Fans are outraged by Saturday's first
half. It's safe to say the alumni that
compose most M-Clubs across the coun-
try aren't too pleased either. Even
Ellerbe supporters/apologists have quiet-
Will Ellerbe be fired? I hope not. At
least not today.
Dean Smith said he considered retir-
ig several times over his last few sea-
sons at North Carolina, but he always
onvinced himself to wait until after the
season ended. Only then would he make
:flie call. The emotion of the season is
too consuming to make personnel deci-
So when the 2000-01 season merciful-
'v comes to its conclusion after the Big
Jen Tournament, it will be time for
Martin to evaluate the program.
Michigan's athletic director has kept
his options open. Last spring, in an
ffort to stabilize recruiting, Martin
announced to the media that Ellerbe
would remain as coach for this vear. But
even when asked directly, Martin avoid-
ed giving Ellerbe a vote of confidence
that extended beyond 2000-01. His clas-
sic response is a lighthearted "Let's get
through this season."
Regardless of the outcome, the deci-
sion is made more difficult because of
the lack of precedent. No one in the
urrent athletic department has ever
een forced to weigh firing a coach with
overall record serving as one of the
main criteria. How will the line be
For the past 20 years, Michigan has
been fortunate enough to have "Big
Three" coaches (football, basketball and
hockey) that have been successful.
Red Berenson and Lloyd Carr have
grown their programs to the level where
ey can stay as long as they'd like.
Gary Moeller, 8-4 seasons and all
would still be here if not for the
Bo retired. Steve Fisher's firing cer-
tainly didn't have anything to do with a
failure to win ballgames. Bill Frieder
left on his own. None were at the point
where wins and losses were a large fac-
tor in their decision to leave.
This is a new day for Michigan. The
"athletic department is going where it
asn't gone before.
It's easy to pull the trigger, but the
evidence is strong for both sides.
In favor: Ellerbe has done the best he
'duld recruiting considering Michigan
State is harvesting the best in-state play-
ers. He did well when given talent
-(1997). He does not have a real con-
tributing senior this season, nor did he
have one last season. He is trying to
make a go of starting three freshmen, a
ophomore and a junior.
Against: This is the third straight sea-
son in which Michigan has lost a game
yby. 40 or more points, which encompass-
es three of the four worst losses in team
history. There have been numerous off-
-the-court issues. This is the least com-
petitive the program has been since
'before Johnny Orr. 34-2. 114-63.
These are the times that will try Bill
' Martin's soul. The task is difficult
because there is no foundation.
* Today, relax and let the season play
itself out. Come March, see if Martin
- takes action.
- Chris Duprev can be reached at
BRANDON SEOLOFF/Da v
Michigan senior Josh Langfeld reaches out for a loose puck in this past weekend's sweep of St. Lawrence.
State increases CCHA lead
From staff and wire reports
With a tie and a win this past weekend,
Michigan State (9-1-3, 12-1-4) ran its unbeaten
streak to 14 with a victory over Ferris State (1-8-
3, 3-9-3). On Friday night, the teams combined
for only 37 shots in the scoreless tie.
The home-and-home series then moved to East
Lansing and the Spartans' luck improved with a
4-I win. After the Bulldogs scored first,
Michigan State rolled off four-straight goals to
seal the win.
LAKE SUPERIOR A[ ALASKA-FAIRBANKS: In
Fairbanks this past weekend, Lake Superior (6-9-
0 CCHA, 9-11-0 overall) was able to record its
first road win of the season. The Lakers defeated
Alaska-Fairbanks (4-6-4, 4-8-4) by a score of 5-3
on Saturday night.
After falling 4-1 on Friday, with the team's only
goal coming in the final minutes of the third peri-
od, the Lakers entered play on Saturday hoping to
break the skid in their last CCHA game before the
And Lake Superior almost fell to 0-10 on the
road. After coming out of the gate strong and
jumping to a 4-0 lead. Lake Superior lost its edge
and allowed Alaska-Fairbanks three goals over
the next eight minutes.
NEBRASKA-OMAHA x BowulN G GRxEN: Two
teams separated by only one point in the CCHA
race met this weekend in Bowling Green with the
result being a fitting split. On Friday night,
Nebraska-Omaha's David Brisson scored with 41
seconds left in the second to break a 1-1 tie. The
T Pts GP
3 19 12
1 15 11
1' 15 12
2 14 9
4 14 14
1 13 10
0 12 15
1. 11 11
4 10 14
3 5 12
2 4 10
W L T
12 1 4
13 3 3
10 6 2
11 2 2
9 5 5
9 ,4 1
9 11 0
8 8 1
'3 9 4
3 11 3
By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Wnter
Just miles away from Yost Ice Arena, where
the No. 4 Michigan hockey team battles the
nation's best collegiate hockey programs,
another talented group of athletes grace the
Ann Arbor Ice Cube - only they don the
Red White and Blue.
They endure a grueling 50-game schedule
that includes three international tournaments
- sometimes balancing schoolwork with
four games in a six-day period.'
But the difference is they're only 16-17
years old, as opposed to collegiate players,
who are sometimes as old as 23.
While many teens are looking forward to
prom, the 46 members of the United States
Under-18 National Development Program
have one main focus - hockey.
Based in Ann Arbor and in its fourth year of
existence, the USNDP has recruited some of
the. best young talent from around the country
hoping it can develop them into polished
hockey players, ready for the next level.
First-year coach Mike Eaves said that not
only does the rigorous competition against the
top players in the nation aid their physical
development, but also how the daily balance
of hockey and school creates a maturity level
similar to a typical college student-athlete.
The program "really forces the kids to grow
up quickly" said Eaves, who emphasized the
huge commitment and expectations that each
young athlete undertakes. "They're under a lot
of pressure, representing their country - with
hardly any free time - and pushed on and off
the ice to succeed"
And in its first thre years, no one can ques-
tion the program's credibility.
Seventy of its alumni are playing or have
already played collegiate hockey somewhere
around the country, while 30 more have
reached the pinnacle- the NH L.
"There's a big difference between 17 and
20' coach Red Berenson said. "There's a bit
of a transition from these kids coming from
this level to Division I hockey level."
But no one second guessed Michigan's
recruitment of Andy Hilbert or Mike
Komisarek, two of the most recent graduates
of the program. Hilbert leads the Wolverines
in scoring as a sophomore, after setting the
career-point record for the Under-18 team.
Freshman defenseman Komisarek has estab-
lished himself as an imposing figure on
Michigan's blueline. Both have been selected
to represent the United States in the World
Junior Championships in Moscow later in
Deccmber- with Ililbert making his third-
1. Michigan St. (37) 12-1-4
2. Boston College (1)12-3-1
3. North Dakota (2) 13-3-4
4. Michigan 13-3-3
5. New Hampshire 10-3-3
6. Western Michigan 11-2-2
7. Colorado Col. 11-41
8. Minnesota - 10-5-2
9. St. Cloud 1141
10. Providence &-43
Further, three members of this year's
Under-18 team will be wearing maize-and-
blue jerseys next year. They will get their first -
taste of the Yost experience tonight as they.
take on Michigan in an exhibition.
"It's tough to really get up for a game like
this' senior assistant captain Scott Matzka
said. "But this is going to be a good team and
we don't want to be embarrassed in front of
our home crowd."
Although this is the program's first year
competing against collegiate teams, it started
off wxith a bang - beating current No. I
Michigan State, 6-4, on Oct. 3.
"His skates were hardly touching the
ground' said Eaves about one of his players,
Lee Falardeau, who will play for the Spartans
this year. "We weathered a few storms and in
the third period had some more game legs to
pull out a win.
Although the Under-18 team had a month,
of previous competition on the Spartans,
Berenson recognizes the obvious talent of his
opponents and doesn't want to fall into a sim-
ilar fate as Michigan State.
"We talked about coming in and playing a
good team game, and showing this team what
Division I hockey is all about," Berenson said.
"We don't want to be the next victims of the
SHORTHiANDED: Michigan will go into the
exhibition without a few of its stars, giving
some Wolverines, such as senior Robbie
Kohen, a chance to see more ice time.
Sophomore center Mike Cammalleri will
be on his way to North York, Ontario to par-
ticipate in the Canadian Junior National
Team tryouts, while Matzka and freshman
Andy Burnes will most likely be held out
due to nagging injuries.
YOST ICE ARENA
Who: Michigan(7-3-1 CCHA.13-.3 overall) vs.u.S. under-
18 National Development Team (17-12-3 overall)
When: 7:05 p.m.
Latest Three 2001 Michigan recruits will be on center
stageas they face their future team. The U.S. team
defeated the Spartans earlier this season. 64.
November 20, 2000
Mavericks (5-6-1, 8-9-1) went on to win 3-1.
The next night, the Falcons (3-7-4, 3-9-4)
responded by getting off to a 3-0 lead en route a
7-2 win. Greg Day scored two for Bowling Green.
NIAiI xti' Noi-RE D,%NIE: While Michigan was
facing oft in two nonconference games, Miami
(7-4-1, 10-6-2) took two from the Fighting Irish
(1-7-2, 3-11-3) and moved into a tie for second
place with the Wolverines. Two shorthanded goals
led the Redllawks to a 5-2 win on Friday. Jason
Deskins scored twice to lead Miami.
Saturday night saw three goals scored in a peri-
od of 1:07, two of which were netted by the
RedHawks. Miami added two more to secure a
series sweep. Deskins' three goals on the week-
end led to ((CHA Offensive Player of the Week
r- -. - i
Proof of life
By Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer
DURHAM, NC. -- LaVell
Blanchard did not sign a letter of intent
to Michigan to play in the NIT or to get
pummeled by top-
25 programs. He BASKETBALL
certainly didn't go i
to Michigan to lay ommentary
lifelessly' on his
back on "Coach K Court:' absorbing
taunts from the Cameron Crazies
because Shane Battier had just induced
him to airball'a 12-foot jumpshot.
While the first half of Saturday's
game with Duke may have been the
most demoralizing half of basketball
in Michigan history, the second half
was a moral victory in a sports world
where moral victories -have become
The granule of solace for the
Wolverines came as Blanchard and
Michigan's other major scoring threat,
freshman Bernard Robinson, returned
from halftime with renewed vigor,
determined to prove that they were
worthy of playing in Cameron Indoor
Blanchard hadn't given hints of his
potential since Michigan's nightmarish
four-game losing streak began against
Wake Forest. Blanchard opened that
game connecting on two difficult
- Blue's lone positive
a record deal'
shots, and for a moment it looked like
he might be unstoppable all game -
Then, the sophomore crashed into
reality, missing 10 of his final I1I shots
in the game. He shot just 8-of-23 com-
bined against Maiyland and St. John's,
and in the first half against Duke, he
appeared as awestruck as the rest of the
It seems Blanchard, who was
recruited by Duke, reached his break-
ing point during that 59-18 first-half
debacle, and a metamorphosized man
returned for half as confident and
skilled as anyone in the game.
A drained 3-pointer. An offensive
rebound on Carlos Boozer, followed
by the put back. A dribble-drive and
spinning floater in the lane with Battier
guarding. Blanchard was on his way to
20 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 10
And his slasher partner, Robinson,
was also suddenly effective.
The freshman had shown glimpses
of a budding superstar over the first six
games, but forced shots and turnovers
hampered his performances. In the
second half against Duke though,
Robinson scored 17 points, including a
hammer dunk in the lane that tem-
porarily silenced the fans.
Michigan, at one point, had
outscored Duke by I l points in the
second half, largely on the backs of
Blanchard and Robinson, and the Blue
Devils were visibly frustrated despite
having a 30-point lead.
The reemergence of Blanchard and
Robinson is certainly disputable
because it came over a 12-minute span
(both teams inserted bench players
early in the lopsided contest) and
because Duke's defensive concentra-
tion may have lessened with such a
But for anyone who watched each
excruciating minute of Michigan's
four consecutive losses, Blanchard and
Robinson were distinctly different
players in the second half against the
It doesn't alleviate the pain of the
Duke loss for Michigan, and it doesn't
necessarily mean that the team will-be
reborn when it retakes the court tomor-
row at Crisler against Bowling Green.
Blanchard and Robinson simply
demonstrated that they're as athletic as
the nation's best. When the tandem is
on its game, Michigan is, in fact, a far
-- A-Rod has a
new nickname: A-
That's what Alex
Rodriguez is getting from.
the Texas Rangers - a
- quarter-billion dollars in
a deal that doubles the previous richest
contract in sports history.
The Rangers held a news confer-
ence last night, the purpose of which
was to announce the signing of the for-
mer Seattle shortstop to a S252 mil-
lion, 10-year contract.
Rangers owner Tom Hicks, who
paid S250 million to buy the entire
franchise from the group headed by
George W. Bush and Rusty Rose three
years ago, was heavily involved in the
years as Texas Ranger
'Tom wants to win and win badly,'
Rangers manager Johnny Oates said.
"At our monthly meeting in August,
Alex was a player he veiy much want-
ed in our organization."
The contract calls for a S10 million
signing bonus and annual salaries
ranging from $21 million to S27 mil-
lion. one of the sources said.
"This amount of money spread out
over 10 years could probably buy three
franchises or so at the bottom enid'o
market value,' said Sandy Alderson;
an executive vice president in the com-.
It is exactly double the previous
record for a sports contract: a SI26
million, six-year agreement ifi l
October 1997 between forward Kevin
Garnett and the NBA's Minnesota