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February 04, 2003 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-04

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 4, 2003 - 9

BI ES
Continued from Page 8
Discipline move by Michigan coach
Sue Guevara? Try again.
Truth is, senior captain and pre-
season All-Big Ten pick LeeAnn
Bies was absent from the Wolver-
ines lineup in the deciding portion
of Michigan's loss to Wisconsin
because her production has dropped
to its lowest level since her fresh-
man year. Although Guevara claims
that Bies didn't see the floor for
most of the second half because
Michigan was running a full-court
press and needed speed, the fact is
the senior forward's ineffectiveness
this season has forced her to become
a role player on a team she once
owned.
By the end of last season, Bies
had established herself as one of the
BigTen's premier forwards. Then a
junior, Bies led the Wolverines in
both points (15.8) and rebounds
(8.2) per game for the second con-
secutive year. She finished with the
conference's most double-doubles
(9) and dominated offensively
throughout the year - scoring 15 or
more points in 16 of the Wolverines'
30 games. A staple in the Michigan
lineup, Bies started 29 games, aver-
aging 31.5 minutes a game. For her
impressive 2001-2002 campaign,
Bies capped off a brilliant year by
earning second-team All-Big Ten
honors. But this season has been a
completely different story.
Both Big Ten media and coaches
chose Bies as the only senior on the
five-woman all-conference squad
before this season kicked off. But
two-thirds of the way through the
year, she has fallen out of Michi-
gan's starting lineup - coming off
the bench the last six games. Her
minutes (24.5), points (11.1) and
rebounds (5.3) have significantly
declined from last year. And Bies
has recorded just two double-dou-
bles this season.
Lacking a rock in the post that
Michigan used to exploit, the
Wolverines have struggled to find a
consistent threat - something no
Big Ten team can afford to go with-
out.
Having eight underclassmen this
year, Michigan has seen many flash-
in-the-pan performances, but has yet
to showcase a legitimate gamer.
Freshman Niki Reams is one of the
steadiest players on the team, but
her struggles with injury have limit-
ed her court time. Fellow freshman
guards Lauren Andrews, Rachel
Carney and Mie Burlin have each
experienced the usual ups and
downs of a first-year player. Sopho-
more Tabita Pool has the potential
to be a superstar in the conference,
but still shows signs of immaturity,
especialy in taking care of the ball
Of the upperclassmen, Michigan's
junior duo, Jennifer Smith and
Stephanie Gandy, has supplied the
Maize and Blue with surges of
greatness and given many opposing
coaches nightmares with their versa-
tility. But, Smith's injuries and
Gandy's offensive inconsistency
have hampered the two from manu-
facturing solid numbers on a nightly
basis. Bies holding her own inside
can solve most of the Wolverines'
problems.
When Bies is producing, she
combines with Smith to create a
major problem for opponents in the
frontcourt. If Michigan's twin tow-
ers are clicking, most defenses will
have to sag inside, giving slashers
Gandy and Pool more room to cre-
ate. Also, post-oriented defenses
will give Michigan's talented, but
youthful, guards the open looks
they need.
The lack of a reliable play by Bies

causes Michigan's offense to crum-
ble, and has led to the Wolverines
sandwiching their only two wins in
conference play within two three-
game losing streaks.
With eight games remaining in
the regular season, Guevara says the
Wolverines "need to make some
changes" in order to finish the year
off strong. She has switched lineups
multiple times, and still hasn't set-
tled on a starting group. The
Wolverines are blessed with an
array of talented youngsters, and
look to become major Big Ten con-
tenders in a few years. But, in terms
of this season, the answer to a pos-
sible late run lies in one place. The
Wolverines' success relies on
whether a certain 6-foot-3 forward
can rediscover her game. Simply
put, Michigan needs the senior, they
must have the captain, and the All-
Big Ten performer is an absolute
necessity.
If the Wolverines want to finish
the year with a bang, they need
LeeAnn Bies.
FOOD9 FOR THOUGHT
Manipulating Opinion
In 1969, alarmed at the success
of Richard Nixon's Vietnamiza-
tion policy, the NLF and "Alli-

Crumpton drafted by Atlanta Beat

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
The event may not have been on
ESPN, but on Sunday, a Wolverine's
dream of going pro became a reality.
Women's soccer senior All-Ameri-
can Abby Crumpton became the sec-
ond Wolverine ever drafted into the
Women's United Soccer Association
when the Atlanta Beat took her in the
second round. Crumpton was the 13th
overall pick in the eight-team league's
fourth-annual draft held in Atlanta.
The Rochester Hills native is expected
to fill the Beat's need for an extra
striker.
"She's in a great situation going to
Atlanta," Michigan coach Debbie
Rademacher said. "They're a great
team with a lot of quality players, and

that will help her as she learns how to
play on the next level. This has been
something Abby has wanted to do for
a long time, and she's trained and pre-
pared hard to get there."
Crumpton is Michigan's all-time
leading scorer with 116 points, as she
has accumulated 43 goals and 30
assists during her career. While lead-
ing the Wolverines with 35 points on
11 goals and 13 assists in 2002, she
helped them to their best-ever final
national ranking (11th) and their first-
ever trip to the NCAA Tournament
quarterfinals. These achievements
made her the 2002 Big Ten Athlete of
the Year and a second-team National
Soccer Coaches Association of Ameri-
ca All-American. This past summer,
she represented the United States in
the Nordic Cup in Finland, the most

prominent under-21 international
women's soccer tournament.
Crumpton was the second Big Ten
player drafted into the league that was
started after U. S. Women's National
Soccer Team won the most successful
women's sporting event ever, the 1999
FIFA Women's World Cup held in the
United States.
"When Abby started here, the
opportunity to play professionally
wasn't a reality," Rademacher said.
"We had always thought she had the
potential to take the next step and play
the Under-21 National Team and
maybe go on from there with the
national team. But now with the
WUSA available, you can see a player
like Abby have the ability to regularly
play with the best players there are and
really see her true potential."

FILE PHOTO
Michigan senior Abby Crumpton was drafted by the Atlanta Beat in the second
round of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) Draft Sunday.

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