Taking a Swipe at
Big Ten Smugness
Occasionally it's fun to see coaches sink like basalt in their
own salty crocodile tears.
Every year we get the same forlorn dirge from the football
and basketball salesmen from, Iowa City to Columbus. "Well, our
record may not be anything to bellow about, but the Big Ten
schedule is the toughest in the country," they croon.
If you saw the yawning pass defense of Michigan State in the
Rose Bowl you know that Big Ten football supremacy is a farce.
It has been for five years. If Michigan had played the best team
on the Coast, Southern California, instead of also-ran Oregon State,
last year's Rose Bowl would have been a game too.
Football is all over but the recruiting, so let's turn to Big Ten
basketball to show that the coaches' chauvinism is scarcely warranted.
We all know that Michigan blasted out of the starting blocks
this winter with all the vigor of an arthritic platypus with a
hangover. But the Wolverines' snazzy 6-4 record still rates
better than six of their competitors for the conference chain-
In fact the Big Ten teams have managed to win just 51 of
92 nonconference games, and five teams have even records or worse.
Only Iowa has "played like a Big Ten team" posting an 8-1 mark
worthy of seventh ranking by the Associated Press. Texas Western
plastered the one defeat.
Michigan State, with 7-3, folded before such collossi as Western
Michigan and Tulsa. Tulsa fell to unranked Loyola of Chicago by
28 points and it would have been 50 if the Ramblers had cared.
Minnesota (minus Lou Hudson) is also 7-3 with 25 point losses
to Utah State and St. Joseph's. The Gophers now depend on Archie
Clark to score 30 points a game because the other players are
scrubby. John Kundla's sophomore center, Tom Kondla, generally
shows more fouls than field goals in the box score.
Ohio State with an illustrious 5-4 record out of the conference
was slaughtered by St. Louis, Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA.
Only Kansas and UCLA are even mentioned in the top twenty-five
Diggin Deeper ...
And if I want to grovel in slime there are titans like Illinois
and Purdue to describe. The Illini hold a two-point trouncing
of Cornell among their three wins out of nine tries. The Ivy
League had its revenge, however, when Princeton nicked Illinois
84-81 in the Chicago Stadium-without Bill Bradley. Purdue's
Dave Schellhase leads the nation in points per game which is ,a
testament to balanced scoring attacks. The Boilermakers lit
few fires among the homefolk with their flatfooted defense.
They're also three against six.
So what does all this show?
That the Big Ten is , just another conference. The Missouri
Valley, Southeast, Atlantic Coast, and Big Eight are easily its match,
and probably superior. As a group the independents like St. Joseph's,
Loyola, DePaul, LaSalle, Dayton, Syracuse, Boston College, Seattle,
Villanova, Providence. Oklahoma City, Davidson and Army may be
stronger than any league.
And if you stuck a couple of those small college sluggers like
Evansville and Southern Illinois in the Big Ten they just might
stake out first and second place.
There may be only one Cazzie Russell, but there are dozens
of hot shot basketball teams. So far, just one belongs to the
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Seventy-Five Years of Editorial Freedom
VOL. LXXVI, No. 84 ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6,.1966 SECTION TWO
By CHUCK VETZNER not been consistent. We've won So now Strack takes his charges sell, this was the year for re-
and TOM WEINBERG our last two games and I think out for 14 games in the erratic Big venge.
Sports Editor we've got all five guys wheeling Ten which has already seen its On the day of the game anyone
together rather than going on favorite sons demolished and its wearing Maize and Blue in Wich-
It could have been the lighting three or four cylinders." riff-raff startle top notch opposi- ita would have been as safe as
in his office, but Dave Strack's Thompson Injured tion. a Ku Klux Klansman wearing his
closely crapped hair looks a bit Now, however, the coach is forc- These are the games the Wol- sheet down the main drag in Har-
grayer and his set of wrinkles ed to search for replacement parts. verines desperately want to win. lem.
seems more deeply embedded in Starting guard John Thompson "Sure we were disappointed when Even the Operators
his forehead than last semester. sprained his ankle in practice last we lost." says Strack, "but these The telephone operators and re-
The holidays 'twere the season Sunday and will probably miss the games help us to get ready for ceptionists in town answered the
to be jolly, but the laughs are OSU contest. His spot will be fill- phone with an urgent cry of "Beat
often a little forced if your bas- eS by st.jHioDwislbeyill- Michigan!" Only then would they
ed by swift junior Dennis Bankey. Indiana Tickets gen _o,"ayIhl o?
Another bruise that must have ickets for Monday's game ma h u
OSU Telecast momentarily erased all of Strack's ; ikt o odysgm The game meant that much.
Os ii r~~ omenariy ease allof trak's against Indiana will be on sale
Armchair fans will be able to optimism was a neck injury~ to Ihursday Friday.and Satur- Wichita Coach Gary Thompson
see Michigan open its defense Cazzie Russell who continued to day at the Athletic Building, was aware that salvation would
of the Big Ten basketball star during the Wolverine slump.
championship against O h i o Russell is still sore but he is ex- require more than fervent loyalty
State Saturday in a live telecast pected to be at full blast effective- the conference season. The losses of the fans. Said Thompson,
from Columbus on Channel 50. ness by Saturday. that hurt the most were Duke and "Michigan could suit up its three
IArizona State . . . you'd have to coaches, student manager and
Myers To Start include Wichita, too." Cazzie Russell and have a good
ketball team wins only three of Joining him in the starting line-W'a .
seven games during the festivities. up will be Jim Myers who started Wichita To show his sincerity, Thomp-
But Strack is still brimming at center against Duke and has Wichita, Kansas is a town that son put three men on Russell and
with confidence as the team pre- held the position since. "Jimmy doesn't forget, allowed him only 10 shots (he
pares for Saturday's Big Ten and Craig Dill were fairly even so If you beat their basketball team made eight).
opener at Ohio State. "The key to we decided to give him a chance," once, you'd just better not try it John Clawson tried to offset this
our team is defense," he explains. notes Strack. "We still rate them again. And since Michigan top- with 28 points, but when the game
"We know we have the offensive about the same and they'll both ped the Shockers last season on
fire power, but our defense hasR play an equal amount." a last second shot by Cazzie Rus- See CAGERS, Page 3
-Daily-Thomas R. Copi
MAKING SURE that this rebound doesn't get away to the Duke
Blue Devils is Michigan's Craig Dill. The Wolverines, however.
were outplayed on the backboards in the final minutes and lost,
100-93, in overtime.
In Top Ten
Michigan dropped out of the
top 10 cage teams as powerful
Kentucky, one of the two re-
maining undefeated major-college
teams, moved into second place
behind once-beaten Duke in the
Associated Press basketball poll
Tournament winners St. Jo-
f seph's of Pennsylvania. Provi-
dence, Texas Western and UCLA
Duke remained a solid leader,
collecting 34 votes for first place
and 389 points in the balloting
by a special panel of 48 regional
experts. The Blue Devils have
See'M', Page 3
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