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May 13, 1969 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1969-05-13

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Page Sipe

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, May 13, 1969

Page Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tuesday, May 13, 1969

Diamondmen swi

from anemic

Wi]

By PHIL HERTZ
"Better late than never" is un-
doubtedly a trite, overworked
phrase, but it is completely ap-
plicable in the case of the 1969
Michigan baseball team.
The Wolverine nine, which lost
fifteen of its first nineteen con-
tests, has suddenly turned around
and won its last six games in a
row and moved into second place
in the Big Ten standings behind a
powerful Minnesota team.
The latest in the string of Wol-
verine triumphs came Sunday
when Coach Moby Benedict's nine'
sports
P
NIGHT EDITOR*
JIM FORRESTER
More Sports: See Page 5
swept a-doubleheader from North-
western's cellar dwelling Wildcats,
by scores of 2-1 and 1-0.
Brilliant pitching by Jim Bur-
ton and Gerry Christman played
the major role in the triumphs.
Burton hurled a four hitter in the
opener as he struck out ten.
Christman was touched for only
one hit in the nightcap.
Burton received all the support
he needed in the opener when the
Wolverines scored twice in the
first inning. Bud Forsythe singled
with one out and advanced to
third on Glenn Redmon's single.

Gerry CI
Forsythe scored on John Kraft's
double and John Arvai's fly ball
delivered Redmon with the second
run.
In the second game the Wol-
verines' winning tally came in the
fourth frame. Kraft started a one
out rally by beating out an in-
field hit. The Michigan leftfielder
moved to second on Jim Hosler's
singeland scored when the Wild-

Against
77iea Wall

... Michigan basketball's
Ill-understood magician.

. .

.

By ALAN KAUFMAN

An era in Michigan sports ended relatively unnoticed last
week. Dennis Stewart was drafted by the Phoenix Suns of the
NBA, and my guess is that he will sign with them and eventually
make all the basketball fans in Phoenix very happy.
Dennis came to Michigan in 1965, and played on the fresh-
man team that year; the last year for Cazzie, Oliver Darden,
and John Clawson. Naturally, Michigan basketball fans looked
to the freshman for the personnel that would replace these stars
and maintain Michigan's dominance in basketball.
Indeed, it seemed that the material was there. Dave McClel-
lan and Willie Edwards were highly regarded forwards. Ken
Maxey had broken Cazzie's high school records. Bob Sullivan
was on almost everybody's high schpol All-American Team, and
Dennis was a big forward who could do it all. The freshman
team was closely followed by basketball fans, and there were
many arguments over the identity of the next Michigan basket-
ball hero. By reading papers and listening to rumors, I settled
on Stewart, though I'd never met him, nor had I seen him play.
I took care of both early the next year at the IM building.
.I recognized Dennis from his picture, walked over to him, in-
troduced myself, and asked how things were going. To my com-
plete astonishment, he said, "Lousy, I'T playing so badly that
I might not even make the team." He said it sincerely, and in the
minute or two that we talked, it was easy to see that he was
bothered by the thought of his bad performances. Before we
had a chance to get involved in a longer conversation, someone
called him over for a game.
I DECIDED TO WATCH. He was fantastic. Shooting, re-
bouding, dribbling. And he was playing against guys on the
team. I could not believe that this was the same guy who had
just said he was playing lousy. As I watched, though, I got a
smnall glimpse into what he meant.
'twice, Dennis put good moves on his man, drove the basket,
faked in the air, put up a soft Baylorish layup, and missed. His
reaction was about the same both times; seemingly, a mixture
of disgust, mild displeasure, and, incongruously, indifference. It
:was as if he were ticked off at himself for missing the shot and
a little unhappy for the same reason, but at the same time
knowing, that he was good enough to make the basket, so why
worry?
Yet is was apparent that he was worrying-witness the few
words he said to ie. So, that first day I met Dennis Stewart
two things struck me: his extraordinary talent, and a hard to
define doubting or lack of confidence.
The hook was in. From then on, fanatical as I was about the
team, the fortunes of Dennis Stewart came first.
DENNIS STARTED AT forward that season. The first few
games of the year as a whole played forgettable basketball. Then
gigantic Houston, led by Elvin Hayes, came into town looking
to make a trophy out of the Wolverines. They left town and
behind them one of the biggest upsets of the year, with Stewart's
twenty odd points against the Big E the major factor in their
defeat.
The following year the team started slowly, but they got
hot at the end of the season, winning four out of five against
good teams. Dennis was at his best during these games. He pulled
down big rebounds on defense, and scoring big points. His
defense was as good as it had ever been, and his passing was
artistic. Finally, he dribbled better than most guards.
One incident from this period stands out in my mind. We
were playing Purdue, and were in the process of an upset. Purdue
was pressing, trying to catch up. After a Purdue basket, the ball
came into Dennis, who was instantly surrounded by three Boiler-
makers. Unable to pass, he dribbled past them, and then faked
the fourth guy out of his pants. To compete the one on five
break, he dribbled towards the foul line, head faked to the
right, dribbled the ball behind his back, beat the guy cold,
brought a roar from the crowd . . . and took steps.

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