BY RAPHAEL GOODSTEIN
Daily Sports Writer
Published March 29, 2001
After Michigan"s season finale a 78-57 loss at Michigan State freshman center Josh Moore said that he was loyal to coach Brian Ellerbe, and that if fired, Moore would consider transferring.
Three and a half weeks later, Moore is singing a different tune.
"I"m definitely not going to transfer," Moore said after hearing that Seton Hall coach Tommy Amaker would be named coach of Michigan later this week. "After making a commitment to be excellent, that says a lot about the program. What Bill Martin has done in the last couple of weeks, really shows me that he"s the right man for the job. I"m loving what I"m seeing out of him.
"This is great for everybody. This is definitely a 10 in my book."
Moore"s not the only one who feels this way.
"I"m glad we"re starting over," freshman guard Avery Queen said. "(Amaker) will be able to come in here and return Michigan back where it used to be.
"I"m staying at Michigan. This is a good decision for Michigan. I"ve heard from other players that he"s a good coach."
Amaker, 36, is considered by many to be one of the premier young coaches in basketball.
"He"s a great young coach," ESPN analyst Dick Vitale said last week. "He"d be a great choice for Michigan."
Before coaching at Seton Hall, Amaker was an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, his alma mater.
The hiring will add zest to the Michigan-Duke rivalry a rivalry that has recently lost some luster because of the Blue Devils" dominance over the Wolverines.
"It"s gonna blow up," freshman guard Avery Queen said. But "we got to start winning again."
Said freshman guard Bernard Robinson: "It"ll be a good chance for him to come in and coach against his old coach."
Many Blue Devils who played under Amaker remained close with him, even after he left for Seton Hall.
During the offseason, former Duke standout Grant Hill would go to Seton Hall and play with the Pirates, just so that he could have the opportunity to visit his former coach.
"This is now a team that can be restored to some of its past glory with this guy on the sidelines," Moore said. "We have enough talent and we have the right coach to get it done."
Moore was recruited by Amaker but "lived three blocks away from Seton Hall growing up. If it wasn"t for that, I would have gone there."
Queen thinks fans should attend games next year to see how the team does.
"The fans are going to come to games if we win," Queen said. "They didn"t like Ellerbe so they should come out to see how Amaker does."
The effect: Often when a coach is fired, his recruits think about playing elsewhere. This might not happen at Michigan.
Forwards Chuck Bailey and Kelly Whitney already pledged to Michigan regardless of who is on the bench, and Dommanic Ingerson is happy with the decision.
"I spoke with Dommanic and he"s happy coach Amaker got the position," Moore said.
Jaquan Hart and junior verbal commitment Lester Abrams have both repeatedly said they will take a wait-and-see attitude towards the new coach. Both have said they hope assistant coach Terrence Greene is retained.