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August 27, 1968 - Image 24

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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Page Two




For the first ime since the de-
parture of Cazzie Russell, Michi-
gan's basketball fortunes seem
to have steadied enough for fans
to realize what has been happen-
ing, and what might now be ex-
pected to happen./'
Michigan has struggled through
a pair of Big Ten campaigns with-
out doing anything spectacular,
but there is now some room for
After capturing three straight
conference championships, the
Wolverines in 1966-67 dropped to
dead last with a pitiful 2-12 Big
Ten record. Last season was bet-
ter; Michigan ran off four
straight season-ending wins to tie
for sixth.
More imoprtant, though, was
the fact that those four wins were
instrumental in determining the
Big Ten champion.
Both Purdue and Iowa were in
contention for the title before
Michigan came to life; Purdue
dropped out of sight after suc-
cumbing to a redhot Wolverine
squad 104-94, and the Hawkeyes
lost in a playoff to Ohio State af-
ter Michigan beat them on their
home court, 71-70.
The Wolverines did not-start
last season like a sixth-.place
team, however. They were worse.
Opening against some of the
toughest teams in the country,
the cagers continued to lose both

the games and their confidence
by the day.
The schedule allowed the team
to even its record going into the
new year, but Houston's top-rank-
ed Cougars ended that quickly
with a 91-65 drubbing and Michi-
gan stumbled into the Big Ten
season at 4-P.
Five straight conference losses
followed, stretching the Michigan
record to 13 consecutive Big Ten
defeats, but somewhere in that
string the Wolverines began to
find themselves.
The turning point may have
been against Ohio State, a game
that no Michigan fan will forget
in the near future. A total of 69
fouls was called-just four short
of the Big Ten record-and the
Buckeyes escaped with a bitterly
disputed 95-92 victory.
Unpopular calls like an appar-
ently unprecedentel technical on
the crowd brought the spectators
to their feet in a fury, a display
of support for the Wolverines that
had been as absent as victories.
Head coach Dave Strack was
heartbroken after the game. with
not a little anger in his voice,
and his face still reddens a shade
when he recalls that awful after-
"We played so hard and so long
only to lase it," he moaned after
the game. "I don't know what
to say except that I am in despair
over what happened out there."

The contest was seen by every-
one as, a crucial point for the
team. Loaded with 'talent, it had
ultimately arrived at a crossroad
that would probably determine
the future for this year's squad.
A loss the next week to Michi-
gan State-hardly a strong team
-seemed to vulcanize the team's
image into that of a loser.
And then came a break.
Minnesota came to town and
suffered a fast-paced 113-101 de-
feat at the hands of the rejuve-
nated cagers. It was a scene re-
peated later, when Michigan won
105-92 in Minneapolis.
Iowa followed Minnesota into the
Events Building, and simply out-
played the Wolverines in a 99-86
victory. Again Michigan recov-
ered, traveling to Champaign and
a 67-65 win over Illinois.
Two disappointing losses fol-
lowed, to a weakened Indiana
squad and to the Illini (again at
home). Then came the climax
that gives Michigan fans hope for
a happy future when the cagers
take to the hardwood again this
The Events Building was dedi-
cated on February 27, and the
Wolverines took advantage of the
occasion to rip front-running Pur-
due 104-94. The win followed the
second Minnesota victory, and
was followed by an 83-79 dumping
of Northwestern.
The real thrill of it all came
on March 9, however. Iowa, un-
defeated in their own field house
and needing only one more win to
wrap up the Big Ten' title, wel-
comed Michigan to Iowa City.
The Wolverines were rude
guests, shooting to a 16-point lead
early in the first half and holding
the Hawkeyes off for a deeply
satisfying. 71-70 victory.
The loss dropped Iowa into a
tie with Ohio State for the crown,
and the Buckeyes toolv-it by win-
ning on a neutral court.
Michigan comes back this sea-
son with essentially the same
team that suffered so much last
year. The only major loss was that
of guard Jim Pitts, considered by
many the most underrated player
in the Big Ten.
Pitts was one of three Wolver-

FIREBALL GUARD Ken Maxey makes it look easy with a breakaway against Kentucky in the sea-
son opener. Rick Bloodworth, a top candidate for the backcourt spot opposite Maxey this year,
trails in this picture. The Wolverines figure to be among the best teams in the Big Ten in 1969,
having lost only captain Jim Pitts'(see page 1) from last year's squad. Another reason for optimism
is the return of Rudy Tomjanovich (waiting for rebound, left), Michigan's top scorer and rebounder



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A complete variety awaits your inspection,
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last year.
ines who finished in the top ten
in the Big Ten scoring race,. and
was especially valuable because
of his ability to take over at for-
Returnees include Bob Sullivan
and Dennis Stewart, a pair of
headstrong but immensely talent-
ed forwards who may have yet to
realize their full potential.
Last year's sophomore sensa-
tion, Rudy Tomjanovich, is also
back to anchor the rebounding
corps and to defend hiq position
as the team's scoring leader.
Ken Maxey, flashy guard from
Chicago, rounds out the returning
starters with great backcourt
speed and the fire-up hustle that
the team neeeds so much.

The Wolverines should benefit
this season from a strong bench,
with an unusual plentitude of
guards shooting for the vacated
spot opposite Maxey.
Rick Bloodworth and Mark
Henry both have game experience
and may be the front-runners, but
will get plenty of competition
from a swarm of hopefuls from
last year's freshman squad.
Leading these will be Dan Fife,
a tricky backcourt man with the

size and Inside moves to tali
over where Pitts left off.
Sharpshooter Rex Emerick also
moves up, along with Bob Bruns
Bob Mull, and Mike Lafferty
Rafferty is more likely to b
tried at forward, however, as are
Tom Lundstedt and Rod Ford.
Returning forwards with gax4
experience include Wllie Ed-
wardsBill Fraumann, and Dav
McClellan. 6'10" Mike Lawson
comes back for a shot at the line-
up, as does 6'8" Scott Montross.

Students wishing to obtain season football tickets must
purchase a Student Athletic Coupon, available in Waterman
Gymnasium during registration. The coupon costs $14, and en-
titles one to pick up his ticket book during the distribution -per-
Ticket distribution is by seniority, based upon the NUM-
cation of each student's group priority will be punched on his
coupon at Waterman Gym.
The priority scale and schedule for picking up tickets are
as follows:

Years at Michigan
Three or more
Two to three
One to two
Less than one

No. 4
No. 3
No. 2
No. 1

Distribution date
Thurs., Aug. 29
Fri., Aug.
Tues., Sept. 3
Wed., Sept. 4

HEAD BASKETBALL COACH Dave Strack gestures for a time
out in an early-season encounter. Frustrated by second-half
scoring lapses and ,a too-generous dense, his cagers dropped
five straight conference games before finding the key in bril-
liance that dominated a schedule-closing win streak.
- ~ - - - - ~ - - -


Student seating begins at the 50-yard line for No. 4 priority,
and progresses toward the end zone for other priorities.
Distribution of ticket books is done from the Men's Intra-
mural Building on Hoover between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on
each of the four days.
Married students wishing to obtain a second ticket book
can purchase a Spouse Athletic Coupon at Waterman Gym for
$18. To get adjacent seats, couples must drop one priority, but
may go to the IM building on the day of distribution for the
original priority.
1. Students shpuld pick up tickets on the proper day.
Failure to do so will mea , receiving tickets in a lower priority
grouping. After Sept. 5 altickets will be distributed from the
athletic ticket office at Hoover and State streets. DISTRIBV-
2. A student may pick up two ticket books by presenting
two student identification cards and corresponding athletic
coupons on the proper day of distribution. No mnore than two
ticket books will be given to any one student.
3. Group tickets may be obtained by bringing all coupons
and ID cards to the special group window. Priority, will be
determined by the lowest priority in the group, and tickets will
be assigned in the lower end of the estimated priority area.
Again, tickets must be picked up on the proper distribution day.
4. The Athletic Department will not be responsible for
lost coupons or tickets.

STOP IlN-See for yourself at the Briar Shop!
Convenient Charge Accounts available.
iw ~l
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our distinctive sweater collection
features McGeorge and Cox
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V-necks & Crews 16.00
Turtle-necks 18.00

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