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March 07, 2002 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-07

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michigandaily.com/sports
sportsdesk@umich.edu

THURSDAY
MARCH 7, 2002

13A

Cagers prepared
for 'winnable game'

JOE
SMITH

By Steve Jackson
Daily Sports Editor
Despite a disappointing season and a
10th-place finish in the Big Ten, the
Michigan men's basketball team is opti-

need to feel that way," Amaker said.
When the two teams faced each other
in January, Northwestern got off to an
impressive start, leading 31-19 at the half.
The Wildcats hung onto that victory
with a good ball control (seven turnovers

Leadership void causes
concerns for Wolverines

mistic about today's show-
down in the Big Ten
Tournament against No. 7
seed Northwestern, which
will be televised on ESPN at
4:30 p.m.
"There's new hope, new
life," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said.
"Everyone has a chance to
be crowned champions.
"Obviously we are one of
the team's that people would
view as a stretch at this

CONSkAAC rO H LDOUSE
Who: Michigan (5-11 Big
Ten, 10-17 overall) vs.
Northwestern (7:9, 16-12)
When: 4:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN
Latest: The Wolverines enter
the Big Ten Tournament on a
six-game losing skid.
Michigan point guard Avery
Queen has a bruised knee,
but he is expected to play.

compared to Michigan's 16)
and a deliberate offensive
style, scoring most of their
points at the end of the shot
clock.
"It would be better suited
for us if the game had a
faster pace;" Amaker said.
"But, obviously, everyone
has tried to do that against
them. It's difficult to do. I'm
hoping we can shoot better
and take care of the ball bet-
ter."

time, but you never know when you can
make your mark."
If the Wolverines want their season to
continue beyond this weekend, they must
win four games in Indianapolis. Michigan
(5-11 Big Ten, 10-17 overall) has not won
more than two consecutive games this
year, and it has posted just one road victo-
ry all season.
But the team is not looking too far
ahead. Northwestern (7-9, 16-12) proved
itself to be a dangerous foe after its 58-54
win in Crisler Arena on Jan. 16.
"If we can somehow upset Northwest-
ern, that will be an opportunity to think
further down the road and down the line,"
Amaker said. "You gather momentum
within a tournament, not so much going
into the tournament."
That is a good strategy for the Wolver-
ines to take, considering that they have
lost their last six games - four of those
by more than 20 points.
Nevertheless, Michigan is pleased with
its placement in the tournament and
believes that it matches up well with the
Wildcats.
"This is a winnable game, and our kids

This game could potentially end of the
careers of six seniors, including center
Chris Young, who has been the team's
most valuable player this season.
"I can't look at this as the end," Young
said. "I feel we can win (the Big Ten Tour-
nament). I honestly believe that."
In addition to playing in what might be
the team's last game of the year, the
Wolverines have other incentives against
the Wildcats.
"That was a big loss for us (against
Northwestern)," Michigan guard Dom-
manic Ingerson said. "Things were shaky
for the rest of the year after that. So, yeah,
I think there is a redemption factor"
Amaker also said that even one victory
in the tournament would "advance our
program."
If the Wolverines do, in fact, win today,
they will play No. 2 seedOhio State
tomorrow at 6:40 p.m.
Sophomore point guard Avery Queen
has been nursing a bruised knee all week.
He probably will play, but former walk-on
Mike Gotfredson and swing man Leon
Jones may handle the ball more for the
Wolverines.

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker hopes his team will believe they can win in
Indianapolis. The Wolverines have just won one game on the road this year.
Let the madness begin
If you want to waste your entire day by watching college basketball, the
world of basic cable has made that possible. Big Ten games appear in bold.
Game Time Channel
No. 7 Pittsburgh vs. Boston College Noon ESPN2
No. 20 Miami (Fla.) vs. Georgetown 2 p.m. ESPN
Purdue vs. Iowa 2 p.m. ESPN2
No. 9 Oregon vs. Washington 4 p.m. Fox Sports
Northwestern vs. Michigan 4:30 p.m. ESPN
No. 22 Southern Cal vs. No. 16 Stanford 6:30 p.m. Fox Sports
Florida State vs. Clemson 7 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Penn State 7 p.m. ESPN-Plus
No. 19 Connecticut vs. Villanova 7 p.m. ESPN2
Notre Dame vs. St. John's 9 p.m. ESPN
No. 15 Arizona vs. Arizona State 9:30 p.m. -Fox Sports
Missouri vs Iowa State 9:30 p.m. ESPN2
New Mexico vs. UNLV Midnight ESPN
No. 25 California vs. UCLA Midnight Fox Sports

Senior tri-captain Leon Jones
walked up to Michigan assistant
coach Chuck Swenson after a
practice late this season and let his emo-
tions spill out.
"I wish I could come back and play
another year for you guys," Jones said.
The sincere gesture symbolized the
unconditional willingness and trust that
Jones and fellow tri-captains Chris
Young and Rotolu Adebiyi brought into
Tommy Amaker's quest to rebuild the
Michigan program.
They were, as Amaker calls it, the
"glue that kept the team together," rep-
resenting the best core of leaders that
the Michigan basketball team has had in
a while - at a time when the Wolver-
ines needed them the most.
"If I had to put down one or two
things that we have to have for our team,
leadership would be No. 1"Amaker
said. "It will be essential for the growth
of our team and our program."
But possibly as early as today, all of
Michigan's leaders will be donning their
maize and blue jerseys for the final
time. With the departure of the captains,
along with the "soul patrol" - Mike
Gotfredson, Herb Gibson and Ron Gar-
ber - most of Amaker's gritty guys,
hustle players and hard workers will be
gone.
But most of all, gone is the heart and
soul of the team.
Don't think the Michigan coaching
staff isn't concerned, because it is. And
for good reason.
The Wolverines have five talented
freshmen coming in next year who will
need to be given the proper orientation.
And there will still be at least two other
underclassmen seeking direction, Dom-
manic Ingerson and Chuck Bailey, mak-
ing leadership even more crucial to
Michigan's success.
Someone will need to relay Amaker's
principles, to be the rock that the team
leans on, just like Young was. Someone
will need to crack the proverbial whip
when needed and give a warm smile of
confidence when the feelings of"here
we go again" are apparent, just as Ade-
biyi was known for. Someone will need
to buckle down and get a key defensive
stop or create offensively when the
wheels are coming off in a tough road
contest, just like Jones was counted on
to do many times this year.
And in a task that may be even more
difficult, someone will need to have the
courage to speak out critically against a
teammate - whether he's an All-Big
Ten player, a roommate or even just a
close friend.
"It's not easy to hold your teammates

accountable," Swenson said. "They try
to say the right things, but for someone
to say something negative to their good
friends is tough.
"Saying the right things at the right
time in the right way. That's an art."
This year's captains have been suc-
cessful at just that, mostly because as
Gavin Groninger says, "the other 10 or
11 guys actually want to listen to them"
But who will fill these roles next sea-
son?
Next year's seniors, Groninger and
LaVell Blanchard, would be the most
logical choices.
But neither has been the vocal type
yet. Blanchard has led mostly by
example and likes to stay to himself.
Groninger has struggled immensely
this season and often isn't the best
model to follow in terms of consisten-
cy or confidence.
"I think I can be one of the leaders,"
said a noncommittal Groninger. "I
always put the team first, no matter
what is going on with me on the court."
Team-first attitudes are good. But
Michigan needs credible leaders who've
proven themselves on the court and are
willing to speak up and hold people
accountable. Michigan needs people to
grab a young group of Wolverines by
the horns and make sure another 10-18
season isn't even a possibility.
Blanchard and Bernard Robinson,
while inconsistent, have proven them-
selves on the court, but by their own
admission, they don't speak up too
often.
Superstar recruit Daniel Horton, sup-
posedly a stud point guard who can win
games by himself, has enough of a bur-
den of expectations on his shoulders
without having to add the hefty respon-
sibility of team leader.
Amaker hopes that the "leaders of
tomorrow learn from the leaders of
today" and that the exploits and experi-
ences of Jones, Young and Adebiyi rub
off on the rest of his team.
Groninger and Young are best friends
and roommates, so there's a start. But
the future leader of the Wolverines is
still very much in doubt.
"We need to find a leader for next
year," Amaker sai4l. "Sometimes you
may not have it. I'm hoping that won't
be the case for us - but it's always a
possibility."
If that is in fact the case, expect
another long season for the Maize and
Blue.

Blue hopes to catch Roadrunners

By Ryan Lovendtal
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan baseball team is hop-
ing a trip to Texas for a three-game
series this weekend will be a new begin-
ning to a bright season filled with high
expectations.
"It's like a 15-round fight," Michigan
interim head coach Chris Harrison said.
"We're through the first two rounds.
There's still a lot to go."
After last weekend's black eye, when
the team competed at the Riverside
Baseball Invitational, it was clear that
changes would have to be made in
pitching and defense to make sure that
the upcoming "rounds" are better than
the first.
"They were good clubs with good
hitting," Harrison said of the caliber of
play in California. "We didn't play good

defense. We played poorly."
Michigan (1-8) has struggled with its
pitching. Through the first nine game
s,the pitching staff has a 9.00 ERA.
Opposing teams have a whopping .354
batting average while more than dou-
bling the Wolverines with 106 runs. But
Harrison remains optimistic.
"I wasn't concerned with the pitch-
ing," Harrison said. "They made
adjustments during the game, which
was good."
Harrison has made some adjustments
of his own for this weekends trip to
Texas, where the team will take on
Texas-San Antonio (6-5).
The team will play which has a dis-
mal 1-8 record after nine games will
play a tomorrow evening, at 7 p.m. and
the have a pair of day games on Satur-
day and Sunday at 2 p.m. Harrison will
call on the main weapon from last year's

staff, senior righthander Bobby
Korecky. He is slated to head to start
tomorrow evening when the team takes
on the Roadrunners in Wolff Stadium.
The fact Korecky has only had one
start this year is surprising after he had
a stellar season last year, pitching eight
complete games with a 3.36 ERA. Last
weekend Harrison was forced to bring
him out of the bullpen after one of the
Wolverines' pitching implosions.
"We're trying to get our four main
pitchers three starts each before the Big
Ten schedule" Harrison said.
But Korecky seems cool about the
slow start.
"It's not the end of the world,"
Korecky said. "We didn't plan on going
undefeated."
Harrison is also taking a proactive
approach with his defensive lineup.
This weekend he will move defensive

SAN ANTONIO
Who: Michigan (1-8) vs. Texas-San Antonio (6-5)
When: 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, 1:00 p.m. Saturday
and Sunday.
Latest: The Wolverines have been struggling on
the mound. Michigan has compiled a 9.00 ERA
and its opponents are hitting .354 this season.
mainstay Brock Koman to shortstop
from third base. Catcher Jake Fox will
also move to third to fill the void left by
Koman.
Harrison will have an open audition
on Friday and Saturday to determine
who will replace Fox at catcher for Sun-
day's afternoon game.
"We are looking to tighten down our
defense," Harrison Said.
The jumbling of key players may have
hurt the team thus far, but are planned to
have positive results in the long run.
Hopefully with some extra attention
to defense and solid pitching from
Korecky, the Wolverine hitting can
shine and turn things around.

Joe Smith can be reached at
josephms@umich.edu.

What does it take to
"be No.2Doe knows

By Kyle O'Neil
Daily Sports Writer
There aren't too many players who
would rather have a .281 batting average
instead of a .400, but the No. 8 Michi-
gan softball team has one of them.
Centerfielder Meghan Doe doesn't
get caught up in the headline stats -
batting average, homeruns and RBIs.
Instead she's more concerned with the
lesser-known, but equally important cat-
egories - sacrifice bunts, hits and
defensive field-percentage.
"I would much rather bat what I'm
batting now (.281) than bat .400 as long
as I'm moving Kelsey (Kollen)," Doe
said. "Especially this year, I just need to
move her even if I don't get on base."
Kollen, the team's lead-off hitter,
leads the team with 21 runs scored. For
Doe - who moved up in the batting
order from the No. 9 spot last season to
second this year - it has been her sac-
rifice hits that have advanced Kollen
into scoring position so that extra-base
hitters like Monica Schock and Stefanie
Volpe can knock her in.
What makes Doe's slap-hit style to
produce ground balls interesting is that it
is different from her predecessors', but
it still makes the offense produce - the
Wolverines are scoring more runs per

After a broken leg forced her to red-
shirt as a freshman, Doe finally feels
that she's at 100-percent. It shows with
her play in center field as she has eight
putouts this season and hasn't commit-
ted an error yet.

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.
Who: No. 8 Michigan (144) vs. Winthrop (2-3),
Missouri-Kansas City (4-6) and Ball State (14).
When: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. tomorrow, noon Saturday
Latest: Michigan's opponents are hitting just .182
Doe and the rest of the Wolverines
(14-4) will be counting on their defense
and pitching going into the Florida State
Seminole Classic tomorrow. They will
play Ball State, Winthrop and Missouri-
Kansas City in tournament pool play.

I. 11

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and
the Gerald R. Ford Library
are pleased to present:
"Policies to Escape Recession:
What Should We Do?"
A lecture and panel discussion featuring:
Edward M. Gramlich
Governor, Federal Reserve Board
Rebecca M. Blank
Dean, Ford School of Public Policy

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11 1

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