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September 23, 2002 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-23

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 23, 2002
Coach Tommy Amaker calls on basketball alums to celebrate team's heritage _4

By Seth Klempner * Daily Sports Writer

There were hot dogs, coleslaw
and smiles on children's faces
as they posed for pictures with
the teammates of their fathers and
grandfathers. And for a few hours Sat-
urday, the Michigan men's basketball
team was able to envelope itself in the
stories and traditions that compose its
In a tent outside Crisler Arena prior
to the football game, Wolverines past
and present were brought together for
the 2002 Michigan basketball

In an effort which began last sum-
mer, coach Tommy Amaker and his
staff have worked hard to reestablish
the tradition of the Michigan basket-
ball program. An integral part to this
rebuilding process has been inviting
former players back to Ann Arbor for
what Amaker hopes will become an
annual event. In so doing, he hopes to
create a more cohesive family atmos-
phere around the program.
"You have guys from the past who
built the tradition who felt disconnect-
ed, and this welcomes them back into

the family," said Tim McCormick,
who played at Michigan from 1981 to
1984. "It also shows the young play-
ers that there is a lineage and a history
and it is their job to build it back to
where it was."
In addition to inviting former play-
ers back to Ann Arbor, Amaker has
done several things to restore the
unity and heritage to the Wolverines,
including renovating the team locker-
room, restoring the uniforms to the
early '90s fashion, making champi-
onship banners more visible and
establishing a basketball office in
Weidenbach Hall.
Although many former players,
including former "Fab Five" member
Jimmy King, were seen at Crisler last
year, the events of September 11th
forced the cancellation of the reunion,
which was to be held the weekend fol-
lowing the attacks. Thus, many alum-
ni would have to wait a year until they
were able to get back to Ann Arbor
and meet Amaker in person.
"There is a family atmosphere here
today and you realize that basketball
at Michigan lasts a lot longer than
four years," said 1986 graduate and
current assistant coach at Saginaw Val-
ley, Butch Wade, of coming back to
Michigan. "Its not just about basket-
ball, it is about becoming part of a
But some of the most prominent
members of the Michigan family were
nowhere to be found on Saturday, most
noteably, members of the "Fab Five"
and the other current NBA players.
While Amaker spent several years in
a tradition-entrenched program at
Duke, the idea of holding a reunion
was not imported to Michigan from
Duke. Rather, it is an idea that he and
his staff came up with themselves and
have developed over the past year. The
event, he said, was something he wants
to make distinctive to Michigan.
"No, there was nothing like this (at
Duke)," Amaker said. "It was our con-

cept, and it was something that we
wanted to start here with a little tradi-
tion that we are trying to pull together."
One of the most important aspects
of the weekend for Amaker was getting
his players to understand the impor-
tance of the tradition at Michigan and
allow them to meet some of the people
who formed that tradition. In addition
to meeting former players, Amaker
hoped that his young team also would
be able to soak up the experience and
sage advice that former players had to
None of these players stood out
more in the eyes of the Wolverines
than the godfather of Michigan basket-
ball, Cazzie Russell, whose No. 33 jer-
sey is the only number retired by
Michigan. Russell also led Michigan
to 65 victories and seven NCAA Tour-
nament wins in his three years with the
Wolverines. He seemed to be the guest
of honor, constantly having a group of
people surrounding him and vying for
his attention. Amaker even said that
several players tugged on his shirt ask-
ing their coach to introduce them to the
former Wolverine great.
"I think to have them here is great
and they are all very excited to meet
Cazzie Russell," Amaker said. "I think
they were just in awe because they
know that there is only one number
hanging in the rafters in Crisler and
that is Cazzie's jersey. So for them to
get a chance to meet him was very spe-
cial for everyone."
Said Dommanic Ingerson of meet-
ing the three-time All-American: "It is.
something you cherish and remember
for the rest of your life. It is something
that really gives me inspiration to play
hard and be successful at the Universi-
But the players were not the only
ones impressed with the people they
met this weekend. Russell was amazed
at the size of all of the players he met
at the reunion - especially the fresh-
men. But he did warn them that size



Cazzie Russell was a three time All-American during his three years played for
Michigan in Yost Field House.

must be taken advantage of, and
stressed the importance of playing a
team game of basketball.
"I may have scored a lot, but I want-
ed my teammates to understand that
they were just as much a part of it
because I couldn't pass the ball to
myself," Russell said. "It works both
ways and hopefully these young play-
ers will pick that up - that you can

not do it by yourself. If you don't work
together and get along together, you
are wasting your time because basket-
ball is a very sensitive machine.
"Hopefully we can get that across
to these guys."
Amaker believes that if his players
heed Russel's advice, his Wolverines
will start establishing successful tradi-
tions of their own on the court.


Tommy Amaker was finally able to host the basketball reunion this weekend.


Soccer kicks off Big Ten season with win

By Eric Chan
Daily Sports Writer

Some things are unforgettable.
After scoring a goal in the last 30
seconds of the first overtime period
in the NCAA Tournament semifi-
nals last season, the Illinois
women's soccer team taunted the
Wolverines by celebrating in front

of Michigan's bench. yesterday
afternoon, the No. 14 Wolverines
watched that game on video and
then used it as inspiration to steam-
roll the Fighting Illini, 4-1.
"Illinois beat us twice last year,
and it definitely gave us some moti-
vation coming in," Michigan coach
Debbie Rademacher said.
Michigan could put seven just

shots on goal in the first half, but
four of them went in.
"We definitely did a good job
finishing," Rademacher said.
Michigan got on the board first
with a goal by Crumpton, a return-
ing All-Big Ten first team member,
assisted by Amy Sullivant and
Therese Heaton.
Five minutes later, Illinois tied

the game up with an unassisted goal
by Tara Hurless - a shot which
slipped right through the fingertips
of Michigan goalkeeper Suzie
Grech. After Hurless' goal, the
Wolverines took complete control.
Crumpton scored again at the 21-
minute mark to give the Wolverines
a 2-1 lead. Freshman Stephanie
Boyles added a goal shortly there-
after to give Michigan a command-
ing two-goal lead.
"I think we've come out slow in
the past four games, minus Friday
(against Iowa)," Crumpton said.
"Yesterday and Friday, we took it to
them and got quick goals."
Michigan forward Stephanie
Chavez came in near the end of the
first half to give Crumpton a much
needed break, and ended up giving
the crowd the game's most spectac-
ular goal. Chavez launched a bullet
from about 40 yards out straight
into the net to give the Wolverines
an imposing 4-1 lead going into
When the horn sounded, the score
at halftime was the final score, and
Michigan upped its record to 6-1 on
the season. Crumpton finished with
two goals, and Sullivant added
three assists.
"(Sullivant's) vision is just awe-
some. She can really play the long
ball," Crumpton said. "The other
team always has to mark her and it
really opens up the field for us."


Michigan senior Abby Crumpton kicks the ball against Illinois yesterday. She leads
the Wolverines with five goals and 16 points this season.


On Friday, Michigan won its Big
Ten opener against Iowa, 2-1.
Junior Erika Kleinholz scored one
of the goals and assisted on. the

other. Heaton added the other goal,
and Crumpton assisted Kleinholz.
Michigan will continue Big Ten
play on Friday at Wisconsin.

Continued from Page 11
scoring opportunities, but just couldn't put it
home. One of Michigan's best scoring opportuni-
ties came with six seconds left, when freshman
Adam Bruh sent a beautiful crossing pass through
the box, but no one was able to punch it through
the posts.
Although the loss hurt the Wolverines' record,
coach Steve Burns wasn't displeased with the
"We created a lot of chances," Burns said. "And
we're never satisfied with defeat, but there's
improvement with our team, and there's a sense of
confidence with our team."
Overall, Michigan played solid defense, keeping
the Big Ten's leading scorer Chad Severs off the
Burns sees the loss as a learning experience,
and is content with improvements his team is
starting to make.
"We didn't get the result we wanted today, but
this is another good little step forward for us,"
Burns said. "We're creating a lot in front of the
net, the movement's there, and now it's just a
question of 'can we get the timing of those finish-
ing runs?"'
With two straight losses coming directly after a
three-game undefeated streak, the season seams to



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