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February 12, 2002 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-12

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Pool can't keep pace
in speedy Big Ten

Big Ten coaches still
expect NCAA berths

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
Just a few months ago, it seemed
as if Tabitha Pool was going to be
the player that would put Michigan
into the college basketball elite.
Pool came to the program this
year as perhaps Michigan's greatest
recruit ever. Ranked as the top play-
er in the state and one the top play-
ers in the nation by many
publications, Pool was sought after
by almost every major program. But
after considering traditional power-
houses like Tennessee and Georgia,
Pool decided to stay in her home-
town of Ann Arbor and play for the
Wolverines.
At Ann Arbor Huron High she
averaged 21.6 points, 17.1 rebounds,
three assists and six steals a contest.
Pool was so good that she was
named Michigan's Miss Basketball
even after she tore her ACL halfway
through her senior season. In fact,
when the Detroit Free Press profiled
the award's 11 finalists, five named
Pool as the best player they had ever
played against.
Because of this hype Michigan
fans thought Pool would come in
and make an immediate impact, even
coming off the serious injury.
But things have not, as of yet,
come to fruition.
"Offensively she's just making a
lot of mistakes. It's almost to the
point where 'you know what Tab,
you have to stop playing afraid to
make mistakes,"' Michigan coach
Sue Guevara said.

Pool started off the season domi-
nating opponents with her athleti-
cism, the same way she did back in
high school. In the third game
against New Hampshire, Pool
debuted in the starting lineup and
shined, pouring in 21 points. A cou-
ple of weeks later at the Big 10/Pac
10 Challenge against Washington in
Seattle, she pulled in her first dou-
ble-double with 16 points and 13
rebounds.
But in Big Ten play, Pool's offen-
sive production came to a halt. Since
scoring 14 against Wisconsin on Jan.
6, Pool's field goals have been few
and far between, resulting in her
removal from the starting lineup
after playing Penn State on Jan. 13.
She hasn't hit more than two shots
from the field in a game since she
hit three at Penn State; her shots
have gone all over the place. On Feb.
3 against Northwestern, Pool's first
two shots were airballs and her third
hit the bottom of the backboard.
"I think I just have to work a little
harder," Pool said. "Because my
shot's not falling."
Although Pool has played well on
defense, she has had trouble adjust-
ing to the pressure applied by the
defenses of the Big Ten.
"The quickness she saw against
Ohio State, she's just as quick as
them," Guevara said. "But she's
never seen that at Huron High
School."
While it may be too late to make a
real impact on this year's team,
Pool's best days are ahead of her.
Her athleticism still stands out on

By Steve Jackson
Daily Sports Editor

Many people have labeled this a
down season for Big Ten basketball.
But despite the conference's absence
at the top of the national polls, many
of its coaches believe that the
NCAA Tournament Selection Com-
mittee will look favorably on them.
"I still think we a have good shot
to get six teams," Michigan State
coach Tom Izzo said. "It's not our
fault that we have more parity in our
league than most people have."
There is still plenty of basketball
to be played, but if the Big Ten
teams continue to tear each other
down, it will be difficult for that
many schools to be dancing this
March.
Right now, just three teams (Indi-
ana, Ohio State and Minnesota) have
fewer than five conference losses.
"It's kind of the general feeling
that the Big Ten is down this year
and won't get as many teams in,"
Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said.
"But a lot of it will depend on what
happens to other at-large teams in
other conferences."
If a lower-seeded team manages to
win the conference's automatic bid
by winning the Big Ten Tournament,
as No. 6 seed Iowa did last year, the
odds of the Big Ten getting five or
six berths increases dramatically.
But if the same sort of unusual
conference champions emerge else-
where in the nation, this may be the
first time since 1998 that the confer-
ence will send fewer than six teams
to the NCAA Tournament.
Two teams that are surprisingly
"on the bubble" are Michigan State
and Illinois.
The Spartans (5-5 Big Ten, 13-9
overall) have been decimated by
injuries and have failed to meet their
preseason expectations..
But Izzo's teams have historically

been very successful, and opinions
differ as to whether or not that will
help them with this season.
"In the past it would have mat-
tered more than it would in the pres-
ent," Izzo said. "Because we went to
three straight final fours, does that
make this year's team any different?
I guess it really shouldn't."
Whether or not it should be a fac-
tor, that level of success is difficult
to ignore.
"I would think that their recent
success would get somebody's atten-
tion and give them a little bit of an
edge," O'Brien said.
Another team that has fallen short
of preseason expectations is Illinois
(6-5, 17-7).
After opening the season as a pop-
ular Final Four projection, Illinois
has struggled in conference play,
which may hurt them come tourna-
ment time.
"Listening to College Hoops
2night and some other people, they
seem to put more emphasis on con-
ference record," Illinois coach Bill
Self said. "But the gist of it I get is
that there will be more considera-
tions other than the RPI."
The RPI is a combination of
record and strength of schedule,
which the selection committee uses
to assign at-large berths.
"If you're on top, the RPI is a
great deal," Self said. "If you're not,
it's a terrible, how-can-we-use-that
measuring stick."
Several teams in the Big Ten,
including Michigan, need more than
a little help to make the field of 65.
On Feb. 6, the NIT expanded its
field to 40 teams in a one-year
experiment. But this will most likely
not enable any additional Big Ten
teams to compete in postseason play.
The NIT will not choose sub-.500
teams, and it has historically taken
every Big Ten team with a winning
record that it possibly can.

0I

Tabitha Pool has not shown the consistency of skill that earned her solicitation
from such nationally prominent schools as Tennessee and Georgia.

Medal tracker

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the court, and the traces of her
injury are all but forgotten.
"I almost want her to play like
she's on the playground when she's
RAMS
Continued from Page 9
"We have to put this behind us,"
Swenson said. "We wanted momen-
tum going into Purdue but that did not
happen. We have to be able to keep
(Young) in the game. If we can do that
then we have better chance to come
out of there with a win.
"This is the type of game that you
want to put behind you."
MILESTONES: Blanchard's 19
points on 6-of-13 shooting was

2 3 1 6
2 3 1 6
1 1 4 6
2 2 0 4
1 1 1 3
2 0 0 2

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on offense," Guevara said. "Because
she can get to the basket, and she's
got a sweet shot."
It's just going to take time.
enough to move him into 15th on
Michigan's all-time scoring list. He
surpassed current NBA All-Star
Chris Webber and 1960's legend
Dennis Stewart. His next targets on
the list are Maurice Taylor and Ray
Jackson.
Junior Gavin Groninger, who has a
tendency to have big games for Michi-
gan against non-conference oppo-
nents, shot 3-of-5 from behind the
3-point line last night. His final 3-
pointer gave him 100 for his Michigan
career.
- MONDAY'S GAME
MICHIGAN (66)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A MA 0-B A FPTS
Gibson 9 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 0
Bailey 27 1-4 0- 1-3 0 4 2
Young 16 2-2 2-3 2-3 1 5 6
Jones 30 2-6 1-2 1-3 1 1 7
Gotfredson 12 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 3
Queen 32 1-8 0-0 2-3 3 3 2
lngerson 7 2-2 0-0 1-3 1 1 6
Robinson 28 4-10 2-2 2-5 4 4 11
Groninger 17 3-6 1-1 0.2 1 0 10
Blanchard 35 6-13 5-6 0-3 3 5 19
Adebiyi 12 0-1 0-1 1-2 0 3 0
Totals 225 22-55 1-1511-34 15 26 66
FG%: .400. FT%: .733. 3-poInt FG: 11-30 .367
(Groninger 3-6, Ingerson2-2, Jones 2-3, Blanchard
2-7, Gotfredson 13, Robinson 1-4, Queen 0-5).
Blocks: 6eYoung 3, Robinson 2, Bailey). Steals: 6
SBlanchard 3, Gibson, Young, Robinson). Turnovers:
8 (Robinson 4, Blanchard ,Bailey2, Young 2,
Jones 2, Queen 2, Groninger 2, Ingerson). Technical
fouls: none.
Colorado State (70)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A *A 0-T A F PTS
Clark 24 1-5 3-4 2-8 1 4 5
Greene 33 7-14 2-3 1-7 2 4 16
Nelson 35 5-10 6-6 4-6 1 2 16
Mackin 37 2-5 3-6 1-4 3 0 7
Bi rley 39 4-8 0-1 0-0 3 212
Smith 8 1-2 1-1 2-2 1 1 3
Rakiecki 15 0-2 0.1 0-6 2 2 0
Robinson 10 0-2 0-0 0-1 1 1 0
Brown 13 1-3 1-1 1-2 1 0 3
Burke 0 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Williams 11 3-3 2-3 1-1 1 2 8
Totals 225 2455 1&261440 1619 70
FG%: .436. FT%: .692. 3-point FG: 4-11, .364 (Bir-
ley4-7, Rakiecki 0-2, Mackli 0-1, Robinson 0.1).
Blocks: 2 (Greene, Nelson). Steals: 12 (Birley 4,
Macklin 2, Greene 2, Williams, Clark, Nelson.
Turnovers: 14 (Greene 3, Clark 2, Nelson 2 Mack-
ln 2, Williams 2, Smith, Rakiecki, Brown). Techni-
cal fouls: none.
Michigan............29 30 7 - 69
Colorado State........,25 34 11 - 71
At: MobyArena (Fort Collins, Colo.)
Attendance: 4,007
[SPRING BREAK~

Did"r
I 'J
Xrww4;i

Most NCAA teams from one conference:
Seven from Big Ten in 1994, 1999 and
2000.
Lowest RPI at-large in NCAA: No. 74
New Mexico in 1999.
Most losses with at-large berth: Seven
teams with 16 losses, including Georgia
last year.

Most wins for NIT team: 24 (Southwest Missouri State 1997, Delaware 2000).
Highest RPI rating for NIT team: No. 33 Oklahoma in 1994.
Best record for NIT team: College of Charleston finished 22-3 in 1996.
Highest RPI ranking for sub-.500 team: Virginia was No. 53 in 1996.
Home court: The NCAA does not allow teams to play tournament games on
their home courts. A home court is defined as any court where a team plays
more than two games.
This rule will prevent the following team-location pairings: Wisconsin (Midwest'
Region), Kentucky (South Region), Syracuse (East Region), DePaul (Chicago),
Georgetown (Washington) and New Mexico (Albuquerque).
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Big Ten Overall AP RPI RPI rank Good W's Bad L's
Team W L W L (Top 50) (Bottom 200)
Indiana 8 2 15 7 22 .630 12 5 0
Ohio State 8 3 17 5 23 .614 19 3 0
Minnesota 7 3 14 7 43 .588 39 4 0
Wisconsin 7 5 13 11 - .557 71 5 4
Illinois 6 5 17 7 18 .619 16 3 0
Michigan State 5 5 13 9 - .580 50 4 1
Michigan 5 6 10 12 - .534 97 1 4
Northwestern 4 6 13 9 - .553 117 1 2
Iowa 4 7 15 10 - .572 58 2 2
Purdue 3 8 11 14 - .549 82 2 2
Penn State 2 9 6 16 - .470 213 0 3
Blue using weekend
to rest for Big Tens

40

You are welcome to
Ash Wednesday
Meditative Worship for
Campus & Community
An ecumenical service of Scripture,
prayer, silence, meditative singing of
music from the Taize Community,
liturgical dance, imposition of ashes,
and Holy Communion
C- I 4 '

By Ryan Leventhal
For the Daily
The big question on track fans'
minds is, "Will Alan Webb run this
weekend?"
The answer, said Michigan men's
track coach Ron Warhurst, is still
"no."
The highly touted freshman has
been sidelined with an Achilles ten-
don injury for the entire season.
Many were hoping that he would be
able to run at this Saturday's Harold
Silverstein Invitational, which will
take place at the Michigan Indoor
Track building.
"His leg is still bugging him," jun-
ior distance runner Dave Cook said.
"His biggest races are outdoor.
There's no reason (to race) now and
to get hurt."
The road to recovery has been an
arduous one for Webb. He worked
out twice last week, putting time in
on the training bike and in the pool.
The biking, however, won't bring

INDOOR TRACK BUILDING
Who: Michigan hosts Harold Silverstein Invita-
tional.
When: 9:30 a.m.
Latest: The Wolverines will try some new peo-
ple in some new places as they prepare for the
upcoming Big Ten Championships.
the team has focused on preparing
for the Big Ten Championships. This
weekend's invitational will be what
senior sprinter Ike Okenwa calls a
"chill meet" but Okenwa is very
interested in facing off against local
rival Eastern Michigan University.
"Most of the people are not racing
the event they're racing at Big Tens
or they're taking the meet off," Cook
said.
One of the runners taking the
weekend off is freshman Nathan
Brannen. Brannen was instrumental
in helping the team to a third-place
finish in State College last weekend,
as he won the 800-meter. The time
off will allow him to rest in prepara-

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