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January 09, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-09

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Sittin' still _
After shutting out Lake Superior twice
this weekend, the Michigan hockey
earn remained No. 8 in the USCHO
oll. Read the entire poll online.
michigandaily.com/sports

PiORTS

TUESDAY
JANUARY 9, 2001

9

.rr.

.CHRIS
DUPREY

New-life Hoosiers to test
sluggish Blue at Cnsler

Hawkeye
eaven ziz
two seasons"
B elieve it or not, Iowa City is
an ideal setting for success in
Big Ten basketball.
The city is four hours from
Chicago, dropped in the middle of
*merica's plains. There's not a pro-
fessional sports team in sight. And
resides that rare occasion when the
CBA All-Star Game comes to nearby
Ames, there's not much to do.
In the fall, Iowa football is the
only game in townt. Once the snow
tires go on the F 150, it's timhe for the
basketball and wrestling teams to
shine,
As far as basketball goes, that
'shining' took place here and there
*uring Tom Davis' 12-year tenure as
coach of the Hawkeves. Davis had
some very good teams, and hie was
the victor in over 65 percent of his
games.
But he never won the Big Ten.
Nor did he take Iowa to a Final Fpour'. .
Along comes a marketable name
and face in Steve Alford, who was,
given a chance by athletics director
dob Bowlsby in 1999 to return to
e eague he grew up in. Alford W$
handed the Iowa tradition and the
pwrand administrative support to
make the program a prolific winner.
Perhaps two or three years ahead
of schedule, he already has. Alford
has challenged the notion that it
takes 5-7 years to build a program..
In the midst of his second season,
his Hawkeyes are 12-2 and sit just,
out of the top 25 in the AP poll.
Alford has a built-in advantage
over the Gene Keadvs of the Big
Ten. Lie's young enough to relate to
players. He's been to the pinnacle of
basetbllat hecollege and world
levels, having won the 1987 national
{championship at Indiana after cap-
Ituring a gold medal in 1984 as part
of the U.S. tcam.
Just as important, hne's been to the
Otimate destination: The NBA. And
While Alford's joumneynian career
didn't match his feats as a collegian.
it serves to remind Iowa recruits that
he knows how to get where they
themselves want to go.I
Strategically, Alford has managed
his roster as well as can be expected
---all wvhile setting the standard for
jdiscipline.
Jacob Jaacks was Alford's only
potplayer last season. That didn't
stptecoach from sanctioning him
@ihen he noticed Jaacks "catching"
opponents with stray elbows.
Rob Griffin was Iowa's second-
leading scorer last year, averaging
12 points a game and serving asa
key cog in the Hawkeyes' offense.
But when Griffin continued to run
afoul of team policy, Alford dis-
missed him from the squad without
hesitation.
SThe easy answer is to dismiss
lfo rd's success by saying, "He's got
Luke Recker. What else do you
need?" But Alford recruited five
newcomers for this season, and all
five are in the playing rotation.
Iowa's record is clearly not the result
*of one man.
Junior-college transfer Reggie
Evans, in his first season on the
team, is averaging a double-doubly;
of 15 points and 12 rebounds a

ame. Alford, in an understateient,
ails him "special."
The young coach isn't jumping up
and down just yet about his team's
play. He's taking the cautious
approach, as most coaches do, sy-
ing he's "pretty pleased with where
we are at this point."
There's nothing wrong with that
attitude. No reason to rock the boat
with chest-thumping.
"Is this heaven?" Shoeless Joe
Jackson asked in Field of Dreams.
"No, it's Iowa, said Ray Kinsella.
For Hawkeyes fans, those two are
becoming one and the same.
Cwis Duiprev 17 can be rea' he(d
at creir rc1(Fulnlich.cdu.

By Dan Williams
INy Sports Writer
While Michigan enters tonight's
Big Ten home opener against
Indiana with four wins in its last five
games, there is a pervasive sense

Mike Davis to publicly question his
ability to coach the Hoosiers.
"I was down and disappointed
with the lack of effort"Davis said in
yesterday's Big Ten teleconference.
"I got a little too emotional"
But Sunday, Kirk Haston's 3-point

that the team has not
recovered from its
early season dol-
drums.
Most recently,
Michigan (0-1 Big
Ten, 6-6 overall) fell
to Purdue 80-60 in
its conference open-
er. The Wolverines
are 0-5 against major
conference oppo-

TONIGHT
CRISLER ARENA
Who: Michigan (0-1Big Ten,
66 overall) vs. Indiana (1-1,
10.6)
When:7 p.m. on ESPN
Radio: WJR (760 AM Detroit)
WTKA (1050 AM Ann Arbor)
will also carry the game
locally.

buzzer-beater retired
then-No. I Michigan
State and seemingly
the Indiana slump in
one fell swoop.
The magnitude of
the game winner sent
Assembly Hall into
hysteria as fans rushed
the floor and piled onto
Haston. Davis, whose
future with Indiana is

"We've gotten guys to play hard
- it just hasn't been sustained over
40 minutes,' Michigan coach Brian
Ellerbe said. "That irks you to a
strong degree. You can only point to
youth and inexperience so many
times. At some point you've got to
grab the bull by the horns and say
'enough is enough."'
The team feels confident after
stringing together intense practices
leading up to tonight's contest.
"We asked some things of them,
and they responded. They're the ones
that should really get the credit for
turning it up a notch," Ellerbe said.
"We expect to play well tomorrow."
To beat the Hoosiers, Michigan
will have to stop Indiana's funda-
mentally sound offense. Haston, a 6-
10 post-player, is the team's first
option and leading scorer, averaging
17.3 points per game.
"After watching him play yester-
day, we know (Haston) can shoot the
3, so we've got to step out and cover
him on the perimeter," Michigan
junior Chris Young said. "He can
shoot the ball out to 17 feet or so if
he's not shooting the threes."
Indiana also features versatile
freshman Jared Jeffries and
Michigan native Dane Fife. Fife has
struggled this year, shooting just 31
percent from the floor.
He has found a guilelessly adver-
sarial crowd in his previous
Michigan homecomings.

nents, having lost all five games by
double figures.
Having last weekend off gave
Michigan a chance to reassert itself
towards damning the flood.
The Indiana game "is definitely a
must win," Michigan sophomore
and Indiana native Gavin Groninger
said. "Hopefully with our backs
against the wall, that will wake us up
a little bit because we do need this
win."
Until last Sunday, Indiana was in
a comparable condition. The
Hoosiers (1-1, 10-6) suffered a
number of sobering defeats, includ-
ing losses to unranked Kentucky
and Indiana State. The loss to the
Wildcats caused Indiana coach

uncertain, fell to his knees.
"The players responded by going
out and laying it on the line," Davis
said yesterday.
Michigan looks to turn the tables
and make Indiana the victim of its
first notable victory. Despite the
colossal home win over the Spartans,
the Hoosiers are still unproven on the
road with a 1-3 record.
"They've got some new guys ;n
their lineup too," Groninger said.
"They've been going through the
same type of things, finding out
what their identity is. That's the
same thing we need to do."
Following the Purdue loss,
Michigan coaches and players both
questioned the team's effort.

MARJORIE MARSHALL/DaHly
Michigan freshman Avery Queen, who had a career-high 17 points against Purdue last
Thursday, will be a key if the Wolverines hope to knock off a hot Indiana squad.

Spartans scare Carmody after first loss

By Geoff Gagnon
Dtiy Sports Editor
. Indiana's Kirk Haston may have
made himself a hero in Bloomington
on Sunday when his last-second sht
sank then-No. 1 Michigan State. But in
Evanston, Haston's heroics had
Northwestern coach Bill Carmody
breathing a little heavier.
Indiana's stunning 59-58 victory
over the Spartans snapped the nation's
longest win streak. But Carmody fears
the Hoosiers' good fortune may not
bode well for his Wildcats, who will
tipoff with Michigan State tomorrow
night.
Wearv of the wounded Spartans,
Carmody said that Sunday's loss may
ignite an explosiveness in the Spartans
that he would have rather not seen.
"If I was writing the script this was

about the worst script I could write for
us. It's not exactly the way I would have
liked things," Carmody said. "I think
players and coaches are self-motivated
and all, but after that loss I'm sure
:they'l I give it just a little more effort."
Michigan State, which boasted a 23-
game win streak --- eighth longest in
NCAA history -- will look to avoid
creating a losing streak as it hosts the
Wildcats. Nevertheless. Carmody is
realistic of his team's chances against
the national champions, despite the
vulnerabilities that Indiana revealed.
"I've admired them from afar all
year, and it'll be from near Wednesday
night" Carmody said. "Just to be real-
istic about things, we're not in that class
right now. We're just looking to hang in
there a little bit and see what happens."
JUMP START: Meanwhile, Purdue
coach Gene Keady likes what he sees

happening with his own team.
Yet after guiding his young squad to,
a 2-0 conference start, Keady says he's
hesitant to grow overconfident after
such a quick start. Afterall, said Keady,
"It's not who you play, it's when you
play them."
With that in mind, Purdue is anxious
for a shot at a battered Wisconsin team
that saw a halftime lead slip away
before succumbing to Minnesota this
past Saturday night. For the surging
Boilermakers, tomorrow's matchup
with Wisconsin would appear to have a
bit of extra meaning. After the Badgers
reeled off three straight wins over
Purdue, including the knockout blow
in last season's NCAA tournament,
conventional wisdom would peg the
Boilermakers as a squad anxious to
avenge their losses. But Keady says
that motivation just doesn't exist.

"That was a long time ago," Keady
said. "That was different players and
two different teams. What happens on
Wednesday is what counts."
And Wisconsin coach Brad
Soderberg is counting on a challenge.
After the stalled comeback run
against Minnesota last Saturday,
Soderberg will look to get the Badgers
back on track in the wake of his first
loss since taking the helm in Madison.
The loss dropped Wisconsin to 1-1 in
the Big Ten on the eve of this week's
conference slate that includes stops at
both Purdue and Michigan State. But
Soderberg said that his team will look
more at itself than its opponent in
preparation for this week's matchups.
"We've got to take care of ourselves
and iron out the flaws that we saw in
the Minnesota game before we worry
about Purdue oranybody else,"he said.

As of Janl. b, dVuu.
first-place votes in parentheses
Team Record Pts
1. Stanford (70) 13-0 1,750
2. Duke 13-1 1,667
3. Michigan State 12-1 1,597
4. Tennessee 14-1 1,444
5. Kansas 12-1 1,425
6. Wake Forest 12-1 1,380
7. Illinois 12-3 1,300
8. Florida 10-2 1,187
9. North Carolina 11-2 1,164
10. Virginia 11-1 1,129
11. Syracuse 13-1 1,036
12. Georgetown 13-0 915
13. Connecticut 12-2 830
14. Maryland 11-3 770
15. Seton Hall 10-3 686
16. Alabama 12-1 670
17. Wisconsin 10-2 641
18. Iowa State 13-1 500
19. Southern Cal 12-2 460
20. Mississippi 13-1 431
21. Arizona 8-5 340
22. Oklahoma 11-2 320
23. Texas 11-2 263
24. Boston College 11-0 192
25. Notre Dame 9-3 189

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