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March 17, 2003 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-17

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March 17, 2003


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After two years of frustration, Michigan women's basketball players and
coach Sue Guevara speak about the program's downward spiral
By Jim Weber 0 Daily Sports Writer

This isn't how it's supposed to go. Once a pro-
gram is rebuilt, it's not supposed to fall apart
After taking over a miserable women's basketball
program and leading it to the second round of the
NCAA Tournament just two years ago, Sue Gue-
vara has seen her last two teams take nosedives.
Two years in a row, Michigan has started the
season strong in the nonconference schedule, but
ended it limping to the finish. This season, the
Wolverines started off 9-2 before finishing tied for
last in the Big Ten (3-13) and 13-16 overall. It was
Guevara's first losing season at Michigan, which
is remarkable considering the Wolverines finished
7-20 the year before she became head coach.
So what has gone wrong the past two seasons?
It appears that what helped Guevara become the
winningest coach in Michigan women's basketball
history isn't working anymore. Guevara has
always tried to transform her players into leaders
that are mentally tough. But according to players
on this year's team, Guevara's style of coaching,
combined with her frustration in losing, has
resulted in too much criticism.
Guevara, who was the Big Ten Coach of
the Year in 1999-00, explains the impor-
tance of mental toughness and leader-
ship by pointing to her past success.
"I look at an Anne Thorius, who,
when the going got tough, she got
everybody together and put them
on her shoulders," Guevara said '
of her point guard that led the
Wolverines to the second round
of the NCAA Tournament in the
2000-01 season. "That is tough."
The problem is, no one has
assumed Thorius' role since
she graduated. Last season,
Michigan moved shooting
guard Alayne Ingram to
she struggled with all
seasonhis seaspg,
the point guard duties
.were handled4y sa,
eral freshmen, while
captain and preseason
All-Big Ten pick
LeeAnn Bies struggled
throughout the Big Ten
season at center.

The past two seasons exemplify why Guevara
tries to craft players into the mold of an Anne Tho-
rius. So if some feelings get hurt in the process, so
be it.
"I talked to a player once because she was upset
about the way someone said something to her.
And I pulled her off the floor and I said, 'When
you play in the Gus Mackers (basketball tourna-
ment), don't people talk trash and swear at you
and stuff? Do you crumble? Or do you fight? Do
you go back at them? What do you do?"'
" 'I go back at them,' " the player said, accord-
ing to Guevara.
" 'Well, then why can't you do the same thing
here?'" Guevara asked. " 'It's the same thing. You
have to block that out.'"
From bad to worse
The problem is, some players think Guevara
became overly critical once the team started its
season-long slide.

"We need motivation and confidence and not
any negative things," said a current player who
spoke on condition of anonymity. "We need a sea-
son when we aren't yelled at for one turnover.
"If we make a mistake, she won't correct
it. She will just make them look like an
idiot. You can tell by the look on her face.
She just makes you feel so stupid."
Guevara claims the negativity is a result of
misperception and unavoidable frustration.
Said Guevara: "We can be in the middle of an
eight-game winning streak, and I can say, 'What
are you doing today? You look out of it today. Are
you having a bad day?' And you would take it
totally different if we are on an eight-game win-
ning streak or an eight-game losing streak. Now
I'm negative, as opposed to just asking you a basic
"Players hear what they want to hear, and some-
times, it is the tone in how it is being said, instead
of what is being said. I think you try and be as posi-
tive and specific as you can, and I know that is how
See GUEVARA, Page 3B

Michigan coach Sue Guevara and former assistant coach Eileen Shea-Hilliard can only stare
blankly ahead during a loss in the 2001-02 season.
In her seven seasons as head coach, Sue Guevera has become the winningest women's basket-
ball coach in Michigan's history with a cumulative record of 123-82, but not many of those
.wins came during the second half of the last two seasons.
Season Big Ten Big Ten Pct. Overall Overall Pct. Postseason
1996-97 7-9 (T-8th) .438 15-11 .577 N/A
1997-98 10-6 (T-3rd) .625 19-10 .655 NCAA/1st round
1998-99 8-8 (T-6th) .500 18-12 .600 WNIT/2nd Round
1999-2000 13-3 (2nd) .813 22-8 .733 NCAA/lst round
2000-01 10-6 (5th) .625 19-12 .613 NCAA/2nd round
2001-02 6-10(9th) .375 17-13 .567 WNIT/lst round
2002-03 3-13 (11th) .188 13-16 .488 N/A
Totals 57-55 .509 123-82 .600

_ _

Sprainfl C
Horton battles through
injury in loss to Indiana


Brannen wins NCAA
championship in 800

By Nicole Stanton
Daily Sports Writer

By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer

CHICAGO - Sometimes, the oracle doesn't
bother warning you.
That was the case for Michigan freshman
Daniel Horton last Thursday evening when he
went up for an uncontested layup during a prac-
tice scrimmage. It was the AA
type of layup he has com-
pleted thousands of times
in practice and hundreds of times in games.
But unlike all of the layups Horton has com-
pleted in the past, the freshman didn't stick the
landing. Instead, he came down hard on his left
ankle, causing a twist that sent him to the floor
of Crisler Arena, writhing in pain. Horton
would have to be carried off the court and spent
the rest of the evening hobbling on crutches.
The injury was so bad, an hour prior to the
game, the Michigan coaching staff did not
think Horton was gong to play in the 63-56 loss
to Indiana. With the game less than 24 hours
away, the Wolverines would have to make due
with the circumstances they had been handed.
Despite the pain, the freshman didn't want to
abandon the team he helped turn around this
season, and asked the coaching staff if he could
participate in the team shoot-around.
"I couldn't let (the seniors') careers end with
me on the bench," Horton said. "They have
done so much for me."
So after a cortisone shot, the point guard
stepped onto the court at the United Center in
his velour warm-ups, grabbed a ball, dribbled
to the hoop and layed the ball in, just as he had
done the thousands of times before.
"We left it up to Daniel and our medical
staff," said Michigan coach Tommy Amaker,

did not anticipate he would be able to play at all
for us given his status earlier and at practice last
night. I told him ... 'You have a long career,
and there is no need to push anything if you
feel you cannot do it."'
Two minutes into the game, Horton, the Big
Ten Freshman of the Year, took a 3-point shot
from the left elbow and pumped his fist to com-
municate that he was feeling all right. But 30
seconds later, he committed his first of three
fouls in the first half and would spend seven
minutes on the bench in foul trouble.
Those three points would serve as his only
points of the game, as he was limited to 1-for-6
shooting, zero free-throw attempts and four
assists before fouling out in the final minute.
Despite being handcuffed by its ailing point
guard, Michigan controlled the pace of play in
the first half, as Indiana shot an uncharacteristi-
cally-high amount of 3-point shots.
Junior Bernard Robinson was on his way to a
triple double, with six assists and nine
rebounds, while playing the entire half. Robin-
son, a forward, has acted as the backup point
guard all season and increased that role on Fri-
day by carrying the ball up court even when
Horton was in the game.
Meanwhile, LaVell Blanchard, Michigan's
first four-year leader in rebounds and points,
paced Michigan with 21 points, 15 of which
came in the first half. A Blanchard layup in the
final minute of the first half put the Wolverines
up 30-25 at halftime.
"I thought they both played very well in the
first half" Amaker said. "Those two players do
a lot for us and obviously play a lot of minutes.
I think they might have gotten a little fatigued
in the second half."
In the second half, the Wolverines sputtered,

About 20 members of the Michigan
men's track and field team made the
870-mile trip to Fayetteville, Ark. for
the NCAA Championships. None of
them were even competing. But there
was definitely something to watch.
At least according to freshman Joe
"We're taking four cars and about
20 guys - it's going to be awesome,"
Schramski said earlier last week.
"We're going to be national champions
and definitely bring back some good

Michigan track runners seem to be
on the ball when it comes to predic-
tions, because Schramski was right -
they definitely brought back some
good stuff.
On Friday in the 800-meter run pre-
liminaries, sophomore Nate Brannen
earned fourth place behind an
Arkansas rival, with times of 1:47.98
and 1:47.90, respectively - but that
was not enough for Brannen.
On Saturday, Brannen won the 800-
meter run with a time of 1:47.79, near-
ly blowing Auburn University senior
Fred Sharpe off the track.
"It was awesome," Schramski said.
See NCAAs, Page 6B

Icers advance to Joe
despite late Yost scare

By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer

Someone forgot to tell Bowling
Green that its season was over.
Three first-period goals and a
raucous road environment should
have put the Fal- NR
cons away before
the third period r
even started. They had been out-
played. They were expected to lose.
Instead, Bowling Green found
ways to make the last minute of its
season interesting. The Falcons got
back into Saturday night's 4-3 loss
late, scoring twice in the game's
final minute and ten seconds to the
amazement of all.
"We saw just a tremendous
amount of fight in our guys all the
way, right until the end there when

With the win, Michigan
advanced to the semifinals of the
CCHA Tournament. As the second
seed, the team will get a bye
through the quarterfinals. The
Wolverines will play the late game
at Joe Louis Arena next Friday
night at 7:35 p.m.
Michigan started Saturday's con-
test with a flurry. Five minutes into
the game, senior center John
Shouneyia slipped another of his
typically elusive passes through the
Bowling Green penalty kill for a
one-time goal by Michigan captain
Jed Ortmeyer.
The Falcons answered with a soft
tally underneath a fallen Al Mon-
toya just two minutes later. But that
proved to be a small hiccup in an
otherwise dominant Michigan first
At 16.45 freshman Rrnn






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