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January 18, 2001 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-18

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Wrestling valley
T'hi weekend, Penn State hosts the
prestigious wrestling National Duals
In-vitational. Michigan is seeded sixth
in the field. Go online for the rest of
the seeds.
michigandaity.com /sports

tudhian atg
;POR)iTS

THURSDAY
JANUARY 18, 2001 8

MARK

FRANCESCUTTI

PitIo sface at Cnsler
unmasks fans' disgust

Rocky road
Another
must wn i
for cagers f
By Dan Williams1
1)aiily Sports Wnter

ast week, Michigan upset Indiana
70-64 in its Big Ten home opener,
ut the score wasn't the
SportsCenter highlight. Instead, ESPN's
cameras portrayed dozens of Crisler
Arena fans (the ones that still come to
basketball games) wearing paper Rick
Pitio, masks.
Fans have transported the gigantic
gold halo from Michigan Stadium to
Pitino, who recently vacated his head
coaching position with the Boston
Celtics. Pitino's college success includes
returning the KentucKv program to
national prominence in only four years
and then a national title in 1996.
Analvsts call him the most coveted
coaching candidate out there.
And Michigan fans want him, badly.
While the Wolverines beat Indiana for
their first Big Ten victory, Michigan is far
from tlie program its fans want it to be.
At 7-7 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten, the
outlook for even an NIT bid is doubtful.
So the Crisler fans decided to show
their disgust with the current program
and tellhe Athletic Department and the
University exactly whom they want.
The head coaching plaque may still
have "Brian Ellerbe" engraved on it, but
the fans that wore Pitino faces were
making a plea for help, not looking to
slap Ellerbe's face.
Letne tell you why.
Despite what academic advisors may
say the job of the Michigan basketball
program is to succeed on the court and
to prevent off-the-court problems.
Victories build Michigan's national
image;- the most important asset to
the lniversitv. NCAA violations, acade-
mic di fficulties and criminal problems
decinate the image tenfold.
Whether or not it's Ellerbe's fault, the
program has suffered on the court, while
numerous off-the court scandals have
tarnished the Michigan name.
Across the country. Michigan basket-
ball is regarded as a program in the
dumpster. ESPN barely shows its high-
lights anymore.

If athletics director Bill Martin won't
correct the problem, the University com-
munity has every right to question the
program. Michigan students, alumni and
faculty can vent in two ways.
First, with their pocketbooks.
Already this season, regular atten-
dance is down as much as 2,000 per
game. At S 15-20 a pop, that's around
S30,000 each contest. And over a 15-
game schedule, the department could
take a 5450,000 hit (not including all the
lost concession revenue).
Student ticket sales dropped to their
lowest level in more than a decade (598
ticket packages were sold -- a far cry
from the 1,600 for hockey and the
22,000 for football).
Second, fans can start publicly ques-
tioning the program, as they did at the
Indiana game. The "masked Pitinos"
want Martin to know that they are suf-
fering - they feel Michigan's pain.
The University community, especially
alumni, can significantly affect adminis-
trative decisions. Sometimes the decision
makers at the top need a little nudge.
When a program suffers like
Michigan's, the fans look to the coach.
The coach should be the stable force.
Players leave, coaches stay. One thinks of
Dean Smith, not Michael Jordan, when
talking about North Carolina basketball.
Fans look around the country and
identify Pitino as currently available. As
a result, they portray Pitino as their
"SOS" sign.
Ellerbe may indeed take the fall for
some problems he had little control over.
But at the same time, it's his responsi-
bility - good luck or bad luck - to
make sure Michigan basketball doesn't
fall into the doldrums of the Big Ten.
Everyone knows this program needs
changes. And if the athletic department
officials don't know that vet, the fans
will continue to remind them.
At Briarwood mall, you can buy
Bobby Knight masks.
- Mark Francescutti can be reached at
m1ftances(cumich.elu

Nine days ago, Michigan sophomore
Gavin Groninger candidly dubbed
Michigan's game with Indiana a must
win.
The Wolverines went on to pick up
their first victory worth hanging a hat
on, 70-64 - temporarily appeasing the
team's followers. But Michigan slipped
back into its self-defeating funk last
Saturday, succumbing to Illinois on the
road 80-51.
With Michigan's record slipping to
1-2 in the Big Ten (7-7 overall), and the
team remaining winless outside of
Crisler, Groninger again called
tonight's game at Ohio State is a "must
win."
"We have to get this one on the road,"
Groninger said. "We know that.
Hopefully we'll come out and play like
we did against Indiana."
Beating the Buckeyes (2-2, 11-5)
poses a difficult task for Michigan.
Ohio State not only valiantly defends
Value City Arena (39-5 all-time
record), but the Buckeyes have also
looked surprisingly strong this season
in the post-Micheal Redd and Scoonie
Penn era.
Ken Johnson is the core of the
revamped Ohio State squad offensively
as well as defensively this year. The ath-
letic 6-foot-I I center fr-om Detroit is
averaging 12.4 points-a-game to go
along with four blocks-per-game.
"He affects the game a good bit,"
Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said.
"You have to account for him. You have
to be aware of him, but you can't be
afraid of him."
Ohio State turns to two slashing
guards in junior Brian Brown and
sophomore Brent Darby to score when
Johnson is defended.

ARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily
Ohio State is not the team it was last year, but Michigan needs more success
than it had against Brian Cook and Illinois in order to pull out a win.

But make no mistake, the Buckeyes
grind out their wins on defense. Ohio
State opponents average just 60 points-
a-game on 39-percent shooting.
The buzz phrase for Michigan in its
trials has been fouls. When Michigan's
big men are wallowing in foul trouble,
the team's rhythm and confidence are
severely handicapped. Against the
Fighting Illini, Josh Moore, Josh
Asselin and Chris Young all fouled out
in the loss.
But when Michigan frequents the
foul line and converts on its opportuni-
ties, the team becomes dangerous. The
Wolverines connected on 20-of-26 free
throws as they bested the Hoosiers.
Michigan is also looking for candi-
dates to divert the heat facing LaVell
Blanchard, who is circled in red ink on
the scouting report of every opponent.
Freshman Bernard Robinson, second

TONIGHT
VALUE CITY ARENA
Who: Michigan (1-2 Big Ten, 7-7 Overall) vs.
Ohio State (2-2, 11-5)
When: 7:00 p.m., ESPN
Latest: Ohio State has won the last three
meetings in the series. In its last trip to
Columbus, M fell to the Buckeyes 7469.
only to Blanchard in scoring, has been
struggling during the Big Ten season.
Turnovers and wild shots have encum-
bered the newcomer.
"Learning shot selection with him
has been evervday," Ellerbe said.
Robinson feels his slump is only
temporary, and that his game will return
to the form he demonstrated in earlier
outings.
"I don't think I'm asserting myself as
much as I can. That's just all on me,"
Robinson said.

Bucks pick'
Tressel
to replace
Cooper
COLUMBUS (AP) - Youngstown
State's Jim Tressel, a winner of four
Division I-AA national championships,
will get his chance at the big time as thc
22nd Ohio State head coach.
Tressel accepted the job yesterday,
said Jack Ral, chairman of the Ohio
State Athletic Council.
Tressel succeeds John Cooper, fired
on Jan. 2 after Ohio State lost 24-7 to
South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.
Cooper was 111-43-4, shared three Big.
Ten titles and played in bowls in I I of
his 13 seasons.
But he was 3-8 in those bowl games.
and was just 2-10-1 against Ohio State's
chief rival, Michigan. Tressel's
Youngstown State teams won national
titles in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997 -
the most for a head coach in NCAA
Division I-AA history - and had 12.
winning seasons.
Athletics director Andy Geiger toli
The Associated Press the interview
process was over but he would not con-
finn or deny there was a decision. He
said the new coach will be introduced
today at 4 p.m. in Ohio Stadium.
Tressel, 48, has spent the last 15 sea
sons at Youngstown State. Prior to that,.
he was an assistant coach at Ohio State
under Earle Bruce (1983-86).
Tressel, 135-57-2 (.701) with the
Penguins, also served as the school's
athletics director. He has racked up wins
and captured trophies, but has never
been a head coach in Division I-A.
After Oakland Raiders coach Jon
Gruden joined Oregon's Mike Bellotti
in dropping out of contention, Tressel
and Minnesota coach Glen Mason
appeared to be the finalists. Trese
toured the campus Tuesday and Mason
followed suit yesterday.
Geiger took both men to meetings
with Ohio State president William,
Kirwan and an advisory committee set,
up to screen candidates. Mason said his,
meeting with Kirwan went "great."
In an interview last week with The
Associated Press, Tressel said the pres-
sures at a Division I-AA program were
different from those at a Big Ten power.
-but were pressures nonetheless..0
"At Youngstown State right now,
we're supposed to win 15 games in a
row and we're supposed to have 20,000
people happy in the seats and a half-a
million people in our market happy' he
said. "At Ohio State, you're supposed to
win 12 straight games and
keep 98,000 people happy
in the stands and 13 mil-
lion people in the state .
of Ohio happy. Both
are pretty hard." s
TRESSELS zr
RESUME
In his 15 years as Youngstown
State's head coach, Jim Tressel
compiled a 135-57-2 record and four
Division I-AA national championships.
Here is his personal timeline:
1Aj- "

Injuries mean new roles for women

Multicultural Career Fair
..u yu2...............
J a n uary 23, 2001

By Benjamin Singer
Daily Sports Writer
If Raina Goodlow and Stephanie Gandy are healthy,
the question of Michigan's rotation is moot.

I

Michigan Union

I

Noon - 4:00pm
Discuss full-timeand internship positions with
organizations from across the country.
Meet with graduate/professional school programs.
Visit our homepage for a list of participating
organizations and schools.

But both are performing day-by-day
with sprains - Goodlow's from last
week's Ohio State game and Gandy's
from the following practice. If the
Michigan women's basketball team is
missing two starters for tonight's game at
Northwestern, what is the Wolverines'
new rotation?
Usually, coach Sue Guevara feels most
comfortable with two of her six-footers
in the post. But if Goodlow is absent,
rather than asking LeeAnn Bies and_
Jennifer Smith to play 40 minutes,
Guevara will let new faces play in the paint.

TONI
WELsH-RYA
Who: Michigan
9-7 Overall) vs.
Northwestern (4
When: 8 p.m
Latest: With a w
Sue Guevara wil
Michigan record
wins in women's

senior Katie Dvkhouse, who averages 2.2 minutes a
game, may see more playing time.
Even in a small lineup, Guevara is counting on play-
ers like 6-foot Oesterle and 5-foot-I I Christie
Schumacher to hold their own down low. Michigan will
likely have to keep the ball in the high post
GHT to allow for passing or dribble penetration
N ARENA - an aspect of the game Michigan does
2-4BigTen, not get as much with Goodlow.
The Wolverines should feel fortunate
411,0-5) that if they must deal with a plague of
injuries, it comes against a Big Ten cellar
in, coach dweller. The Wildcats are winless in con-
tie the ference play at 0-5.
IforBigTen But Michigan is not about to take
s basketball. Northwestern lightly. The Wolverines
know all too well about the role frustration
can play in breaking out of a team slump.
"They can hardly wait for Michigan to come in."
Guevara said. "I think Northwestern is going to see we
have two players that maybe aren't going to be playing
and are going to be licking their chops."
By the same philosophy, Michigan is in a position
where it needs to bounce back after a letdown loss to
Ohio State. For the Wolverines, there is a sense of
urgency for the team, but also for the individuals.
"It's a challenge. Who's going to step up'?" Guevara
said. "If you're a kid on this team and you don't see the
opportunity ahead of you with other people struggling
that now you get that shot, you're blind."

. ,. Y .

I

Preparing for the Job Fair

I

January 22. 5:10-6:00
Never been to a job fair? Plan to attend this
program to leam how to stand outfrom thescrowd and
make the most of a job fair.

i

For information

Guevara said small forward Heather Oesterle may
slide over to the four-spot. Michigan also practiced
with starting point guard Anne Thorius as the power
forward.
"Anne and Heather play a really nice four," Guevara
said. "The problem is that they're small. That, defen-
sively, is going to give us some matchup problems.".
As long as the Wildcats have both 6-foot-2 starters
Tami Sears, the team's leading scorer, and Leslie
Dolland, the team's leading rebounder, Michigan will
need to find matching height. Guevara said 6-foot-2

t

_

1971-75
Four-year letterwinner at Baldwin-Wallace
1975-79
Defensive backfield coach for Akron State.
1979-80
Quarterback/receiver coach for Miami (Ohio)
1981-82
quarterback/receiver coach for Syracue
1982-85
quarterback/receiver coach for Ohio Stgt.t
1986-00
Youngstown State head coach

W

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THIS WEEKEND IN
MICHIGAN ATHLETICS

Huntzicker probable for Friday

Presented by:

: ;

, i
w e. .r
_

By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Wr iter
The Michigan hockey team's depleted defensive corps
could get a long-anticipated return by one of its stars this
weekend.
Defenseman Dave Huntzicker has skated in practice every
day this week and is probable to dress on Friday night against
Western Michigan.
"Huntzicker looks good, I would think he would be ready
to play on Friday," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "If he
looks and feels the way he did today and yesterday, I think

Lakes Invitational on Dec. 29. Vancik has practiced with'the
team every day this week, but he's stayed cautious in terms of
his mobility.
"Right now in practice it's a little tentative, but I try toplay
the same game I've always played," Vancik said.
A Huntzicker return will probably cost senior Bob Gasso
or sophomore Brad Fraser his place in the lineup. The tp
have alternated between the fifth- and sixth-defenseman
spots since the GLI.
"We will have to decide who we dress on defense if
Huntzicker comes in," Berenson said. "It could be
Gassoff or Fraser who comes out - right now I think I
t-ri kivt Iht cudn't wnt to sav Somebod

#3 Woe'ymatc

I'

Sat. Jan.20 7pm
vs. Ohio State
Cliff Keen Arena

Fr JrI nn 19 m

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