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December 04, 1995 - Image 18

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-12-04

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, December 4, 1995
Watson has less talent
as Titans' head man

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Michigan-Detroit
matchup a reunion

By Brent Mcintosh
DJy Sports Editor
.DETROIT - Perry Watson has a
much more limited squad of troops to
fight his wars than he did three years ago.
When Watson was an assistant to Steve
FfseratMichiganfrom 1991 to 1993,he
coached, among others, now-Washing-
to Bullets' Chris Webber and Juwan
Heward, and now-Denver Nugget Jalen
Rose. At present, as head coach at De-
troit, he deals with so-called Titans like
iyApo Montgomery, Webber's high
school teammate, and Leon Derricks,
who transferred from Michigan. It showed
inthe Titans' 20-point loss at the hands of
the Wolverines Saturday night.
TWe can't put All-Americans out there
like they can," Watson said. "But we can
compete like All-Americans."
Before the Wolverines ran away with
the game - the preferred way to win
games played in Detroit-the game was
surprisingly close. The Wolverine lead
was only six with less than six minutes to
play; the Titans had tied it at 29 with 16
minutes left.
-"We had a 10-minute game where our
stength and height and depth was able to
show," Fisher said.
SINKINGLIKTHETITAN-Ic:Michigan's
triumph handed Detroit their 20th loss in
ai'w at the hands of Big Ten teams. The

last Titan win was a 77-67 victory over
Minnesota in 1984.
It was also the Titans' eighth straight
loss to Michigan; they last beat the Wol-
verines during the 1981-82 season.
WHO TAUGHT HIM TO TIE HIS SHOES?:
Two minutes into the game, a melee
under the hoops resulted in a Michigan
possession and Derricks' losing a shoe.
Derricks picked up the shoe and tried to
get the referees to stop the game by wav-
ing it in one's direction, then threw it to
Detroit's bench.
The former Michigan sub then played
the next possesion in one shoe, postingup
Maurice Taylor, who called for the ball,
turned and hit a jumper over Derricks,
and drew the foul.
Derricks eventually fouled out of the
game, which might not have happened
had he not fouled Taylor- but the ensu-
ing free throw allowed the Titan senior to
retrieve his shoe and tie it more tightly.
OLD PALS: Fisher, on why the game
against Detroit was one of three this sea-
son in which the Wolverines will face one
of their former assistant coaches:
"I thinkyouhave friends whoare friends
whether they are on your side coaching or
on the other side. When one of them goes
to Duke, I'm not going to play them.
That's how I'll get out of the Duke con-
tract."

By Michael Rosenberg
Daily Editor in Chief
DETROIT-All together now, with
feeling:
Detroit guard Iyapo Montgomery
played high school basketball at Bir-
mingham Country Day, where he was
a teammate of former Michigan star
Chris Webber, who joined the Wol-
verines in 1991, the same year Perry
Watson became a Michigan assistant,
in which capacity he helped the Wol-
verines recruit Leon Derricks, before
Watson took the head coaching job
with the Titans, where he then re-
cruited Derricks again when the for-
ward decided to transfer to Detroit,
where he starts in the frontcourt with
Carl Pickett, a graduate of Ann
Arbor's Gabriel Richard High School,
where he was not seriously recruited
by then-Michigan assistant Watson
but almost tried to walk on with the
Wolverines, much as his Richard
teammate, Neal Morton, would do
(although Morton, like Pickett, now
has a scholarship), although Pickett is
now arguably the Titans' best player,
starting at forward alongside Kamau
Alexander, who played high school
ball with former Michigan star Jalen
Rose at Detroit Southwestern, where
the coach was ... Perry Watson, who
in his time as the Titans' coach has
tried unsuccessfully to recruit the last
two winners of the state of Michigan's
Mr. Basketball award, Willie Mitchell
and Robert Traylor, who now play
together for Michigan but who were
high school opponents in Detroit Pub-
lic School League playoff battles,
which were held at Cobo Arena, where
Mitchell and Traylor helped Michi-
gan beat Detroit, 68-48, Saturday

is a little confused.
"It felt different at fist, seeing the
blue and gold out there otr the other side
in warm-ups," said Derriscks of his first
game against his former team. "But
after that, I just played Imll."
Just playing ball wasw't as easy for
Derricks as it might seesi. Foul trouble
limited him to 21 minules, downT from
an average of40.5 in hisfirst two games
for Detroit. He eventuly fouled out.
But even 21 minutes would have been
a dream for Derricks at Michigan, where
it would have taken him-weeks to amass
that total.
"I think Leon could have had a sig-
nificant role in success at Michigan,"
Wolverine coach Steve Fishersaid. "But
he decided he wanted W play more than
that. He wanted to be the man. And he
is. I'm happy for Leon."
Taylor was the mtan for Michigan
Saturday night, scoiamg 20 points and
pulling down eight :rebounds. Unlikq
Mitchell and Traylor, Taylor was mak-
ing his Cobo debut.
"I was looking fmrward so much to
playing because I noever played here;"
said Taylor, whose: Henry Ford High
School squads were a notch below
Mitchell's Pershingpeams and Traylor' s
Murray-Wright outfits. "My team was-
never good enough to make the play,,
offs."
Taylor was so eocited that he scored
Michigan's first seven points. In his
battle with Derric ks, Taylor clearly had
the upper hand.
"I never want to lose," Derricks said:
"A loss is alwaysgoing to hurt."
Derricks said 1e spoke to Fisher be-
fore the game and his old coach had
wished him good luck.
Thankfully, thermeeting was brief. If
everyone took time out to chat with old
acquaintances, the game never would
have gotten undrway.

Michigan's Louis Bullock blocks the path to the basket as Maurice Taylor jockeys
for position. Detroit Mercy's Leon Derricks (41), a former Wolverine, looks on.

ci NTOSH
Cntinued from page 1B
the boards. But the scoring issue re-
mains: Michigan cannot live by Bul-
lock and Taylor alone. Pretty soon
one will foul out, or hit a cold streak,
or run into a player who can defend
him. When that happens, Michigan
will be in trouble. Who's going to
pick up the burden?
gugan Fife? Sorry: Fife does all the
neessary intangibles - tough de-
fee, diving after loose balls, rally-
ing the troops when Michigan is off-
tk - but scoring in double figures
csistently is not his lot.
Dugan is our veteran, senior cap-
t04," Michigan coach Steve Fisher
sid. "He's been there before. He's
ssted 61 games in a row, but he
tkii't started the last couple. He wants
t Ntart."
-Robert Traylor as the Wolverines'
cr scorer? Not yet: Traylor could
eventually dominate inside, but he's
solidly entrenched in the learning pro-
cess at present.
Maceo Baston? Baston has put the

ball in the basket this year, but he
mysteriously disappeared against
Detroit, scoring a lone point and get-
ting a goose egg in the rebounds col-
umn. Make no mistake, Baston is an
essential element of the Wolverines'
mix, but limited post moves and his
size mean that his importance is
greater when the other team has the
ball.
Willie Mitchell has yet to prove he
can be a force at this level, and neither
Travis Conlan nor Albert White has
shown that he is the consistent scorer
that the Wolverines need. The two fit
better in other roles for now. They
combined for only eight points against
Detroit.
And Jerod Ward played like ... well,
like Jerod Ward does against patsies.
In Michigan's four casual wins this
season, Ward is averaging double dig-
its; in the Wolverines' more trouble-
some games - two losses and a 12-
point victory over DePaul - the Mis-
sissippian has accounted for a grand
total of seven points.
That might be misleading, though.
Ward's disappearance in New York
was of Hoffa-esque proportions, but

"Jero came the benc an gave

us a big kick
Michigan basketball player

D

- Maurice Taylor
on teammate Jerod Ward after
Saturday's game

f y

his contributions in the other five
games can certainly be construed as
evidence that he indeed does have the
talent to score in the Big Ten, and
frequently.
"New York was New York," Ward
said. "Everyone has off-nights."
Ward had an on-night Saturday,
however, scoring nine points and
snagging seven rebounds.
"Jerod came off the bench and gave
us a big kick," Taylor said.
Ward is the obvious candidate to
provide the scoring punch that draws
defensive attention from Taylor and
Bullock. He obviously knows which
side of the hoop the ball is supposed
to go in - now he just has to put it
there consistently.
Who's going to pick up the burden?

It has to be Ward. He has the tools;
now he needs the attitude. He needs to
realize that his team desperately needs
him to be a threat.
"I feel I've picked up a little bit on
the offensive and defensive ends,"
Ward said.
And he's right. He has improved,
on both ends of the floor. But for the
Wolverines to win anything signifi-
cant - for example, a Big Ten title or
a couple tournament games - Ward
must shoulder the burden and be the
player he's capable of being.
Otherwise, the Wolverines will con-
tinue to depend on Bullock and Tay-
lorto provide their only scoring punch.
And the box score will be a lot shorter.
- Brent McIntosh can be reached
over e-mail at mctosh@umich.edu.

night.
You got that?
If not, don't feel1

bad. Even Derricks

MICHIGAN (68)
FG FTR RE
MIN MA M-A OT A F PTS
Mitchel 19 1.6 0-0 0-2 0 0 2
Taylor 31 8-11 4-7 2-8 1 3 20
Gaston 16 0-1 1-2 0-0 0 3 1
conlan 28 2-3 0-0 0-2 4 0 5
Bullock 28 6-9 3-4 0.4 2 218
DeKuiper 1 0-0 0-0 04) 0 0 0
Fife 19 1-5 0-0 0-0 20 2
Morton 100 00 00 00 0
Oliver 1 0.1 1-4 1-1 0 0 1
Ward 25 4.7 0-0 07 1 3 9
White 15 0-2 34 1.1 0 0 3
Traylor 16 1-2 5-6 2-3 1 4 7
Team Rebounds 2-3
Totals 200 23.47 17-27 8.31 1115 68
FG%: .489. FT%..630. Three.-ont goals: 5-13,-385
(Bullock 3-4, Coneanl-2, Ward 1-4, Matchell 0-1. Fife
02). Blocks: 1(Baston). Turnovers: 19 (Taylor 5,
Conlan 3. Mitchell 3. Baston~ 2, Fife 2, White 2.
Bullock 1. Ward 1). Steals: 9 (Bullock 2, Mitchell 2.
Traylor 2. Conlan, Fife, Ward). Technical Fouls: none.
Mcign...... 27 41 - 68
Detrit ...23 25- 48
At: Cobo Artn; A. 10,709.

DETROIT (48)
too FT REB
MIN M~A M-A O-T A F PTS
Alexander 19 a7 2-2 0-0 0 2 6
Legardy 17 j3 0-0 2-3 1 1 4
Derricks 21 44 0-0 3-405' 6
Pickett 30 3-:11 2-2 1-2 3 3, 9
Jackson 38 5-2 1-2 1-3 2 1 13,
Jenkins 24 3-8 0-0 2-4 1 1 6
Alexander 5 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0
Montgomery 15 :2-3 00 1-2 0 4,.4:
Porter 3 40 0-0 0-0 01 j 0
Robinson 26 '05 0-1 2-6 0 1 0
Domke 1 ~- 0-0 0-0 0 0.'0
Smith 1 - 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Team Rebounds 0-3
Totals 200 20,153 5.7 12-29 720 48
F(3%:377. FT%:.714I. Three-polnt goals: 3-12. ;250:
(Jackson 23. Picker 1-3, Alexander 0-3, Jenkins O-1,
Montgomery 0-1, RcOinson 0-1).Blocks:3 (Derricks,
Montgomery. Porte .Tunovrs: 25 (Alexander 4,
Jackson 4, Jenkins l, Dericks 3. Montgomery 3,
Robinson 3.Legardfp 2, Pickett 2). Steals: 9
(Robinson 3. Jacksi 2,Pic-ett2, Derricks.
Montgomery). Tectw~klca Fouls: team/bench (1).

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