Monday, February 18, 2013

Michigan Monday: Thanks Penn State

Thank you Penn State for not ruining the Crisler Center party on Sunday.   You were invited guests but sort of the same way the Generals are the invited team to play the Globetrotters each week.

See Michigan paid millions of dollars to take a building built in 1967 and turn it into a facility that's worthy to host the #4 ranked team in the country.   The old Crisler Arena had comfy seats, old rich people too close to the floor, poor lighting and guys like Steve Fisher, Brian Ellerbe and Tommy Amaker coaching the team.   Those guys have moved on to other jobs:  Steve is at San Diego State,  Brian is an assistant coach for DePaul after being out of basketball for a few years and Tommy took his talents to Cambridge and is the head man at Harvard.   Sorry PSU, I got off track for a moment. 

Back to Sunday, they call Crisler Arena the house that "Cazzie Built" because Cazzie Russell was the guy that really brought Michigan Basketball to life.   Cazzie played at Michigan from 1963-1966 and helped guide the Wolverines to 3 Big Ten Championships and 2 Final Fours.  In 1965 his team lost in the National Championship game to John Wooden's UCLA squad.   In 1966, Cazzie averaged over 30 points a game and was named the National Player of the year.  The next year he was the NBA's first draft pick to the New York Knicks.     Cazzie sadly never got to play in the Arena that he laid the foundation for.  It was good to see him again, he looks like he still could put up a double - double.   

PSU:  Then why isn't it called the Cazzie Center then? 

Good questions Penn State!  I don't know if you heard but Michigan is considered a "football school" and they play that sport right next to Crisler Center in that big hole in the ground.  I hope you got to see it.  We named the Arena now Center after our famous head football coach Herbert O. "Fritz" Crisler.   See everything goes back to football.    Fritz was Michigan's AD from 1947-1968 and lead the construction of the basketball arena.  

Did you see Glen Rice made it in?  He lead Michigan to it's last National Championship in 1989.  Glen still holds the record of scoring the most points in a single NCAA tournament, he went for 184 points in 1989.  That is some shooting!

I didn't see Terry Mills there which is disappointing.  I hope he made it.

So thanks again for not spoiling the party.  You came out and played your back sides off.  Many there in person and those watching on TV didn't expect it.  I even think a few of the Wolverine players in their throw back jerseys weren't' expecting it either.  You guys put up a good fight and gave Coach Beilein plenty to work on during practice for the next 7 days, so thanks again! 

That's it for now and we will see you in a couple of weeks in Happy Valley.  If at all possible could you guys play with a little less effort?   Try to throw a few points to our big guys.  None of our centers scored and they like to do that.  Last request, we prefer Hardaway our 2 guard to go for about 18 points.  I think he had 8 yesterday afternoon.   30 by Burke,  21 by GR3 and 18 from that guy from Canada will work just fine on the 27th.  

See you then! 

1 comment:

GHH67 said...

Cazzie, not Cassie.