The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 10, 2003 - 5B
Talkin' the talk
"I will always be a Michigan man.
Michigan will always be in my heart."
- Michigan senior captain LaVell Blanchard following his
final regular season game for the Wolverines.
: Purdue 69
Players of the game
Deane scored a career-high 36
points Saturday: The senior was
unstoppable from all over the court..
Abram finished with 15 points and
went 6-of-6 from the line in
Cisler bids kids
adieu in fial game
*Foul trouble gets best of freshman Abram
By Seth KImpner
Daily Sports Writer
After a turbulent four-year relation-
ship, the fans in Ann Arbor finally said
good-bye to their hometown hero,
LaVell Blanchard. The high school
McDonald's All-American, who played
chard never got teary-eyed.
"It was a special moment, and I just
wanted to give them hugs because of
what they have done over the entire
year," said Blanchard of his teammates.
"As a senior you realize that you don't
see the guys that yoU used to know after
they leave. When you leave these guys,
it is like losing your brothers."
With his first bucket of the game, a 3-
pointer with 5:23 left in the first half,
Blanchard passed Jalen Rose to become
the seventh-leading scorer in Michigan
history with 1,797 points. Blanchard is
also seventh on the list in rebounds and
Totals 200 22-47 18-2210-351217 69
FG%: .468. FT%: .818. 3-point FG: 7-25, .280
(Deane 4-10, Teague 1-7, Kilgore 1-5, Buckley 1-3).
Blocks: 1 (Booker). Steals: 6 (Deane 3, Booker,
McKnight, Buckley). Turnovers: 19 (Deane 4, Buck-
ley 4, Kiefer 3, Teague 2, McKnight 2, Kartelo 2,
Booker 1, Buscher 1). Technical fouls: none.
his last game at Crisler
received a standing
ovation from the sell-
Blanchard clung to a
bouquet of flowers as
Brown + 23
he hugged his teammates one by one and is likely to become the first play
then his parents in a ceremony honoring to lead the team in rebounding an
Michigan's seniors. Joining the Ann ing four years in a row. Rudy
Arbor native in the pre-game honors janovich (1968-70) and Roy 1
were fellow tri-captains Gavin Groninger (1984-86) both held the distinct
and Rotolu Adebiyi, a redshirt senior. three consecutive years.
Blanchard and Groninger represent Unfortunately, Blanchard wa
the remnants of the first Brian Ellerbe pered with a sprained ankle su
recruiting class. Departed from their when he collided with a player W
class, a group that was supposed to res- day against Penn State. The
urrect the Michigan basketball program, which limited his time against t
are Jamal Crawford, Kevin Gaines and tany Lions, slowed him dow
Leland Anderson. caused him to limp at times on Sa
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker rec- The senior was restricted to 11
ognized all of the seniors by placing and three rebounds.
them in the starting lineup together. Several teammates were no
Adebiyi and Groninger remained in the sorry to have their time with the
game for a minute and a half. For Ade- in its twilight, but also that the
biyi, it was the third start of his career unabO to win their last game at C
and his first of the season. "It's frustrating to send these g
Despite the high emotion running like this," freshman Chris Hunt
though his mind as he reflected on "It is tough to sit here and know th
moments from the past four years, Blan- didn't send these guys out the rig
Deae des roys e
route to career-high
'U , [i1
Fans hold up signs honoring Michigan's three departing seniors, Rotolu Adebiyi, LaVell Blanchard and Gavin Groninger.
Totals 200 21-54 12-14 9-26 12 19 61
FG%: .389. FM% .857. 3-point FG: 7-19,.368 (Blan-
chard 3-6, Horton 2-8, Abram 1-3, Groninger 1-2).
Blocks: 2 (Hunter, Robinson). Steals: 8 (Hunter 3,
Robinson 2, Abram 2, Horton 1). Turnovers: 15 (Hor-
ton 7, Robinson Jr. 6, Abram, Hunter). Technical
We think of these guys highly and want-
ed to send them out in the right fashion,
but we still have a tournament to win."
AGGRESSIVE RESTRAINT: After a loss at
Illinois in late January, in which foul
problems limited him to 23 minutes,
freshman Lester Abram changed his
attitude. The guard, known for his tena-
cious style of play, realized that he need-
ed to maintain his aggressiveness while
not committing needless fouls.
Nine games later, he has largely
avoided foul trouble and has averaged
nearly 14 points a game, raising his sea-
son average to 10.5.
But Abrams' foul trouble got the best
of him as he fouled out of the game
with two minutes to go. It was the first
time he fouled out since Michigan
played at UCLA in December.
"I go for a loose ball, me and some
guy collide and they call the foul on
me," Abram said. "It's frustrating
because some fouls you think are ques-
tionable and some fouls you know are
fouls that you shouldn't have taken."
Abram cited a foul in transition
when he took the ball on the wing and
committed a charge. In hindsight, he
said it would have been wiser for him
to have gone to the baseline and
looked to pass the ball or gone around
By Chades Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
To say that Purdue guard Willie
Deane went off on the Michigan bas-
ketball team Saturday would be an
understatement. Deane dropped a
career-high 36 en route to a 69-61 win
over the Wolverines. Deane was lethal
both inside and out, and no one could
contain No. 0.
"He was an outstanding basketball
player this afternoon," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said. "We had no
answers for him, and he was too explo-
sive and too tough. He could do every-
thing he wanted to on the floor."
Deane had the hot hand from the
opening tap. With Michigan's best
perimeter defender, Bernard Robinson,
checking him, Deane drilled two 3-
pointers in the first five minutes of the
Deane scored 15 of his team's first
22 points of the game. He was so dom-
inant, in fact, that with just six minutes
left in the first half, Deane had
outscored Michigan 17-13. Coming
into the game against Michigan, Deane
was averaging just slightly over 17
points a game - a total his 19 first-
half points easily surpassed.
In the second half, Michigan did a
better job of containing the versatile
guard. Deane scored just five points
from the field. But the Wolverines also
sent him to the line 14 times in the half
- most of these in the waning minutes
of the game when Michigan wanted to
stop the clock to try and mount a
Deane's 36 points overshadowed the
entire game, as no other Boilermaker
scored in double digits in the win and
Michigan's highest scorers, freshmen
Lester Abram and Daniel Horton each
had 15. The next closest Boilermakers
were David Teague, Chris Booker and
Melvin Buckley with seven points
each. Saturday, Deane accomplished
what his coaches had been trying to
preach to him since day one.
"All year we had really tried to help
him just take balanced shots, play in the
flow of our offense, (saying,)'Don't
force it. You're a great player.' But he
just kept trying to win the game by him-
self," Purdue coach Gene Keady said.
Instead of trying to take on the
Wolverines as a one-man army, Deane
acted as a part of the process, letting
the offense run through him. With
another one of Purdue's stars, Kenneth
Lowe, out due to an injury, Deane
became the go-to man. The Boilermak-
er's offense ran smoothly through him,
as he touched the ball almost every
time down the floor.
"We spent some time with our team
today and last night talking about play-
ing the game with the logic and reason-
ing side of the brain instead of the
emotional side," Keady said. "And I
said, 'Since Kenny's not going to play
this game, that guy over there (Deane)
is our go-to guy. We've got to get him
shots, and we've got to get him open
and we've got to get him the ball."'
Deane was a flurry of action all game
long, stepping in the passing lanes,
the defender instead of attacking him.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Daniel Horton's
younger brother Jason, a junior in
high school, made the trip from
Cedar Hill, Texas this weekend to
visit his older brother for the first
time this year.
While he has not been offered a
scholarship, Jason, who like his
brother plays point guard, says that he
would love to play in Ann Arbor.
Throughout this year, Daniel has
said that he has no desire to influ-
ence his brother's decision and
wants him to decide what college to
attend for himself.
Continued from Page 1B
harder than its counterpart. They
were "out-toughed" yesterday
because they didn't have the depth
to reach back to.
"At some point, I think that was a
factor for us, but regardless of
fatigue or depth, Purdue played a
great game," Amaker said.
Whether Purdue played well or
not, the Wolverines could only do so
much. They had been squeezing
every ounce of effort out of their
players for so long, they didn't seem
to have anything left.
This isn't something they can be
faulted for, though. The Wolver-
ines were giving 100 percent on
the court every time they stepped
out there. The effort was always
there, and they reached their
potential talent-wise. That is why
this program has had such a dra-
Amaker got his players to build
confidence in themselves and each
other, and that is the first step of
becoming a winning program.
It's no secret that lack of depth
will be an issue this weekend in
Chicago at the Big Ten Tournament.
Playing on consecutive days does not
favor a team with a limited amount
of players, no matter who you are.
"One thing we always say is that
we have to dig things out," fresh-
man Sherrod Harrell said. "Going
into the tournament, that's what it
takes. We have to dig things out and
play with a lot of heart, and we
have to want it more."
There's no question that the
Wolverines want this. After all, it's
their postseason, and they want to
make it count.
To win it all, the Wolverines would
need to soundly defeat their opponent
(Indiana or Penn State) Friday night
to be able to rest their big guns for
the weekend. From that point, it all
comes down to heart.
If they do it, it will definitely be
something to see.
Naweed Sikora can be reached at
W, L W L
12 4 22 6
11 5 21 6
10 6 1712
10 6 18 11
10 6 18 9
8 8 18 11
8 8 16 11
7 9 15 12
7 9 1413
3 13 11 16
2 14 7 20
Illinois 84, Minnesota 60
Last Saturday's games:
Purdue 69, M miw 61
Iowa 77, Northwestern 61
Penn State 74, Indiana 66
Michigan State 72, Ohio State 58
36 - 69
At: Crider Arena, Ann Arbor
BIG TEN STANDINGS
No. 8 Ohio State vsNo. 9 Iowa
No. 7 Minnesota vs. No. 10 Northwestem
No. 6 Indiana vs. No. 11 Penn State
No.1 Wisconsin vs. No. 8/9 seed
No. 4 Pudue vs.No.5 Michigan State
No. 2 Illinois vs. No. 7/10 seed 1
No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 6/11 seed !
Semifinal game No. 1
Semifinal game No. 2
It wasn't all laughs and giggles for Willie Deane as he soured senior day. Deane
did miss nine of his shots and two of his 16 free throws en route to 36 points.
pulling down rebounds and driving to
the basket were just a taste of what he
displayed Saturday. Deane pulled down
four boards and tied Michigan fresh-
man Graham Brown for a game-high
three steals. Deane scored six of his
first-half points off turnovers he created
by jumping in the passing lanes and
reading the offense. Deane's man-to-
man defense was the only chink in his
armor Saturday, but when the clock
read triple zeros, even that was strong
enough to fend of the Wolverines, as the
few points he gave up on 'D' did not
hold a candle to his 36.
"He needs to work on it some, and he
knows it, but it was good enough toj
Continued from Page 1B.
Playing from behind the entire second half, the
Wolverines watched Purdue spurt out to a 43-31
advantage, but two Lester Abram free throws pulled
Michigan within 50-45 with 5:30 remaining. But
Deane took over again, scoring 13 of Purdue's final 19
points to help the Boilermakers pull away.
"It hurts - we talked about trying to finish this
regular season with an opportunity to win at
home," Amaker said. "I thought Purdue played a
heck of a game, they were a tough-minded team
here this afternoon."
There were some brief moments of excitement for
the Wolverines and the sellout crowd of 13,751 at
Crisler Arena as Blanchard was joined in the starting
lineup by both Groninger and Adebiyi.
But even in a moment meant to be joyous, the
Wolverines were less than pleased.
"I don't think I set the right tone that I could've set
from the start," Adebiyi said. "We didn't play the way
we're supposed to play, and that's why we lost."
With the loss, Michigan fell into a third-place finish
in the Big Ten with both Purdue and Michigan State.
Because of the Wolverines' advantage over the two in
a tiebreaker based on head-to-head records, Michigan
will enter the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 3 seed
and play either Indiana or Penn State in the second
round on Friday night.
No. 2 KENTUCKY 69, No. 3 FLORIDA 67: Winning the SEC
title is impressive, going undefeated in SEC play is
The game ended when a desperation three-point attempt
by Florida's Anthony Robertson missed the rim entirely.
Florida was given a final chance after Keith Bogans
missed two free throws that could have iced the game for
Gerald Fitch scored 18 points and led Kentucky to a 69-
67 win over a talented Florida (26-4) squad. The Wild-
cats (26-3) almost assuredly locked up a number one
seed in the NCAA Tournament with the win in front
of a very hostile Gainesville crowd.
The Wildcats completed their conference sea-
son with a perfect 16-0 record in one of the
extended Texas' lead to three points with 19 seconds
remaining. Ford scored 18 points and dished out ten
assists on the day.
Hollis Price scored 22 points for Oklahoma (21-6) in the
losing cause. The Sooners were done in by poor shooting
down the stretch. They went scoreless in the final 4:19,
going 0-8 from the field and 0-5 from the foul line.
No. 7 PITTSBURG 56, VILLANOVA 54: The seventh ranked team
in the country was almost defeated by the seven
players that Villanova dressed for their game.
Villanova (15-14) almost came away with
a huge upset after twelve of its players
were suspended for allegedly making
y unauthorized phone calls. Down by two
points, Villanova has the ball with a
HOW THE AP
1. Arizona - 25-2
2. Kentucky 26-3
3. Oklahoma 21-6
4. Florida 24-6
5. Texas 22-5
6. Duke 20-5
7 Kansas 23-6
8. Pittsburgh 22-4
9. Notre Dame 22-8
10. Marquette 23-4
11. Louisville 21-6
12. Wake Forest 23-4
13. Xavier 24-4
14. Maryland 19-7
TOP 25 FARED
This weekend's results
Beat Oregon 88-80
Beat No. 4 Florida 69-67
Lost to No. 5 Texas 76-71
Lost to No. 2 Kentucky 69-67
Beat No. 3 Oklahoma 76-71
Lost to St. John's 72-71
Beat Missouri 79-74
Beat Villanova 56-54
Beat Georgetown 86-80
Beat Cincinnati 70-61
Beat Charlotte 100-59
Beat N.C. State 78-72
Beat Temple 96-65
Beat N.C. State 68-65
The Wolverines will face the winner
of Penn State and Indiana on Fri-
day night as they will begin their
run for a Big Ten Tournament title.
Penn State knocked off Indiana
74-66 this past weekend, but it
was only its second win of the con-
ference season. The Wolverines
defeated Penn State twice this
season, including their win this
past Wednesday in State College,
but were soundly defeated in their
only meeting with the Hoosiers.