The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 5, 2004 - 1A
By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
Three years ago, while coaching at Southwest Mis-
souri State, Cheryl Burnett got an itch. She got it from a
2001 NCAA Final Four loss to Purdue.
It has bothered her ever
Tonight, Burnett, now
coaching Michigan, finally
has a chance to scratch that
A win against the fifth-
ranked Boilermakers at
Crisler Arena wouldn't be
It would be a step in get-
ting Michigan to buy into
100th for coach
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
Sources of inspiration will be easy to find when the No. 10
Michigan men's swimming and diving team takes on Michi-
gan State this Friday at Canham Natatorium. The meet will
conclude Michigan's 2003-04 dual meet schedule.
Friday will be a time to celebrate the accomplishments and
contributions of captain Dan Ketchum, 2002-03 NCAA
Champion platform diver Jason Coben and the rest of the
senior class. The outcome will count towards the Pontiac
Challenge Cup, a year-long, all-sport battle between the
Wolverines and Spartans. But, despite these many incentives,
everybody seems to be thinking one thing.
This one is for Jon.
With a victory, departing head coach Jon Urbanchek,
who has put together a Big Ten dual meet record of 99-4
in his 22 seasons as the head man at Michigan, would hit
the century mark in wins. But a victory against Michigan
State - to whom Urbanchek has never lost - is no more
than a formality.
It would be foolish to believe that anything other than
Urbanchek's win could push this team harder.
"The 100th win is just a huge deal," sophomore Davis Tar-
water said. "The whole team's focus is just getting that win
for Jon. It's going to be a bittersweet day for us, getting the
win, but also watching him go."
The milestone victory would allow second-year diving
coach Chris Bergere to feel some sense of closure:
"The coaches certainly are focused on (the 100th win),"
Bergere said. "We just want to go out strong with Jon
Urbanchek. He's been a great inspiration for our team. So
as a whole, both swimming and diving, we just want to do
Jon proud and do him justice, and really have a good time
with celebrating his 100th win."
While conveying his typical humility, Urbanchek nonethe-
less realizes the momentous occasion at hand.
"I never kept track of it," Urbanchek said. "It didn't
really matter. But I suppose 100 is a good number. But
with only four losses, I'm more proud of the percentage
than the number."
The departing seniors will not be forgotten in all the
talk of their coach's feat. Friday will be the last chance
for Ketchum, Coben, Dusty Garwood, Josh Hack, Mike
Porth and Tim Wera to showcase their skills on the
what Southwest Missouri State bought into during Bur-
nett's initial years as head coach of that program.
It took Burnett two seasons to turn around Southwest
Missouri State. The Bears went from eighth in the Mis-
souri Valley conference to first.
A major reason for the improvement was getting the
team to believe in a system - one that emphasizes
defense and teamwork.
"Their hard work will pay off," former Southwest
Missouri State player and Michigan associate head
coach Karen Rapier said. "It hasn't totally paid off for
us yet, but we have to keep the faith that it will pay off
at some point in time."
For Burnett, there may not be a more opportune time
Purdue (7-1 Big Ten, 17-2 overall) boasts two of the
nation's best players in forward Shereka Wright and
point guard Erika Valek. Both are All-American candi-
dates. And both were a part of the 2001 team that
knocked Burnett and Southwest Missouri State out of
the NCAA Final Four.
"She was just a tremendous basketball player (then),"
said Burnett about Wright in the Final Four. "So I can't
imagine what she's like now."
Some may think that the Wolverines (3-6, 10-12) are
progressing too slowly this season. But, the Wolverines
did recently experience, according to Rapier, a "major
0 During last Sunday's loss at Illinois, Michigan watched
its best player, center Jennifer Smith, get even better.
The senior shrugged off double teams and physical
play - obstacles for her earlier in the season - to
score 31 points and grab seven rebounds. It was a major
step in Smith's development as a leader.
Against Purdue, Smith needs to do what she has done
so well this season - play effectively in the post.
The Boilermakers' two best post players, Lindsey
Michigan Junior Tabitha Pool has struggled from beyond the
arc In recent games.
Hicks and Emily Heikes, have not been consistent this
"Obviously we have (had) some trouble with posts,
much to my dislike," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said.
"Lindsey and Emily have got to come to play. I expect
more than what they are giving. It will be interesting
because I love Jennifer Smith. I have always thought
she was one of the best players in our league and in the
But the Wolverines will need more than just Smith to
beat Purdue. The Boilermakers have six players who
average more than seven points per game. Michigan
has just three - Smith, Tabitha Pool and Stephanie
Recent challengers have zoned-up against Smith in
the post, realizing that Pool and Gandy have been strug-
gling from three point range, shooting a combined 22
percent in the past five games.
But Purdue plays mostly a man-to-man defense. Its
style caters to Michigan's dump-in offense geared
around Smith, the Big Ten's leading scorer with 21.5
A win against the Big Ten's second best team tonight
may brighten Michigan's dim hope of reaching the post
It would also help Burnett establish a future to forget
Diver Jason Coben won the 2002-03 NCAA Championship.
Canham pool deck.
"The leadership this year has been tremendous," Tarwatir
said. "(Ketchum) is a captain and a leader in and out of the
pool. He's a great motivator. He's a great friend to all of us.
And that goes for the other guys too. They're going to 'be
sorely missed next year."
Urbanchek beams with pride when speaking of his team's
"Ketchum was just a wholesome leader," Urbanchek sail.
"He's one of the most conscientious kids we've had in a long
time. I think Dan raised the bar for captainship this year."
Ketchum attributes his growth as a swimmer and as a per-
son during his time in Ann Arbor to his "father away from
"(My) biggest change as a person has been made through
Jon," Ketchum said. "Seeing him leave is going to be a really
big deal to me."
The captain acknowledges that he will greatly miss the
cozy confines of his home pool.
"I've been thinking about (my last home meet), a lots"
Ketchum said. "I'm never going to race in here again. I love
this pool. I think it's the greatest pool in the world. I don't get
emotional very often, but we'll see."
The spectators at Canham on Friday evening will witness
the departure of a special class of swimmers.
But just remember one thing: This one (hundred) is for Jot.
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Continued from Page 9A
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