THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Saturday, March 15, 1969
THE MICHIGAN DAILY Saturday, March 15, 1969
Inconsistent play mars
By CHRIS TERAS
Where have you gone, Joe Di-
maggio? Or, where have you gone,
Cazzie Russell? Michigan basket-
ball hasn't been the same since
you left. Yes, they have finished
another season in Ann Arbor
amidst peace and quiet.
There's no excitement, no fan-
fare, no crushing pressure now
that the regular season has end-
ed. All Coach John Orr could
say about the season was "We
played better than I expected be-
fore the season." But things were
not as bad as all that.
Going into the season, Orr was
facing his first head coaching ef-
fort in big-time basketball. He
said, "In preseason practice, we
worked on our running game and
offense because we expected to
be weak on defense."*
The oft-lamented defense gave
up an average of 91.1 points while
the nearly unstoppable offense hit
89.7 per contest. But defense was
not the only problem. "We would
have had a great shot at the title,"
Orr stated, "if we had had a big
man who could've played t h e
pivot. As it was, we went with an
open-court attack all year.
Without thatbig center, t h e
Wolverines began the campaign
unspectacularly. The team defeat-
ed Northern Illinois and Western
Michigan, but lost in E a s t
Lansing to Toledo, a disappo t-
ing squad this year. Then came an
unbelievable victory over Duke in
Durham, N.C. 90-80, and Michi-
gan fortunes pointed skyward.
.This promise was upheld to
some extent during the Christmas
break, except for the Ann Arbor
drubbing by Davidson. The start
of the Big Ten season soon fol-
Orr commented, "We knew we
had to win our first four games
to be in" serious contention. We
had to face a tough schedule with
our last two games being played at
Purdue and then Ohio State. But
we lost to Minnesota up there, and
this has to be one of the biggest
disappointments since we expect-
ed to beat them."
The Wolverines did, however,
manage to beat Iowa and Indiana
in overtime. Against the Hoos-
iers, Ruiy Tomjanovich's success-
ful bid for All-American status
was boosted by a single game re-
cord of 48 points. Only Russell's
hallowed name has been opposite
such a figure on- the stat sheets.
Spirit among the ranks of Mich-
igan fans seems to have declined
since the Cazzie era, and O r r
claims "fans make a difference."
He has been heard to complain
about spectator enthusiasm, but
the staid Maize and Blue rooters
badly wanted Buckeye blood when
Ohio State visited the Events
Building. The Bucks gave the
home team a lesson in good bas-
ketball that day, when they out
played Michigan, 98-85.
Following a loss to Northwest-
ern, Orr threw a zone at Michigan
State. The result was one of the
season's biggest victories, espec-
ially considering the foreign game
site. Following this success, t h e
Wolverines returned home to play
the Illinois giants.
The narrowu86-85 beating of
Iowa turned out to be the sea-
son's crest. There was a hint of
hope in the air. The cagers re-
sponded by "playing the best game
of the year," according to Orr at
Illinois. The rude fans were too
much, though, and the final was
an unfortunate 100-92.
Even when greeted by friendly,
but possibly disinterested fans at
the Events Building, the Wolver-
ines had their troubles. Their win
against Wisconsin was marred by
the almost total collapse of the
defense and loss of a 12 point
lead at the end of the first half.
Two dull wins over Minnesota
and then Wisconsin were followed
by road losses to Purdue and Ohio
State. Suddenly it was all over.
Orr stated, "We weren't out of
any of our league games, until the
end except against Minnesota and
Purdue." He noted, "From top
to bottom this season, the Big
Ten had its finest year. The com-
petition was terrific." '
This competition shows up in
the statistics.as Michigan shot a
commendable 46.4 per cent for the
season, but the opposition man-
aged 47.5. Amazingly, the t e a m
hit 68.0 per cent of their free
throws. Foul shooting hurt the
Wolverines at times, as at home
against Ohio State and Michigan
State. Opponents averaged 68.2 Duke, and against Minnesota that
from the charity stripe. led to victory.
Intensifying the competition,
Michigan faced countless stars
ranging from Western's Gene Ford
to the Buckeye's Dave Sorenson.
As for the team, Orr was most
displeased by their inconsistency.
Dennis Stewart was the sorest
point on this count as Orr said,
"Stewart would be a first-round
pro draft pick if it wasn't for his
Tomjanovich's final average was
25.7, good enough for Big Ten
runner-up scorer behind Rick
Mount. Rudy, however, was also
the conference's leading rebound-
He probably would have been
a more "complete" player if it
had not been for his recurring
back condition. Though Orr was
also disappointed in Bird Carter,
there were bright spots.
He was especially high on Dan
Fife. About Maxey, Orr said, "He
Jid a great job considering h i s
knees." Mark Henry did not see
very much action, but he m a d e
some key defensive plays against
Henry is returning next season,
but Maxey, Stewart, Sullivan,
Willy Edwards, and Dave McClel-
lan are not. In a conference
where, according to Orr, "the
toughest part is the talent you
face," things do not look good for
Orr, though, promised that
"next year's team should be more
aggressive. We're going to have
to play better defense because we
will be even smaller than this.
year. The freshman team won't
help us much here, though we do
have Lamont King and Wayne
Grabiec coming up."
. He said "We'll have a hard time
matching this year's record," but
he did predict "better defense and
more desire to play defense."
Those who were crying for de-
fense this year may get their wish
next season. But at the s a m e
time, the Wolverines' offensive
potency may decline.
When will the Wolverines put it
SOPHOMORE RODNEY FORD (43) leaps for a rebound in a
Michigan-Michigan State contest. Through the maize of arms
and legs, Michigan center Willie Edwards (52) can be seen poised
for the ball. In their two season meetings, each club took one
JIM CLEMMONS of Ohio'State shrinks back as if in terror as
Dan Fife drives up for a reverse play because the game ended
98-83 in another loss to a Buckeye sports team.
Bring your own lunch
12 Noon, Tuesday, March 18
Meet in Vending Machine Area
By ANDY BARBAS
Executive Sports Editor
Second fiddle usually has a lousy
tune to play.
Wolverine gymnast Chuck Froe-
ming hates playing second fiddle
to Iowa's Don Hatch.
"I'm always shooting to b e a t
Hatch," comments Froeming. "I
beat him my freshman y e a r in
high school. Ever since then, that
has been Hatch's incentive."
Hatch must hold the loss high
on his list of priorities as he puts
on his best performances against
Michigan, and has managed to
edge ringman Froeming every
THE DIFFERENCE between the
two, however, is almost negligible.
In Michigan's meet with Iowa this
year Froeming scored a 9.40 and
still lost to Hatch by .05 points.
Froeming thinks the difference
between the two is in technique.
"My biggest asset is my strength,
and I try to use it best to over-
come the problem I have wit h
swinging. Hatch has more finesse,
and I have to show my power off
to match him."
IT WAS this brute strength that
first put Froeming on the rings.
He started in high school original-
ly as a high bar performer. A mis-
take on the bar, though, brought
him over to the rings.
"One day I slipped during prac-
tice and fell off the high bar," ex-
plained Froeming. "I was so mad
SUMMER FLIGHTS TO
Only flight still open
W L T Pts. GF GA
41 17 11 93 234 180
38 15 14 90 261 186
36 24 8 80 201 174
33 25 10 76 218 187
30 22 14 74 204 181
30 30 7 67 243 215
WOLVERINE GYMNAST Charlie Froeming executes an L-turn on the rings during the meet with
Iowa. Froeming has been one of the team's more consistent performers this year and is one of the
reasons the team expects to place well in the Big Ten meet next week in Ann Arbor.
I jumped on the rings nearby and
did an iron cross (an extremelyI
hard position to hold)." One
glance at the move, and his coach
had him on the rings permanent-
May 8-Aug. 17
S 0 !Sebena
while on the 'rings, I
becoming an a 11-
waiting list for
arounder," Froeming added. "I
quit that idea when I found my
arms were so short, my, bottom
dragged on the sidehorse."
As he progressed on the rings,
Froeming advanced in the state
(Illinois) high school gym champ-
ionships from twelfth his sopho-
more season to third as a senior.
As is the case with most seniors,
he decided he didn't want to go
to college; he wanted to take a
year off and "see the world and
see what it's like."
Unlike most graduates, howev-
er, Froeming nearly went through
with t h e scheme. He waited so
long before giving up his idea that
he ended up at the Chicago Cir-
cle branch of the University of
It was his high school teammate,
Rich Kenney (now Michigan's
captain), who eventually g o t
Froeming to transfer. "I didn't en-
joy the 30-miles of commuting to
school every day and g o i n g to
school in downtown Chicago, any-
way," noted Froeming.
As a senior; Froeming is again
at a crossroads. "Gymnastics has
been the center of my-life f or
eight years now, and suddenly I
have to find something entirely
different to do," he noted. "I'll
probably go into teaching at first,
but I know that there is little fu-
ture there and so I want to work
for a masters degree in business
administration at the same time."
"The only problem with going
into business," he insists, "is that
it is very easy to become a cog in
some wheel. I don't w a n t this
Froeming comes b a ck to the
present when he starts thinking
about the chances. of this year's
gymnastics team. "We have more
pctential than nearly any other
team in the count'ry," he feels. "If
we hit a peak, almost no one can
He then concludes, "And with
Newt Loken coaching I can't see
any reason why we shouldn't."
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