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November 29, 1979 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-29
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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, Nover

Page 12-Thursday, November 29, 1979-The Michigan Daily
HOOp it up:

Midwest teams gain
national stronghold

Early games to test Blue ca

In sports circles, legend has it that
on the coasts and in the cities, basket-
ball is played to perfection. In the hear-
tlands of the midwest, the dominant
sport is football.
Legends, however, often become
myths and this situation has occurred
in college basketball. The midwest has
begun to dominate the hoop scene. It
used to be the two coasts which
dominated. But now, the UCLAs have
been replaced by such teams as last
year's finalists, Michigan State and
cinderella quintet Indiana State.
THIS YEAR, the cream of the crop,
no pun intended, is again in the midwest
with the Indiana Hoosiers. Their raging
mentor Bobby Knight has all five star-
ters returning from an NIT champion-
ship team. Add the expertise of Knight
and an enormous additional of sen-
sational prep star Isiah Thomas and
you have a championship quintet.
Joining Thomas, a Pan American
player for Knight, will be scoring star
Mike Woodson: Woodson was also the
leading scorer on that Pan American
team which included another Indiana
starting forward, Ray Tolbert. Pivot-
man Landon Turner should blossom

this year and Knight will reap the
headlines again.
If the Hoosiers sputter, just a few
hours up north, there is another school
ready to wrest honors from them, Notre
Dame. The only thing working against
the Fighting Irish is their seeming
inability to win important games under
the tutelage of Digger Phelps. Although
a master recruiter, Phelps has been
outcoached more than his share of
times, like last year against MSU when
he could not solve the Spartans' zone.
BEING THE MASTER recruiter that
he is, Phelps has the deepest team in
the nation. Two fine guards, Rich
Branning and Bill Hanzlik, lead the way
and are backed up by a host of others.
Phelps will also call on a stalwart
front line with starters Kelly Tripucka
and Orlando Woolridge, and freshmen
Bill Varner and Tim Andree (from
Birmingham Brother Rice).
Just a ways down the interstate,
there is another school with a fine spor-
ts tradition, great recruiting and little
coaching-Kentucky. But then again,
the Wildcats probably will not need
much coaching as head man Joe Hall
tabbed the finest recruits in the nation
to go along with four returning starters.
IN FACT, THE talent is running so

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thick that starting center Chuck
Alexinas and reserve forward Clarence
Tillman, both high school All
Americans, left school over their lack
of playing time. To replace Alexinas,
Hall signed on prep sensation Sam
Bowie, a seven footer who prefers
playing forward. ,Running with Bowie
will be outstanding guards Kyle Macy,
a first-round draft pick of the Phoenix
Suns, and the incredible Dwight Ander-
For Southern supremacy, Kentucky
will be challenged by the Duke Blue
Devils. Duke, boasting perhaps the best
front line in the nation, has also been
known to succumb in high pressure
MIKE GMINSKI, the 6-11 tower of
strength who left the Pan American
team, will have something to say about
that 'choke' image. Joining Gminski on
the front line will be Gene Banks, the
most highly sought after player in the
nation three years ago, and Kenny
Dennard. Duke lost captain Jim
Spanarkel to the Philadelphia 76ers but
the Devils have starter Bob Bender and
sixth man Vince Taylor back, along
with some top recruits.
Rounding out the preseason top five
will be the other delegation from the
Big Ten, Ohio State. Although probably
a year away from melding into a
bonafide national contender, the
Buckeyes have the material to make a
run now.
Returning are All-Big Ten perfor-
mers Herb Williams and Kelvin Ran-
sey, who combined for more than 20
points a game. Starters Jim Smith and
Carter Scott also return. But there is a
missing ingredient-the spice. This is
where Clark Kellogg, who has been
mentioned in the same breath as Ear-
vin Johnson, comes in. Buckeye fans
expect their native son, Kellogg, to lead
them to the national title.
BIT THINGS are also expected from
perennial challenger North Carolina
and their all Atlantic Coast Conference
forwards Mike O'Koren and Al Wood.
Center Rich Yonakor, known for his
length-of-the-court dashes, returns
along with starting guard Dave
Colescott. But somehow, coach Dean
Smith has to find a way to replace
sparkplug Dudley Bradley, now an In-
diana Pacer.
Strong frontlines seem to -be the
strength in the South and Texas A&M is
no exception. In College Station, Texas,
people boast of Rudy Woods and Vernon
Smith. Woods bulldozed his way
through European teams this summer
as a member of the U.S. team in the In-
ternational Cup Games. The Aggies

also hve a sensational freshman for-
ward Claude Riley in tow.
The South has another imposing front.
line in Bayou country-L.S.U. A team
plagued with internal dissension, the
Tigers welcome back All-American
Durand Macklin, gone all last season
with an injury, and DeWayne Scales.
The guard position will be coach Dale
Brown's problem, although Jordy Hult-
berg returns. Hultberg is the guard who
"shot the lights out" against MSU last
SYRACUSE AND DePaul, two teams
who were right in the thick of things last
year, round out the top ten. Syracuse
possesses the 'Luois and Bouie' show
with dominating 6-11 center Roosevelt
Bouie and defensive star Louis Orr at
forward. DePaul has its two bears,
Teddy Cummings and Teddy Grubbs to
add to their grizzly, Mark Aguirre, star
freshman of last year.
All in all, it should be an interesting
season that promises to have many
surprises, which may include the
resurgence of UCLA and St. John's, two
oldtime powers. Legends, legends.
Recruits -
how good?
(Continued from Page 11)
I thought, and he's picking up the plays
very well," said Orr.
Despite his shooting success so far,
Person knows his real forte. "I'm not
what you would call a quick forward,"
he said. "On the other hand, though, I'll
take the 20-footer if it's open. I don't
think he (Orr) would mind."
THE LAST OF Michigan's freshman,
forward Leo Brownis not expected to
see much action. The 6-8, 205-pounder
from Mansfield St. Peter High shot 66
per cent from the field and 78 per cent
from the foul line, impressive statistics
for a player his size.
However, a series of foot injuries
have hindered Brown's development in
practice, and only now is he rounding
into top form.
So there you have it - the 1979-80
Wolverine freshman class. A good
group, no doubt. Perhaps, eventually,
an outstanding one. James, in par-
ticular, shows tremendous promise and
may provide much of the offensive
spark this season.
But Orr's search for the "big man in
the middle" - a role Hubbard would
have filled and Kellogg could have
filled - will continue this winter.

With ticket sales slumping, the press
criticizing, and thousands of fans
brooding, there's only one way the
Michigan basketball team can combat
the pre-season pessimism surrounding
its 1979-80 cage fortunes. That's by
knocking off some tough opponents on
their non-conference schedule.
The Wolverines will be severely
tested by an early-season slate which
features NCAA tournament qualifiers
Toledo, Marquette, and Detroit. To
make the task more difficult, Michigan
must battle all three of those teams on
the road.
1979-80 Schedule
Dec.1 MASSACHUSETTS, 2:05 p.m.
8:05 p.m.
Dec. 5 at Toledo
Dec. 8 at Marquette
Dec. 12 at Detroit#
#Joe Louis Arena. Detroit
Dec. 15 DAYTON, 2:05 p.m.
2:05 p.m.
Dec. at Sugar Bowl Tournament
28-29 (Michigan, Mississippi,
Virginia Tech, Tulane)
Jan. 3 MINNESOTA, 8:05 p.m.
Jan.5 IOWA, 2:05 p.m.
Jan. 10 at Indiana
Jan. 12 at Purdue
Jan. 17 at Illinois
Jan. 19 OHIO STATE, 2:05 p.m.
Jan. 24 MICHIGAN STATE, 8:05 p.m.
Jan.26 at Northwestern
Jan. 31 at Wisconsin
Feb. 2 NORTHWESTERN, 2:05 p.m.
Feb. 7 at Ohio State
Feb.9 WISCONSIN, 2:05p.m.
Feb. 14 ILLINOIS, 8:05 p.m.
Feb. 16 at Michigan State
Feb. 21 PURDUE, 8:05 p.m.
Feb. 23 INDIANA, 2:05 p.m.
Feb. 28 at Iowa
Mar. 1 at Minnesota

THE BLUE cagers open their season
at home this Saturday against
Massachusetts, perhaps their weakest
opponent. Michigan Coach Johnny Orr,
a former head coach at the eastern
school, originally scheduled the game
with Jack Leamon, a former assistant
to Orr and head coach of the
Minutemen last season. But Leamon
stepped down after a 5-22 campaign,
leaving successor Ray Wilson with a
team which had lost its top four scorers
to graduation.
The following Monday, Central
Michigan comes to Crisler Arena. Last
year the Chippewas sported a 19-9
record (including an 87-78 loss to
Michigan), but graduation has deeply
cut into their talent, as well.
"There's no doubt we've suffered the
most losses of anyone in the league
(Mid-American Conference)," Coach
Dick Parfitt said. "We lost four star-
ters, all of whom played regularly on
three straight title-contending teams."
MIKE ROBINSON, a 6-9 transfer
from Michigan, is expected to move in
at center for Central. He'll join the lone

returning starter, Leon Guydon, on the
front line.
Michigan's first road game takes
place December 5 at the home of the
defending MAC champions, Toledo (22-
8 last year). The Rockets surprised
everyone but themselves in the 1979
NCAA tournament, as they knocked off
Big Ten tri-champ Iowa in the first
round and narrowly lost to Notre Dame
a week later.
Returning forwards Dick Miller (11.6
ppg, 8.1 rebounds) and Jim Swaney
(15.9 ppg, eight rebounds), personify
the aggressiveness which marked
Toledo last year. An excellent
recruiting year makes the Rockets a_-
prohibitive favorite to repeat as MAC
The Blue cagers- next travel to
Milwaukee three days later to play
always-tough Marquette (22-7). Coach
Hank Raymonds had a lean recruiting
year, but nonetheless has enough
veterans to make the Warriors a very
difficult team for Michigan to defeat.
The loss of Bernard Toone should be
compensated for by 6-6 Oliver. Lee's

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