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January 20, 2004 - Image 16

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4B - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 20, 2004

0

Players of the game

SUNDAY'S GAME

Kelli Roehrig
(Michigan State)
Roehrig kept Michigan lead scor-
er Jennifer Smith at bay, allowing
the center just four field goals.
She also contributed 10 points.

Tabitha Pool
(Michigan)
Pool scored nearly a third (10) of the
Wolverines' points on Sunday. She
was the only Michigan player to score
in double digits.

. V Michigan

33
67

Talkin' the talk
"When (Jen Smith) is not scoring, Tab
(Pool) is not scoring and Steph (Gandy)
isn't scoring, no one looks to do anything,
and no one knows what to do."
- Michigan freshman Kelly Helvey after Michigan's loss to
Michigan State.

is

Michigan State

SUNDAY'S GAME
Michigan State (67)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Haynie 23 2-5 0-0 0-2 3 2 4
Bowen 30 4-10 5-6 0-4 2 0 14
McKinney 21 2-3 3-3 1-3 0 5 7
Roehrig 19 4-4 2-2 0-5 2 2 10
Shimek 28 6-8 1-2 3-12 0 0 14
Pagel 20 1-2 2-2 4-8 1 1 4
Jackson 4 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Pusateri 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Haynes 26 2-11 6-8 0-2 0 3 11
Lucas-Perry 15 1-7 0-1 1-4 3 4 3
Grantham 4 0-0 0-0 0-3 0 2 0
Bannister 8 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0
Totals 200 22-51 19-2413-45 9 14 67
FG%:.431 FT%: .792 3-pint FG: 4-16, .250
(Haynes, 1-3, Shimek 1-3, Lucas-Perry 1-4, Bowen
1-5, Haynie 0-1. Blocks: 2 (Grantham, Roehrig).
Steals: 7 (Bowen 2, Haynie 2, Bannister, Pagel,
Pusateri). Turnovers: 12 (Bowen 2, Lucas-Perry 2,
Roehrig 2, Bannister, Haynes, Haynie, Jackson,
McKinney, Pusateri). Technical Fouls: none.
MICHIGAN (33)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Pool 28 4-12 0-0 1-5 1 4 10
Hauser-Price 20 2-4 0-0 1-2 0 3 5
Reams 27 1-5 0-0 3-8 0 2 2
Gandy 28 1-10 0-0 1-1 2 3 2
Smith 29 2-6 3-4 4-7 0 0 7
Andrews 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Carney 20 0-3 0-0 0-0 2 2 0
H-elvey 19 1-9 3-4 1-2 1 1 5
Burlin 14 1-4 0-1 0-4 0 1 2
McPhilamy 14 0-1 0-0 1-4 0 3 0
Totals 200 12-54 6-9 :2-33 6 19 33
FG%: .222. FT%: .667. 3-point FG: 3-26,_115 (Pool
2.8, Hauser-Price 1-3, Reams 0-3, Gandy 0-3, Carney
0-3, Helvey 0-3, Burlin 0-3. Blocks: 2 (Hauser-Price,
Helvey). Steals: 5 (Carney 2, Pool, Reams, Helvey).
Turnovers: 16 (Gandy 3, Carney 3, Smith 2, Pool 2,
Helvey 2, Hauser-Price, Reams, Burlin). Technical
fouls: none.
Michigan State....................37 30 - 67
Michigan..............................20 13 -33
At: Breslin Center
Attendance: 7,923
BIG TEN STANDINGS

Pool's 'understanding'crucial to Burnett's first two years at 'U'

J. BRADY MCCOLLOUGH
The SportsTuesday Column
mmediately after Friday's women's
basketball practice had ended at
Crisler Arena, Cheryl Burnett and
Tabitha Pool walked to the far side of the
court and talked for about 10 minutes.
For the first time in their young rela-
tionship, class was in session for
Michigan's first-year coach and her
most talented player.
Because of your ability, you have to
set your standards high, Tab. You need
to make yourself accountable to a very
high level.
Pool nodded her head.
You're such a phenomenal basketball
player; don't try to think so much, just
play. Let me give you an analogy: If as
a person, you have a situation and
you're getting advice from fourfriends,
you intake all of the wisdom, and you
use what you need to use. Do the same
thing with basketball -you don 't need
to spend time worrying about every lit-
tle detail.
Pool nodded with the frequency of a
bobble-head doll.
They were nods of understanding,
the most crucial element that can
exist between coach and player.
Under former coach Sue Guevara,
Pool said she didn't get that kind of
personal attention.
"I needed it," said Pool, a junior. "It
really let me know what (Burnett)
expects of me and what she wants me
to do ... to be more of a leader, even
though I'm not a captain.
"For me to actually see what she was
talking about when she's talking to me
- actually see what she's getting at
(was important)."
Pool is not alone in her need to build
confidence in herself, as well as trust in
her coaches. Burnett and her staff inher-
ited a group of girls that collectively
had the confidence of the boy with
glasses and braces at a middle school
dance. This first chapter in'Burnett's
Michigan career is about rebuilding the
psyche of the team and this program.
And it starts with Pool, equipped
with a baby face and a jumper that's as
smooth as a baby's bottom.
"It took just one individual workout

to see what kind of player Tabitha is,
what her potential is," associate head
coach Karen Rapier said. "The game
comes easy to her. She can drive, she
can shoot and she can rebound. It's just
developing an understanding."
Reality ensues
Pool scored more points than any
other player in Michigan's last two
games, against Penn State and Michi-
gan State, putting up a combined 29.
Unfortunately for Burnett, Pool's effort
didn't do much good; the rest of the
team totaled just 60 in those games.
Burnett admitted she was out-
coached following a 12-point loss to
Penn State Thursday. After a 67-33
drubbing in East Lansing Sunday, she
actually uttered the phrase, "I don't
know if I'm a good coach."
It's been that kind of a week for this
program - the kind of week that could
make Burnett's dirty blonde, Dol-
lyesque 'do emit a few more gray hairs.
The Wolverines are 9-9 overall and 2-3
in the Big Ten, but let's not expect this
group to go above .500 for a while with
the next two games on the road in
Madison and Iowa City.
The loss at Michigan State was so
bad -so bad - that even Burnett
couldn't find a positive spin to put on
it. The Spartans are deep and experi-
enced on the floor, but their depth
extends to their raucous crowd. Almost
8,000 fans cheered on the Spartans -
that's about three times what Michigan
would expect to draw for a home game.
Welcome to Michigan, Cheryl.
Like any good friend, the Spartans
exposed all of Michigan's weaknesses.
Double- and triple-team center Jennifer
Smith, who averages 21 points a game,
and you can beat Michigan. Smith
struggled the entire game to find open
teammates when the Spartans con-
verged on her, so Pool and senior
Stephanie Gandy didn't get enough
open looks.
Michigan shot 32 percent from the
field in the first half. If that made you
cringe, brace yourself. The Wolverines
shot 14 percent (4-of-29) in the second
half and shot 20 3-pointers, making
just one.
If Pool, Gandy and Smith aren't
scoring, nobody is.
Burnett was dealt a difficult hand, as
Guevara's last two recruiting classes
didn't materialize. Did Guevara hit a
lag after landing Pool, Michigan's Ms.
Basketball and one of the top five

recruits in the country three years ago?
It appears so.
Every coach enters her new job
hoping that somehow she can turn
around the program in her first year.
It's time to play a different tune now
- one of patience.
After Sunday's game, Burnett stated
that maybe in three years, Michigan
could be playing at the level of Michigan
State, currently No. 25 in the country.
But there's a problem. Pool, the most
skilled player Michigan has had in
years, hasn't been to the NCAA Tour-
nament yet and has just one more year
left after this one.
Turning understanding into results
Legendary Tennessee coach Pat
Summitt sat in Pool's living room just
three years ago, trying to convince
the Ann Arbor native to play in
Knoxville at one of the nation's pre-
mier programs.
Pool declined, devoted to the idea of
playing close to home. She averaged 7
and 11 points in her freshman and
sophomore years, respectively, as Gue-
vara's teams combined for nine Big Ten
wins. Three years later, Pool's decision
to play here screams "WHAT A MIS-
TAKE!" to the casual observer.
Luckily, there's still time, and more
importantly, she's got loads of potential.
At 6-foot-1, a player isn't supposed
to be able to run the break in the
women's game. But Pool could play
point or off guard, as well as small
forward. She's the team's second-lead-
ing scorer (13 points per game), lead-
ing rebounder (eight a game) and best
3-point shooter (34 percent). Of
Michigan's top three scorers, she has
the best assist-to-turnover ratio (36-to-
52). Last season, Pool's ratio was a
whopping 46-to-106. Someone is
improving.
But there's something missing; Pool
still isn't a star. According to Rapier,
"Tabitha is almost unselfish to a point
that it might be harmful for her."
In Thursday and Sunday's games, it
seemed like she was hesitant to drive to
the basket to create her own shot. Pool
said after Sunday's game that she is try-
ing to get her teammates good looks.
That's admirable, but not smart when
you're the best scorer on the team.
"We want Tabitha to be the go-to
player as far as getting the ball in her
hands and her to take the open shots,"
Rapier said. "We talk about passing up
a good shot for a great shot, but

I
I

PennState
Minnesota
Purdue
Michigan State
Iowa
Ohio State
Indiana
Michigan
Wisconsin
Illinois
Northwestern

Big Ten
W L Pct.
6 0 1.000
4 1 .800
4 1 .800
3 2 .600
3 2 .600
2 2 .500
2 3 .400
2 3 .400
1 4 .200
1 5 .167
0 5 .000

Overall
W L
13 3
15 1
14 2
13 3
9 7
10 5
9 7
9 9
7 8
7 10
7 9

Pct.
.813
.938
.875
.813
.563
.667
.563
.500
.467
.412
.438

DORY GANNES/Daily
Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett converses with junior forward Tabitha Pool during
Sunday's 67-33 loss to Michigan State.

4

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Thursday, Jan. 22
Indiana at Illinois
Michigan at Wisconsin
Michigan State at Northwestern
Minnesota at Penn State
Purdue at Ohio State
Sunday, Jan. 25
Northwestern at Wisconsin
Michigan at Iowa
Michigan State at Minnesota
Penn State at Ohio State
Purdue at Indiana
Thursday, Jan. 29
Indiana at Minnesota
Penn State at St. Joe's
Iowa at Northwestern
Michigan State at Illinois
Ohio State at Michigan

7 P.M.
7 P.M.
7 P.M.
7 P.M.
8 P.M.
12 P.M.
2 P.M.
2 P.M.
2 P.M.
2 P.M.
TBA
TBA
7 P.M.
7 P.M.
7 P.M.

there's a balance to that. She basically
has the green light. Any time she's
open, that's a good shot. She's starting
to feel that."
If there's any chance of Michigan
beating Burnett's new three-year
timeframe, Pool has to take Burnett's
advice. She has to take moreof a
leadership role on this team and look
for her own shot above her current
teammates.
Next season, Gandy and Smith will
be gone, and Pool will be the only
proven scoring option Michigan has.
"Tabitha is the next one to step into
that role," Burnett said. "It's crucial for
her to gain an understanding (of that)."
One thing is for sure: Burnett is
thankful to have Pool, and Pool returns
the favor.
Why wouldn't she? Burnett has been

credited with molding many great
women's basketball players, including
the Los Angeles Sparks' Jackie Stiles,
whom Burnett coached at Southwest
Missouri State.
"I always tell recruits that (Burnett)
is a coach that is going to make you
reach your maximum potential;' said
Rapier, who played under Burnett at
SMS and then joined her staff 13 years
ago. "If you want to be the best player
you can be, you need to play for coach
Burnett."
If Burnett succeeds in helping Pool
eclipse her potential, Burnett's first two
years won't have to be as forgettable as
Guevara's last two.
.1 Brady McCollough can be reached at
bradymcc@umich. edu.

WOMEN
Continued from Page 11B
first Wolverine other than Smith, Gandy, or Pool to
score a field-goal in more than two games.
In contrast with an unproductive Michigan bench,
Michigan State's depth catapulted it to an early 27-14
lead on a 3-pointer from Rene Haynes. The Spartans led
37-20 at halftime and widened that margin to 37 points
Bench can't
salvage dreary
offensive day
By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - Two-and-a-half minutes into
the second half of Sunday's women's basketball
game against Michigan State, the Wolverines had
already missed two 3-pointers and were well on
their way to their ultimate 67-33
loss. Frustration showed on the
face of Michigan coach Cheryl
Burnett, and she didn't hesitate to w
put that frustration into action. $0
She promptly subbed in four of
her second-string players - jun-
ior BreAnne McPhilamy, sophomores Rachael Car-
ney and Mie Burlin and freshman Kelly Helvey.
Senior starters Jennifer Smith and Stephanie Gandy,
junior Sierra Hauser-Price and sophomore Niki
Reams all reluctantly took the bench, looking as if
they'd just been scolded by their mothers.
"I just felt like we could have been playing harder,
and sometimes that kind of change does that," Burnett
said. "And I really think it actually did. Not enough of
a change to make a lot of difference, but those kids
had some really good energy."
Burnett has stressed throughout the season that if a
player wants court time, she must earn it.
Michigan's bench shot just 2-of-17 for seven points.
Freshman Kelly Helvey scored five points on 1-of-9
shooting, and Mie Burlin was 1-of-4 for two points.
TOUGH CROWD: Spend one day on either Michigan or
Michigan State's campus, and you will undoubtedly
see or hear some piece of information bashing the
other school. The rivalry between the two colleges is
;_+o-- 0-2 - -A n 1" nf [ ai

with eight minutes remaining in the second half.
Burnett took a seat midway through the second half
- something she rarely does - displaying the quelled
remnants of the patented stomp used so often in the
past to rile up her players.
"This isn't the type of game that we were anticipat-
ing," the first-year coach said. "We don't feel like we
made it into a rivalry game with the way that we
played. We feel badly that we didn't compete at a high-

er level. Hopefully in three years, maybe we'll be that
kind of team."
In three years, Burnett will have a team consisting
entirely of her own recruits. But in just 23 days, the
Spartans will head to Ann Arbor.
"We'll keep our heads up, work on the stuff that we
need to work on," forward Niki Reams said. "We know
that we got them at home. The outcome will definitely
be different."

Blue joined at State
by bus full of faithful

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer

SOMEWHERE ON I-96 -
Unlike Crisler Arena during
women's basketball games, seats are
hard to come by on the bus to East
Lansing on Sunday morning. The
charter bus is packed to the gills
with admirers of all ages. Their
enthusiasm, as well as a strong sense
of community, blend to create an
atmosphere of anticipation.
This year, $10 could buy fans a
ticket to the game and a ride to and
from East Lansing.
Scanning the faces of the passen-
gers, it is plain to see that Michi-
gan's fans are as diverse as the
Wolverines themselves.
Middle-aged adults - most of
whom have children in tow - popu-
late the center rows. One such moth-
er is athletic booster Deb Kloska.
The chipper mother looks forward to
witnessing her first road game of the
season. She and her daughter, Emily,
are on the way to making the trek to
Michigan State a tradition.
"We went to the State game last
year, and we drove," Kloska says.
"We had a blast. When we found out
it only took an hour to get there, we
were like, 'OK, why haven't we
done this before?'"
In the back, young girls sit with a
pair of giant headphones on their
ears. They chat loudly, speaking over
the road noise and the music blaring
in their ears. Emily Kloska dons the
jersey of one of her all-time favorite
Michigan players, Anne Thorius,
with whom she exchanged e-mails a
few years ago. Over the summer, she
attended Wolverine Basketball Camp
and met senior Jennifer Smith.
These interactions have inspired the
11-year-old aspiring center, who
alreadv towers ahove her mother to

good guard and a good ball-handler.
She's just really cool."
Watching this Michigan team pro-
vides a tutorial on work ethic and
attitude that helps the girls see how
athletes operate on a more mature
level. They believe this gives them a
bit of a boost above their peers.
"I've learned that if the referee
calls a foul that you think is unfair,
you can't get too upset," Laetz
says. "You just have to go with it.
A lot of people on my team, if they
take a foul, get really upset and cry
and stuff. I've learned not to do
that."
Taking the wobbly walk up to the
front of the bus, the noise dies down,
and you find yourself among the
more senior fans. An elderly couple
naps in the front seats, re-charging
for an afternoon of thrills.
Across the aisle, John Simpson
sits quietly. As an usher for both the
men's and women's teams, he
attends all home games, but makes
the trip to Michigan State because of
his sense of duty to the program.
"The girls need support," Simpson
says. "They're trying really hard, so
we need to support them."
When he begins discussing his
favorite players, his eyes, like the
girls in the back, light up.
"I like Jennifer, and I like the
class we got last year," Simpson
says. "Kelly's (Helvey) pretty good,
and I like Niki (Reams) and Rachael
(Carney)."
As someone who has observed the
team for several years, he has
noticed a distinct change in its atti-
tude since coach Cheryl Bunett's
arrival.
"She's going to be great for the
University," Simpson says. "(The
difference is in) her professionalism,
the way she coaches and the way she
handles the kids."

DORY GANNES/Daily
Senior forward Stephanie Gandy scored only two points in 29 minutes of play at the Breslin Center on Sunday.
Gandy. alone with three other starters, was sent to the bench early in the second half of Michigan's 67-33 loss.

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