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February 19, 2002 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-19

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PORTS

michigandaiiy.com/sports
sportsdesk@umich.edu

TUESDAY
FEBRUARY 19, 2002

91

Back in Blue: The
return of Cammalleri

JEFF
PHILLIP

S

By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan hockey team was
greeted with an unfamiliar site at
practice yesterday, as junior Mike
Cammalleri dressed for his first full
skate since he was diagnosed with
mono on Jan. 17. It was a welcome
site for Cammalleri's teammates and
friends, who were glad to see him
healthy enough to practice.
"We're excited to have him back,"
* team captain Jed Ortmeyer said.
"This is the sport he loves, and he
just wants to go out there and play
the sport he loves. It is good for him
to be back on the ice and feel like he
is part of the team."
Cammalleri, a fierce competitor,
chose not to go easy on himself in
his first full skate - staying until
the end and competing in every drill.
The only sign that he was fatigued
during practice was that he left the
ice at 4:30, as opposed to staying
until five and playing games with
his teammates.
While the junior skated as an
extra forward in practice on Friday
and Saturday, yesterday was the first
time he skated with linemates. He
worked on line No. 3 with freshman
Michael Woodford and junior Mark

Mink.
Woodford said that Cammalleri
hadn't appeared to miss a beat, and
that as practice went on, the line was
able to move the puckaround better.
"It feels great to be back. This is
what I love to do and it feels unbe-
lievable to be back on the ice," Cam-
malleri said. "I still feel tired. I
think it will be a couple of weeks
before I am back at 100 percent."
Cammalleri added that his
endurance is not near where he
wants it to be, but that today was a
big step in the right direction.
Tomorrow will be a better esti-
mate of Cammalleri's health, when
the team has a full-contact practice.
Cammalleri has been cleared by
doctors to resume play full time and
begin working out, but the decision
as to whether or not he will play
this weekend will be left entirely up
to him.
Berenson said the chances of
Cammalleri returning were 50-50,
but the coaching staff will have a
better idea after tomorrow.
"We have been playing well with-
out him, and we need to continue to
play that way," Ortmeyer said. "We
can't relax just because he is back,
we need to go out and continue play-
ing the way we have been."

Options and fun both
endless with IM sports

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Mike Cammalleri went through his first full practice yesterday since diagnosed
with mono on Jan. 17. He is still questionable for this weekend's games.

Women desperately need a leader to follow

By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
Before the women's basketball season started,
Michigan and Purdue were expected to vie for the
top spot in the Big Ten. With its win over Michi-
gan on Sunday, Purdue locked up at least a share
of the Big Ten regular season
title, while Michigan will finish BASKETBALL
in the bottom half of the con- Commentary
ference. __
What was the difference
between the two teams this season?
Purdue guard Kelly Komara said that the Boiler-
makers just wanted it more than the Wolverines.
They wanted to win the game, and they wanted to
win the conference title.
a The Purdue game was a microcosm of Michi-
gan's season. In the first half, Michigan's offense
was explosive, but just as in its season, the second
half proved to be a different story, in which Pur-
due was the hero.
What was missing in the second half? Simple:

The Wolverines lacked senior leadership. Komara,
Purdue's only true member of the class of 2002,
demonstrated what it takes to lead, when she came
out in the second half with intensity. At halftime,
coach Kristy Curry called Komara out and put the
game on her shoulders. Time and again Curry has
been able to rely on Komara to do that for the
Boilermakers. For Komara, leadership comes not
from seniority, but desire.
"By the time you're a senior in my position it's
all about heart, it's not about experience," Komara
said.
Michigan coach Sue Guevara has been looking
for someone to step forward all season and lead
the team to where it was expected to be. No one
has done that yet and it is not even clear who
wants to be the leader. But someone has to step
up.
Guevara wants her players to approach the last
few games as an opportunity to get better. She said
the way to motivate the players to play, even
though they have a losing record, is to get them to
want to improve. In these last few games, someone

needs to step up and guide the team the rest of the
way. An NCAA Tournament berth is not impossi-
ble for the Wolverines, just improbable. The
Wolverines proved in the first half that they could
play with and even beat the best team in the Big
Ten. When it ran up and down the court in the first
half with Purdue on Sunday, Michigan proved to
be the better team. But in the second half, when
Komara responded to Curry's challenge, Michigan
had no leader of its own to respond.
Leadership was the difference in Sunday's
game, and it was not the leadership of the coaches
on the bench. When the game is on the line, Gue-
vara is not going to be the on the court trying to
sink a basket or come up with a steal.
Michigan's season is not over. The Wolverines
are behind in the second half, but if they can surge
late, they can push it to overtime, where anything
could happen.
The Wolverines just need a leader to step for-
ward and start that late swell. They want to win
and make it to the NCAA Tournament - someone
needs to take them there.

So this is what it came down to
last Sunday: Three years of
playing IM basketball, and
finally (finally!) I had my title shot.
After three years of never advancing
past the second round of the playoffs,
playing for the last time with two of
my best friends whom I've known for
10 years (for anonymity's sake we'll.
call them "Jon" and "Steve"), we
finally found ourselves in the finals
of coed, AB playoffs.
I've experienced every kind of loss
and played every kind of team in bas-
ketball with "Jon" and "Steve". But
perhaps because no all-5-foot-11
league is offered, we haven't gotten a
basketball title. I've seen nearly all of
my friends win at something, be it
soccer, tennis, racquetball or
wrestling - but the three of us have
never won a championship.
I thought it was our time. I wanted
to finally say that I've plunked down .
hundreds of dollars and played nearly
half the sports offered, but at least I
got this lousy T-shirt.
I thought it was meant to be.
Down by just one at halftime, I
could taste it. But it turns out that it
actually wasn't meant to be. In fact, I
wasn't the only one that wanted that
lousy T-shirt. We got behind by 14
quickly in the second half and the
opposing team never looked back. We
got as close as four with two minutes
left, but sadly, that was as close as we
came. Our basketball career together
ended without a title.
So yesterday we signed up for
mini-soccer and broomball.
But don't let my experience on
Sunday fool you. We aren't trying to
fish with dynamite here ("We're
bound to hit somethin'!"). Even if I
graduate without winning a title, I
can still say that I've had an incredi-
ble time playing IM sports.
Freshman year, I missed high
school. But what I decided was that
some of my best times in high school
were playing on athletic teams, and
IM sports were the best way to repli-
cate that at Michigan. I didn't want a
Cameron Crowe to Ridgemont High
sort of thing, but it is nice to be able
to capture a little bit of what I was
missing. Plus it keeps you "in shape."

(Are you supposed to gain 15 pounds
per year or is that just for the first
year?)
For me, IM sports eliminated much
of what I hated about playing high
school sports. I could play as much or
as little as I wanted without parents,
coaches, etc. telling me what to do.
Instead of missing the Fresh Prince
episode where Carlton and Will dance
to "Apache" to run wind sprints, you
can control where and when you want
to play.
Instead of kissing the coach's ass to
get playing time, you are the coach.
Instead of playing alongside that
kid you can't stand, you can play with
a group of your friends.
There are a total of 38 sports that
are offered during fall, winter, spring
and summer terms by the IM sports
program. All of the classics are here,
such as basketball, football and soft-
ball, but if those aren't up your alley,
there are plenty of other options. Try
wallyball or innertube water polo.
In each sport, the play can be social
or competitive. Nobody here is play-
ing for a scholarship or money -
unless you plan on making a Freddie
Hunter-esque leap to the basketball
team. If you played high school ten-
nis, then put together an A-level team.
If you are still working on the dynam-
ics of throwing a football, put togeth-
er a C-level flag football team. Even
if you can't gather an entire team, the
free agent board helps you find a
group that may be a few players
short.
Believe it or not, the college expe-
rience should not strictly be pounding
10 beers per night, or for that matter,
pounding out 10 lab experiments per
night. It should be somewhere in
between, something like one beer per
lab experiment. (Got that?)
For me, IM sports helped fill in the
gaps that were missing in my first
year here. So go out there, get a
group of friends together and find a
sport you enjoy. You won't regret it -
even if you can't get that elusive T-
shirt.
Jeff Phillips can be reached at
jpphilli@umich.edu.

Alford benches Evans for poor class attendance

By David Horn
Daily Sports Editor
The Big Ten coach who seemed
most ready to snap a week ago was
Purdue's Gene Keady, who threat-
ened retirement
after a string of BASKETBALL
bad losses. But
the coaching Notebook
move that drew
the most attention last weekend was
Iowa coach Steve Alford's decision
to bench star Reggie Evans (16.3
points per game and 11.5 rebounds
per game) against Michigan State
on Saturday for his poor class atten-
dance. I
"I don't know how others do
things, but at the University of Iowa
you're going to be a student-athlete;
you're not going to be an athletic
student," Alford said. "And that
message needed to be sent."
ILLINI FIGHT BACK: After losing
three straight games to fall below
.500 in the Big Ten, Illinois has
rebounded by winning four straight,

putting themselves back in the hunt
for the conference title. Most
impressive has been the Fighting
Illini's ability to win on the road,
which they had not been able to do
all season until their Feb. 7 win
against Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Illinois' rejuvenation has been the
result of three crucial components:
The return of gritty hard-nosed for-
ward Lucas Johnson to the lineup,
the dominant play of center Brian
Cook and the reemergence of Frank
Williams as an all-around leader
and scoring threat.
Over the four-game winning
streak, Cook has averaged 17 points
per game and 9.3 rebounds per
game.
But Williams has been the real
difference. The preseason Big Ten
Player of the Year was honored as
the co-Big Ten Player of the Week
for last week with 20.5 points per
game, 5.5 rebounds per game, four
assists per game and three steals per
game. He shared the award with
Wisconsin's Kirk Penney.

There is a sense now in Cham-
paign that the Big Ten title is withjn
reach. And coach Bill Self is confi-
dent that the winner of the confer-
ence - a conference that has been
criticized this season for being par-
ticularly weak - deserves a high
seed in the NCAA Tournament.
"I would say any time you win
our league, regardless of what the
Food for Thought
Manipulating Opinion
In 1966, the NLF (Viet
Cong) formed a seemingly
rival political party, The
Alliance of National,
Democratic and Peace
Forces, in order "to
reestablish the image of
the South's revolution as
a broad-based movement."
P. 130, A Viet Cong Memoir.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
www.garylillie.com

so-called experts are saying, you
have to be worthy of a No. 2 seed,"
Self said.

*'Poor conditions, rust
end Blue's win streak

NEANWXN-' I

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Writer
Deceptive greens and a tlwree-
0 month break between tournaments
foiled the Michigan women's golf
team as it saw its four-tournament
win streak come to an end at the
Lady Aztec invitational. The
Wolverines' 643 total, laden with
double and triple bogies, put them in
fourth place, 17 shots behind winner
Colorado State.
Michigan entered the second
round in seventh place -16 shots
out of the lead - after struggling

and then it slopes away from you
and just takes off, Teichert said. "It's
hard to make those adjustments
early in the year."
Freshman Laura Olin said the
fairways were not in good condition
because of lack of rain. The team
also had to contend with bad weath-
er.
But Michigan's biggest problem
may have been rust. The Wolverines
have had to practice indoors all win-
ter, hitting off mats and putting on
simulated greens. The team wasn't
sure how it would respond to the
switch back to the course.

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