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November 09, 2000 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

18B -e Michigan Daily - TIPI 2000 - Thursday, Novemb , 2000







The MichiganDaily - TIPOFF 20t

Continued from Page 17B
recruits that in big-time college bas-
ketball, teams can compete and stars
can flourish within his system.
Of the three new faces found in the
Big Ten coaching community, the
most likely to don a smile this
November belongs .to Illinois's Bill
When former coach Lon Kruger
left for the NBA to coach the Atlanta
Hawks, Self inherited a team brim-
ming with talent and game experi-

Two years ago. a freshmen-domi-
nated Illinois team finished the regu-
lar season an unspectacular 14-18, 3-
13 in the Big Ten. The Fighting Illini
got on track in an unlikely confer-
ence tournament run to the finals.
and the team has been building
momentum ever since.
Presently, the team returns all five
starters from an NCAA tournament
second-round team, including Big
Ten pre-season player of the year
Corv Bradford. The lineup is loaded
with veteran athletes in a year where
the rest of the conference seems to
be rebuilding.

The challenge for Self lies in the
fact that a normally laudable season
will be viewed as unacceptable this
The Illini have a monster out-of-
conference schedule which includes
Arizona. Duke, Seton Hall and
Texas. If Illinois falters 'early, Self
will undoubtedly become a finger-
pointing victim.
But the coach did lead Tulsa to the-
NCAA tournament for two consecu-
tive years, including an elite eight
berth last season. And he insists a
coach thrives on high demands.
"I would rather be at a place where
expectations are high rather than

non-existent," Self said. "I've been a
heck of a lot happier winning with
pressure than losing without it."*
Still. Self doesn't stray that far
from the coaching flock when it
comes to deflection. When it was
announced that the media picked his
team as this year's Big Ten champi-
on, Self recoiled into the corner
where all coaches reside as visions
of disappointed boosters flash
through their heads.
"Until somebody beats Michigan
State, they should be the favorite
every year," Self said. "The only
expectations that matter are the ones
we have for each other."
Tournament tested



Colege basketball's most famous voice,
Dickie 'V' sounds off with Daily Sports
Writer Dan Williams about everything from
this year's contenders to the Jamal Crawford

saga to


Coach I
zo 7(MSU)
PBennet (Wci
lBr 1 (QSUI)
Kc'act (PJ)
IAoc' -rj (wnl
2vc Xft' (NJul
Ell~e- UM)


Best finish
Fn Four
F- ai Fr
Be Fioht
Hite Eb-I
Eize Eight
Sweat 16
lcroom of 32
Randof U22

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Cow-:es, of o, s ' ec ( .meo 'e
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with Frank Williams (above) and company.

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The Michigan Daily: Who do you
think is going to be the most exciting
player to watch in college basketball
this year?
Dick Vitale: I think that there ai-e two
guys that are going to make a run for the
player of the year - Shane Battier and
Trov Murphy. Battier is a former Mr.
Michigan and it would have really been
great for Michigan to keep him in the
state. I think he's going to have a phe-
nomenal senior vear at Duke. He's multi-
dimensional .He s very versatile. He's got
great leadership skills. IIc's a very bright
kid. He's got ct-eat range as a shooter. He
can play inside and outside, and he
knows how to win.
When you talk about Troy Murphy,
he's a big time scorer. I think at Notre
Dame this year he's really going to be in
contention for player of they e
TMD: How about the most exciting
DV: When you look at Arizona, they
have five legitimate NBA first round can-
didates in their starting lineup, and that's
very, very rare. They also have something
unique in that they have five players
named for the pre-season John Wooden
award. that's the first time that's ever hap-
pened. They're going to be exciting. If
Loren Woods is healthy, they've got a
chance to potentially win the national
TMD: What do you remember most

fans on red-eye
about Michigan from your coaching
days at Detroit?
DV: Michigan to me has always stood
for greatness. I have a great familiarity
with it. I've spoken to the student body
there. I've been to football games as well
as basketball games. Athletically and aca-
demically, when you think of Michigan,
it's one of the great, great schools nation-
ally. It's a producer of some of the great,
great people in the corporate world, in the
education system, the legal profession,
the athletic world you name it. Michigan.
is awesome baby. with a capital 'A.'
TMD: Turning to Michigan this sea-
so, what do you see in the future for
this group of youngsters?
DV: When you think of Michigan, you
look at what could have been and should
have been and would have been if they
had Jamal Crawford and Kevin Gaines.
The situation with Gaines is sad. It seems
to me that there's a problem a day where
You pick up the newspaper and read
about athletes across America making
bad decisions and doing things that ,are
just really sad, and you wonder 'why"
Some of them just don't understand the
accountability that comes with being an
Michigan will be an Up-and-down bas- c,
ketball team. Up-and-down because e
when you look at personnel, they're T
going to have to have a lot of young kids e
contribute right away, and they're in a i


H 0 U 5 a
dIunchiies '

writing, camping, reading,


hiking, music, canoeing, art

Earn 8 credits studying New England literature and culture, explore
New Hampshire's mountains, and visit the Maine Seacoast.
Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 PM
Aud. C Angell Hall
For info contact Jackie Livesay at 764-9505 or jlivesay@umich.edu

is 1

o n fe r -
nce that's so tough.
hey need some of their bigger play-
is to really step-up and be consistent
nside. But the one great thing about
'lichigan is that they can get healthy
uickly, because they are such a powerful
resence in the recruiting process that
hey can really close the gap. All you
eed is two or three players on the nation-
1 level in the recruiting wars and your on
our way.
TMD: You brought up Kevin
.aines, but who do you feel is at fault
or the situation Michigan had with
amal Crawford last season?
DV: I think evervbodv has to take a lit-
e blame. I have a problem with the sys-
im who penalizes a youngster for get-
ig help while he's in high school to bet-
r himselfwhen it's not involved at all in
e recruiting process in terms of a school
etting an advantage. I think the NCAA
as wrong not only in the case of Jamal,
ut in the case of Eric Barkley and a
umber of other athletes. If I want to help
ut down the road somebody who maybe
not as fortunate as I am, and I want to
lp him get a good solid education'and
ake him a better person, why should we
ny that to a kid? Now if I'm represent-
g 'school X' and I'm doing it to get an
ge to recruit him, then that's a no-no.
tat's a violation, and that shouldn't

TMD: With the problems you talke
about, plus underclassmen boltin
early for the NBA, do you feel that tI
game of college basketball is stru
DV: Despite the problems, and ever
thing has probems, you've got to loo
for the positive, and I've always been a
eternal optimist when it comes to-colleg
basketball. I still get the goosebumps
my body when you see the uniforms at
the spirit and the enthusiasm. When yo
go to a Michigan/Michigan State game c
a Duke/North Carolina game, that spin
still exists. Are there problems? Ye
Many kids have left college when the
aren't ready for the NBA, and that's sa
because the kids get hurt.
TMD: What is your life like in ti
off season?
DV: I may be 61 years old but I'm lik
about 12 really. The day of my life whc
I find that my situation has become a jo
will be the day that I pack it in and call u
and say 'hey man, it's over. The party
over baby'
When you have a passion and a love c
what you're doing, and you do it with
lot of energy and enthusiasm, you'll b
shocked at what happens with your life.

Vitale likes Battier (31) to be one of
college basketball's most exciting ...

... and said Crawford (1) got something
of a raw deal.




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