The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 4, 2002 - 5B
"Who? Oh, No. 10."
- Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, after being asked for his
thoughts on the inspired play of Michigan senior -- and
former walk-on - Herb Gibson.
Players of the game
Gibson helped energize Michigan to key
21-6 start with two blocks, a steal and
four points in the first six minutes.
Wills, a fifth-year senior forward, led the
Badgers with 16 points, five rebounds on
5-8 shooting from the floor
M' shows best defensive effort
By Steve Jackson
Daily Sports Editor
Heading into Saturday's game
against Wisconsin, Michigan was
dead last in the conference in defense,
allowing more than 73 points per
game in Big Ten play.
But after 37 minutes had elapsed,
the Wolverines had stifled the Bad-
gers, holding them to just 39 points.
Things broke down late in the game
as the Badgers crashed the offensive
glass, using second and third chances
to make the game interesting.
But Michigan dominated the
majority of the game for one simple
reason - improved defensive effort.
"Our intensity was great," senior
tri-captain Chris Young said. "Guys
were diving all over the place, going
after loose balls and doing the dirty
work to help our team win. We
played with a passion we have been
The energy was palpable on the
court, and that translated into a sea-
son-low 53 points allowed.
"We have battled every night,"
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said.
But (in this game) you could really
see the energy and the determination
No player exhibited that determina-
tion more than Herb Gibson, a 6-foot-
5 senior and former walk-on.
Gibson swatted three Wisconsin
shots, and could have had a fourth
block if Young had not committed a
foul on the same play.
Gibson also slammed home the
final points of Michigan's opening
18-4 run after just his second career
"He had a tremendous impact
because of his defensive ability and
his ability to be active" Amaker said.
"We wanted to match him up with
(Kirk) Penney because of how dan-
gerous (Penney) can be as an offen-
Penny entered the game as the
10th-leading scorer in the Big Ten,
but Gibson was not intimidated.
"I wasn't concerned with him,"
Gibson said. "I feel like I guard the
best players in the Big Ten every day
when I am matched up against
Bernard (Robinson) and LaVell
(Blanchard). We scouted him well and
Coach had a great game plan to stop
Gibson's strong efforts in practice
earned him the starting spot, but the
team as a whole combined for some
of its most intense sessions of the year
"We felt that if we would play like
we practiced, then I liked our chances
in this game," Amaker said. "We have
really practiced hard and competitive-
ly over the last couple of days."
But despite Gibson's fine efforts,
the game's most impressive defensive
performance may have come from
Michigan forward Bernard Robinson
He held the Badgers' second-lead-
ing scorer, freshman sensation Devin
Harris, to just two points on 1-of-4
shooting. Harris entered the game
averaging 12.2 points per game.
"They got him on film and figured
him out;' Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan
said. "You got to give them credit."
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A O-T A F PTS
Penney 33 4-10 4-4 2-6 1 5 14
Wills 33 5-8 4-5 2-3 2 2 16
Mader 19 2-9 2-4 3-5 1 2 6
Davis 33 1-8 1-3 1-5 1 2 3
Harris 31 1-6 0-1 1-5 2 2 2
Hanson 3 0-0 0-00-0000
Owens 21 2-6 0-0 1-1 0 3 4
Plank 5, 0-3 0-0 2-2 0 1 0
Wilkinson 22 3-7 2-2 0-2, 1 2 8
Totals 200 18.57 134191535 8 19 53
FG%:.316. FT%: .684. 3-pointFG: 4-15, .267 (Pen-
ney 2-6, Wills 2-3, Davis 0-1, Harris 0-2, Owens 0-2,
Plank 0-1). Blocks: 2 (Penney, Mader). Steals: 5
(Davis 2, Mader, Owens, Wilkinson). Turnovers: 13
(Harris 5, Penney 3, Wills 3, Davis, Wilkinson).
Technical fouls: none.
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Gibson 24 2-5 0-1 0-1 0 3 4
Blanchard 19 4-11 4-4 2-8 3 2 13
Young 32 5-8 6-7 1-4 2 5 16
Jones 31 1-2 2-2 0-2 2 4 5
Gotfredson 25 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 3
Queen 7 1-3 0-0 0-3 0 3 2
Ingerson 20 0-2 1-2 0-0 1 0 1
Robinson Jr. 9 7-11 4-4 1-6 1 0 18
Groninger 22 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Bailey 8 1-1 0-0 0-3 0 2 2
Adebiyi 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 22s45 17-20 531 10 19 64
FG%:.489. FT%: .850 3-point FG: 3-10, .300 (Blan-
chard 1-3, Jones 1-1, Gotfredson 1-1, Ingerson 0-2,
Gibson 0-1, Queen 0-1, Robinson 0-1). Blocks: 4
(Gibson 3, Young). Steals: 4 (Robinson, Young, Got-
fredson, Gibson Turnovers: 15 (Blanchard 7, Robin-
son 2, Young, Jones, Gotfredson, Queen, Groninger,
Adebiyi). Technical fouls: none.
Vermont ............31.31 - 62
Michigan.......................39 36 - 75
At: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor
BIG TEN STANDINGS
A flu-ridden Chris Young contests a Freddie Owens layup attempt.
Young fights the flu to
propel the Wolverines
By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor
Just over eight minutes into Satur-
day's win over Wisconsin, Michigan
senior tri-captain Chris Young took
himself out of the game and headed
for a quick trip to the locker room.
While Michigan had a 25-10 lead,
the game still was-_
n't out of reach and
Young definitely BASKETBALL
wasn't hitting the Notebook
showers yet. But a
stomach flu that Young had been suf-
fering from since Tuesday morning
forced him to make a trip to the bath-
Young missed just two minutes of
game action. He ran back to the bench,
. and coach Tommy Amaker immediate-
ly inserted him into the game. Without
Young, Amaker says Michigan is a
"different team," and the new coach
realizes that Young is the Wolverines'
lone legitimate post threat.
Young responded despite being
under the weather with 16 points and
four rebounds in 28 minutes. He
fouled out late in the game.
But a win and solid numbers on the
court weren't enough medicine to help
I feel "horrible, to be honest with
you," Young said. "My stomach is real-
ly messed up."
Young's stomach was worse prior to
the Michigan State game last Wednes-
day - admittedly the biggest game of
his life. Young couldn't eat anything in
the 24 hours leading up to the opening
tip, and there was an IV prepared for
him in the Michigan lockerroom -
just in case.
Young had 16 points in that game as
well, representing more than 36 per-
cent of Michigan's season-low 44
points. But Young knows that while
battling under the boards and playing
more than 30 minutes isn't too easy to
do with a stomach illness, he's not
making any excuses.
"It's definitely tough," Young said.
"But you have to deal with it."
BOTTOMED OUT: The Wolverines'
offense continued to sputter against
Wisconsin, mostly in the second half.
After a 60-percent first-half shooting
performance, Michigan scored 1 8
points in the first 18 minutes of the
second half, shooting 35 percent (7-
20) from the floor and giving Wiscon-
sin a chance to climb back into the
game. The poor shooting performance
was reminiscent of two of the past
three Michigan games, in which the
Wolverines recorded less than 50
points in their two worst offensive out-
puts of the season in a 69-47 loss to
Ohio State and a 71-44 beating at the
hands of Michigan State. In those
games, Michigan shot a combined 30
BOMBS AWAY: With Herb Gibson's
inspired play and career-high in min-
utes, two of Michigan mainstays at the
shooting guard position spent most of
Saturday night on the bench in their
warm-ups. Freshman Dommanic
Ingerson played just six minutes, miss-
ing two shots from behind the arc and
scoring his only point from the free
throw line with just over a minute left
in the game. Junior Gavin Groninger
also saw just four minutes of action,
missing his only shot.
NBA-BOUND? Despite making just
four of his last 30 shots, Groninger is
one of the three Michigan players list-
ed in a recent ranking of the top 125
college basketball players, which was
compiled on the basis of the players'
pro potential by CBSSportsline.com
analyst George Rodecker.
LaVell Blanchard (No. 46), Bernard
Robinson (No. 61) and Groninger (No.
73) are all ranked ahead of Michigan
State's Marcus Taylor, Syracuse's Pre-
ston Shumpert and Indiana's Jared Jef-
Gibson plays just
like he practices
Continued from Page 16
converted an easy layup. Five minutes in, Gibson stole the
ball at midcourt and found himself in a one-on-nobody. He
dribbled, nervously stumbled a little as he approached the
basket, and slammed down a two-hander that caused the
Crisler Arena crowd to erupt in gleeful applause, and his
buddies at the end of the Michigan bench to stand and smile
for the new high-flying superstar who once sat with them.
"I wasn't nervous," Gibson said of his fastbreak dunk. "I
didn't want to do anything too crazy."
Before he left the game after nine minutes on the court,
Gibson added two gorgeous blocks and, true to his reputation
as a defensive whiz in practice, closely guarded Wisconsin's
standout shooter, Kirk Penney. He left the floor to a standing
ovation from an excited, and happily surprised, Crisler
I say without hyperbole that Gibson's effort in the first half
was the catalyst for a Michigan offense that has been stag-
nant early in games. Amaker seemed to have cured the sickly
Michigan offense (which was coming off an embarrassing
loss to Michigan State) with an injection of Herb Gibson.
But who is he? He's a former walk-on whose career-high
for minutes entering this season was three. He's played three
years for Michigan and has contributed primarily by playing
aggressive defense against first-teamers in practice and clap-
ping and shouting from the far end of the bench during
games. This season the team had an opportunity to offer him
a scholarship, but it surprised everyone - except his team-
mates - when he was also given the opportunity to start.
"The guy is like that in practice," said sophomore Bernard
Robinson, who sat to begin the game so Gibson could start.
"He gives everybody problems. He's hard to check and he's
hard to get around. Long arms, strong. He makes everybody
play as hard as possible."
Gibson ended the game with four points, three blocks
(including one swat of a Kirk Penney 3-pointer that ended up
in the stands), a steal and a rebound. He tripled his career-
high in minutes with 27 in his career game.
"It might have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for
me," Gibson said.
Amaker has been criticized this season for his unpre-
dictable and seemingly unfathomable lineups. He hears the
criticism, but is undeterred. He is setting the bar high for his
players, and rewarding them accordingly.
I expected Gibson to leave the game quietly after the first
T.V timeout (somewhere around the 16:00 mark). That may
have been unfair, but I had never seen him play for an
extended period of time before, and had no reason to suspect
otherwise. Instead I saw Gibson take a team in dire need of
energy and lead it to its best half of basketball in two years.
"It was tremendous," Robinson said. "It gave us a big
boost, it got everybody hype. He just did stuff that he does all
the time in practice."
Amaker has a policy and sticks to it. When it seems fool-
ish for him to blindly subscribe to his long-term plan of
rewarding hard work regardless of talent, or of playing a
man-to-man defense when its not the best thing in a given
game, he ought to be questioned. When it seems like starting
Herb Gibson was a brilliant and necessary coaching maneu-
ver, Amaker deserves for us all to unfurrow our brows and
unroll our eyes.
As for Mr. Gibson, keep working in practice. I hope to see
Last Saturday's results:
Michigan 64, Wisconsin 53
Ohio State 58, Northwestern 57
Iowa 84, Penn State 61
Minnesota 88, Indiana 74
Iowa AT No. 25 INDIANA, 7 P.M.
Michigan State AT NORTHWESTERN, 8 P.M.
Purdue AT PENN STATE, 8 P.M.
Ohio State AT WISCONSIN, 8 P.M.
No,12 ilinois AT MICHIGAN, 7 P.M.
Penn State AT MICHIGAN, 11 A.M.
Louisville AT No. 25 INDIANA, 1 P.M.
Minnesota AT IOWA, 3 P.M.
Purdue AT No. 12 ILLINoIS, 5 P.M.
Northwestern AT WIScoNSIN, 8 P.M.
W L W L
8 1 17 3
7 2 14 7
6 3 13 7
5 5 12 11
4 4 15 6
4 5 15 8
4 5 9 10
3 4 12 8
3 5 12 8
3 6 11 12
1 8 5 15
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan will not soon forget who
Michigan's No. 10 is or what he Is capable of.
Continued from Page 11
Robinson made his presence felt with one of his best
performances of the season.
Robinson scored a game-high 18 points on 7-of-11
shooting and tallied six rebounds.
"We were not ready defensively to handle Robinson,"
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "Every time we tried to
make something happen, Robinson hit a big shot."
Senior center Chris Young was dominant in the paint
for Michigan, scoring 12 points in the first half and 16
overall despite suffering from flu symptoms.
"We did a poor job on the weak side and just gave
Young a ton of point-blank shots" Ryan said. "We had a
freshman and a sophomore in there on him, and he used
Wisconsin managed to crawl back to within single-
digits in the game's final moments, as the Wolverines'
offense was held scoreless for nearly five minutes.
"One of the things that we talked about at halftime
was trying to sustain our energy and our effort," Amaker
said. "That has been very difficult for us to do at times."
The Badgers had five second-half tip-ins and 15
offensive rebounds for the game. This continues an ugly
trend for the Wolverines, who have given up 15 or more
offensive rebounds four times this season - including 25
against Vermont last weekend at Crisler Arena.
Wisconsin's Devin Harris, a Big Ten Freshman of the
Year candidate, was held scoreless until the game's final
seconds. Harris entered the game averaging 12.2 points.
Charlie Willis and Kirk Penny led the Badgers with
16 and 14 points, respectively.
Brian Cook AP PHOTO
The Fighting Illini are free-falling fast. Illi-
nois is coming off two-straight road losses
to Indiana and Ohio State. While Michigan
played Illinois tough at Crisler last year,
the Fighting Illini need a win Thursday to
stay above water in the conference. Michi-
gan got blown out by Illinois, 94-70, at
Assembly Hall on Jan. 12. This time
around, Illinois coach.Bill Self will have his
toughest players, Lucas Johnson and Demir
Krupalija, at his disposal. The Illini lost to
Michigan State yesterday 67-61.
David Horn can be reached at email@example.com.
No. 22 Missouri 81, No. 8 Virginia 77:
Missouri answered some of the ques-
tions that arose after a humbling loss
to archrival Kansas.
Kareem Rush rebounded from one of
his worst games of the season to score
26 points in yesterday's win.
"I'm not going to fall into 'The sky is
falling and now all of the sudden it's 85
and sunny," Missouri coach Quin Sny-
der said. "I think we can play better,
but it's good to be able to come tomor-
row to practice and have that to say,
the second half, posting his second
straight career best in Rutgers' upset
The win over a ranked team was the
second straight for new coach Gary
Watters and the Scarlet Knights, mark-
ing the first time that's happened in
Rutgers beat No. 22 Connecticut last
"I think this is the most fun I've had in
my life," said Rutgers senior center
"That was as big a win that we've had
in a lot of years," Michigan State
coach Tom Izzo said. "We played just
as good defensively as we can play."
HOW THE AP
1. Duke 20-1
2. Kansas 19-2
3. Maryland 18-3
4. Cincinnati 20-2
5. Florida 16-4
6. Oklahoma 17-3
7. Alabama 19-3
8. Virginia 14-5
9. Oklahoma State 17-5
10. Kentucky 15-5
11. Gonzaga 20-3
TOP 25 FARED
This weekend's results
Beat Clemson 98-88
Beat Colorado 100-73
Beat N.C. State 89-73
Lost to Marquette 74-60
Beat Mississippi State 76-48
Beat Texas 85-84
Beat Louisana State 57-48
Lost to No. 22 Missouri 81-77
Lost to Kansas State 70-61
Beat South Carolina 91-74
Beat Portland 94-80
Hapless Penn State has struggled all year
long, and is comfortably residing in the Big
Ten basement at 1-8. Michigan beat the
Nitanny Lions in State College, 67-63, on
Jan. 2, and will look to sweep on Saturday.