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November 29, 1979 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-29
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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Page 2-Thursday, November 29, 1979-The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, Novembe

No Hubbard, little rebounding-
How far can Michigan go?

... so what else is n

By DAVE JOHNSON
And at center, in his fifth year at
Michigan, the Wolverines' fifth all-time
scorer with 1455 points and third all-
time rebounder with 979, Michigan's
six-foot seven-inch co-captain and
Olympic gold medalist from Canton,
Ohio, number 35... Phil Hubbard...
Oh, what a season this could have
been. What a team Michigan could have
been. Had Hubbard elected to return to
Michigan this fall for his final season of
college eligibility, the Wolverines, most
assuredly, would be Big Ten title con-
tenders.
Together with Keith Smith's
playmaking, Mike McGee and Marty

Unfortunately for Michigan, Hubbard
elected to leave the Wolverines last
June in favor of a lucrative three-year
contract with the Detroit Pistons,
taking Michigan's title hopes with him.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, Hubbard's
sudden departure left Orr with a huge
hole to fill. After losing prep All-
American Clark Kellogg to Ohio State
in last spring's recruiting war, Orr was
counting heavily on Hubbard's scoring
and rebounding strength for the up-
coming year. Now, for the second time

in three years, Orr is forced to go with a
pair of relatively inexperienced centers
to fill in for Hubbard.
Two years ago, Joel Thompson filled
in admirably at the pivot while Hub-
bard sat out the season with a knee in-
jury suffered in the 1977 summer World
University games. This year, Orr hopes
either 6-8 junior Paul Heuerman or 6-9
sophomore John Garris will rise to his
calling.
Although Orr's assistant coach Bill
Frieder believes Heuerman or Garris

1978-79 Michigan Results

Opp Site Hi

M Scorer Rebounder

87
99
84
66
104
85
60
86
88
79
67
66
53
69
49
56
62
74
60
60
78
57
65
59
61
69
62

Central Michigan . .......78
Alabama ..............84
LOUISVILLE ...........86
Dayton ...............61
Western Michigan .......73
TEXAS TECH ...........87
Texas El Paso . .........54
Eastern Michigan . ......73
Minnesota ............ 75
IOWA . . . . . . . . 85
PURDUE............77
WISCONSIN.........77
Northwestern ..........51
OHIO STATE ...........78
Michigan State .........48
Illinois ................54
INDIANA ..............68
Illinois ................65
OHIO STATE ...........63
Indiana ...............59
Northwestern ......67
MICHIGAN STATE 80
WISCONSIN . ... 66
PURDUE 67
Iowa 53
MINNESOTA.. 78
Notre Dame .. .. . 59

H 30
H 27
A 28
A 27
H 36
N* 24
A* 15
H 25
H 33
H 18
A 19
A 26
A 18
H 21
H 13
A 25
A 19
H 25
A 21
H 18
H 22
A 17
H 19
H 16
A 21
A 23
N# 16

McGee
McGee
McGee
McGee
McGee
Hardy
Hubbard
McGee
McGee
Hardy
McGee
McGee
Mt Bodnar
McGee
Hubbard
McGee
McGee
McGee
Hubbard
Hubbard
Smith
Hubbard
Mt Bodnar
Mt Bodnar
McGee
McGee
McGee

14
15
19
13
11
11
6
81
12
101
51
71
71
14
12
10
10
8
14
4
8
7
4
14
15
13
6

Hubbard
Hubbard
Hubbard
Hubbard
Hubbard
Hub, Hardy

S
5

Johnson, Hardy
Garner
McGee
Hardy
McGee
McGee
Hubbard
Hubbard
Hubbard
Hardy
Hubbard
Staton
Hubbard
Hub, Har, McGee;
Hardy
McGee
Hub, Hardy
Hubbard:
Hubbard
Hubbard
McGee, Heuerman

Attend.
13,489
s 13,609
s 16.613
12,518
13,219
11,832
10,942
10,203
13,135
13,315
s 14,123
7,711
2,392
s 13,609
s 13,609
s 16,473
13,702
s 13,609
s 13,489
s 13,609
12,801
s 10,004
13,009
s 13,609
s 13,365
16,834
37,283

Junior guard Marty Bodnar is
probably the best pure shooter on the
team. Last season, Bodnar led the Big
Ten in field goal percentage at a 60 per
cent clip-mostly outside set shots. His
enthusiasm and leadership draws
praise from Orr.
"MARTY IS ONE of those players
you can rely on no matter what the
score," said Orr. "He's never out of the
game, he's always mentally prepared
for anything and will give his all."
Michigan's other top gun is junior
forward Mike McGee, having led the
Wolverines in scoring during each of
the last two years with averages of 19.7
and 18.9 respectively. Last year the
Associated Press seleted McGee to the
All-Big Ten second team. Orr goes one
step further, saying that be "can't
believe there's a better offensive (for-
ward) in the country than Michael
McGee."
Starting at the other forward spot will
be Thad Garner. The 6-7 sophomore
averaged only seven minutes of playing
time per game last year, but with
Heuerman's switch to center, Garner
should see considerable action.
IF GARNER DOESN'T live up to
Orr's expectations, Orr will probably
start 6-5 freshman Joe James.
Michigan's top recruit this past spring,
James was a fourth team prep All-
American hitting on 64 per cent of his
shots and averaging 15.6 rebounds per
game.
Two other freshman who should see
spot duty are 6-7 Ike Person and 6-8 Leo
Brown.
Michigan's strength is at guard.
Although Bodnar and Keith Smith
currently hold the starting positions,
three other guards will see con-
siderable action: senior co-captain
Mark Lozier, and juniors Johnny John-
son and Mark Bodnar.
THE WOLVERINES in comparison
to the rest of the Big Ten are relatively
small. Such size limitations as well as
the loss of Hubbard's expertise leaves
the Wolverines vulnerable around the
boards. Consequently, the Wolverines
will be forced to first, play a little
tighter man-to-man and second, run a
more deliberate offense.
Michigan has the shooters to score
from the outside-there's no question
about that. McGee, Smith, James,
Heuerman, Johnson and the Bodnars
all have excellent outside shots. But
without rebounding, particularly
See CAGERS, Page 4

What caused the remarkable skid?
Henson doesn't have any definite an-'
swers, but he thinks that having all five
of those starters back in the lineup will
ensure some better times for the Illini.
"I feel we'll be stronger," Henson
said, "but the competition may not let
our record reflect that improvement."
The Illini actually have more
problems than that. The lack of a
prolific scorer hurt them down the
stretch last winter, and Henson will
need more offensive punch from 6-7
guard-turned-forward Mark Smith
(13.5), the team's leading scorer.
The other returning starters are all
steady but unspectacular players. 6-6
senior Neil Bresnahan (8.3/7.9), 6-8
junior Eddie Johnson (12.1/5.7), and 6-6
senior Levi Cobb, along with Smith,
form a solid nucleus at forward,
probably the deepest in the conference.
In addition, Henson can count on
reliable play from 6-11 center Derek
Holcomb (7.4/6.6). Although not an of-
fensive threat, Holcomb is an in-
timidating pivotman who averaged
almost three blocked shots per game. 6-
10 James Griffin is an excellent backup
to Holcomb.
Smith's conversion to the front line
leaves the floor leadership in the hands
of 6-2 senior Rob Judson (9.4), a good
shooter and defensive player. He'll be
joined at guard by either 6-2 Reno Grey
or 6-4 sophomore Perry Range. A pair
of highly-regarded freshman, Kevin
Bontemps and Quinn Richardson, will
give Illinois more quickness.
Defensively, the conference boasts no
better than the Fighting Illini. Unfor-
tunately for Henson, that's only half the
game. This season, he'll try and find the
other half.
5. Iowa
The bad news for Iowa's Big Ten
opponents comes in two words: Ronnie
Lester.
Lester, the 6-2 All-America guard
from Chicago will be back to haunt his
conference foes again this year
following a season in which he
averaged more than 18 points and six
assists a game. His quickness and con-
sistent play helped give the Hawkeyes a
share of the title with Purdue and
Michigan State.
The main objective for Coach Lute
Olson is to replace three important
graduation losses, forward William
Mayfield (12.9/8.0) and guards Dick
Peth and Tom Norman.
Despite Mayfield's departure, the
frontcourt should be fairly strong with
6-10 juniors Steve Krafcisin (7.2/5.6)
and Steve Waite (6.4/4.5) and 6-6
sophomore Kevin Boyle (11.9/6.5), a
plesant surprise in his freshman year.
Waite will probably alternate with
Krafcisin in the pivot, leaving a for-
ward spot open for either 6-5 Vince
Brookins (3.8/2.8) or 6-9 Mike Henry
(1.5/1.5).

Olson's lineup was given a blow of
sorts when forward Clay Hargrave, the
team's leading rebounder two years
ago, failed to reclaim the academic
eligibility he lost before last season.
Nonetheless, the Hawkeyes have plenty
of quickness and rebounding to stay in
the thick of a title chase.
6. Michigan St.
Jud Heathcote is the first to admit
his national champion Michigan State
Spartans have some rebounding to do.
The departures of Earvin Johnson and
Greg Kelser will certainly pose some
personnel problems, and leave MSU
without much depth for the upcoming
season.
The remainder of that starting corps
isn't such a bad lot, however. 6-4 sharp
shooter Mike Brkovich (7.0) will
probably move into the backcourt,
joining forces with 6-2 senior Terry
Donnelly (6.6). The pair should make
an excellent combination.
Up front, some question marks
emerge. 6-8 junior Jay Vincent (12.7/
5.2) is consistent although unspec-
tacular. Vincent will probably play the
first few games on a tender foot, and
that may slow down MSU's running
game. Trying to pick up the slack will
be 6-7 senior Ron Charles (8.9/5.1) and
6-7 sophomore Rob Gonzalez (1.7/0.9).
A pair of transfers, 6-2 guard Kevin
Smith and 6-10 center Steve Bates, are
being counted on by Heathcote to add
some badly-needed depth. Otherwise,
the Spartans are extremely thin down
the bench. No national title this time
around, but probably a middle-of-the-
pack finish resemblant of Spartan
teams of the mid-1970's.
7. Wisconsin
The reason for the failue of Big Ten
teams to vie for a conference title is
usually lack of talent or experience.
Wisconsin, however, has a different ob-
stacle in its path to a championship-
discipline.
Attitude problems and academic
ineligibilities have plagued Bill
Cofield's squad since his arrival in
Madison four years ago. At least the
return of all five starters from last year
should offset the personal problems and
produce a more team-oriented style of
play.
The Badgers' strength lay in their
tremendous rebounding strength. Cen-
ter Larry Petty (9.9/6.9), and forwards
Joe Chrnelich (10.6/8.2) and Claude
Gregory (15.1/8.7) provide consistent
play off the boards and a balanced
scoring attack. Petty, in particular,
has come a long way after losing forty
pounds the summer before last.
Wes Matthews, a 6-1 guard, comes off
a season in which he led the Badgers in
scoring (18.5) and assists. The light-
ning-fast Matthews will receive
adequate assistance from Arnold

Gaines (6.9) and Dan Hastings (4.1),
although Matthews will have to main-
tain his high scoring output.
8. Michigan
Every good basketball program
suffers through a recession of sorts, and
the Michigan cagers are currently suf-
fering such a recession. It will take not
only this season, but perhaps the next
one, for Johnny Orr to rebuild his team
following the departure of center Phil
Hubbard and two other seniors, Tom
Staton and Alan Hardy.
The speed with which the rebuilding
takes place depends upon two factors.
To begin with, John Garris and Paul
Heuerman must mature into legitimate
Big Ten centers, both in the rebounding
and scoring departments.
Equally important will be the
development of Mike McGee into a
complete player. McGee, not renowned
for his passing or defensive skills, will be
counted on to progress in those areas.
Beyond that, Orr can only hope his
young team improves with age and
game experience.
9. Minnesota
Minnesota entered the previous
season with the finest group of fresh-
men in the country. For all their efforts,
the Gophers finished ninth. That tells
you something about the level of com-
petition in this conference.
Taken as a whole, Minnesota lacks
the talent, especially in the backcourt,
to make a run for the NCAA's. The one
player who may elevate them to
respectability is 6-11 forward Kevin
McHale (17.9'9.6), an All-America
candidate who picked up some valuble
experience at the Pan Am Games.
The remainder of the front line is
young but has potential. Trent Tucker
(9.9/3.4) and Gary Holmes (5.4/6.3), a
pair of sophomores, join McHale, while
coach Jim Dutcher has some giraffes,
7-2 Randy Breur and 6-10 Brian Peder-
son, waiting in the wings.
The guard situation may improve if
Dutcher can find a floor leader. Mark
Hall (8.5) and Darryl Mitchell (7.8),
two more sophomores, can win some
games by feeding the agile McHale
near the bucket. Their outside shooting

Keri
..one-nm

play well off the
in during foul
Gophers alive.
tually devoid of
10. N"1
Northwestern
"we are close an
And indeed th(
VERY close to e
ference cellar.
Of course, the
2onsidering the
year's attack. R
thwestern's leac
than-startling 10
Falk can prid
'4 three starte
Mike Campbell
In addition, fort
after missing ma
knee injury. Pri
had averaged 15
Beyond these
cat roster is sho
mission standar
athletes. Falk
earth-shaking f
hope that his
classroom intell
ball court. He'll

could also mal
ranked fourth in
goal percentage
On the bench
perience and
Zebedee Howel]

goon1((111 rr
Bodnar's outside shooting, Thad Gar-
ner's slam dunks, Hubbards's superior
rebounding and inside play could have
made the Wolverines one of head coach
Johnny Orr's most exciting teams in his
12 years at Michigan.

*at Sun Carnival, El Paso, TX
# at Pontiac Silverdome
s - sellout

could develop into a credible collegiate
center with a little playing time, the
lack of a Phil Hubbard-type center will
be Michigan's achilles heel.
"WE LACK THE one guy who can
consistently get you 18 points and 12
rebounds," said Frieder. "Heuerman
might do that some games and Garris is
capable of doing it, but we don't have a
proven player.-
"With Hubbard you knew you had 18
or 20 points a game and double figures
in rebounding," added Frieder.
To Michigan's credit it does have two
of the Big Ten's outstanding shooters.

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