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November 07, 2002 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-07

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V

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10B - The Michigan Daily - Tipoff 2002 - Thursday, November 7, 2002

The Michigan Daily - Tipoff 2002 -

2002-03 Roster

No.}
r1
2
4
5
11
12
21
22
23
25
30
31
-32
34
50
51
52

Wolverine
Avery Queen
Lester Abram
Daniel Horton
Colin Dill
Dommanic Ingerson
Dani Wohl%
Bernard Robinson
Sherrod Harrell
Gavin Groninger
Graham Brown
LaVell Blanchard
Chris Hunter
Chuck Bailey
J.C. Mathisto
Amadou Ba *
Chris Aguwa
Rotolu Adebiyi

Pos.
G
W
G
F
G
G
F
G
G
F/C
W
F/C
F
F
C
F
F

Ht.
5-7
6-6
6-3
6-7
6-4
5-11
6-6
6-3
6-5
6-9
6-7
6-11
6-7
6-8
6-10
6-7
6-5

Wt.
165
190
190
220
190
175
208
190
205
245
215
210
220
245
250
235
210

Elig.
,urnor
Freshman
Freshman
Junior e
Sophomore
Sophomore
lunior
Freshman
Senior
Freshman
Senior
Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Freshman
Sophomore
Senior

THE
MICHIGAN
DAILY
CRITICS'
PRESEASON
PICKS
Chris Burke
Big Ten regular season champion Ohio State
Michigan finish 6th
Michigan player of the year LaVell Blanchard
Michigan freshman of the year Lester Abram
Big Ten Tournament champion Wisconsin
Big Ten player of the year Brian Cook (Ill.)
Surprise team Ball State
Most disappointing team UCLA
Naismith Award Winner Dwyane Wade (Marq.)
NCAA Final Four Florida
(champion in bold) Duke
Kansas
Oklahoma

Seth Klempner

Michigan State
8th
Bernard Robinson
Lester Abram
Michigan State
Rick Rickert (Minn.)
Rutgers
Alabama

CnarIes Paraais
Michigan State
5th
LaVell Blanchard
Lester Abram
Indiana
Willie Deane (Pur.)
Louisville
North Carolina

Minnesota

5th
Bernard Robinson
Daniel Horton
Illinois
Rick Rickert (Minn.)
Pepperdine
Florida

- transfer, will sit out season

* - redshirting this season

I

T.J. Ford (Texas) Brandin Knight (Pittsburgh) Chris Duhon (Duke)

Arizona
Texas
Illinois
Duke

Arizona
Pittsburgh
Michigan State
Kansas

UCLA
Pittsburgh
Arizona
Connecticut

2002-03 Schedule

Date
Nov.15
Nov. 23
Nov. 24
Nov. 25
Nov. 30
Dec. 3
Dec. 7
Dec.11
Dec.14
Dec.21
Dec.23
Dec. 28
an. 2
an. 4
an.8
an.11

Team

Time

Nike Elite (ex.)
St. Bonaventure*
Virgina Tech*
Championship Round*
Western Michigan
Central Michigan
at Duke
Bowling Green
Charleston Southern
Vanderbilt
Eastern Michigan
UCLA
San Francisco
IUPUI
Wisconsin
Penn State

7 m.
8:50 p.m.
8:30 p.m.
TBA
2 p.m.
7 ..
3:~0 p.m.
7 . m.
1J30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
7 p.m.
2 p.m.
7 p.m.
2 p.m.
8 p.m.
4 p.m.

Date
an. 15
an. 18
an. 22
an. 26
an. 29
eb. 1
Feb. 8
Feb. 12
Feb.15
Feb. 19
Feb. 26
March 1
March 5
March 8

Team

at Ohio State
at Northwestern
Minnesota
Michigan State
at Illinois
at Minnesota
Iowa
at Indiana
Ohio State
at Purdue
at Wisconsin
Illinois
at Penn State
Purdue

Time

8 .m.
1: 7 p.m.
8 p.m.
1 p.m.
7 p.m.
1:34 .
3p1>.nm.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
8 p.m.
1U:17 p.m.
BA.

F rom 1970 through 1998, the Michigan
basketball program endured just two los-
ing seasons. In the four years since then,
its had three.
And the losses are killing Lester Abram and
Graham Brown.
Both are lifetime Michigan fans. Both have
grown up with their eyes fixed on Crisler Arena,
living and dying each winter with the fortunes of
their beloved Wolverines.
Watching the once-proud program falter has
been torture.
Now the two have the opportunity to do some-
thing about it. Abram and Brown make up two
members of Tommy Amaker's six-man freshman
class, the first that the Michigan coach has hauled
in during his brief tenure in Ann Arbor.
And if you listen to the two youngsters, they'll
tell you that they don't plan on letting Michigan
lose anymore.
"We've followed Michigan and seen the losses,
all the embarrassing losses and it's important that
we want to improve on that," said Abram, a two-
time Class A state basketball champion at Pontiac
Northern High School. "In high school, games that
we should've lost, we always came back and won
- I don't want to get adjusted to losing."
'A BASKETBALL MECCA'
Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Glen Rice. Terry
Mills. Chris Webber. Jalen Rose. Mateen Cleaves.
Morris Peterson.
The significance of these players? They've all
been a part of spectacular basketball teams from
either Michigan or Michigan State - teams that
won national titles or lived in the Final Four.
The connection? They all grew up in Michigan.
Be it the "Fab Five" or the "The Flintstones,"
every successful team coming out of Ann Arbor or
East Lansing has been built around talent from
within the state. It's that homegrown talent that
doesn't have to be preached to about the tradition
of a program, or how hard the locals take losing.
Just like current Michigan seniors LaVell Blan-
chard, Rotulu Adebiyi and sophomore Chuck Bai-
ley, Abram and Brown come in as hometown
heroes, well aware of the Michigan legacy.
"It's always nice to have a couple of guys on the
team that really love the Michigan program," said
Brown, who had two brothers attend Michigan.
"People out of the state don't know the pride that
goes into the Wolverines. Living in the state and
having both of my brothers come to school here, I
bleed blue and maize.
"You've got to understand the power that comes
from the Michigan name."
That power and tradition is something that
Amaker stresses, and is more than happy to see
Brown buying in to.
"He is going to be a kid that has incredible pas-
sion for wearing the maize and blue," said Amaker
of Brown. "I think there is no one who is going to
be above him that understands what it means to go
to Michigan. When you talk about a kid who is
going to put his heart and soul into everything, he
is going to do that."
Brown and Abram traveled different paths en

For more info, contact Jackie Livesay @ 764-9505 or jlivesay@umich.edu

- Home games in bold *-Paradise Jam Tournament

I I

route to Ann Arbor, but one pit stop along te way
was identical. The two were teammates on the AAU
team The Family, coached by Durand Walker.
Walker's position has allowed him to come to
the conclusion that if Amaker wants to restore
Michigan to glory, he's going to need more players
like Abram and Brown to help him along the way.
"I think (having players from in-state) is vital,
that's the only way to get the Michigan program
back on its feet," Walker said. "You probably could
build the team back up with talent from outside the
state but why would you want to?
"We've got a basketball Mecca in this state, and
you can build an entire program from it,"
'A DREAM COME TRUE'
There was only a brief instant when Abram was
unsure if Michigan was right for him.
Right after former Michigan coach Brian
Ellerbe was dismissed from his position following
the 2000-01 season, Abram, who had originally
committed to Ellerbe and the Wolverines prior to
his junior year of high school, withdrew his com-
mitment. He decided to reopen his recruitment,
and wait for Michigan to name a new coach.
When Amaker was tabbed as the man, Abram
wasted little time reaffirming his devotion to the
Wolverines.
"It was not real serious (when I reopened my
recruitment), I always wanted to come here,"
Abram said. "When they brought coach Amaker
in, I had never met him before so I sat down with

him, liked what he was talking about, and so I
came here."
Brown, too, despite what other programs might
have believed, never had much of a decision to
make when choosing to come to Michigan.
Rejecting schools like Notre Dame, Georgetown
and several Big Ten programs, Brown opted not to
let his childhood dreams pass by.
"Growing up, I was always looking out there
and seeing the players, and I was wishing that I
was out there," said Brown of traveling to Crisler
Arena with his family. "Coming to reality and hav-
ing that happen, it just shows that everyone can get
where they want to be. For me, it's like a dream
come true - it's great to have this uniform on."
'HIGH VALUE ON WINNING'
Saying they always love the Michigan program
and proving they can bring the Wolverines back to
national dominance are far from one and the same
for Abram and Brown. But their desire to get
Michigan back on top is a crucial trait.
Their talent also helps.
Abram comes into Michigan as one of the more
highly regarded recruits in America - ranked as
high as No. 38 nationally by recruiting pundits.
The 6-foot-6 swingman averaged 22.7 points,
10.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game his senior
year at Pontiac Northern, and poured in 19 points
in Northern's state championship win. He lit the
court up, connecting on an impressive 40 percent
of three-point attempts.
But more important for Amaker than Abram's
statistics are his two state titles and an 81-21
record in high school.
"We put a high value on winning, and to be able
to attract some kids from winning environments
that actually have won some championships and
have been big-time winners is key," Amaker said.
"There is no bigger winner than Lester Abram. He
understands what it means to be part of a winning
tradition and a winning program.
"If we can continually bring kids into our pro-
gram that have experienced that, that is an invalu-
able trait to have."
Brown is far less heralded than Abram coming
into Michigan. But the 6-foot-9 forward/center,
who describes his play as similar to Chris Young,
could be a big part of the Wolverines' hopes now
and in the future. He averaged 21 points, 17
rebounds, eight assists and eight blocks for Mio
High School last year, including a spectacular 38-

rebound g
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If Abrar
Michigan's
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Just like home

Tommy Amaker has made a point to load his
roster with players from the state of Michigan.
This year's basketball team features nine
Michigan residents - six of whom are expect-
ed to see quality minutes during the
Wolverines'season.
Lester Abram,
PONTIAC
LaVell Blanchard
and Rotolu Adebiyi,
ANN ARBOR

Graham Brown,
Mio

Ai

18 a ovier Welo m/i

1 1

.5 J

Washington at Pearl
YPSILANTI 457- IID

Sherrod Harrell,
KALAMAZOO

Chuck Bailey,
DETROIT

....................

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