14B - The Michigan Daily - Tipoff 2001 - Thursday, November 8, 2001
The Michigan Daily - Tipoff 200
13-3 Bi}.Tn,27-8oer t
Ker sses; ~~
The injury ±lt ur Lucbs Johnson
could hurt th teambut Illinois has
the depth and talent to compete
for a national title.
With so many key losses, the
Spartans will not be the offensive
powerhouse they were last season.
G Son Con~ l
Alt h the loss of Johnson °
we ns the defense significan-
ly, the offense should be stronger
due to the experienced guards
the Buckeyes boast.
G " alver J
With Recke eAr t3fr : nju
teHwke . ee at it t rae
some noise at the NCAA
5-11, _14 .
F Dus yca
F Mik ~e
If Dauer stays healthy this season,
the Golden Gophers could be a
force offensively and should
Outlo V x
Sophomore Jeies Ieed to
step up with the surprising loss of
Haston, but if the defense can
play up to form, the Hoosiers
should return to the Big Dance.
Ge r rne
Without the scoring and rebound-
ing of the Crispin brothers and
Heard, a postseaosn appearance
seems very unlikely for Penn State.
Outlookt"111 l' 5.'
There w J& lot Qf pressre on
Blake d dpde
offensi , orth s rn still
just has to keep hoping to
improve its program.
G Kirk Penney
G Igo Bone
F Andy Kowske
The expe44*ions are low in
Madison ri4 t now as new coach
Ryan will have to start fresh after
the losses of so many key seniors.
Tommy Amaker is anxious to
revitalize Michigan basketball
By Benjamin Singer U Daily Sports Editor
Not yet two months into the job,
Tommy Amaker was still
familiarizing himself with Ann
Arbor, with his new work-place, with
He made an appointment to meet
Coach Bo in May. He walked over to
Schembechler Hall, named for the leg-
endary Coach Bo himself, to shake
hands and talk with the most Michigan.
of Michigan men.
"It still kind of jolts you how force-
ful and how passionate (he is) about
Michigan. I love that," Amaker said.
"He still has fire, passion. Even with a
peon like myself who he'd never met
before, he's leaning across his desk,
clenching his fists, talking about
Michigan. You still feel the passion
Schembechler, now regarded as the
icon for Michigan sports, had no prior
association with the University before
taking over a struggling football team
in 1969. But every football, basketball
and hockey coach hired after that had
some connection to Michigan.
Four years ago, Amaker, who has no
ties to Michigan, was looked at as a
candidate to replace Steve Fisher. But
then-Athletic Director Tom Goss pro-
moted Brian Ellerbe, who Amaker
calls a friend from when both lived in
the Washington D.C. metropolitan
area. Amaker ended up at Seton Hall.
"I was happy to see (Ellerbe) get the
position," Amaker said. "Things didn't
work and years later, here we are. It's
funny sometimes how fate can hap-
On March 29, after Athletic Direc-
tor Bill Martin's screening committee
gave him the o.k., Amaker became the
first coach of a revenue sport without
any ties to the school since Bo Schem-
"If I could ever become half of
Coach Bo, I would be a very happy
man," Amaker said. "That's a pretty
tall order. That says a lot about the his-
tory and tradition of our school and
our athletic teams."
The history and tradition are not lost
on Amaker. In fact, they are integral
parts of this new attitude, the new
mantra that he is brining to Michigan
Be passionate. Be prepared. Be hon-
est. Have fun. Be Michigan.
Amaker has been saying those
words over and over, to his players and
anyone else who cares to listen to him
talk about his new program. The words
run around the inside of a brightly lit
dome inside the team's new locker-
room to drive those points home. All
the while, Amaker bombards his ath-
letes with symbols of the past.
There are photographs of All-Amer-
icans on the walls leading to the lock-
erroom. The banners that hang in the
rafters were made more visible to the
players when on the court. There are
pictures of old Michigan players
together on the court, hanging in his
"I love the pictures of when guys
are huddling together or picking some-
one up off the floor. It shows a level of
effort, a level of teamwork. I want to
Coach Tommy Amaker instructs his squad in a preseason practice. Three of the te
Top three teams
LAST YEAR'S FINISH
All-Big Ten team
Big Ten Player of the Year
TUES., NOVEMBER 27
Illinois at Maryland, 7 p.m.
NC State at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m.
Duke vs. Iowa, 9 p.m. *
Minnesota at Wake Forest, 9:30 p.m.
WED., NOVEMBER 28
Wisconsin at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m.
Michigan State vs. Virginia, 7:30 p.m. #
Indiana at North Carolina, 9 p.m.
Florida State at Northwestern, 9:30 p.m.
Clemson at Penn State, TBA
* United Center, Chicago
# Richmond Coliseum
kind of convey that message," Amaker
said. "There are so many subtle ways
that you can deliver messages and
that's one way that we're going to try
to do things - with words, with
phrases, with thoughts for the day,
"Just the little things without always
having to beat someone over the head
with it saying 'teamwork, teamwork,
teamwork.' There's always something
around that's going to emphasize that,
confirm that. That message is always
conveyed in everything that they see."
The youth and intensity of the 36-
year old Amaker has had an infectious,
trickle-down effect, taking over the
team. Riddled with both off-court and
on-court problems for the past several
years, there is now a palpable, renewed
enthusiasm about Michigan basket-
"Everyone's excited about being
here. There's almost an energy. You
can feel the excitement," tri-captain
Chris Young said. "It started out being
coach Amaker, just the way he is, his
excitement and enthusiasm. But after
that it kind of rubbed off on the cap-
tains. After that, it kind of rubbed off
on the juniors and the sophomores and
"Everybody's doing it, you have to
buy into it," said another tri-captain,
Leon Jones. "There's no other choice."
The pervasive buzz about Michigan
basketball extends to the fans on cam-
pus, in anticipation of something great
from Amaker and his program in the
near future, if not the immediate pres-
"I think any time there's a change,
sometimes what comes with that is
there's some hope. It's nice to be a part
of that influx of hope right now,"
Amaker said. "This program is never
going to be contingent on one person
whether it's going to be a player or a
coach. Everything here is bigger than
The hope also stems from Amaker's
past accomplishments and back-
ground. At Seton Hall, Amaker took
the Pirates to four consecutive postsea-
son appearances, including a trip to
the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tour-
nament in March of 2000. Meanwhile,
Michigan has missed out on postsea-
son play for two of the past three
Amaker drew some criticism for
barely reaching the NIT and losing in
the first round with last year's best
recruiting class in the nation. But
there's no denying that Amaker grew
up in basketball with a winner's men-
A four-year starting point guard at
Duke, Amaker reached the NCAA
Tournament from 1984-1987 with
coach Mike Krzyzewski at the helm.
He continued his success with the
Blue Devils as an assistant under
Krzyzewski from 1988-1997. They
were 'national champions in 1991 and
1992, and only missed the tournament
in 1995, when Krzyzewski was ill.
There is a hope - and for some a
belief - that since the revered
Krzyzewski begat Amaker, that Amak-
er will be able to turn Michigan into
"I am very proud of my past, my
associations and my background. I'm
very proud of that. I worked hard to be
a part of that," Amaker said. "I just
also think that we are Michigan, we're
going to be Michigan and we're not
going to compare ourselves to anyone.
We're going to create who we are. I
feel very comfortable and very confi-
dent that when we do that, we are
going to be as good as anyone."
While still acknowledging that
Duke is a good team to try to follow,
Amaker doesn't feel like he even has
to look outside of Ann Arbor if he
Traveling back in time wi
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As the bleachers behind him are being constructed, Amaker tries to rebuild the
Michigan program to where he feels it should be - at the top.