ANN ARBOR, Mich. Ä The Fab Five was reduced to two Tuesday as Jalen Rose, following in the footsteps of Chris Webber and Juwan Howard, announced he will leave Michigan early to enter the NBA draft.
That leaves only Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, the two Texans from the talented freshman class recruited three years ago. Webber is a rookie with the Golden State Warriors, and Howard announced Monday he was turning pro.
"I thought about my teammates and the passionate love we have for each other," Rose said. "This has been my dream, and now I'm getting a chance to go for it. I think this is the best thing for me at this time."
The Fab Five went to the NCAA final game in 1992 before losing to Duke. In 1993, they again played for the national championship, but lost to North Carolina after Webber's infamous "timeout" call.
This season, without Webber, the Wolverines lost to Arkansas in the Midwest Regional final.
"For us, it's like a legacy that will never be forgotten," Rose said. "The year before I got here, Michigan was playing in the NIT. The next year, we were playing for the NCAA championship.
"This will be great for every freshman that ever comes here now. They will want a chance to play."
Rose was asked if he had any regrets about the Fab Five era.
"I wouldn't do anything different," he said. "We did so many things as a team. If I could change anything, I'd have cut down the nets twice."
Rose, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound guard, ranks 17th in career NCAA tournament scoring with 250 points. He was named to the 1992 All-Tournament team and the 1993 West Regional team. This season he was one of 16 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.
Rose, a boyhood pal of Webber, came to Michigan after leading Detroit Southeastern to the state championship. He ranks sixth on the Wolverines' career scoring list with 1,788 points for a 17.5 average. Rose scored in double figures in 98 of his 102 games for Michigan.
"From the day he walked in the door, you knew he was special," Michigan coach Steve Fisher said. "His determination to win rubbed off on everybody. More than anyone, the success we were able to achieve as a young group of freshmen was because of Jalen.
"My son's favorite player was Jalen. I asked him why. He said, 'Dad, he listens.' My wife, Angie, says Jalen's just a big kid."
Rose said he wasn't concerned with "speculation" that he may not be among the top players drafted. He also doesn't care which NBA team he plays for.
"It's kind of like the Army, I guess," Rose said. "Whoever takes you, that's where you've got to go." Read Next Article