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April 16, 2002 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-16

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POR TSit ig a ailp
;]PRP S

michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

TUESDAY
APRIL 16, 2002

12A

0

- - - ----- -------

JEFF
PHILLIPS

'Bad Boys'reborn: Why
the Pistons will win it all

'M' finally
welcomes
Webb back
to the track
By Stove Jackson
Daily Sports Editor
After months of waiting, Michigan's
freshman track phenom Alan Webb will
finally compete in the 1,500 meters this
weekend at the Mt. SAC Invitational.
"I'm ready to run with anybody,"
Webb said. "I've been waiting for this
all winter."
After finishing the cross country sea-

4

fter waiting seven months, final-
ly my fourth favorite time of
year is here - the NBA play-
offs. (Fourth, of course, to 1: the NCAA
tournament, 2: any week during the col-
lege football season, and 3: the NFL
playoffs). It couldn't have come at a bet-
ter time for Detroit sports fans.
The Tigers are mired in an 11-game
losing streak to begin the season, so
what better way to forget about them
than to cheer on the gritty bunch from
Auburn Hills? I know that most of you
are thinking that the Pistons will make
their traditional first-round exit and
have your finger ready to point, as if to
say, "See? I told you so."
For all of you naysayers, sitting in
your towers, I've compiled a list of rea-
sons - some realistic and some admit-
tedly off the wall -F why Detroit will
win the NBA title this season. The list
doesn't even include a Jason Kidd or
Shaq voodoo doll.
1. BECAUSE THEY HAVE A CHIP ON THEIR
SHOULDER - Take a look at Detroit's
roster when you get a chance. At the
start of the season, a fan would have
had one of the following three respons-
es to each name: a) "He's still in the
league?" b) "7-foot-I? I didn't know
they stacked shit that high," or c) "This
must be the Detroit Dogs roster."
Thus, everybody is playing like they
have something to prove. Former Orlan-
do players Ben Wallace and Chucky
Atkins already had this attitude for the
Magic, and it paid dividends for that
team. Now, like the Magic, the Pistons
are in a similar situation.
Sacramento thought that an overrated
and overpaid (at any price) Mateen
Cleaves was worth trading Jon Barry to
acquire.
Phoenix didn't want to fork over
the money to a past-his-prime Cliff
Robinson.
After spending his career playing in
Europe, Zeljko Rebraca, wants to prove
he belongs in the NBA.
Even coach Rick Carlisle has a beef,
after being passed up for the head
coaching job in Indiana and watching
the reverse-alchemist Isiah Thomas do
what he did with the Pacers' talent.
(Sorry Zeke, but it's true. Oh, and
thanks for the banners.)
And finally Jerry Stackhouse, who
was one of an elite 5,000 players to
wear the tag, "the next Jordan,' coming
out of college, looks like he is finally
comfortable with himself as a basket-
ball player.
All this and I didn't even mention
that the Pistons haven't won a first-
round series since 1991!
2. BECAUSE THEY PLAY AS A TEAM -
When was the last time a team in the
NBA actually played together in recent

memory? The team's one superstar (and
I use the term loosely) Stackhouse,
doesn't mind sitting at the end of the
game if it means it helps his team win.
He doesn't mind deferring to his team-
mates in crunch time, even though it
certainly is a blow to his ego.
Corliss Williamson, who should be
given a hard look as the sixth man of
the year, is third on the team in points
per game and rebounds per game, but
plays a paltry 21.7 minutes per game.
He isn't complaining. He even battled
back from being at the end of the coach
Carlisle's bench at the beginning sea-
son, when he could've packed it in like
most in the me-first professional league.
3. BECAUSE ZEU'S HAIR IS BLEACHED
BLONDE - When the Pistons were mak-
ing their move up the standings earlier
this year, Rebraca was asked why his
hair was dyed blonde. My first response
was that Wesley Snipes' "Demolition
Man" finally reached Yugoslavia last
year, but in fact he dyed it during his
European team's run to championship
and he hoped his hair would do the
same for the Pistons.
As a friend of mine likes to point out,
this is a sign. But it takes more to win a
title than blonde hair, at least here in
America. Luckily for the Pistons,
Rebraca has the low-post skills needed
to back up his mop.
4. BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING IT FOR THE
UNITED STATES -An observant sports-
writer noted that Detroit made the
switch to red, white and blue uniforms
this year, pitching the aqua and maroon
eyesores and thus rendering an authen-
tic Eric Montross game-wornjersey vir-
tually unwearable.
The writer pointed out that the
change not only brings back the win-
ning look of the Bad Boys, but also
gives the Pistons the colors of the good
ol' U S. of A. And after the events of
Sept. 11, this impact shouldn't be over-
looked. The Pistons will not tire, they
will not falter and will not fail.
Should the Pistons actually win the
title, NBA conspiracy theorists will
have to point to this fact above all.
There you have it, reasons to
believe in Detroit. The NBA playoffs
are predictable for the most part, but
even the surest of sure things don't
always come true.
With tickets starting at just $10 a
seat, don't you want to save yourself the
guilt 10 years from now when you say
you were there for the Pistons' magical
title run?
-- Jeff Phillips can be reached at
jpphilli@umich.edu, or somewhere in the
upper deck of The Palace, soon to be
located at Three Championship Drive.

son as a Big
Ten Champi-'
on and an
All-Ameri-
can, Webb
was forced
to sit out of
the indoor
track season
because of
tendonitis in
his Achilles.
"I've been

WALNUT, CALIF.
Who: Michigan at the Mt.
SAC Invitational
When:.Friday through Sunday
Latest: Freshman phenom
Alan Webb makes his much-
anticipated debut for the
Michigan track team as it
competes in the sun in Cali-
fornia.

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Scot Loeffler, the Michigan football team's new quarterbacks coach, will take John Navarre and the rest of the Wolverines'
signal-callers under his wing in an effort to Improve a position that was adequate at best last season.
New quaterbacks coach
e.xpecatons for signal-callers,

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor
In two months, Spencer Brinton
said he has gone from not knowing
"defenses from defenses" to feeling
the confidence he once had when he
becarpe the first quarterback to start
for San Diego State as a true fresh-
man more than
four years ago.
And when Brin-
ton meets with
offensive coordi-
nator Terry Mal- '
one today to g o
over his progress,
he'll know who to
thank for his Loeffler
improvement.
Nearly two months ago, Scot Loef-
fler was hired to replace Stan Parrish
as the new quarterbacks coach.
Since then, Loeffler has given
Brinton and the other Michigan quar-
terbacks a crash course in reading
defensive coverages and maintaining
solid mechanics in the pocket.
Loeffler has "made a huge differ-
ence," Brinton said. "He's come in
and given me a lot of confidence.
He's taught me a lot of the things I
need to be a quarterback.
"I've never been around somebody
who knows more about football in
my life."
Loeffler, a former Michigan quar-

terback who served as backup to
Todd Collins, has a pretty good grasp
of the position. After a serious shoul-
der injury cost him a chance to start
for the Wolverines, he immediately
worked himself into the. mindset of a
coach.
Loeffler served as a graduate
assistant for Michigan in 1998 and
1999, coaching the scout team and
playing a significant role in the
development of former Michigan
quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew
Henson.
After two years coaching quarter-
backs at Central Michigan, Loeffler
has returned to make an impact on
Michigan's signal-callers, who were
in great need of guidance after last
season.
"Playing quarterback doesn't hap-
pen overnight," Loeffler said.
"There's a lot of new things they
have to learn. But they're coming a
long way."
Loeffler said that with the new
offense that Malone has installed,
both Brinton and last year's starter,
John Navarre, are in the "same boat"
learning and development-wise -
which should make for an interesting
summer competition.
Brinton seemed to have the upper
hand in the spring game on Saturday,
lgoking more poised in the pocket
and generating three scoring drives
for a total of 17 points - while tak-

ing a majority of the snaps later in
the scrimmage.
Navarre, on the other hand, strug-
gled a bit, completing 6-of-18 passes
for 63 yards and mounting just one
scoring drive.
His points came on a long field
goal after Navarre failed to take full
advantage of the excellent field
position that he inherited following a
Brinton interception.
While the Michigan defense
seemed to hold the upper hand on
Saturday, Loeffler has prided himself
on knowing a tremendous amount
about the different pass coverages
and defenses that other teams will
throw at Michigan.
So much so, that he even surprises
Brinton.
"He pulls out these defenses that
I've never even heard of," Brinton
said. "But he's also done a great a
job of teaching us what he knows
about the position itself."
And when the decision time
comes about the starting quarter-
back, there's no doubt that Loeffler's
opinion will be trusted greatly. He
said he meets with Malone every day,
along with the rest of the Michigan
coaches, to discuss the progression
of each quarterback and to have a say
in the offense.
"Coach Malone wants us to think
of it as our offense, not just his
offense," Loeffler said.

having great workouts for six or eight
weeks," Webb said. "I'm at 110 percent
right now. I'm anxious to stick my nose
in there and make some noise."
Webb has already made plenty of
noise. Last summer, he broke Jim Ryan's
36-year-old American record in the mile
by nearly two seconds (3:53.43).
He was also one of five finalists for
the 2002 Sullivan Award, which is given
to the top amateur athlete in the country.
Webb finished behind 2002 bronze-
medal-winning figure skater Michelle
Kwan in the voting.
Despite the long layoff, Webb's team-
mates can't wait to see him in action.
"I know he's going to go out there
and run fast," senior Mike Wisniewski
said. "We're all excited to see him quali-
fy (for NCAA Championships)."
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst also
has more than a little confidence in
Webb's ability to qualify.
"That the whole point of going out
there," Warhurst said. "Win the race and
get a qualifying time - that's what I
would like to see from him.'
Although Webb wouldn't comment
on his long-term aspirations, he also
believes that earning a victory and an
NCAA appearance this weekend is well
within his reach.
Webb will need to finish the 1,500
meters in less than 3:41.5 to qualify for
nationals.
Despite the new surroundings and the
inflated expectations, Webb is preparing
for his first collegiate track meet just like
any other race.
"This is not going to be any huge
shock for me," Webb said. "I've got a
lot of big race experience, so I've got
that whole thing down."
Wisniewski, Webb and a few sprinters
are the only members of the team that
were invited to the Mt. SAC Invitational.
The rest will make the trip to the Eastern
Michigan Invitational on Saturday.

I
a

F I

Women's track prepares
for Mt. SAC, final exams

0l

REGISTRAR'S BULLETIN BOARD
THE END OF THE TERM

TERM GRADES Final grades are available to students on Wolverine Access
(wolverineaccess.umich.edu), on touch-tone (734-998-1645), or by ordering an
unofficial transcript. Students who need a printed copy of their term grades only
(with their name) may request one at a Student Services Site (1010 LSA
Building or 1212 Pierpont Commons). Picture ID is required at Student
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IT'S NOT TOO LATE: If you have not yet registered for Spring, Spring-Summer, Summer & Fall
Terms, you may still do so on Wolverine Access.
PLEASE NOTE: IN ACCORD WITH REGENT'S POLICY, STUDENTS WHO REGISTER AND
SUBSEQUENTLY WITHDRAW (DROP ALL CLASSES) AFTER THE BEGINNING OF THE
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THIS ASSESSMENT WILL BE MADE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU
ATTENDED ANY CLASSES.
If you wish to disenroll from a term and avoid all charges you should do so by the following dates:

by Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
Fresh off a dominating victory at
the Miami (Ohio) Invitational, the
Michigan women's track team faces
a slightly more academic foe this
week: Final exams.
In addition to the tough competi-
[-EEPRS

tion of the Mt. SAC Invitational that
will take place this weekend in Wal-
nut, Calif., the Wolverines will have;
to deal with preparation for the end
of the school term back at home.
"It's part of being a student-ath-
lete," coach James Henry said. "You
have to get in your school work and
.practice and compete. It happens to
us all the time just because of the
way our schedule work out."
The Wolverines posted 215.5
points in last weekend's victory in
Ohio, 73 more than second-place
finisher Ball State and moe than
100 points better than the closest

WALNUT, CALIF.
Who: Michigan at the Mt. SAC Invitational
When: Friday through Sunday
Latest: 45 colleges and 10 countries will be
represented at one of the biggest meets of the
year. The Wolverines are fresh off a convincing
win at the Miami (Ohio) Invitational.
Big Ten foe, Purdue.
Sierra Hauser-Price made her
debut for the Wolverines after com-
peting on Michigan's women's bas-
ketball team in the winter. She won
both the 100- and 200-meter dashes
in her first meet.
Senior Katie Jazwinski set a meet
record in the 1500 meters, with a
mark of 4:22.47, while her team-
mate, junior April Phillips broke the
meet record in the shot put with a
throw of 50 feet, 10 inches.
.Michigan is hoping to take the
momentum from its massacre of the
competition into the Mt. SAC meet
starting on Friday.
"We're hoping to improve this
weekend," Henry said. "But we've
had some performances that have
stoo&,out as exceptional on several
occasions this year.
"As far as training goes, though,
we're just hoping to continue, to
progress."
Forty-five teams from across the
nation and athletes from 10 different
countries including Japan, Nigeria

SPRING
SPRING-SUMMER
SUMMER
FALL

April 29th
April 29th
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$1 CALL
~ RINKS 3C
FRIDAY

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M

JOBS!!o
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