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November 24, 2003 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 24, 2003 - 3B

FRIDAY'S GAME
Oakland (58)

FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
K. Williams 31 1-3 3-4 0-5 0 1 5
Scott 31 3-6 0-03-8 46
Sabourin 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0
Helms (8:51) 28 6-17 1-3 0-3 0 5 15
Marshall 31 7-16 5-5 0-2 2 2 20
Hopes 17 0-5 0-0 0-1 1 3 0
Ishmeal 20 1-4 0-0 2-4 2 0 3
Gilmore 15 0-2 2-4 1-1 1 2 2
Ritzema 7 1-1 0-0 0.1 0 1 2
C. Williams 11 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 1 3
Dukes 6 1-4 0-0 0-0 2 2 2
Team 4-4
Totals 200 2161 11-1611-32 9 22 58
FG%: .344. FT%: .688. 3-point FG: 5-19, .263
(Helms 2-7, Marshall 1-1, C. Williams 1-2, Ishmeal
1-3, Gilmore 0-1, K. Williams 0-2, Dukes 0-3)).
Blocks: 4 (Helms 2, K. Williams, C. Williams).
Steals: 9 (Helms 2, Ishmeal 2, Gilmore 2, Ritzema,
SctK. Williams). Turnovers: 18 (Helms 6, Mar-
all 3, Ishmeal 2, Gilmore 2, Ritzema 2, K.
Williams, Hopes, Team). Technical fouls: none.
MICHIGAN (84)

Robinson
Sims
Hunter
Abram
Horton
Harris
Petway
Mathis
Harrell
Brown
Dill
Ba
Wohl
Team
Totals

FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
32 6-11 9-11 2-8 4 1 21
22 5-8 2-3 2-6 2 2 12
20 3-6 0-0 0-4 1 1 6
30 7-11 4-4 0-3 1 2 19
17 1-7 2-2 0-0 1 4 4
29 6-9 1-1 1-2 6 1 15
11 0-2 0-0 1-6 2 1 0
19 2-7 0-2 3-5 1 1 4
8 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 3
2 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 0 0
4 0-0 0-2 0-0 0 0 0
4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
2 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0
5-10
200 31463 18-2715.46 19 13 84

Abram quietly
drops 19 points
By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
As Derek Jeter and a number of the New York Yankees
came into the Michigan lockerroom following Friday's win
over Oakland, almost all of the Wolverines wanted to get
autographs of players they've seen on television.
But not Lester Abram.
"There were too many people surrounding (Jeter),"
Abram said. "I didn't want to bother him. They want to
relax. They came here to watch the game and watch the
football game."
Abram has taken the same approach throughout his
Michigan career. Last season when all of the attention sur-
rounded LaVell Blanchard, Bernard Robinson and Daniel
Horton, Abram was a modest constant, averaging 34 min-
utes and 1 points per game during Big Ten play.
And it looks like the sophomore from Detroit will be at it
again this season. After pouring in 16 against the NBDL's
Fayetteville Patriots, Abram was the Wolverines' second
leading scorer on Friday with 19 points, quietly scoring in a
variety of ways inside and out.
Despite his early season performance, Abram didn't
receive much of the preseason publicity surrounding this
year's Wolverines. Much has been written about Horton,
Robinson, the new-found front court depth and even the
freshmen, but Abram figures to be an important fixture in
the starting lineup just as he was last season.
The fans and the media may not have noticed, but his
coaches and teammates sure have.
"It's unfortunate," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said.
"It never seems like I mention Lester. He's always straight
down I-94, you can count on him. That's the way he has
been, and we're very fortunate that we have him. He's very
reliable, he does his job and goes about his work in a work-
er-like manner. And I love that about him."
Freshman guard Dion Harris, who played with Abram on
the AAU team "The Family" stressed how important Abram
is to the team even though not as many people notice him.
"Every game Lester is solid, he's aggressive and he really
gives us that extra scoring punch, that extra defensive punch
on the court," Harris said. "He's solid every game, and that's
the key."
On Friday, Abram played solid defense, used his jump
shot effectively, fought for rebounds inside and showed off
his ability to create his own shot. In the second half, Abram
ignited the crowd by blowing right by Oakland star guard

FG%:.492. FT%: .667. 3-point FG: 4-11, .364 (Har-
ris 2-4, Abram 1-1, Harrell 1-2, Horton 0-2, Robinson
0-2). Blocks: 10 (Sims 6, Hunter, Horton, Harris,
Petway). Steals: 12 (Robinson 3, Hunter 2, Horton
2, Abram, Harris, Mathis, Harrell, Wohl). Turnovers:
14 (Harris 4, Horton 3, Robinson 3, Hunter, Abram,
Mathis, Ba). Technical fouls: none.
Oakland...............34 24 - 58
Michigan..............45 39 - 84
At: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor
Attendance: 12, 038. ,
UP NEXT:
HIGH POINT
Yep, it's a real school. The Panthers
out of the Big South conference are
1-0 after routing Allen (real school)
107-71. High Point will play at
Clemson on Monday before heading
to Ann Arbor. The Panthers are led
by center Jerry Echenique who had
17 points and nine rebounds against
Allen.
NEXT SUNDAY:

Leave Carr alone, hop on
board and enjoy the ride

BRETT MOUNTAIN/Daily
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said his team is "very fortunate"
to have sophomore Lester Abram, a consistent contributor.
Mike Helms down the baseline for a one-handed jam.
A number of reporters surrounded Abram in the locker
room afterward, but he and the team believes that his per-
formance over the past two games was nothing far from
ordinary.
"People expect things out of them, and every time I do
things, I surprise people," Abram said. "People expect me to
get some rebounds, score like 10 points and be a role player.
But I know what I'm capable of."
But Abram likes his role as an unsung hero.
"I don't really care, though, because you worry about
somebody else," Abram said. "You worry about Daniel, you
worry about Bernard but you forgot about me, and I'm the
one who kills you."
But no matter what happens this season, don't expect his
team to forget about him.
"How many people in this world can you just mark it up
and count on, basketball and otherwise," Amaker said.

Jeter, Yankees enjoy 'M'

wvin

Tomjanovich returns; Horton struggles through opener

J. BRADY MCCOLLOUGH
The SportsMonday Column
Last Sunday in the Michigan foot-
ball full-team meeting room,
Lloyd Carr addressed his players,
just six days away from the biggest
game of their lives.
Usually, at this particular weekly
meeting, Carr asks his team, "Men, are
you in or are you out?"
But this week, with the Big Ten title
and a grip on the Michigan-Ohio State
rivalry hanging in the balance, Carr
thought he'd mix it up a bit.
"Men, I know you're in, but it won't
be enough to be in. You have to be on,;
he said to an eager bunch of Wolverines.
I'm in! I'm on! became Michigan's
team motto going into its titanic clash
with the Buckeyes. The Wolverines
wore rubber bands with their new
mantra inscribed.
I'm in! I'm on! - it's really not that
catchy, but boy did it work.
It makes sense, too.
The Wolverines are always in - they
wouldn't be playing football at Michi-
gan if they weren't. This entire season,
even in losses at Oregon and Iowa, I
never got the feeling this team wasn't
giving its collective all.
But the Wolverines were clearly off,
especially on special teams. The offense
and defense were on at times, off at
times. On means being disciplined and
focused. At least that's what my on is.
I credit Carr for recognizing that it
wasn't enough for his team to be in, no
matter how talented the Wolverines are.
In their 35-21 win over the Buckeyes,
the Wolverines were on. They turned
the ball over just once. Tailback Chris
Perry didn't even hint at fumbling. The
punt coverage was spectacular, as
punter Adam Finley pinned the Buck-
eyes inside their 20-yard line four times
out of six punts. The Wolverines gave
up just one punt return for three yards
and didn't let Ohio State's kick returners
get loose one time.
Some would say Carr made sure his
team was on this week because his job
as Michigan's head coach was in jeop-
ardy. Rubbish.
Lloyd Carr's job is safe. If you don't
think so, your name definitely isn't Bill
Martin or Bo Schembechler.
I think it's time we all get used to
Carr (career record of 86-25), at least
until he decides to hang up the headset.
That goes for all the fans that have e-
mailed me this year ranting about how
Carr should be fired. It goes for the fan
that sent me a letter about all the rea-
sons Martin should fire Carr with the
GRIZZLIES
Continued from Page 1B
8:51 left.
"You've just got to try and contain
that guy," Robinson said. "He's
going to get his shots off, he's going
to get his points, you've just got to
contain him so he's not a difference-
maker."
The game's key stretch was the
first two minutes of the second half.
Leading 45-34 at the break, Michi-
gan came out quickly, running off
an 8-0 run.
Sophomore Chris Hunter high-
lighted the streak with a pair of two-
handed stuffs.
"We came in here at halftime and
said that the first four minutes, we
wanted to jump on them," freshman
Dion Harris said. "We really turned
it around in two minutes."
Harris displayed his versatility

message "please forward to athletic
director" attached to it.
Yeah, I'll be sure and get that right to
Martin's secretary, pronto!
As much as the Michigan players,
particularly the seniors, deserve credit
for turning their season around, Carr is
the captain of the ship. If he and his
coaching staff did not have the mentali-
ty of being on for the last six games
(Michigan is 6-0 since losing at Iowa),
there's no way the team could have done
the same.
For the first time in four years, when
Michigan players threw out the cliche
"we're just taking it one game at a
time," I actually believed them. As lame
as it sounds, that renewed focus each
week is what it takes to win a major
conference. If you relax for one week of
practice, you lose.
Motivating players is one of Carr's
main duties as head coach. He has
defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann
and offensive coordinator Terry Mal-
one, as well as all the position coaches,
to help him with X's and O's. He's been
criticized for not being a players' coach.
"I definitely disagree," fifth-year
center Dave Pearson said. "He's a
great players coach. He keeps us
motivated, and he's a fun guy to be
around. You want to play well for him.
Because of all he puts into it, you
want to win for him."
Yeah, I know - no Michigan player
in his right mind would criticize Carr
with a recorder in his face. But they also
wouldn't sign away three to five years
of their lives to him if they didn't
believe in him.
"He's just a special guy," sophomore
Tim Massaquoi said. "I see him every
day when I come to practice and he
looks at me, and I'm glad I came here.
"The first day I met him, I knew he
was somebody I could trust."
In two years covering this team, I've
seen Michigan win 20 games. I've
begun to trust, above all else, that Carr
will never let this program take a nose-
dive like other major programs have
taken the past decade. He'll never allow
his teams to be off every other Saturday.
I'm in! I'm on! is the right mentality
for every game, not just big games like
Saturday's against the Buckeyes. Is that
an unreasonable thing to expect? It
shouldn't be at Michigan.
Michigan junior linebacker Scott
McClintock said I'm in! I'm on! meant
"everybody on the team is doing every-
thing they can to beat Ohio State - basi-
cally meaning you're on for the ride."
As a graduating senior, I have no idea
where I'm going after April.
But when it comes to following
Michigan football under Carr, I'm on
for the ride, too.
J. Brady McCollough can be reached at
bradymcc@umich.edu.
throughout the game. He dropped in
two 3-pointers on four attempts, to
go along with a number of athletic
-cuts to the basket.
In all, Harris scored an efficient
15 points on just nine shots and
dished out six assists.
"Dion Harris' play, I thought was
as solid as you can ask of any play-
er, regardless of it being his first
performance or of him being a
freshman," Amaker said.
Oakland was held to just .344
from the field on the night, making
only 21 of 61 shots.
"I made the comment to our staff
that if they change the rules and
make it all one-on-one, we could be
very good this year," Oakland coach
Greg Kampe said.
"We played very selfish in transi-
tion, as opposed to Michigan, who
made a lot of extra passes to score

some easy baskets."

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Editor

For one night at least, the crowd
taking in Michigan's basketball
game at Crisler Arena rivaled what
the Los Angeles Lakers draw to the
Staples Center.
That's because on the eve of the

Michigan-Ohio State
football game, Derek
Jeter - starting short-
stop for the New York
Yankees and a self-
proclaimed Michigan
fan - brought several
of his closest friends

to take in the

Duane Ughtfoot of Butler.
VS. BUTLER
The Bulldogs will host Michigan at
Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Last year's Cinderella in the NCAA
Tournament, Butler lost three key
contributors to that surprising run.
However, the Bulldogs do still have
h super senior Mike Monserez and a
solid recruiting class. Butler plays
Quincy and at Northern Iowa before
taking on Michigan.
BIG TEN SCHEDULE

Wolverines contest with Oakland.
Jeter, who attended Michigan for a
semester prior to signing with the Yan-
kees, was joined by teammates Jorge
Posada, Jason Giambi, Jeff Weaver, as
well as current Florida Marlin Gerald
Williams.
"I came back two years ago for the
Ohio State-Michigan game as well,"
Jeter said.
While several Yankees joined Jeter,
absent from the trip was New York
owner George Steinbrenner, who has
been well-publicized as an Ohio State
devotee.

"No, (Steinbrenner didn't come),"
Jeter said. "He'll go with us to Colum-
bus, but not here."
The Yankees that did make the trip to
Ann Arbor for the weekend left the
Wolverines on the court in awe.
"That's amazing, man," Michigan
senior Bernard Robinson said. "The
New York Yankees - it isn't the
Mariners, it isn't the Astros, it's the
Yankees. When you come to the Uni-
versity of Michigan, you get respect
from people like that.
"I was a little shocked going up to
Jeter - I know his autograph is worth,
like, a million dollars. I didn't want to
say, 'Jeter, can I get your autograph?'
and for him to be like, 'Nah.' (Fresh-
man Dion Harris) was brave enough. I
couldn't go up there and get it."
NOT TO BE OUTDONE: The Bronx
Bombers weren't the only famous faces
in the crowd on Friday night.
Former Wolverine and Houston
Rockets' coach Rudy Tomjanovich was
spotted in the crowd and received a
large ovation when his image was put
up on the scoreboard.
Tomjanovich, who played for the
Wolverines from 1968 to 1970, had his
No. 45 Michigan jersey retired last sea-
son in a Michigan win over Iowa on
- , ItUI

Monday's games:
Indiana at Vanderbilt
San Diego St. vs. Ohio State
(Maui Invitational)
Tuesday's games:
Eastern Illinois at Wisconsin
Drake at Iowa
Northwestern at DePaul
Michigan State at Kansas
Wednesday's games:
High Point at Michigan
St. Francis (Pa.) at Penn St.
Mercer at Illinois

8 p.m.
9 p.m.
8 p.m.
8 p.m.
8:30 p.m.
9 p.m.
7 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
8 p.m.

Feb. 8.
The legendary Wolverine was
impressed with Michigan's effort in its
26-point win Friday.
"The defense is just outstanding
pressuring the ball, and so is the energy
from the players," Tomjanovich said. "I
got to know coach Amaker last year. I
love the way he handles himself, the
way he handles his team.
"It's exciting to be back here for me.
I always try to work my schedule where
I can come up here - I'll be back next
month for the UCLA game. It's just a
treat for me?'
OH (NO), DANNY BOY: While the
Wolverines were enjoying an opening
game romp, point guard Daniel Hor-
ton was trying to figure out why he
couldn't contribute more.
The sophomore from Texas had one
of his worst games as a Wolverine,
shooting just 1-of-7 from the floor, fin-
ishing with four points and three
turnovers in 17 minutes.
"I just didn't play well - they did a
good job denying the ball at times, and
I just didn't have it tonight," Horton
said.
Despite the shaky performance, Hor-
ton remained pleased with the effort of
his teammates, specifically Harris, who
spent a good portion of his 29 minutes
replacing Horton at point guard.
"It makes me feel good that he can
come in and play the point and play
well," said Horton of Harris. "It just
shows that later on, if the same thing
happens, we have someone that can
step in."
Adding to Horton's problems was
the fact that he found himself in foul
trouble, picking up two in the first 11
minutes of the game.
"On one, I was trying to take a
charge - like coach always says, you
pick up one and then you try to take a
charge and you've got two. I didn't
have it tonight, that's all."
BROWN BACK ... SORT OF: Center
Graham Brown continued to try and
come back from the ankle injury he
sustained in practice two weeks ago.
Brown sat out the Wolverines' two
exhibition games, against Michigan
Tech and the Fayetteville Patriots, but
briefly returned on Friday night. The
sophomore played two minutes, grab-
bing two boards (one offensive), but
missed two free throws.
Brown said that he is making
progress and hopes that he can fully
return to the lineup for Michigan's
game Wednesday against High Point
or Sunday against Butler in Indi-
anapolis.

Thursday's games:
S.W. Texas State vs. Purdue 1:45 a.m.
(Great Alaska Shootout)

Saturday's games:
N.W. State at Northwestern
Iowa at Louisville
Penn at Michigan State
Illinois at Temple
Xavier at Indiana
Penn State at Buffalo
Rutgers at Wisconsin

1 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
2 p.m.
4 p.m.
4 p.m.
7 p.m.
8 p.m.

RYAN WEINER/Daily
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter highlighted a group of several major leaguers.

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