The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday, March 5, 2001- 3B
dell puts exclamation
point on Flint legacy
By Raphael Goodstein
Daily Sports Editor
FAST LANSING -- As the final see-
s of Michigan State's 78-57 win
ticked away, the fans rushed the floor
and the band played the fight song but
senior Charlie Bell had more important
people to celebrate with. Bell grabbed
-two Big Ten champion hats -- to match
the one he was wearing -- and spotted
his two "brothers" -- former teammates
and Flintstones Antonio Smith and
"We're a family," said Cleaves, a for-
mer Michigan State star. "This is so
tat. I'm so happy for him and to be
re to see this. He doesn't know what it
is to lose and that says a lot about him
and the program."
TI he Flintstones gained iotoriety
almost three years ago when Bell,
Cleaves, Smith and Morris Peterson -
all Flint natives - led Michigan State
into the Final Four. They then won the
national title last year without Smith.
.The four grew up playing against each
*er throughout high school and in
Flint's YMCA, so when they arrived in
East Lansing, a bond that normally takes
years to develop was already Formed.
"Building chemistry is a key thing,"
Bell's former high school coach Jeff
Whiteley said. "Those guys played
against each other growing up and that
bond was formed before they came to
The bonus were developed through
me of Flint's best basketball. Bell's
nt Southwestern, Cleaves and Smith's
Flint Northern and Peterson's Flint
Signs of the times
Though not as impressive as Duke's
Cameron Crazies, Michigan State's
student section - the Izzone - came
equipped to zing Michigan. Here are a
few signs spotted Saturday:
"We luv Ellerbe"
"2000-'O1 Michigan basketball:
worse than ast year"
"Scrap the program"
Northwestern all were ranked No. I in
the state at one point during their high-
school careers and Smith and Cleaves
each won a Class A State title.
"I hear from them at least once a
week," Bell said. "You could yell 'Flint'
and you had other guys who yell 'Flint'
with you. I'm just going out there and
living off the tradition."
Cleaves' and Smith's high school state
title alluded Bell, but now he has some-
thing that no other Flintstone has-- four
Big Ten titles.
- 'Nobody can ever top that," Michigan
State coach Tom Izzo said.
While Bell's individual success was
expected - he was a consensus top-25
prospect and strongly considered
Michigan and Connecticut before decid-
ing to play with his "family" - nobody
expected Bell and the Spartans to be this
good, winning four Big Ten titles and a
Before Bell, the Spartans were com-
ing off of back-to-back NIT appearances
and weren't showing the ability to play
with Michigan, Indiana or Purdue -
then the cream of the conference.
But the Flintstones learned something
in Flint that few others had - how to
"He's been winning since day one"
Smith said while celebrating with Bell.
"It's great to see him go out with a bang"
Bell wants that bang to be what his
legacy is known for.
"I hope we taught them how to win,"
Bell said. "Hopefully the guy (Kelvin
Torbert, a consensus top-five prospect)
from Flint they've got coming in will
keep on winning."
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Despite
some tense moments. No. 5 Illinois
claimed a share of its second Big Ten
Conference title in four seasons with a
67-59 victory over Minnesota yester-
The Illini took their first lead of the
second half at 48-46 on a 3-pointer by
Sean Harrington with 6:01 remaining.
Following a Minnesota turnover,
Frank Williams drove the lane and
dunked, pushing Illinois' lead to 50-46.
A basket by the Gophers' Shane
Schilling tied the score at 50-50 with
4:43 remaining, but. another driving
basket by Williams gave the Illini a 52-
50 lead and they never again trailed.
The Illini (13-3 Big Ten, 23-6 over-
all), which finished in a first-place tie
with Michigan State, earned the No. I
seed in the Big Ten Tournament next
week at Chicago's United Center
because of a 77-66 victory over the
Spartans on Feb. 6.
Bollinger s mark on 'M
Michigan State senior Charlie Bell scored only six points in the Spartans' victory
but "taught his teammates how to win."
s tite share
Illinois' Bill Self became the first
coach in 22 seasons to win a title in his
first season in the Big Ten.
Minnesota will open the Big Ten
tournament Thursday against Purdue in
the No. 8 vs. No. 9 game.
The Gophers (5-l1, 17-12) led 31-30
at halftime despite falling behind 14-2
during the opening minutes.
The Gophers went on a 13-2 run and
eventually took a 27-25 lead on a bas-
ket by Terrance Simmons.
The Illini were 20-of-55 (36 percent)
against Minnesota's 1-3-1 zone
defense, which the Gophers were
forced to use because they have only
seven scholarship players available.
But, they made 20 of 23 free throws.
The Gophers had won six in row
against the Illini at Williams Arena
until losing last season.
Simmons led all scorers with 19
points. Williams led the Illini with 15
Michigan (57) FG FT REB
MIN MA M-A OT A F PS
Asseln 24 12 66 00 1 5 8
Blanchard 34 2-11 0-0 09 3 4 5
Young 25 33 01 13 1 4 6
Queen 37 510 0 0 01 8 0 11
Robinson 37 813 2-3 0-1 3 0 19
Jones 7 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 0 2
Dill 2 01 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Gonzales 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Gibson 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Gotfredson 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Groninger 11 0-1 0-0 0-4 0 2 0
Moore 16 3-5 0-0 1-2 0 5 6
Totals 200 23.49 810 2.23 16 19 57
FG%: .469. FT%: 800. 3-point FG: 3-11. .273.
(Blanchard 1-3. Robinson 1-3, Queen 1-4. Groninger
0-1). Blocks: 3 (Asselin, Blanchard. Young). Steals:
2 (Asselin, Quen). Turnovers: 11 (Moore 4. Queen
3. Blanchard 2, Asselin. Robinson). Technical fouls:
MICHIGAN STATE(78) EB
MIN MA MA 0-T A F PTS
Thomas 24 24 2-2 2 3 3 1 6
Chappell 16 15 0-0 22 1 2 3
Hutson 28 712 5-6 39 3 1 19
Smith 7 0-0 0-0 01 0 3 0
Bell 28 211 0-0 17 7 0 6
Taylor 23 26 2-3 11 3 0 6
Wolfe 3 12 0-0 0-1 0 0 2
Ishbia 3 00 0-0 0-1 0 1 0
Richardson 25 6-10 1-2 24 2 1 15
Anagonye 15 3.3 3-5 3-5 1 0 9
Andreas 3 0.0 0-0 01 0 1 0
Randolph 16 3-5 5-6 0-3 0 3 3
Ballinger 9 00 1-2 02 0 2 1
Totals 200 27-58 19-2615.41 20 15 78
FG%:s466. FT%: .731. 3-point FG: 5-18. .278.
(Richardson 2-4, Bell 2-8, Chappell 1-4. Taylor 0-2).
Blocks: 3 (Ballinger Richardson, Taylor). Steals: 5
(Anagonye. Bell. Chappell. Randolph. Thomas).
Turnovers: 9 (Bell 3. Andreas. Ishbia. Randolph,
Taylor, Thomas). Technical fouls: none.
Michigan....................27 30 - 57
Michigan State .............42 36 - 78
At: Breslin Center. East Lansing
BIG TEN STANDINGS
ell, here we are, one week
removed from the revelation
that University President Lee
Bollinger is likely the top candidate for
No new developments - yet. Since
most of the University community has
spent the last week in an alternate, spring-
break reality anyway, I suppose the
silence isn't so weird.
But it seems pretty clear around the
proverbial water cooler that should the
offer come his way, Bollinger will accept
the new position - after just four years
in Michigan's top post.
And who could blame him?
Bollinger is like that girl you always
thought was too good to be dating you -
realizing afterwards that you were proba-
bly rght about it the whole time.
Why was he ever the president of
Michigan? Can't explain. But if he has
the opportunity to move on, he will -
and so too must we.- Either way -
whether this is farewell or simply a time
to "see other people"- Bollinger has
already left an interesting mark on the
Michigan athletic community.
Preceded by James Duderstat, a presi-
dent uniquely outspoken on his views
regarding collegiate athletics - Bollinger
was better known for his established
political platform. Taking up the job in
February 1997, he inherited a mess - a
distraction from his aspirations in higher
education - in the form of the Michigan
basketball team. The former Law School
dean was alerted to mischieveous goings-
on within the hoops program and forced
to admit, only five weeks into his term,
that Michigan was guilty of NCAA viola-
tions. Still wet behind the ears, Bollinger
joined athletic director Joe Roberson in
voicing support for then-coach Steve
Fisher. But almost-daily allegations of
cash payments and other possible wrong-
doings on South Campus forced the pres-
ident to continue addressing the matter.
"Any time there is a credible allegation
we will investigate it," Bollinger told the
University Board of Regents on March
13, 1997. The policy was prophetic. Less
than a week later, Bollinger hired a
Kansas-based law firm to assist the
University in investigating the program.
By the first autumn of his term, you
got the sense that Bollinger had little
desire to deal with the ins-and-outs of the
Athletic Department or, for that matter,
collegiate athletics in general.
Two weeks before classes commenced,
Roberson retired from what the Daily was
already calling Michigan's "troubled ath-
letic department," and Bollinger appoint-
ed University alum Tom Goss - the first
choice - as his top sports guy.
The move was significant because it
gave Goss total control over coaches,
players and programs - a throwback to
earlier days at the University. Former ath-
letic director Don Canham (1968-88),
who many credit for Michigan's rise to
multi-sport preeminence, outlined the
gravity of Bollinger's decision in
September 1997. "The major thing here
is that the president isn't going to run the
athletic department like Duderstadt did,"
Canham said. "But Bollinger isn't the
kind of guy who would do that."
Said Bollinger that fall, "I do not view
it as the president's job to hire, fire and
deal with coaches
A month later, on a Friday, the Kansas-
based law firm that Bollinger hired
reported three NCAA violations. By
Monday, Goss had fired Fisher. And by
Wednesday, Bollinger was the target of a
lawsuit challenging LSA admissions -
providing the perfect stage for his politi-
cal and higher-education beliefs.
But Michigan's success on the gridiron
provided Bollinger the stage to play presi-
dent of the Conq'ring Heroes as well. In
perhaps his finest hour presiding over
scholar-athlete glory, Bollinger invited a
rowdy, ecstatic group of students into his,
home after Michigan defeated Penn State
to earn the No. I national ranking. The
gesture turned the already-popular
Bollinger into a campus celebrity.
But as the Wolverines continued to sail)
toward undefeated glory, the athletic
department continued to drift further
from the reigns of executive guidance.
After Michigan's Rose Bowl victory Goss
restructured the department and created
senior positions that reported directly to
him. While Michigan athletes continued
to succeed, Goss' department pursued an
aggressive new platform that, combined
with lower ticket revenue, resulted in a
52.8 million budget deficit by the fall of
1999. The foul-up drew criticism from
the regents and led to the appointment of -
a CFO position within the athletic depart-
ment. The University community,
though, would not realize how distanced
the relationship between Bollinger and
the athletic department had become until
February 2000. In letters obtained by the
press, Bollinger wrote to Goss on Feb. 2
that he was "speechless to have found out
for the first time this morning about the
issues relating to Jamal Crawford ..."
Crawford had been suspended the pre-
vious night, hours before a game against
archrival Michigan State, for an NCAA
Bollinger, in a sense by his own design,
had fallen too far out of "the loop" for hi
own liking. The department had suffered
substantially, and he'd been embarrasse.,
The president began damage controly-
demanding Goss' resignation (his darkest
hour)-- but had to deal with months of
cleanup after that. Bollinger and his top
lawyer Marvin Krislov became personaly.
involved, for example, in Crawford's
NCAA appeal process as well as the
negotiation of an athletic apparel contract
that had collapsed under Goss. Partially
as a personal favor to Bollinger;alum Bill
Martin agreed to step in as interim AD,
and then at the request of coaches agreed
to take the full-time position. Martin will.
now have to deal with the consequences
of Goss' decision to hire Brian Ellerbe as
Bollinger, as promised in 1997, will
not "deal" with the coach - but this tim.
it may be because of more than ideology
Bollinger is a great man and a superb
educator. He has always been destined for'
academic greatness, and Michigan willbe
a fine stepping stone. But his mark on
athletics here has been measured in
David Den Herder can be izached at
S 2001 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament
Game 5 11:30 a.mn.
I (4) Indiana
(2) Michigan State 6 r Gm1
(7) Penn State Game 6
(10) Michigan /Gme 9
(3) Ohio State
(6) Iowa Game /
_ -- ap.m.
(11) N'western All games played at United Center, Chicago.
All tipoff times are Central Standard Time.
Games 8, 9 and 10 are televised on CBS.
Other games are televised on ESPN networks.
Illinois 67, MINNESOTA 59
OHIO STATE 93, Penn State 87
Wisconsin 59, IOWA 57
Indiana 74, PURDUE 58
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.. . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .
Start the insanity
The process of grinding away the grizzle and whittling the NCAA Tournament field down to 65 (yes, 65) has