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November 09, 2000 - Image 19

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

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16B - Th*ichigan Daily - TIPOF*000 - Thursday, November 9 2000

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The Michigan Daily - TIPOFF 2000

Good Knight! Indiana hires new general


NCAA hopes to thwart


'rough play'

By Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer

By Dan Williams
"Daily Sports Writer
The experience of replacing leg-
endary floor general Bob Knight is
likely to be so entirely unique, that
no person will truly empathize with
new Indiana coach Mike Davis.
Knight's legacy seems to extend
to both poles of the fame/infamy
meterstick, and consequently, no

one, is sure exactly what expecta-
tions of Davis need most immediate
"Can you take Indiana to national
championships while maintaining a
standard in student/athlete excel=
lence, Mr. Davis?"
"Do you have the ability to con-
trol fits of rage, violence and gener-
al temper-tantrums, Mr. Davis?"
The soft-spoken Davis remains

humble when people barrage him
with Knight-comparison questions.
"There's no way you can compare
me, a first year head coach, to a man
who's won three national champi-
onships," Davis said. "It would be
like comparing a rookie in the NBA
to Michael Jordan."
But he doesn't like to acknowl-
edge the other - Knight's propensi-
tv to toe the line between vigilante
and villain.
The headache for Davis is finding
a wav to honor Knight while main-
taining that he won't mimic Knight's
outlandish habits.
Further adding to this still poten-
tially explosive situation, Indiana
players are trying to support both
Knight and Davis simultaneously.
"The team felt like Coach Knight
was being treated unfairly," Fife
said. "No one on the outside knew
what we know.
"Losing Coach Knight hurts,

that's who I came to play for, but life
goes on. It's a new era, Coach Davis
has just picked up right where
Coach Knight left off."
While Davis is mostly mellow
with the media, junior Dane Fife
says the coach gets after his squad in
practice when the players deserve it.
Prior to being thrust into the lime-
light, Davis worked for three years
as an assistant on Knight's bench.
He originally hails from SEC
country - playing for Alabama
from 1976-79 and returning to the
Crimson Tide as an assistant coach
from 1995-97.
Now the relatively green coach is
on the eve of trying to find a medi-
um between expectations he can't
possibly reach, or expectations he
realistically could not fall below.
Needless to say, this unusual pres-
sure has Davis anticipating the start
of the season, and a return to chalk
talk rather than Knight queries.

Concerned that college basketball
has evolved into too much of a
brutish game, the NCAA men's bas-
ketball rules committee has decided
to crack down on rough play this sea-
The committee stated in a press
release that "its highest priority for
the 2000-01 season is to eliminate
rough play."
Post play is expected to be espe-
cially targeted in the effort to clean
up the game.
"Unless people change the way
that they played last year, it's going to
be noticed right away," Marty
Benson, liaison to the committee,
said. "It's likely early in the season
there's going to be a lot more foul
Benson also said that this item was
not a rules change, rather a plan to

strictly enforce existing rules.
The notice has inspired a variety of
reactions from coaches. Michigan
coach Brian Ellerbe is not overly con-
cerned with the prospect of stricter
rule enforcement.
"Not to sound cynical, but we've
kind of heard this for the last 20 years
in terms of getting a handle on rough
play," Ellerbe said.
But he did say he brought officials
into practice three times during the
preseason to help his players adjust to-
potential changes. .
"It's good to do that," Ellerbe said.
"But different officials will still offi-
ciate differently."
Some of the other coaches in the
Big Ten are more concerned the game
will be hurt by over-officiating.
Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien also
brought officials to practice for a
"They're whistle-happy," O'Brien
said. "If they're going to call it like

they say they)-e going to, I don't
know how you can guard the post.
They're going to make it a zone
Purdue's Gene Keadv said he
thinks there will be positive changes.
"I like it because I think finesse
will return to basketball," Keady
Keadv also said that 'bruisers' like
former Purdue center Brian Cardinal
will have to adapt.
"I think they are going to have to
learn to move their feet better,"
Keady said. "You've got to adjust to
rule changes.
"If the referees are calling fouls
closely, then quit fouling. If they are

letting you play rough, then get
The Rules Committee said that
they will pay special attention to how
officials regulate physicality during
the season when determining which
referees will advance in covering the
NCAA tournament.
If rough play does not subside, the
NCAA will consider adopting new
'firm absolutes' in full scale rule
FREE THRows: the rules committee
voted to reduce the players allowed in
the free-throw lane from eight to six.
The committee wants to "reduce
congestion after a missed free throw,"
the press release stated.


Mike Davis is Indiana's first new coach
since Knight took over in 1972.

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Food For Thought
Hanoi Jane
Jane Fonda did things that,
in another time, may have
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