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April 02, 2004 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-02

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0

Friday
April 2, 2004
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

OReTicSan Bilu

10

4

New

York s

Finest

NIT championship is
Robinson's swan song

Blue completely shuts
down red-hot Douby

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
NEW YORK - After the final sec-
onds ticked away, one Michigan player
celebrated a little differently than every-
one else.
Instead of jumping around at center
court, Bernard Robinson held his right
fist up in stoic elation. Instead of sitting
in front of the team picture at center
court grasping the trophy, Robinson
snuck in the right corner. Instead of
rushing to cut down the net, Robinson
waited his turn, and ended up cutting
down the final threads and then draping
the net around his neck as he left the
floor.
"It was the weirdest feeling," Robin-
son said. "I'd never thought I'd be in
that position."
For the senior, the ending was bitter-
sweet.
On one hand, Robinson had helped
the Wolverines bring home their first
banner (besides those taken down by
sanctions) since 1989. But last night's
victory signified the end of Robinson's
college career after being Michigan's
"Mr. Everything" for four years.
Robinson has always been one of the
Michigan's most consistent players,
with a scoring average in double digits
every season.
The Washington native played
through a couple of the bleakest seasons
in Michigan basketball history. The
Wolverines finished 10-18 and 11-18 in
Robinson's first two years. Weeks
before his junior year, the program was

placed on probation, and handed a one-
year postseason ban. Then, this past
summer, the postseason ban was
extended for another year.
It was later revoked, giving Michigan
a chance to play beyond the Big Ten
Tournament for the first time since
2000. But a few disappointing losses
down the stretch left Robinson and his
teammates in the NIT.
But the Wolverines took advantage of
their opportunity to play this March,
winning five straight while playing as
well as they have all season. Robinson's
shooting, passing ability and defense
was a major part of the run.
"I appreciate the team staying and
fighting," Robinson said. "Believing, no
matter what happened all year."
Now he and fellow senior and
roommate Colin Dill get to go out as
winners.
"It's something that we've talked
about;' Dill said. "We've been through a
lot here in our four years, and to be able
to end it as a champion is special. To
win (his) last game is something every
player thinks about and wants to do."
Robinson didn't play one of his
best offensive games last night, scor-
ing just nine points with two assists.
But Robinson did star on the defen-
sive end, spending the majority of the
game on Rutgers star guard Quincy
Douby. Douby came alive in the NIT
and scored a career-high 35 points in
Tuesday night's semifinals. But
Douby was dormant last night, going
1-for-13 from the field with just two
points.

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Editor

RYAN WEINER/Daily
Michigan players celebrate, holding up the NIT trophy following last night's 62-55 win.

"We have the quickness and size to
be able to contain guys like that,"
Michigan guard Daniel Horton said.
"And Bernard did a great job."
But Robinson said that the fact that it
was his last game didn't enter his mind
at all.
"I was thinking we have to win
this game, it's the championship,"

KNIGHTS
Continued from Page 1
attempt.
In total, Lamizana finished just two blocks shy of a
triple-double - he had 19 points, 10 rebounds and
eight rejections. On the offensive end, the Ivory Coast
native repeatedly faked jump shots along the perimeter
to gain a step on Michigan's defenders and get into the
paint for a shot.
Michigan did manage to shut down Quincy Douby,
the Scarlet Knights' leading scorer on Tuesday. The 6-
foot-3 guard had 35 against Iowa State in the semifi-
nals, but found few good looks all night against the
Wolverines, shooting a dismal 1-for-13. He finally
located the bottom of the net four minutes into the sec-
ond half on a runner from the baseline to cut Michi-
gan's lead to 41-31. The freshman finished with just
two points.
"I knew they were going to focus on me," Douby said. "I

know they watched film and they've seen some of my
weaknesses, and they (exploited) my weaknesses."
The New York crowd was largely behind Rutgers, located
in nearby New Jersey, creating a hostile road environment
for the Wolverines. At points, it seemed to rattle Michigan,
but the team found a way to remain level-headed.
"We were talking at halftime and throughout the sec-
ond half about poise," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
said. "I think the crowd made it a very electric atmos-
phere. That makes you play faster than you want to."
It's been almost seven months since Michigan won its
appeal to the NCAA, negating its second year of post-
season probation. After failing to make the NCAA Tour-
nament, it looked like the Wolverines would fail to
capitalize on the decision. But Amaker wasn't about to
let that happen.
"To learn that we became postseason eligible at the
beginning of the year, we tried to make a move this sea-
son," Amaker said. "And I think our players have done
that in a fine fashion to make our University proud."

Robinson said.
But now, it's over. And through it all,
Robinson said he wouldn't have it any
different.
"I've enjoyed my time here at Michi-
gan," Robinson said. "I'm glad I didn't
go anyplace else. I'm glad I've been
able to be a part of this."
YESTERDAY'S GAME
Michigan (62)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Hunter 21 2-5 0-0 4-7 1 2 4
Sims 26 3.9..3-5 2-7 0 1 9
Abram 19 1-5 3-6 0-5 1 3 5
Horton 36 4-10 4-8 0-5 3 2 14
Robinson 32 3-10 3-4 2-5 2 3 9
Harris 33 4-8 3-4 2-4 5 3 13
Petway 7 1-6 0-0 3-4 0 1 2
Brown 26 3-6 3-4 2-5 1 2 6
Team 5-8
Totals 200 21-59 16-2717427 24 62
FG%: .356. FT%: .593. 3-point FG: 4-16,
.250 (Horton 2-6, Abram 0-3, Harris 2-5,
Robinson 0-1, Hunter 0-1). Blocks: 6 (Sims
2, Hunter 2, Horton, Petway). Steals: 6 (Hor-
ton 3, Abram 2, Robinson). Turnovers: 15
(Horton 3, Harris 3. Robinson 3, Sims 2,
Hunter, Abram,rBrown Petway). Technical
fouls: none.
RUTGERS (55)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Lamizana 38 9-18 1-2 2-10 1 4 19
Axani 22 3-5 0-1 5-9 0 4 6
Webb 30 1-5 2-2 0-7 2 4 4
Shields 36 6-18 1-2 2-4 1 2 16
Douby 37 1-13 0-0. 0-3 3 5 2
Wiggan 17 2-3 0-2 3-3 0 2 4
Joynes 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Hill 16 2-5 0-0 2-2 0 2 4
TEAM 3-4
Totals 200 24-67 4-9 17-42 7 24 55
FG%: .358. FT%: .444. 3-point FG: 3-19
(Shields 3-11, Douby 0-3, Webb 0-3,
Lamizana 0-2). Blocks: 9 (Lamizana 8, Hill).
Steals: 5 (Shields 2, Lamizana 1, Axani 1,
Wiggan 1). Turnovers: 13 (Lamizna 3, Douby
3, Shields 2, Wiggan 2, Axani, Webb, Hill).
Technical fouls: none.
Michigan.........32 30 - 62
Rutgers..........25 30 - 55
At: Madison Square Garden, New York,NY
Attendance: 16,064
Officials: Larry Rose, Duke Edsall, Bryan
Kersey.

NEW YORK - Michigan knew
heading into last night's NIT final that
the key to beating Rutgers would be
slowing down red-hot guard Quincy
Douby. But nobody figured Michigan
would nearly stop him altogether.
Douby, a freshman from Brooklyn,
had been on a tear since entering Rut-
gers's starting lineup at the start
of the NIT. Douby scored 96
points since the start of the
tournament, including 35 in theat
Scarlet Knights' win over Iowa
State in the semifinals.
But Michigan held Douby to
just two points for the game on 1-for-13
shooting behind a solid effort by
Bernard Robinson and great help
defense in a number of situations.
"A couple of times I had a pretty
good look at the basket, and kind of
rushed it," Douby said. "But I've got to
give them credit. They did a really good
job. They contested all my shots."
The Wolverines couldn't have done
better against Douby in the first half.
Guarded primarily by Robinson, the
Rutgers freshman was shut down com-
pletely - missing all eight of his shots
in the first frame.
Even when Robinson wasn't guarding
Douby, the Wolverines prevented the
freshman from getting any good looks at
the basket by switching off on screens.
"We had a good defensive team
effort," Michigan coach Tommy Amak-
er said. "You can't have one player think
that they're gonna stop one other guy. It
takes a group of guys and a team effort,
and certainly our players did that."
Douby missed his first field-goal
attempt in the second half before con-
necting on a baseline leaner with 16:22
to play in the game, bringing Rutgers
BURKE
Continued from Page 1
season in years. But this Michigan team
may have accomplished more in a post-
season NIT than any team ever has.
In a mere two weeks, the Wolverines
made everyone forget about the Ed
Martin scandal, the seasons that ended
with blowout losses in the Big Ten Tour-
nament and the departures and dis-
missals of players from the program.
This week allowed the Michigan pro-
gram and its fans to put all that aside
and focus on - (GASP!) - basketball.
OK, it wasn't a great game. Michigan
turned the ball over 15 times, shot 35
percent from the floor and 59 percent
from the free throw line.
The Wolverines did everything they
could in the second half to let Rutgers
back into it, and there's no question they
looked more like an NIT champion
team than a team that should challenge
Duke or Connecticut.
But what the Wolverines also looked
like was a team that finally came
together and finally learned how to win.
If that was the only thing that Michi-
gan took from the NIT, then the postsea-
son trip would have been well worth it.
But it obviously wasn't the only thing
the Wolverines managed to accomplish
at Madison Square Garden. In one five-
game postseason run, this year's Michi-
gan team brought respectability back to
this program. The Wolverines won a
national title (I know, not the national
title) on national television in the
"world's most famous arena."
"It wasn't just for us," Horton said.
"There were a lot of guys on the team
that (won the 1997 NIT title) that
weren't a part of the scandal, and they
had to watch the banner that they
worked hard for get taken down.
"We wanted an opportunity to put
another one back up."
Thanks to the win, Michigan gets to
refill the vacancy left in Crisler's rafters
after the self-imposed sanctions.
There's no telling how big something
like that could be for this team next

year, and for this program in the future.

0a
00

within 10 at 41-31.
The Douby field goal - his only
one of the game - was the start of a
13-2 Rutgers run over the next six
minutes, which pulled the Scarlet
Knights within three.
But a solid defensive effort by Robin-
son and the Wolverines kept Douby
quiet for the rest of the contest, as he
was unable to get free for any more
good looks at the basket.
"I think us as a team did a
great job on him," Robinson
said. "When he got past me,
there was always a guy there
to help him in rotation. I
think that a key part of us
winning the ballgame today
was slowing him down."
GET THAT OUTTA HERE: Rutgers senior
Herve Lamizana - the team's second-
leading scorer - gave Michigan fits
on both ends of the floor, finishing the
game with a jam-packed box score. The
senior made the most of his last game
for Rutgers, finishing with 19 points, 10
rebounds and eight blocks.
"I thought he was absolutely terrific
tonight,"Amaker said.
Lamizana was all over the place in
the first half, scoring 11 points and
adding five rebounds and five blocks.
The senior kept Michigan from several
layups with his stuffs, which included a
huge rejection on a dunk attempt from
Michigan high-flyer Brent Petway.
Lamizana continued his rim-guarding
in the second half, sending back three
more Michigan shots. On several series
under the Michigan basket, Lamizana
recorded multiple blocks to keep Michi-
gan away from the rim.
"He's a great player, and he played
well today," Michigan sophomore Gra-
ham Brown said. "He altered a lot of
shots, but we did a good job finishing
when we needed to."
Last night, this team - this program
- took a huge step forward. And the
Wolverines did so by putting aside not
only the internal problems this team has
had in the past, but also by forgetting
about those devastating road losses ear-
lier this year.
And because of all of that, Michigan
heads into the offseason with something
this program and this young team need-
ed more than it ever did in the past.
Victory.
QM' NOTE
Bowman takes over
for Urbanchek in pool
Yesterday, Athletic Director Bill Mar-
tin announced that Bob Bowman will
take over as the new Michigan men's
swimming coach. Bowman, who
replaces the retiring Jon Urbanchek, has
coached at the North Baltimore Aquatic
Club since 1996. He served as the club's
High Performance Coach for all but his
first three years there. He is currently
the coach of Michael Phelps, an 18-
year-old member of the U.S. National
Team who is considered by many to be
the country's top swimmer. In 2000,
Phelps - the current world record
holder in four men's events - became
the youngest male to compete in the
Olympics in nearly 70 years at age 15.
Previously, Bowman coached former
Michigan swimmer Eric Wunderlich, a
1996 Olympian.
Bowman, who swam for Florida State
until 1987, has won USA Swimming
Coach of the Year honors twice, most
recently last year. He is currently a final-
ist for the USOC National Coach of the
Year award. Bowman will formally take
over as the program's eighth coach in
September, following the conclusion of
the Olympic Games in Athens. Until that
time, Urbanchek will prepare Michigan
swimmers for the Olympic trials in July

and the subsequent Olympics. In 22
years at Michigan, Urbanchek has cap-
tured 13 Big Ten titles, as well as the
1995 NCAA Championship.

PJS
RECORDS &
USED CDS
617 Packard
Upstairs from
Subway
Paying $4 to $6
for top CD's in
top condition.
Also buying
premium LP's
and cassettes.

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