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January 28, 1970 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-01-28

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Page Six


Wednesday, January 28, 1970


i f l F'


(EDITOWS NOTE: The following
interview with Michigan basketball
Coach Johnny Orr was held yes-
terday morning by Daily reporter'
Eric Siegel.)
You said after the loss to Illi-
nois that one of your main con-
cerns was with the morale of the
team. Do you think Saturday's
win.; over MSU gave a sufficient
boost to the team's morale?
Yes, there's no question about
it. It should really help us ment-
ally. We're usually up for the
State game whenever it comes, but
I'm glad it came when it did.
Does a win like that help your
recruiting in the state?
Well, its a very impressionable
thing. A lot of boys we're looking
at were at the game with t h e i r
parents, and I'm sure they were ex-
cited by our performance. B u t
when it comes down to making the
final decision, it probably isn't a
very big thing.
In the game against State, you
got a really balanced scoring ef-






fort. Do you think you need that'
type of effort to win?
We've actually had that type of
effort quite a few times this year.
When we beat Northwestern (Jan-
uary 3), Fife and Carter had 24
points, and Tomjanovich had 21.
We also had excellent scoring
against Notre Dame and David-
Tomjanovich is always going to
score, and we hope the other play-
ers will, too. We don't really rely
on Rudy. We work him into our
offense like anyone else.
Speaking of Tomjanovich, you
said after the State game that
you were especially pleased with
the way Rudy went to the boards.
Did you specifically instruct him
to go after more rebounds, or was
that just something he did on his
No, we tell our front line to go
to the boards before every game.
We tell them to at least get a hand
on the ball and knock it away
and hope that our guards pick up

the loose balls. In fact, that was
one of the keys to the State game.
We picked up more loose balls than
we had before.
But getting back to Rudy, he
realizes what he has to do to win,
more so than last year. So he's
going to the boards and passing
off more often than he has in the
I keep looking for Rudy to really
let loose one day and score about
60 points. But the way he's been
clearing the boards for our fast
break, we have the ball in the
basket before he can get down the
Tomjanovich always seems to

draw the big man on the other : State came out in a zone at the make these substitutions, or are
team, such as Jackson of Illi- beginning of the second half. you just trying to give some of
nois. How has Rudy dohe on de- That's the second time this year your people a rest?
fense this year? you've seen a zone. Do'you expect! We try to give the guys a little
He's done a better job on de- to see it more often the second rest in there somewhere along
fense than he did a year ago, al- half of the season? the way. When we put Graebic
though some guys give him more I don't know and we really don't in there, we want him to shoot the
trouble than others. We put Rudy care. We dont' really mind a zone ball and Hayward will usually
on the guy who stays close to the at all. come in when we want a little
basket, so he'll be there to get the Do you have to make any spec- more defense.
rebounds. ial adjustments against a zone as We try to give our guards a rest,
Of course, he has a tendency opposed to man-to-man? too. And then it depends on how
not to work so hard on defense, No, there are no special prob- they go. If Bloodworth is going
partly because he's been working lems. I was surprised to see it well, we'll use him. If not, we'll
so hard on offense. But he's learn- in the State game at the start of go with Henry.
ing when he can rest on defense, the second half, though, because We use Fraumann in there for
and when he can't. we had a big lead. muscle. We haven't u s e d him
Getting back to the State game, - Our strategy against the zone much this year because we haven't
was to spread them out, to make seen the right time for him, but
- <them come out after us. Our lead I'm sure he'll be very valuable as
was actually increased while they the season goes on.
were in a zone mWe don't rest Ford very much,
But then they called time out but he's done such a great job in
. and went back to a man-to-man, there for us, playing defense,
%'' and we lost some of our moment- scoring, getting rebounds, that we
'I um. Maybe that was their idea in hate to take him out.
going to the zone: to slow us down I've noticed you've used t h e
and then catch us when they press quite a bit this year. Are you
went back to the man-to-man. satisfied with the way the press
k "' Carter seemed to perform es- has worked?
pecially well in the State game, Very definitely. We pressed
especially iin view of the fact that State quite a bit, and that helped
he had a couple of off days in the us runi up our lead.
past two games. The best time for us to press is
Oh, yes, the game was a defin- late in the first half and about
ite boost for Bird. We had him halfway through the second half.
guard Simpson because we thought We stress speed a n d quickness
-;{ i thatd wmouldbeacalegeorhtand we're usually in better. shape
hm would be a challenge for than the other team. They get
Bird's from Detroit, too, you tired more easily, and then we can
know, and he's also older than dog them even more.
Simpson so we thought that Carter and Ford are especially
would be some extra incentive for valuable when we press, because
h.'m.oAldesome tra cended or they're quicker and faster than
him. And he responded by really most of the guys they play against.
~ akehounding Simpson, forcing him to That's why we were able to come
take some bad shots, and also pop- within two points of Illinois af-
pingin afewhimslf.ter we were down by 18. Carter
In the State game, even though and Ford were a b 1 e to really
you scored 91 points, you gave up clamp their men.



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Dan Fife shoots for two

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- + n r oa
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I - ,

S88. In fact," the team seems to
have given up a lot of points all
season. Do you think the defense
has been a problem, or are the
high scores run up by the oppon-
ents just a result of the f a s t
break offense?
Yes, it's mostly because we're
running. In the first half, we were
super on defense, holding t he m
down to 33 points. But in the se-
cond half we gave up 55, and
that's a lot of points.
We just don't have the stamina
to ,maintain our aggressiveness
over a 40-minute period.
While we're on the subject of
the fast break, do you think that
there are occasions when the team
runs too fast, when it just doesn't
know when to slow up?
No, I don't think so. You can't
run too fast.
But we do get careless, aiid I
think that's probably what you're
talking about. When you use a fast
break, you have to make a quick
decision. Sometimes we try to fast
break when we don't need to;
sometimes we force the break,
and that leads to turnovers.
Do you think this carelessness
leads to the cold spells that have
plagued the team in almost every
game this year?
Sometimes it has, and some-
times ithasn't. We look at the
films after the games and a lot
of times it's not so much that we
got cold as that the other teamx
jgot hot. We miss a couple of shots,
and then they get the rebound
and go down to the other end of
the court and score.
In a lot of .games this year,
you've substituted quite freely at
guard and one of the forward posi-
tions. Are you looking for any
particular strengths when you

Of course, your ideas on t h e
press vary from game to game.
It's a hard thing to practice be-'
cause you don't know how the
other team is going to react to it.
We think the press is exciting.
If we had great speed, we'd press
from beginning to end.
Which was the toughest team
you've faced?
I'd say it was Iowa. They were
really sharp when they came down

here. Of course, they still have to
play Illinois, Purdue and Qh i0a
State at home, and they didn't
lose a home game last year.
You know, I wish there w a s
way we could stir up more en-
thusiasm among the crowds dur-
ing the game. I don't want to
criticize anyone, but maybe some-
one should look into changes in
the seating, or halftime shows to
stir up the crowd a little.
Do you think more enthusiasm
would held the team?
I certainly do. I know we hate
to go to Illinois because their fans
are so unbearable. I think o u r
fans are just as good as theirs.:
The crowd was great during the
Illinois, Purdue and Marquette
games. I think we should look

around, and see if there's any-
thing we can do to keep that en-
thusiasm up all the time.
They say you have to win to
draw crowds, but even though y
hate to lose, our games are aT-
ways exciting. We've had a tough
schedule, and we haven't been out
of a game all year.
One last question. If Michigan
puts everything together, how
high do you think it can go in
the conference? ,
Well, four losses are almost cer-
tainly too many to win it all, es-
pecially with the way Illinois has
been going.
But ther isn't anyone we can't
beat. We can go way up there. We
just might get hot and win all our


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"We've come a long way team-
wise, we're fast breaking better,
we're running better, we're wait-
ing for- the better shots."
This is how George Pomey,
coach of the Michigan's highly
heralded freshman basketball
team, described the progress of
his charges before last week-
end's game.
The freshman now stand 5-2
for the season after dropping a
77-72 decision to Michigan State
Saturday. The freshmen have
generally performed well and,
despite this loss, provide Michi-
gan basketball fans with en-
couragement for the future of
varsity basketball.
Pomey is happy with almost
all aspects of his team's play, but
stresses backboard play as their
prime asset. "We're devastating
on the boards... John Lockard
is big, strong, and can play any-
one on the boards. He can jump
so high, no one can stop him."
The Wolverine front line
which boosts 6-7 Lockard, 6-8
Ernie Johnson, and 6-5 Henry
W il m o r e continually outre-
bounds its opposition and holds
an average 55 to 35 advantage
in rebounds.
Wilmore started the season in
the backcourt, but has been
shifted to forward for the last
two Michigan games. Pomey
views. this move as being very
important to the team and to
"The move relieved much of
the presure from Wilmore. He is

more at home at forward, it lets
him get closer to the basket."
Pomey admitted that Wilmore
had some defensive shortcom-
ings playing at guard and he
also feels that Wilmore's shoot-
ing ability will be maximized if
he doesn't have to set up plays.
"He has adapted more easily
to forward. He has great spring-
ing ability and the ability to get
his own rebounds.
"Wilmore can do more things
with a basketball than anyono
I've seen," Pomey added. "It al-
ways depends on -how badly he
wants to do it. A player has to
come out and play every day,
he has to practice hard."
Shifting Wilmore to forward
also meant that Leon Roberts
has had to switch from forward
to guard. However, Pomey feels
that Roberts has adapted better
to the guard posftion than Wil-
more did.
Pomey expects Roberts to be
'able to handle the defensive and
ball-handling aspects of the
backcourt. Because 'of his size
and strength Roberts will be dif-
ficult for any other guard to de-
Lockard and Johnson have
both played well on the boards,
each averaging 11 per game.
However, the offensive end of
the game has been dominated by
Johnson is second only to Wil-
more in scoring with a 21.4 aver-
age to date. In each of the
team's first five games Johnson
hit for over 20 points. However,

for the last two games, John-
son has totaled only 14.
Pomey admitted, "In high
school Johnson was erratic, he'd
be either great or bad." Despite
the past weeks' performances,
Pomey thinks that it's fair to
say that Johnson has gaine@

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Besides praising Johnson's of-
fensive work, Pomey added, "Er-
nie is also very aggressive on
defense. He is deceptive and
gives the impression he isn't
playing tight defense. He's often
able to steal from the opposing
"Johnson can also run as fast
as anyone on the team and can
dribble the ball well for a big
For Lockard the season has
meant development. In the
freshmen's first game Lockar.
hit only eight of 28 shots.
In the first game of the new
semester, against Western Mich-
igan, Lockard again sank eight
buckets, but this time needed
only 12 attempts.
Pomey has worked with Lock-
ard to rely on his overhand sho
and to always face the basket
when he is shooting. Lockard is
very aggressive and althoug
this has caused him to get into
foul trouble on occasion, Pome
does not criticize aggressiveness
"If you foul a man a coupl
times when he's driving into the
basket, you'll convince him no
to try again."
Defense .remains the fresh
men's prime weakness. "We ca
press in the frontcourt becaus
of our big men," Pomey explain-
ed, "but we don't have any anti
cipation. Each player can guar
his own man, but he can't anti
cipate what's coming."
Pomey seems to expect goo
things of the freshmen, both I
their last four games this year
and when they step up to th
varsity next season. There wil
be three starting spots on th
varsity to fill next year an
Pomey feels that the freshma
team will supply much goo
talent to help fill these voids.

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