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September 05, 2001 - Image 64

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-05

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4E - New Student Edition - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 5, 2001

New

e

in

Town

0

Numerous changes
ahead for Michigan

RAPHAEL
GOODSTEIN

By Benjamin Singer
Daily Sports Editor
Lately,. the word "turnover" has
been a good one for the Michigan
basketball team. New coaches, new
uniforms and new student seating
await Michigan and its fans at
Crisler Arena when the 2001-02 sea-
son rolls around.
..After four controversial-filled
years as head coach (his first as
interim coach), Brian Ellerbe got the
boot after another disappointing sea-
son.
Ellerbe had been put on the spot
when first given the job, taking over
in the wake of the Ed Martin scan-
dal, which led to the firing of Steve
Fisher.
Despite earning a No. 3 seed in
tJhe NCAA Tournament his first year,
Ellerbe could not get back to the Big
Dance. Even more discouraging
were the off-the-court problems.
Jamal Crawford was interrogated in
his freshman year of 2000-01 for
NCAA violations, which at least in
part led to his decision to bolt for
the NBA.
Kevin Gaines, a member of Craw-
ford's class, was disciplined during
his first season, and then kicked off
the team before his second one even
began after being found with alco-
hpl on his breath on the side of the
highway, wrestling with some
recruits.
And finally Maurice Searight, a

freshman last year, sat for discipli-
nary reasons on several occasions.
Exit Ellerbe and enter Tommy
Amaker. The former Duke player,
and later Mike Krzyzewski assistant,
quit his head coaching job at Seton
Hall to take the reigns of the Michi-
gan basketball rebuilding process.
"I think as a coach, we need to
provide a team that the students can
identify with," Amaker told The
Michigan Daily after his hiring. "By
that I mean the way in which we're
going to play - we're going to do
those five things: We're going to be
passionate, we're going to be pre-
pared, we're going to be honest,
we're going to have fun and we're
going to be Michigan."
Along with the announement of
the new coach came word from the
Athletic Department that Crisler
Arena would undergo renovations to
fit more students near the court and
the jersey's would feature the word
"Michigan" on the chest rather than
the block 'M'.
And, picking up where Ellerbe left
off, Amaker kicked Searight off the
team for unspecified team viola-
tions.
The 2001-02 season will feature
proven .scorers like Ann Arbor Pio-
neer High School's own LaVell
Blanchard (17.8 points per game)
and last year's freshman standout
Bernard Robinson (14.4 points per
game).
Down low in the post, especially.

FILE PHOTO/Daily
Tommy Amaker discussed many of his plans with the student at a team meeting held in
Crisler Arena in April.

with the loss of Josh Asselin, senior
center Chris Young will be relied
upon heavily for on-court production
and leadership.
The backcourt, which started two
freshmen for the second-straight
year this past season, may finally
have some experience with Avery

Queen and Robinson returning.
But guard recruits JaQuan Hart
from Flint Northern High School
(ranked No. 24 senior prospect by
Hoop Scoop) and Dommanic Inger-
son (ranked No. 20 senior prospect
by Hoop Scoop) may try to crack the
starting lineup.

With 'To mmy, exp ec t
For the first time in years, the Michigan basketball team is better today than
it was yesterday.
Tommy Amaker, our 15th basketball coach -you are exactly what this
program needs.
"I stressed five things to the team when I met with them," Amaker said.
"Passion.We'll always be well prepared. Be honest with one another. We're
going to have fun.
"And we're going to be Michigan."
Be'Michigan.9
Now, some Michigan faithful might ask, what does Tommy Amaker -
someone who many think will only be at Michigan as long as there's a coach
at Duke - know about being Michigan?
Coach, you know more than they might think.
"I know that Michigan is not a stepping stone," Amaker said after the press
conference. "I will be at Michigan as long as (Athletic Director) Bill Martin
will have me here."
Don't worry, Tommy. Martin plans on having you around for a while.
Your handshake agreement might only be for five years, but Martin made it
clear that he plans on you beipig around much longer than that - which was
not the case with Rick Pitino.
The last guy who coached here - what was his name? - never got tt
support from Martin, the media, or the Michigan family, so you're off to a bet-
ter start already.
The media loves you: You're intelligent, with two degrees from Duke (Eco-
nomics and an MBA).You're from a good background (owning the best four-
year record of any Duke player and having coached Seton Hall to the Sweet
Sixteen last year).
And maybe more importantly, you seem to possess common sense.
When told that Jalen Rose would like to help Michigan rebuild, you
responded "Then Jalen will get a phone call from me."
That's a far cry from your predecessor's response - former players helping
out is a "two-way street."
The Michigan family really likes you - another difference between you
and your predecessor.
"He's the right coach for the job" former Michigan star and member of the
advisory committee Tim McCormick said. "He carries himself with great
class and he's all about academics and class."
"This is a great decision;' sophomore Gavin Groninger said. "I'm excite4
to start playing for him."
"I'll only have him for one year" junior Chris Young said. "It's kind of
unfortunate. I kind of wish I had a couple more years here."
You've got a good thing here, Coach. Probably better than you know.
The state of Michigan is full of budding basketball stars. And they'll stab
coming here again. Because it's Michigan. Because we wore baggy shorts and
black socks. Because we could talk and play. Because we were cool.
And because of you, we'll be cool again.
The entire team beamed with excitement yesterday. Each saying how proud
they are to play for Michigan and how happy.they were with your arrival.
This campus is desperate for a successful basketball program. That's why
your predecessor was never accepted. He couldn't provide excellence.
You can.
"This is Michigan," as you said.
We expect to be the best in everything we do - including basketball.
This isn't Michigan State. Michigan has always defined excellence, an
demands it all the time. Michigan doesn't just come and go.
And while the Spartans are two wins away from another national title,
they'll revert to their old selves soon.
They've been booked for Scream 3, but soon enough they'll be doing 1
800-CALL-ATT ads.
They've peaked.
They're about to lose their four best players.
They're on minute 14.
After this weekend, they'll be gone.
And Michigan - with your guidance - will return to being Michigan.
-Raphael Goodstein can be reached at raphaelg@umich.edP

Season ends abruptlyfor
M' in Big Ienc Ie

By Michael Kern
Daily Sports Editor
CHICAGO - With 0.3 seconds remaining
on the clock in the first round of the Big Ten
Tournament, Penn State forward Gyasi Cline-
Heard drove the final nail in the coffin of the
Michigan basketball team's season and perhaps
Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe's career with a
layup off of a Brandon Watkins' missed jumnper.
The shot gave the Nittany Lions an 82-80
victory, ending Michigan's season. The Wolver-
ines finished the year with a 10-18 overall
record (4-12 Big Ten), the worst a Michigan
team has finished since an 8-19 record in the
1981-82 season.
Michigan had a chance to win at the end of
last night's game. With the score tied at 80,
freshman Avery Queen drove the lane with the
intention of dishing the ball to a teammate for a
layup. But the ball was knocked off his leg and
into the hands of Penn State forward Tyler
Smith.
The Nittany Lions called a timeout with 7.6
seconds left and set up the eventual game-win-
ning play.
"I was just trying to get in position," Cline-

Heard said of the final play. "When (Watkins)
first shot it, I thought it was going in. When in
came down, I was just in the right position at
the right time."
Michigan forward Chris Young, who was
guarding Cline-Heard on the final play, took the
loss particularly hard and blamed himself for
allowing his man to get in position to make the
final shot.
"I went up to (senior Josh Asselin), gave him
a hug and apologized," Young said. "I can't
believe I let him go out like this, letting Gyasi
make that layup to end Josh's season."
After Penn State jumped out to an early lead,
Michigan closed the first half with an 18-5 run
to take a five-point lead into the break. But the
Nittany Lions came out on fire in the second
half, nailing five 3-pointers in the first nine
minutes.
The Wolverines refused to give up and
clawed their way back into the game with tena-
cious play in the paint. Michigan outscored
Penn State 44-28 inside and dominated the play
in the post at the end of both halves,
"It's hard to look at the stat sheet and think
we lost by two points," Ellerbe said. "It's a
tough one to swallow."

AP PHOTO
Leon Jones and Michigan were unable to get past Titus Ivory and the
Nittany Lions in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

U U

Recruit ruled ineligible, will prep

4-i-'T_
tI

Sports
Apparel
3 iftwa
Nike AppareI

By Benjamin Singer
Daily Sports Editor

Questions of academic eligibility
has surrounded some Michigan bas-
ketball recruits this offseason. One of
those question marks was recently'
answered with a blow to the Wolver-
ines.
Kelly Whitney, a 6-foot-8 forward
from Marshall High School in Chica-
go, will reportedly have to go to prep
school in the fall to raise his grade
point average and test scores in order

to be academically eligible for the fol-
lowing year.
Meanwhile, guard Dommanic
Ingerson of Santa Barbara, Calif. and
forward Chuck Bailey of Detroit have
already qualified: Guard JaQuan-Hart-
from Flint is set to take tests this
month to try to become eligible.
Whitney averaged 18 points and.
nine rebounds a game .with the Com-
mandos his senior year and is also
known as a good shot blocker. Prep
Stars Recruiter's Handbook rated him,
as the No. 93 senior prospect.,

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s
" ""
<,., .. ~r ,. ...

I

Athletic Department

In the Wendy's All-Star Shootoit
between players from Chicago anti
New York, Whitney earned MVP hon-
ors, with 15 points and eigl
rebounds.
- At the High School Elite PEP Clas-
sic, a tournament with the top Illinois
high school players, Whitney made
the Classic's first team with 21.3
points per game.
Michigan's last major recruit out of
Chicago was Juwan Howard, who
played with the Wolverines from
1992-94.
AMAKER
Continued from Page 1E
"We are familiar with him," junior
Leon Jones said. "He recruited Shane
(Blattier) when he was on my team for
AAU, so I know him a little from that.
"He's a good guy, and he was just
talking to everybody, getting to know
each other, and letting us know wh&
he was going to expect from us an
what was going to change around
here."
Besides the throng of media and
players in attendance for the press
conference, a few Maize Ragers were
on hand to, as one put it, "personally

" Over 10% of all sales at the Michigan
Union & Pierpont Commons Bookstores
go back to support U of M student
services.
" The Michigan Union & Pierpont
Commons Bookstores are the only book
stores contracted by the University of
Michigan.
* A wide variety of our best selling items
like gifts and apparel for all students,

By Benjamin Singer
Daily Sports Iditor

Crisler Arena will undergo renova-
tions before the 2001-02 basketball sea-
son in an effort to rearrange seating to.
fit more students closer to the floor.
Instead of regular seats in the sections
directly behind the team benches and
scorer's table, bleacher seats will be

to behind the visitor's bench on the low-
est level, as opposed to past years where
students were located in just section 3
behind the scorer's table.
Seats would still be set aside behind
the Michigan bench for recruits and
behind the opponent's bench for visi-
tors' tickets.
Public seating will be displaced from
behind the benches to the upper part of

P

N

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