5B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 11, 2002
"We weren't willing to die and lay down
like some dogs."
- Michigan forward Bernard Robinson, on his team's ability
to play with a renewed sense of emotion and effort in the Big
Ohio State 75
Players of the Game
Blanchard led the Wolverines in scoring
for the second straight game with 24
points on 7-of 14 shooting from the field.
Brown scored just 11 points, but his
jumper with less than 40 seconds to play
put the game away.
Six seniors play final
game for Wolverines
By David Horn
Daily Sports Editor
INDIANAPOLIS - Friday's
game against Ohio State marked the
final time th t six
Wolverines ould BASKETBALL
suit up in the Notebook
maize and blue.
Tri - captains
Chris Young, Leon Jones and Rotolu
Adebiyi, as well as Mike Gotfred-
son, Herb Gibson and Ron Garber,
leave the team after careers in a pro-
gram mired by off-court problems,
on-court failures and the recent
coaching transition. All six, though,
were model players, and were vic-
tims of a program that was going
through a great deal of difficulty.
They leave as role models; coach
Tommy Amaker has repeatedly
offered his gratitude and accolades
to this class.
"You learn about what it means to
be a part of something that hasn't
gone as well," Amaker said of his
departing seniors. "Their willing-
ness to do whatever it takes for the
group. When they do that every day,
that's a great lesson for everyone.
It's been a great pleasure to coach
BOMB DIFFUSED: After his first
career start for the Wolverines on
Thursday, freshman Dommanic
Ingerson got the nod again against
Ohio State. But after a lazy defen-
sive effort on an Ohio State posses-
sion in the second half, Ingerson
returned to the Michigan bench
amidst scoldings from his coaches
By Jos Smith
Daily Sports Editor
and teammates. He did not return to
the game, giving junior Gavin
Groninger an opportunity to play
some minutes. Groninger missed
two crucial 3-pointers in the closing
minute of the game that would have
put Michigan in a position to win.
Apparently, Ingerson's defensive
mistakes weren't entirely his fault.
"One of our game plans was to try
and foot step their shooters over
their stagger screens," Young said.
"And a couple of times (Ingerson)
ran into a stagger screen, and he
wasn't doing a good job fighting
over the screen.
"It wasn't just Dom's fault
though. He was a victim of the cir-
cumstance, because it was his guy
scoring, but it was the team's fault
for letting his guy score."
Ingerson did manage to post a
career-high five rebounds.
B-RETURNING? There has been
some question among fans and the
media as to whether sophomore
Bernard Robinson would return to
the Wolverines next season. When
asked about it following Friday's
loss, Robinson responded simply
with, "I hope so."
THREE LIKE MIKE: Prior to Friday's
game, Mike Gotfredson had scored
27 career points for the Wolverines
- all on 3-pointers.
He had never converted a field
goal from within the 3-point line,
and had never taken a shot from the
And while Gotfredson will leave
Michigan having never knocked
down a free throw, he did manage to
Continued from Page 1B
Michigan senior guard Leon Jones
in the paint. Brown took the pass,
put the ball on the floor and pivoted
for the short turnaround jumper that
would prove to be the nail in a cof-
fin that wanted so badly to remain
Groninger attempted two more 3-
pointers, neither of which fell.
"Give (Ohio State) credit for han-
dling the pressure and answering us
when they needed to," Amaker said.
"That basket by Brian Brown was
somewhat of a dagger."
Against Ohio State, Amaker put
the same five players on the court
that had played 35 minutes for him
the previous day against Northwest-
Unfortunately for Michigan, they
could not stay out there long
enough. Jones picked up early fouls,
forcing fifth-year senior and former
walk-on Mike Gotfredson to play
the majority of the game at point
guard. Freshman Dommanic Inger-
son, who played perhaps his
smartest game of the season against
Northwestern, lost his temper as
Amaker brought him out of the
game in the second half. He never
Jones, who finally fouled out with
12 seconds remaining in his final
game, left the court with tears in his
eyes. The tri-captain's minutes on
the bench against the Buckeyes were
of po help to his team.
"His emotion on the floor and his
toughness and hard-noseness is what
affected us the most," Senior Chris
Young said of his teammate. "(Got-
fredson) did a great job of getting us
into sets, but Leon brings that emo-
tion we need on the floor."
Michigan wanted so badly to
prove itself in this weekend's tour-
It was an opportunity for the
Wolverines to achieve where they
did not all season long. Despite the
loss, the Wolverines - particularly
the outgoing seniors - couldn't
have been more proud of the effort
Young believes, as does Amaker,
that the effort and energy displayed
by Michigan at-the-Big Ten Tourna-
ment will carry over to benefit the
team next season.
"The only emotion that comes to
mind right.now is pride," Young
said. "I look on the faces of the guys
in here; it hurts every one of us.
Every one of us is crying, every one
of us is tearing - however they
show their emotion. And I know that
is what is going. to drive them this
summer and next fall - that feel-
ing, that hurt."
Amaker was also optimistic for
the future, and proud of his team
when asked to evaluate his inaugural
season at the helm of the program.
"It's never easy when you're not
winning, but if you're going to
judge everything by 'W's and 'L's,
by a score, then I'm in the wrong
business," Amaker said. "And I
think I'm in the right business."
Ohio State (75)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A O-T A F PTS
Savovic 33 3-10 2-3 0-2 2 2 10
Williams 27 3-7 5-7 2-5 2 4 11
Radinovic 17 3.3 2-2 0.5 0 3 8
Darby 27 4-7 0-0 1-2 3 2 10
Brown 33 4-14 3-4 2-6 4 1 11
Fuss-Cheatham 6 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 0
Connolly 22 3-4 1-2 1-1 5 2 9
Dials 19 5-7 4-4 2-4 2 3 14
Dudley 4 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0
Martin 12 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 0
Totals 200 26.54 17-221134 19 19 75
FG%: .481. FT%: .773 3-point FG: 6-13,_462
(Savovic 2-6, Darby 2-4, Connolly 2-2, Brown20-1).
Blocks: 4 (Darby, Brown, Dials, Dudley). Steals: 3
(Williams, Radinovic, Brown) Turnovers: 11
(Savovic 3, Darby 3, Brown 2, Williams, Connolly,
Fuss-Cheatham). Technical fouls: none.
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Robinson 38 3-14 4-6 1-5 4 1 10
Blanchard 35 7-14 9-10 1-7 0 2 24
Young 36 4-5 2-2 2-3 3 4 10
Jones 17 1-3 2-2 2-3 0 5 4
Ingerson 24 2-6 0-0 1-5 2 2 5
Gibson 0+ 0.0 0-0 0.0 0 0 0
Gotfredson 22 2-4 0-0 0-1 2 1 5
Groninger 18 2-5 0-0 0.1 1 1 6
Bailey 10 2-6 0.0 2-2 0 2 4
Totals 200 2357 17-2012321218 68
FG%:.404.FT%: 850. 3pont FG: 5-17, .294
.(Groninger 2-5, Ingerson 1-5, Gotfredson 1-3, Blan-
chard 1-2, Jones 0-2). Blocks: 2 (Bailey 2). Steals:
5 (Robinson 2, Ingerson, Gibson, Gotfredson)
Turnovers: 10 (Jones 3, Blanchard 2, Ingerson 2,
Bailey, Young. Robinson). Technical fouls: none.
Ohio State ..............42 33 - 75
MICHIGAN.................35 33 - 68
At: Conseco Fedhouse, Indianapolis
Ohio State guard (and Detroit native) Brent Darby makes a crisp pass around
Michigan senior tri-captain Chris Young in Friday's 75-68 quarterfinal game.
score his first career two-point field feet out that cut the Ohio State lead
goal. With 10:58 remaining in the to five.
second half of his final game, Got- He had been 0-for-3 from within
fredson hit a jumper from about 10 the 3-point line before Friday.
at Western Michigan 73-79
at Bowling Green 59-65
Boston College 74-83
IUPU-Fort Wayne 91-62
Eastern Michigan 88-58
vs. San Francisco 47-55
at Penn State 67-63
at Minnesota 82-90
at Illinois 74-90
at Ohio State 447-69
at Michigan State 44-71
Penn State 65-58
at Colorado State 66-70
at Purdue 43-79
at Iowa 56-76
at Wisconsin 54-74
Ohio State 75-84
caps season like LaVell of old
INDIANAPOLIS - It took a while, but the
"real" LaVell Blanchard finally showed up for the
Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis last weekend.
Blanchard's impressive and inspired performance
resembled the play that helped the junior lead Ann
Arbor Pioneer High School to a state championship
three years ago, the play that Michigan fans thought
would help turn the struggling program around
when he arrived here in the autumn of 1999 and the
play that earned him the title of a preseason Nai-
smith Award finalist.
His combined 50 points in the two tournament
games drew rave reviews from opposing coaches
and teammates and nearly lifted the Wolverines to
the tournament's semifinals.
Said Northwestern coach Bill Carmody, whose
Wildcats were scorched by Blanchard for a season-
high 26 points on Thursday: "He carried them in
every aspect. It seemed like every time he touched
the ball, he made a big shot or a huge play for
Such leadership and big-play ability is what
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker needed from Blan-
chard this season, but he hadn't received it until the
Wolverines final two games.
"LaVell Blanchard was tremendous," Amaker
Continued from Page 1B
last games," said junior LaVell Blanchard.
Said Young, who was playing in his last game: "With
our backs against the wall, we wanted to step up and
show everyone in our conference who we are and what
we're capable of doing."
Blanchard, the expected leader on next year's Michi-
gan team, needs to be one of the guys who ingrain it in
the Wolverines' heads that you have to play every game
like it's your last -not just the final ones.
Amaker has to explain to a young group of Wolverines
that road challenges at Bowling Green, San Francisco
and Colorado State - games you're supposed to win -
are even more credible proving grounds about what a
team is "made of."
The Wolverines' backs were against the wall all sea-
son, they just didn't realize it. The had pressure to prove
that last season's embarrassing 10-18 finish was just a
fluke. They wanted to show that such a finish was unac-
ceptable for someone wearing a maize and blue jersey,
that it wasn't "being Michigan," as Amaker calls it. All o:
this would seem like enough incentive for any team.
said. "He had outstanding offensive performances;
he showed the life and spirit of a big time player. It
was nice to see that in him, he certainly carried us a
lot. We're hoping that these are some of the things
we can build on for the future."
And since Blanchard played so well in the post-
season, it will give Michigan fans other things to
focus on, other than the fact that the Ann Arbor
native had just three double-doubles this season
after collecting 18 in his first two, or the fact that he
reached the 20-point plateau just twice during
Michigan's regular season.
Blanchard seemed more comfortable in the flow
of Michigan's offense and carried the Wolverines on
his back by making key shots, uncharacteristically
taking the ball to the basket and draining nearly 50
percent of his shots. He proved to be anything but a
defensive liability, grabbing a career-high three
steals against Northwestern and taking several key
More importantly, he made game-changing plays
that Amaker admitted his coaching staff hadn't seen
from Blanchard a lot this season. And he smiled,
holding that certain type of swagger as if he was the
best player on the court and wanted the ball in his
"You could definitely see that extra jump in his
step," Michigan senior tri-captain Chris Young said.
"We knew that he was hot and we just had to keep
But that's not all.
Stopping a merciless string of four straight 20-point
defeats late this season, a school record, should be
enough to get players visibly upset enough to say, "ThI
isn't going to happen again."
Granted, maybe Amaker's long-term goals and less-
ened expectations of this team's win-loss record and
postseason aspirations had something to do with it. A:
some games, Amaker wouldn't hesitate in humbly sta
that he was still pleased with how his team played anc
how much effort they gave, even if they did lose.
But with Amaker's first season in the books, and his
proverbial "honeymoon" as new Michigan coach rune
out, such complacency will inevitably turn into urgenc
As Amaker knows, if he ever wants the Michigan pi
gram to follow in the likes of his alma mater, Duke, hi
Wolverines have to start developing the "playing to wi
mentality every night.
Another "new season" for Michigan will begin
early this November. Hopefully the Wolverines wi:
play like it.
Blanchard said he'd "definitely" be back next
season, and Amaker hopes the same confident for-
ward shows up for preseason workouts next fall
ready to be one of the team leaders - especially
with the huge loss of six influential seniors to grad-
"We're losing a bunch of guys that were very
instrumental to our team this year," Blanchard said.
"We're going to miss their play, their leadership. It's
hard to think of those guys not being there next
year, after playing with them for three years now."
Blanchard said after the Ohio State loss that he
hadn't thought about next season yet, but he said he
thinks he can be one of the leaders on a very young
team which will boast five freshmen, two sopho-
mores and just two seniors.
One of the freshmen, point guard Daniel Horton,
should make Blanchard's life easier by slashing and
creating for him, giving him the open looks he had
two years ago with Kevin Gaines running the show.
With three other recruits over 6-foot-9, Blanchard
may not have to play as out of position as often he
did this year. He'll have the chance to move freely
atop the perimeter and knock down outside shots,
things that he says are big parts of his game.
"I think the coaching staff has helped me a lot,"
Blanchard said. "I think they'll be able to teach me
more and I can get even better next season."
Big Ten Tournament
Ohio State 68-75
How'd it happen?
The Wolverines will be having their sea-
son-ending banquet on April 4 in Crisler
Arena. Awards will be handed out, kind
words will be spoken and good food will
Confer ce Tournament
Iowa did all it could to win eight straight Big
Ten Tournament games, but came up one
short in yesterday's championship game. Ohio
State was crowned Big Ten Champions with a
81-64 win over the Hawkeyes.
No. 9 Iowa 87, No. 8 Purdue 72
No. 10 Michigan 72, No. 7 Northwestern 51
No. 6 Minnesota 85, No. 11 Penn State 60
No. 4 Indiana 67, No. 5 Michigan State 56
No. 9 Iowa 58, No. 1 Wisconsin 56
No. 2 Ohio State 75, No. 10 Michigan 68
No. 3 Illinois 92, No. 6 Minnesota 76
No. 9 Iowa 62, No. 4 Indiana 60
No. 2 Ohio State 94, No. 3 Illinois 88
No. 2 Ohio State 81, No. 9 Iowa 64
After sharing the regular season Big Ten
title, Ohio State won the conference tourney.
San Diego State
C. Connecticut St.
Joe Smith can be reached atjosephms@umich. edu.
HoW THE TOP 25 FARED
San Diego State 78, UNLV 75:
LAS VEGAS (AP) - After a six-year
hiatus, Steve Fisher is back in the
Deandre Moore hit two free
throws with 3.3 seconds
remaining and San DiegoE
State (2-11) beat UNV
78-75 Saturday night
to win the Mountain
advance to the
for the first time
No. 15 Arzona 81, No. 22 Southem
Cal 71: LOS ANGELES (AP)- Luke
Walton stepped out of his father's
long shadow, and took his Arizona
teammates with him.
Walton had 23 ints and
eight assists playing all 40
minutes, and the No. 15
Wildcats beat No. 22
Southern Cal. 81-71
Saturday to win the
The tournament did-
n't exist back in
the early 1970s,
of the season, when the Wildcats
were in need of a dominant presence
after losing four starters. The junior
was a reserve last season, averaging
No. 4 Oklahoma 64, No. IKansas 55;
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oklahoma
made its case for a No. 1 seed in the
Hollis Price scored 14 of his 23
points in the second half as the
fourth-ranked Sooners ended the
16-game winning streak of top-
This weekend's results
Lost to No. 4 Oklahoma 64-55
Lost to North Carolina State 86-82
Beat North Carolina State 91-61
Beat No. 1 Kansas 64-55
Beat No. 13 Marquette 77-63
Beat Pepperdine 96-90
Lost to No. 19 Connecticut 74-65
Lost to Mississippi 61-58
Lost to No. 22 Southem Cal 89-78
Lost to No. 21 Ohio State 94-88
Lost to Mississippi State 62-52