The Michigan Daily-Thursday, Novembe
Page 10-Thursday, November 30, 1978-The Michigan Daily
LOUISVILLE,'BAMA BIGGEST CHALLENGES
Pre-season toughies test cagers
SCORING ACE SAYS HE'S STA YING:
By ERNIE DUNBAR
Most college basketball coaches have
all they can handle with their conferen-
ce schedules let alone a tough slate of
But it is during the non-conference
games that an inexperienced team can
jell, a new player becomes accustomed
to his teammates and a coach learns
the weaknesses of his current team.
WITH THAT in mind, Michigan
Coach Johnny Orr went out and
arranged a competitive schedule of
"I don't think anyone in the country
has a tougher one than we do," Orr said
of his pre-conference schedule.
What prompts the 11th-year coach to
make such a statement is the fact that
among the 10 non-conference opponents
Michigan will face, only three had
losing records last year. Combined, the
ten schools compiled a 160-118 won-lost
mark, a .582 winning percentage.
Heading this list are Notre Dame and
Louisville, both of which are consisten-
tly ranked in the top ten in the pre-
After tonight's game with Central
Michigan, Michigan must face
Alabama, then travel to Louisville and
Dayton between December 2 and 9.
WESTERN MICHIGAN visits Ann
Arbor on December 16, followed by a
trip to Texas for the Sun Carnival with
Clemson, Texas-El Paso, and Texas
Tech December 28-29.
Eastern Michigan ventures in on New
Year's Eve, with the big Notre Dame
Cage guessing game:
Who's Number One?
By RICK MADDOCK
Give the top 50 or so teams in the
country a number, put the numbers in a
spinner, give it a whirl and start selec-
ting. Predictions of who will be in the
NCAA's final four, which will be held at
Salt Lake City this year, are next to
worthless, unless there's someone who
can foresee injuries, disappointing
stars, and surprising newcomers.
Looking beyond the Big Ten, there
are several teams that stand outas
good bets to at least make the NCAA's
expanded 40-team tournament.
Whether these pre-season favorites
succeed in the tourney depends largely
on the luck of the pairings.
THE team tabbed as the favorite is
the ACC's Duke. Last year the Blue
Devils lost to Kentucky in the NCAA
finals, but they have all five regulars
returning along with six top reserves.
Not bad, eh?
Duke is led by Captain Jim
Spanarkel, who averaged 20.8 points
last year. He's the catalyst on the team.
Mike Gminski, 6-10, is the team's out-
standing center. He dumped in 20 points
a game and averaged 10 rebounds.
Another key player, and possibly the
most talented of the three, is
sophomore Gene Banks. He contributed
a 17.1 average and grabbed 8.6 reboun-
ds per game.
Probably the other non-Big Ten team
that is a clear-cut favorite is perennial
power UCLA. The Bruins lose only star-
ting guard Raymond Townsend (14.7
point average). What they have left is
All-American David Greenwood and
guard Roy Hamilton. Greenwood, a 6-9
forward, averaged 17.5 points a game
and 11.4 rebounds. Hamilton, a 6-2
guard, netted 17.2 points a game while
setting a UCLA record for shooting per
centage by a guard at 54 per cent. He
also led the Pac-8 in assists with 167.
ONE PROBLEM the Bruins have is
at the center spot. They use two 6-9
juniors, Gig Sims and Darrell Allums.
Sims started most of the games last
year, but only averaged 6.3 points and
5.5 rebounds. Allums' averages were
lower than that.
See NCAA's, Page 14
game in Pontiac after the conference
games on March 4.
"Those are hard games. I don't see
any easy games," said Orr.
"We like to do that. That's good for
us. It gets us ready for the teams we
have to play in the Big Ten."
Tonight's game is no easy season
opener. After posting a 16-10 record last
year, Central Michigan established a
nucleus of four players which have
some predicting a Mid-American Con-
ference championship for the Chip-
Alabama is the first real powerhouse
Michigan must face. The Crimson Tide
fell to 17-10 and fourth in the Southeast
Conference last season after winning at
least 22 games a year for five straight
years. They still managed to beat
Michigan, 78-63 in Birmingham.
'BAMA SPORTS one of the finest
players in the country in 6-6, 225-pound
forward Reggie King. As a junior, King
was fourth in the nation in rebounding
with a 13.3 average and contributed 21.1
points per game to the Alabama attack.
He made three All-American teams and
was the SEC player of the year.
"I think it's (the team) going to have
a chance to be a better team than a year
ago," said Alabama coach C. M.
Newton, "But they won't be as good as
Regarding only the second meeting of
the two teams, Newton said. "Both of us
will be quick up the floor and get after it
real good. Our two teams are a lot alike.
John (Orr) and I are not as concerned
with size. We emphasize speed and
quickness. Against Michigan, we'll
probably usethree or four freshmen,
but they probably won't start."
Four days after the Alabama game,
the Wolverines travel to Louisville
where they face a team many people
say had the best recruiting year in the
"This is the youngest team I've ever
had," said Louisville coach Denny
Crum, whose team was 23-7 last year.
"We only have one senior. Nine of our
top 13 players are freshmen and
"WE'LL BE feeling our way for a
while. We have good players and good
talent. We'll have a good team - I just
don't know if it will develop quickly" he
said of the defending Metro 7 conferen-
With the loss of guard Ricky Wilson
and center Ricky Gallon, Crum has a
few holes to fill. But Louisville returns
6-3 Darrell Griffith (18ppg) at either
forward or guard,s6-4 Bobby Turner and
6-8 Larry Williams at forwards.
Louisville holds a 1-0 career mark
against Michigan, posting an 88-85 vic-
tory at Crisler Arena last year. But that
wasn't enough to convince Crum that
the Wolverines are an easy opponent.
"Tough, tough," Crum said of
Michigan. "I don't ever remember
them being easy against anybody."
Three days after Louisville, Michigan
will find themselves playing on the road
at Dayton. The Flyers went 19-10 last
year, but fell to Michigan 71-61, to give
the Wolverines a perfect 6-0 career
mark in the series.
"Dayton is the number-three ranked
independent," said Orr. "They have a
INDEED THEY do with four starters
returning. They're led by 6-5 senior
guard Jim Paxson who tossed in 17.4
points per game, and had 160 assists
Next comes Western Michigan.
There's not a whole lot to say about a
team which went 7-20 and finished tied
for last in the MAC. If Orr is still
looking for an easy game, he need look
After a trip to the Sun Carnival,
Michigan entertains Eastern Michigan.
Last year, the Wolverines established a
Crisler Arena scoring record with 117
points against the Hurons. It doesn't
look much better for Head Coach Ray
Scott this year, coming off an 11-15
After 18 Big Ten games, it's out to the
Silverdome in Pontiac where Michigan
takes on Notre Dame in March before a
national television audience. The Irish
finished 23-8 last year and will give the
Wolverines a battle in their final game
of the season.
Nov. 30 CENTRAL MICHIGAN,
8:05 pm EST
Dec. 2 ALABAMA, 2:05 pm EST
Dec. 6 at Louisville
Dec. 9 at Dayton
Dec. 16 WESTERN MICHIGAN,
2:05 pm EST
Dec. 28- at Sun Carnival (Michigan,
29 Clemson, Texas-El Paso,
Texas Tech), 7:05 or
9:05 pm CST
Dec. 31 EASTERN MICHIGAN,
7:35 pm EST
Jan. 4 MINNESOTA, 8:05 pm EST
Jan.6 IOWA, 2:05pm EST
Jan. 11 at Purdue
Jan. 13 at Wisconsin
Jan. 18 at Northwestern
Jan. 20 OH10 STATE, 2:05 pm EST
Jan. 25 MICHIGAN STATE,
8:05 pm EST
,Ian. 27 at Illinois
Feb. I at Indiana
Feb. 3 ILLINOIS, 3:30 pm EST
Feb. 8 at Ohio State
Feb. 10 INDIANA, 2:05 pm EST
Feb. 15 NOR THWESTERN,
By BRIAN MARTIN
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise
to step on the hardwood of Crisler
Arena last year was a relatively
unknown youngster from Omaha,
Nebraska. While everyone's attention
was focused on another freshman in
East Lansing, Mike McGee stepped
forward to set the Big Ten record for
most points scored by a freshman,
averaging 19.7 points a game.
Indeed, as 18 year-old rookie, McGee
surpassed everyone's expectations. Out
of last season's 27 games, he was high
Michigan's scorer 16 times. Regarding
the Big Ten campaign alone, the 6-5, 190
forward led Michigan scorers 14 out of
THE STRANGE thing about McGee's
successful initial season is that none of
it would have occured had not McGee
essentially recruited himself. "I've
always wanted to come to Michigan
since I was a sophomore in high school.
I would see them on TV, and they were
good then," McGee said.
"You always want to come to the best
team, if that's possible."
McGee's high school coach asked him
where he would like to play college ball,
and he said Michigan. So from there the
recruiting should be easy, right? It was,
except for the fact Omaha is a long way
from Ann Arbor, and the name Mike
McGee didn't exactly trip off the
tongues of too many people here.
In McGee's junior year in high school
his coach and mother continued writing
le wcill play all four years
in a Michigan jersey, a
smile creeps across his
face as he says i. 'I'll
prolbalbi be here all four
years, probably all four
nears. (Pause.) ll >e here
Mike McGee's Varsity Record:
Yr. G FG-FGA Pet. FT-FTA Pet. Ast. Ppg.
Fr. 27 217-139 .391 97-122 .795 39 19.7
letters to Michigan, and adminsitrative
assistant Dan Fife began sending
McGee the usual letters, brochures and
team stats that go to all recruits.
AS THE post-season tournaments
rolled around, so did assistant coach
Jim Boyce. "I guess he gave me a good
report or whatever," McGee surmised.
When McGee says
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Whatever the verdict, again it took
Mrs. McGee to get the ball rolling. In
January of McGee's senior year, his
mother called Fife at home on a Sun-
day morning to see if they were still in-
terested in her son.
Fife had been trying to contact
McGee for some time, but hiscontinued
unsuccessful bids led him to believe
that McGee was headed elsewhere. Fife
told Mrs. McGee that Michigan was
still interested-very interested.
"I didn't sign my letter of intent until
April sometime. It was pretty late,"
McGee admitted. "It was a hard choice
for me to make because I wanted to
come to the Big Ten and come to the
best team, and right then it was bet-
ween Michigan and Minnesota. They
(Minnesota) were on me kinda heavy."
NOW MIKE McGEE is here playing
basketball at Michigan, the place he
has wanted to shoot hoops at since his
sophomore year in high school. But now
the question is, for how long?
McGee's statistics from last year are
certainly impressive. He scored a team
high 531 points, hitting 49.4 percent
from the field and 79.5 from the foul
line. He tossed in the most points for a
single game last season, 38, against
Northwestern in the Wildcats barnyard
of a basketball court.
All of these numbers, along with his
aggressive style of play under the of-
fensive boards, lea
McGee will head t
business of profe
before his four yea
expired at Michiga:
But McGee sa
definitely be b
ds definite about
he'll be a junior, v
senior. He's not so
to see McGee kee
number 40 on his b
strong ally on ti
"Right, I would
Olympics). If I'm
give it a shot," Mc
him through the 1
he already promise
But his stateme
makes some Wolve
his assessment of
even less convincin
ready for the pros
"has a lot to learn
glamorous on the si
When McGee say
four years in a Mih
creeps across his fa
probably be her
probably all four y
here four years."
HE SAYS IT so
seems to be trying
more than anyone
John Orr admits t
that McGee will le
year, and McGee
It depends on ho
convinces Mike Me
play at Michigan fo
STAPLING - LAI
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