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Page 178 text:
After being fouled as he drove to the basket, sophomore Bernard Robinson Jr. attempts a free throw. Robinson ended the season shooting 86 percent from the line, photo by Ben Hayes building up ayoungprogram season. Jo tantcis squad fi Universi waste young t Ramsey 9, student tenure.( 174 I Men ' s Basketball
Page 177 text:
After pulling down a rebound, sophomore Bernard Robinson, Jr. pushes the ball up the floor. Robinson, Jr. recorded his first career double - double against Minnesota, photo by Mike Cutri men ' s basketball tit tingfrom. , wayOUtSlde 1 The Michigan Men ' s Basketball team entered the 2001-2002 season with a new coach and high hopes for a bright, progressive future. Tommy Amaker began his first season at the reins of the varsity squad, succeeding Brian Ellerbe. Amaker was the end result of an extensive search, eventually being pulled away from his talented Seton Hall program. A young coach at age 36, Amaker already had four years of executive experience under his belt, as well as nine seasons as an assistant coach at Duke University under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, for whom he also played. Amaker ' s four seasons all concluded with postseason appearances, which had been an elusive place of late for the Wolverines. The University definitely anticipated benefits from Amaker ' s lively, tough coaching style and superlative recruiting abilities. His appearance revitalized student support at home court Crisler Arena, as the Maize Rage teemed out of the student section with electric enthusiasm. Michigan fans were hungry for the success not seen since the Fab Five era of 1 992, and the coaching change renewed promise of a competitive, respectable performance. The Wolverines returned a healthy mix of experience and youth. The team was led by returning stars LaVell Blanchard and Bernard Robinson, Jr. The pair enjoyed a series of preseason awards: Blanchard was elected to the Playboy All-America team T and Robinson was voted the Big Ten Conference ' s best dunker by the Sporting News, who also voted Blanchard the conference ' s best NBA prospect. Blanchard, in his third season, consistently led the Wolverines in scoring and rebounding. Robinson had approached matching numbers as a sophomore and began to mirror Blanchard ' s reliability for big numbers. Both played a similar, versatile small forward position. Chris Young, a powerful 6 foot 9 inch center, provided Michigan ' s clearly most threatening post threat. A four- year letterman, Young also spearheaded the team ' s motivation with noble clubhouse leadership and tougher-than-leather work ethic in practice. Young reaped obvious benefits from the Big Man ' s Camp in Hawaii, attended in the summer off-season. He continuously bested his career highs for points and rebounds in his final season, and during periods of poor team shooting, he appeared the team ' s lone bright spot, cleaning up on the boards and playing virtually turnover-free ball. Young ' s efforts led to more open shots for Michigan ' s perimeter shooters, as his presence often necessitated double-team attention. story continued on page 1 75 HI 83 Duke 104 ||| SB Eastern Michigan 58 ||| 47 San Francisco 55 ||| 67 Penn State 63 ||| 79 Purdue 75 || 82 Minnesota 90 Sports | 173
Page 179 text:
men ' s basketball story continued from page 1 73 Two such contributing shooters were Dommanic Ingerson and Gavin Groninger. Ingerson was the Wol- verines ' leading freshman contributor, often catalyzing runs with his pinpoint three-point shooting. Groninger enjoyed his most outstanding of three varsity seasons, earning regular playing time as a feared sharpshooter. Chuck Bailey, a freshman forward, also emerged as a valuable inside player during the campaign. Two more invaluable team leaders were Mike Gotfredson and Rotolu Adebiyi, who received scholar- shipsfortheirfinal season of eligibility with the Wolver- ines. After contributing to the team ' s practice squad, the two culminated their careers as captains, display- ing great heart at all times. Gotfredson even cracked the starting lineup, offering his experience and deter- mination to the floor effort. Herb Gibson, a four-letter forward, also lent considerable experience and guid- ance to the team ' s younger players during his final year. Along with Gotfredson, the backcourt was manned by Avery Queen, a feisty sophomore point guard. At only 5 foot 7 inches, Queen utilized blazing speed to penetrate zone defenses and markedly improved his assist-to-turnover ratio in his sophomore season. Leon Jones, a senior guard, played confidently in relief and contributed integral assists and shooting to the of- fense. Rounding out the roster were forwards Ron Garber, a senior, and Colin Dill, a sophomore. Center Josh Moore, determined academically ineligible mid- way through the season; he continued to practice with the team and hoped to resume playing in thefollowing season. Joining Amaker on the bench were three new assis- tant coaches. Charles Ramsey joined the Michigan squad following five seasons as an assistant at the University of California. His most reputable strength was his persuasive recruiting, and he hoped to aid Amaker in a long term endeavor to attract even more young talent to the Michigan program. In the 80 ' s, Ramsey coached high school basketball in neighbor- ing Ypsilanti. Billy Schmidt followed Amaker from Seton Hall, where he had been an assistant for one season. Before this, Schmidt derived experience at Northwestern Uni- versity and the University of Tennessee. A Wake Forest graduate with honors in 1992, Schmidt also served as student manager and coaches ' aide for his four-year tenure. Chuck Swenson lent his recruiting abilities and extensive collegiate experience to the Wolverines. He had served in a variety of basketball positions for 26 years at several prestigious programs before joining Amaker at Michigan. Sfory by Eric Rajala Giving a shoulder fake, Fresh- man Chuck Bailey pre- pares to drive to the hoop. Bailey was one of two fresh- men to see action in all 27 games. As his team- mate shoots the first of two free throws, sophomore Bernard Robinson Jr. catches his breath. Robinson pulled down 132rebounds on the season. photo by Ben Hayes Awaiting a whistle, a Wolverine prepares to enter the game. The Maize and Blue relied heavily on a freshmen- laden bench, photo by Ben Hayes Sports | 1 75
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