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September 18, 2002 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-18

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01

10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 18, 2002

CCHA hurt b departures
By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Writer

'M' hopes to make name for itself

DETROIT - It took less than half a year for new
Michigan State hockey coach Rick Comley to experi-
ence what football coach Bobby Williams and basketball
coach Tom Izzo have been enduring for the past few sea-
sons: Players leaving early for the pros.
Recently departed Michigan State goaltender Ryan
Miller puts his name next to Marcus Taylor, Jason
Richardson, Zach Randolph, Plaxico Burress and T.J.
Duckett as a high-profile player who did not finish his
four seasons with the Spartans.
Defending CCHA champion Michigan also took its
hits when top scorer Mike Cammalleri and top
defenseman Mike Komisarek left the Wolverines to
go on to the NHL.
While this leaves holes in the top two CCHA teams'
lineups, it shows the strength of the league by being able
to supply the NHL with so much talent.
"Certainly it does send the message that the quality of
the league is there, so much that players do have that
opportunity to go pro," Bowling Green coach Scott
Paluch said. "I think our league and college hockey in
general provide such a wonderful opportunity and some-
times you hope that players aren't leaving that experi-
ence too early. Obviously, we need to take a hard look
sometimes at whether, individually, the players are mak-
ing the right decision moving on.".
Recruiting can therefore be a two-faced beast, as a
coach doesn't know whether he is getting a highly
talented player for four years or just for one and
done. But that doesn't mean that coaches have
backed down from going after players who may not
see their junior year of college.
"If you get the opportunity to get the right kid in
with the right character and he plays one year, I'm
going to take that chance," Ohio State coach John
Markell said. "I think if they want to come in and
prove themselves, they have the arena to do it in the
CCHA. He's rolling the dice, too."
The one thing that concerns Markell and other
coaches is free agency in the NHL. Free agency comes
unannounced as undrafted players will leave school
without the warnings that come with being drafted.
Markell has recently endured losing one Buckeye to
free agency. First team All-CCHA goalie Jeff Maund
left after his sophomore year and signed with the
Chicago Blackhawks in 1999.
"Most of the time, you know they're going to leave -
MEDIA DAY
Continued from Page 9
or four games without winning. It just puts you back in
the pack, and you're looking up and there's no way out."
Last year saw Alaska-Fairbanks emerging from its
seven-straight losing seasons with a 15-10-3 mark in the
CCHA (22-12-3 overall). This season, Notre Dame,
Western Michigan, Ferris State, Miami, Bowling Green
and Lake Superior State make up the bottom half of the
rankings. But that doesn't mean other coaches aren't
taking them seriously.
"This year you have to watch teams like Miami and
Lake Superior because they can do a lot of damage,"
Ohio State coach John Markell said. "Lake Superior

By Mustafizur Choudhury
For the Daily
This Saturday, the Michigan women's cross country team
will be looking to stay undefeated in the
2002 season at the Sundodger Invitational in
Seattle. It will be a regional battle as the SEA
Wolverines will face tough competition from
Texas A&M and host Washington. Who: Michigan (1
Ranked No. 21 in the nation, Texas invitational
A&M is a powerful team with a talented when:1:15 p.m.
All-American in Melissa Gulli. The Latest: The Wo
Aggies have looked very impressive thus Lindsey Ga n
far, and they are expected to stir up some Michigan's topr
trouble for the competition. of its six races-
The Huskies aren't as highly ranked as run against nat
the Aggies, but they have the advantage Washington an
of running on their home turf and they
also have the nation's best high school runner from 2001
in Alison Tubbs.
"We've beaten (the Huskies) and they've beaten us," Michi-
gan coach Mike McGuire said. "Washington will be running
at home, so they could be the team to beat."
The Wolverines will be counting on freshman Rebec-
ca Walter, sophomores Andrea Parker and Ana Gjesdal
and junior Lindsey Gallo, who are the top runners from
the first two meets.

AT
1-1
Ave
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ru
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"I'd definitely like to get a personal best time," Parker said.
Out of the top-12 runners who will participate this week-
end, Parker had the best individual performance at the Detroit
Mercy Invitational with a time of 18:17.
Michigan is not nationally ranked but has
" £shown a great deal of potential.
!LE "I like where we're at," McGuire said. "I
feel we're improving on a weekly basis. We
) at Sundodger need to work hard and feed off of each other,
but I think we'll be equal to the challenge."
rines send The Sundodger is a geographically
ding junior diverse race with Michigan representing
ho hasbeen the Midwest, Washington representing
nner in each the northwest and Texas A&M represent-
to Seattle to ing the southwest. The team is excited
naI powers about traveling to Seattle, as it will be
exas A&M. their only airplane trip this season.
"Seattle's a neat place, so there's a little
more anticipation and focus," McGuire said.
Unlike the first two races, the West Coast weather is
expected to be cool and crisp, perfect conditions for a cross
country race. Although defending national champions
Brigham Young and No. 5 Colorado won't be in attendance as
was anticipated, the race is expected to be very exciting. If the
Wolverines run well, they may gain national recognition. But
nomatter what, this race will be a good indicator of whether
or not the Wolverines are serious contenders in the NCAA.

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Players leaving early for the NHL, like ex-Wolverine Mike
Konisarek, was the hot topic at the CCHA's media day.
you get a kind of an inkling they're going to leave,"
Markell said. "The hard part of the whole thing is when
you have free agents old enough to receive an offer.
That's decimating. When they're drafted it's different,
because you can kind of plan for (their possible early
departure). With absolute free agents - they sign in
June an'd July - you won't recover, at least not for a
year.
But Markell did bring up that the trend of leaving
early may cease if the money isn't there -.a possibility
as the NHL may go on strike if there isn't a new collec-
tive bargaining agreement by Sept. 15, 2004, the day the
old agreement expires.
Until then, collegiate hockey will have its ups and
downs with losing top recruits early, and although teams
like Michigan State have lost players like Miller, it has
made the Spartans even more attractive than before.
"I think you understand when people like Ryan Miller
are offered big contracts, they will go," Comley said. "It
never makes (coaching) easier, but it probably helps you
entice kids to come to your school."
took Michigan to three games in the first round last
year. They may be one team that may rise above what's
going on there. Just watch the trainers, as they may be
the most important people in the league. Watch the
injuries, because if certain players go down, teams
may drop."
Though the polls don't mean much right now, one
coach had a special thanks when he saw the rankings for
the first time.
"This is a big day for (Alaska-Fairbanks), as I see this
is the first time ever, UAF has not been picked by the
media dead last, so I want to thank you all for that,"
Alaska-Fairbanks coach Guy Gadowski said.
Alaska-Fairbanks was sixth in the polls following a
Super Six appearance in the CCHA postseason.

Clarett has
surgery on
knee, now
questionable
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio
State freshman tailback Maurice
Clarett had arthroscopic surgery on
his right knee yesterday but still
might play Saturday at Cincinnati.
Dr. Chris Kaeding, a team doctor,
said it was "unlikely but not outside
the realm of possibility" that Clarett
could play this weekend.
Clarett was injured in the first
quarter against Washington State
last Saturday, coach Jim Tressel
said. Despite the injury, Clarett ran
for 230 yards and two touchdowns
as the sixth-ranked Buckeyes beat
the Cougars 25-7.
Clarett had an MRI over the
weekend and was on crutches fol-
lowing the surgery. He could return
to practice by Thursday.
"The way our physicians
explained it to me, we had four or
five guys who had it last year,"
Tressel said.
"It could've been an old injury
that he might've gotten further
banged on."
Clarett was scheduled to rest his

AP PHOTO
Freshman tailback Maurice Clarett underwent surgery yesterday and is now listed
as questionable for the weekend. Clarett rushed for 230 yards last weekend.

knee yesterday and then begin
rehab today.
"We anticipate a complete and
very quick recovery," Kaeding said.
Clarett was the first true fresh-
man to start at tailback for Ohio

State in a season opener. He ran for
175 yards and three touchdowns in
a 45-21 victory over Texas Tech on
Aug. 24.
Either Lydell Ross or Maurice
Hall would start in Clarett's place.

I U

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