12B - The Michigan Daily - Tipoff 211 - Thursday, November 8, 2001
The Michigan Daily - Tipoff 200;
All Amaker's men hold key to 'M' success
By Benjamin Singer
Daily Sports Editor
The spotlight has been on Tommy
Amaker since his arrival to Ann Arbor,
but he's not the only new face on the
bench at Michigan. Amaker brought
with him an entirely new coaching staff
to aid him in his quest to rebuild the
Though the coaching world stretches
from coast to coast, it is very close and
intimate. Amaker and his coaches knew
each other long before they worked
"You always run across each other,"
assistant coach Charles Ramsey said.
"We have common friends. It's a very
At the same time, their separate expe-
riences have also given them different
perspectives and strengths.
"I think they all bring different things
to the table, but they are all enthusiastic
about the way they bring it," junior
LaVell Blanchard said. "They all have
that smile and fire inside that pushes
you. It's very important."
Amaker brought just one coach from
his staff at Seton Hall. Billy Schmidt is
back in the Big Ten after just one year
with the Pirates. Schmidt went to work
for Amaker last year after a three-year
stint with Northwestern.
"It was a charity case. I had no other
prospects," Schmidt said, jokingly.
But a main reason Amaker originally
hired Schmidt he said, was for his
administrative abilities around the
"He was looking for an assistant to
fill a specific niche," Schmidt said. "He
had established a great program (at
Seton Hall). He was looking for a guy
to come in and fulfill some very specif-
Another experienced Big Ten coach
on the staff is Chuck Swenson, who
coached under Jerry Dunn at Penn State
for the past five years. The Indiana
graduate - who got a job with Mike
Krzyzewski at Army based on a recom-
mendation from Bob Knight -recruit-
ed Amaker to play for Duke. After
serving as one of Amaker's coaches for
four years, he is working under his for-
"It's a little different, but philosophi-
cally the things that he does are the
things I would do," Swenson said.
"Obviously our philosophy is almost
identical. But we've had different expe-
riences. It gives him more depth for dif-
Since both Swenson and Schmidt
have seen the Big Ten up close recently,
they think they can help Amaker know
what to look for in conference play.
"It gives you a great respect for rival-
ry and competitiveness which has been
a staple in the Big Ten," Schmidt said.
"In terms of knowing the gyms, know-
ing the rivalries, knowing the fans ...
There are some helpful things you are
aware of in advance. That becomes our
job, to prep Coach in what to anticipate
and expect in going on the road."
But at the same time, both insist that
Amaker's generaJ basketball knowledge
is enough to get him through the Big
"Coach Amaker brings a lot to the
table. He's totally prepared," Swenson
New to the Big Ten and new to
Amaker as far as officially working
together is Charles Ramsey, who spent
the past five years at California as an
Ramsey was born and raised in Ypsi-
lanti, and assisted at Eastern Michigan.
He kept strong ties with the state of
ROT .. WHtO"
An unlikely addition to a proud Michigan history
By David M. Horn Daily Sports Writer
Three men are leading the
Wolverines into battle this
year as tri-captains. The
selections of two of them should
come as no surprise. They are sen-
iors, will each be earning their
fourth varsity letters and see signif-
icant minutes on the floor - one of
them even starts. They are Chris
Michigan assistant coaches Charles
Ramsey and Billy Schmidt share words.
Junior forward LaVell Blanchard likes
the enthusiasm the coaching staff has.
Michigan after going to the Pac 10, say-
ing he also knew the coaching staff at
Michigan State very well.
"Along with coach Amaker, (coming
back to Michigan) was a major appeal,"
With the assist
Charles E. Ramsey
Ramsey's five years as an assistant at
California were highlighted by the
Bears' two NCAA and two NIT
Swenson's five years with Big Ten
rival Penn State included two NIT
championship games and an NCAA
Sweet 16 appearance.
While this is Schmidt's first season at
Michigan, he coached at Northwestern
and under Amaker at Seton Hall.
and they have,
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Adebiyi's personality shines
brightly. He is intelligent, witty,
engaging. He has a warm smile that
never seems to disappear from his
face. And for a team that has had
offcourt problems in recent years,
he is an ideal leader. As a player
who sees little playing time, Ade-
biyi believes his role as a leader to
be one of
lde e o encourage-
-EE than his
rebounds, will do the talking.
"Even as far as last year was con-
cerned, I wasn't a captain, but I still
saw myself as a leader," Adebiyi
said. "I try to do things off the court
and even during the games - I help
my teammates keep their heads in
the game. If I see someone making
a mistake I'll always correct it. 'You
need to be doing this better; you
need to be more aggressive; you
need to keep your head in -the
"If you're a real leader both on
and off of the court, and people see
the positive energy that you bring,
then a title really doesn't matter.
I'm not saying that I'm not pleased
to be named one of the captains, but
I'd like to think that my presence
and leadership abilities were based
on more than just a title."
Adibeyi was born in Nigeria, and
is proud of his country's promi-
nence in college and professional
basketball. But he came to Ann
Arbor when he was a year old, and
Michigan basketball has played a
part in his life since then.
"My mom works for the Universi-
ty ... so my whole life has been
Michigan-oriented," Adebiyi said. "I
grew up right down the street. I was
involved in Michigan programs. I
was really good friends with Steve
Fisher's son so I used to always
come to games. As far as Michigan
- I grew up 'Michigan.'"
This past summer, Adebiyi trav-
eled back to Nigeria for the first
See ROTOLU, Page 11B
A look at the
underside of U of M
2001-02 Michigan Student Men's Basketball Season Ticket Application
ORDERING: You must be currently registered for the fall 2001 term to apply. All completed applications must either be mailed or delivered with payment
(cash, check, or money order) to the Michigan Ticket Department at 1000 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2201.
PARTNER TICKET: Each student may purchase one season ticket for $140. One spouse ticket, registered domestic partner ticket, or dependent minor child
ticket will be available to students for $140 with appropriate documentation. Payment must be made at the time of application.
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until you provide us with proper proof.
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P.M. Tickets will also be available at Crisler Arena on game nights.
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Student Basketball Ticket Application 2001-02
the honor. 1_
But they will be joined by a third
tri-captain. His is a name that is far
from a household one, partly
because he is rarely seen on the floor
at Crisler, and partly because it's a bit
tricky to say. The third tri-captain is
Of the three captains selected to
lead the 2001-02 Michigan basket-
ball campaign, Young is the least
surprising choice. The big man has
devoted himself to the team for
three years, and is a leader on the
court. But even Young is humbled
by the honor.
"I sat down with a media guide
the other day and looked at all the
former captains and I was just in
awe of who they were and that my
name is associated with them now,"
That list includes current NBA
stars Glen Rice, Juwan Howard,
Robert Traylor and Terry Mills, as
well as Michigan basketball legends
Henry Wilmore, John Tidwell and
current Houston Rockets coach
Rudy Tomjanovich. Add another to
the list: Adebiyi.
PIotolu, or "Ro," is a product of
Ann Arbor Huron High School. The
former River Rat left town after
high school to attend Albion Col-
lege. But after transferring to
Michigan - and back to his home
- after his first year, Adebiyi was
encouraged to attend the open try-
out for the basketball team. The for-
mer high school star - who helped
Ann Arbor-Huron to two district
championships - made the team.
As a walk-on, Adebiyi has played
in eight games in two years. He has
been on the floor for 11 minutes;
his career-high in points is two,
against Morris Brown in December
of last year. Those are the only two
points of his Michigan career.
So how did this guy become cap-
"Everybody looks up to Rotolu
because he's always talking," Jones
said. "You can't help but to hear
Rotolu, no matter what. No matter
if he's laughing, talking - and I
think that helps the team out a lot.
People look up to him because he
doesn't back down from anybody. I
think that's the reason why he's the
captain. People don't listen to him
because he's got that title ... People
really respect him."
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As a captain, Rotolu Adebiyi is charged
encouraging the positives on a team th
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