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October 29, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-29

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

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SPORTS ND

Sports desk: 763-2459
sportsdesk@umich.edu

SECTION B

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Walking

the

walk

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S
BI T lBASKETBALL MEDIA DAY
CONFERENCE
Illinois picked to
repeat in Big Ten
By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
CHICAGO - Michigan State coach Torn Izzo is not known
for making mistakes, as his program has been the elite squad of
the Big Ten conference in recent years.
But when the media gathered yesterday in Chicago for the
annual Big Ten Media Day, the Spartans' coach acted with a
severe lack of consideration for his own sanity: He entered the
room first.
Upon his entrance, the bulk of reporters - bored from their
six-month break from college basketball - rushed to his table,
where the coaching king of the conference held court until his
peers began to trickle in.
The buzzwords in the Big Ten yesterday were "respect" and
"deserve." As Michigan State - which shared the Big Ten.reg-
ular season title with Illinois last year - has been usurped by
the Illini as the preseason favorite, Izzo and Illinois head coach
Bill Self played word games that serve to motivate their respec-
tive teams and intensify the rivalry for the top spot in the con-
ference.
The Illini, picked by the coaches and media to finish first in
the conference, were followed by Iowa and Indiana.
"We don't deserve to be one or two (in the Big Ten rankings)
right now," Izzo said. "If we play well and earn the respect,
we'll get the respect we deserve."
On the other side of the room, Izzo's counterpart at Illinois
fired back: "We should be good enough to make a strong run,
but preseason predictions do nothing more than put a target on
our back for the season," Self said. "But our players definitely
should not be reading into the press clippings; that could hurt
us."
Self's team is led by junior point guard Frank Williams, who
was picked as the Big Ten preseason Player of the Year by the
coaches and media. He is joined on the preseason All-Big Ten
team by Michigan junior LaVell Blanchard, Iowa seniors Reg-
gie Evans and Luke Recker and Indiana sophomore Jared Jef-
fries.
Williams more eagerly embraced the preseason accolades
than his coach did.
See MEDIA DAY, Page 7B
High expectations
for 'M' and Guevara
By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
CHICAGO - When Michigan women's basketball coach
Sue Guevara led her team to a 15-11 record in her first season
as head coach, it was considered a successful season for a
then-struggling program.
Five years later, under Guevara's leadership, expectations
have increased.
Thanks to the return of seven experienced players from last
year's team, Guevara believes that Michigan's program is to
the point where it can improve on last season's second-round
NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth place Big Ten fin-
ish.
Apparently, the rest of the conference has taken notice of
Michigan as well. The Wolverines finished tied for first with
2001 national runner-up Purdue according to the preseason
Big Ten coaches poll, announced at the Big Ten's media day
yesterday.
"They have four returning starters and one of the best
recruiting classes in the country," Purdue coach Kristy Curry
said. "Tabitha Pool is an impact player. Guevara and her staff
deserve every bit of (recognition). They'd probably be my
preseason pick."
Michigan paved the way for this year's high hopes with a
solid campaign last season. The season included wins over
No. 8 Louisiana Tech, No. 25 Iowa and three victories over a
Penn State team that was ranked as high as No. 12.
"Michigan wasn't a thorn, they were a tree in our side,"
Penn State coach Rene Portland said. "It's an advantage to
have (Guevara). She came from Michigan State so it's not like
they brought an outsider in, she just moved down the road -

but she knew Michigan recruiting and recruiting in general.
"I think there's more consistency now with their program, more
competitiveness. She's done a really great job at Michigan."
See GUEVARA, Page 7B

Wolverines come from
behind, subdue Iowa

By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Editor

IOWA CITY - Michigan survived
its first test of the Big Ten season
with a 32-26 victory over Iowa, but
not by much.
After the Hawkeyes (2-3 Big Ten,
4-3 overall) stopped the Wolverines
(4-0, 6-1) on the Iowa 34-yard line
with less than four minutes left,
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr opted
for a 51-yard field goal by Hayden
Epstein instead of pinning the
Hawkeyes inside the 20 with a pooch
punt.
"I really have a lot of confidence
in Hayden Epstein," Carr said. "I did
think about (punting) because it is
the safe thing to do, but three points
- that gave us a six-point lead,
which meant Iowa had to score a
touchdown to win."
On the ensuing kickoff a holding
penalty forced the Hawkeyes back
their own 15-yard line. With 85 yards
staring them in the face, senior quar-
terback Kyle McCann and Iowa
marched down the field by picking
apart the Wolverines' secondary with

a series of short passes.
The Kinnick Stadium crowd
reached a fever pitch when Iowa
invaded Michigan territory. After
forcing Michigan down the field, a
third-and-one on the Michigan 35-
yard line seemed automatic. But the
Wolverines got good penetration on a
Ladell Betts handoff and stopped him
a yard short to set up a critical
fourth-and-one.
After a timeout, Iowa returned to
the line and to the surprise of every-
one opted for a pass - a pass that
fell five yards past its target and
secured a critical road win for Michi-
gan.
"We got stuffed on the run and we
really thought we had a chance
there," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
"They brought a dog and we didn't
do a good job of picking it up. From
where I stood I thought we had a
good chance to make the play, it just
didn't work out."
The play brought an end to Michi-
gan's closest game since Washington
in the second game of the season and
left the Hawkeyes in disappointment
See HAWKEYES, Page 4B

MARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily
Top: Marquise Walker corralled six balls on Saturday for 72 yards. Bottom: Larry
Foote had another standout performance with 15 tackles and three first-half sacks.

Webb wins, 'M'
finishes second
By Blake Fillion and Megan Fitzgerald
Daily Sports Writers
CHAMPAIGN - Big Ten Champion Alan Webb led
the Michigan men's cross country team to a second-
place finish at yesterday's Big Ten Championships.
Heading into the meet, Michigan was expecting its
strongest competition from Wisconsin. Michigan coach
Ron Warhurst thought the three time defending Big Ten
Champions would be within reach if the Wolverines
could match the Badgers man for man. Wisconsin proved

CIC>f lN tCF

CROSS COUNTRY
CHAMPIONSHIPS

SR4su~t
I ;

Underdog Blue
performs well
By Kareem Copeland
Daily Sports Writer

3.

4,

5.
6.

CHAMPAIGN - To kick off the season the women's cross
country team took third against a weak field at the Miami
(Ohio) Invitational. Things didn't get much better as a young
team struggled throughout the year. Because of their 14 run-
ners with freshman eligibility, the Wolverines have endured
many growing pains over the past two months.
But Sunday, the Wolverines upset No. 14 Wisconsin en
route to a second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships.

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