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November 29, 1979 - Image 17

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-29
Note:
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Page 10 Thursday, November 29, 1979 The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, N

Part of the

lob

Recruiting: A coaching headache

MEET THE REST OF THE
1979-80 WOLVERINES

I

I

By GEOFF LAI('ON
As the dean of Blig Ten basketball
coaches, Johnny Orr has won more
than his share of basketball games. He
is, in fact, the winningest coach in
Michigan basketball history as he
begins his 12th year at the Michigan
helm.
So you figure that the man knows as
well as any what it takes to win on the
court.
And Orr, along with his assistant Bill
Frieder, will tell you an odd thing. You
win ballgames the whole year through,
not just -during the basketball season.
The reason? Recruiting.
rli-'"STHAT MAGIC WOR) which has

caused more coaching gray hairs than
any number of losses could possibly
bring. It's what, along with coping with
an aggressive media, most often drives
coaches from the rigors of college
basketball.
The pressure is immense, for suc-
cessful recruit ment of high school
talent is the cornerstone of a top
basketball program. As Orr so often
says, '"Hey, if you don't have the
players, no amount of good coaching
will help."
For example, by signing Clark
Kellogg of Cleveland, easily the most
sought after high school player in these
parts since Earvin Johnson, Ohio State.

A whole line of fine leather boots and shoes
that cost plenty, and should.
In this hard life, you need all the comforts you
can get And nothing is more comfortable
) than new timberland handsewns.

instantly vaulted into the ring of
national contenders.
By the same token, Michigan, which
battled down to the wire with Ohio State
in pursuit of Kellogg's giant talents,
quickly was relegated to also-ran status
by the pre-season dopesters due to the
crippling recruiting loss. Who knows
how many games the Buckeyes insured
themselves the moment Kellogg signed
his OSU letter of intent.
"I'I) SAY OVEIR half the work we do
as coaches revolves around recruiting,
"II s like rin ninr 1>1r iI-
gAM111e. It s tiIr1illrIIge.s igfliig
rr plfly' - li/ke Phil I ln/lrrr r/0-
(riiipi- fl'rssell is r L2gre4'II
-/rill I'rill.('I
about 60 percent,. said Frieder. "For
Mike Boyd and Tom Kempf (assistant.
coaches), it's a year-around thing. John
and I concentrate mostly on the team
during the season, but after that we join
them in recruiting."
Yet even during the season,
recruiting duties permeate Orr and
Frieder's crammed schedules. The two
go to high school games nearly every
night during the winter to scout talent
and continually communicate with
their assistants on what kind of
progress they're making around the
country.
According to Frieder, recruiting is a
double-edged sword. There are some
satisfactions, and undoubtedly, there
are annoyances galore.
"It's like a ballgame. It's a
challenge," Frieder said. "Signing a
kid is like winning a big game. To sign a
player like Phil Hubbard or Campy
Russell is a great thrill.
"IT'S VERY important, however,"
he added, "to make sure right off that
the player has an interest in your
school. Otherwise, you're gonna wind
up wasting a lot of time and effort."
Then, explains Frieder, there's the
other side. Having to miss dinner con-
stantly with the family because a
recruit has to be shown around the
campus.
There's the talking to parents, hotel
arrangements to worry about, the com-
pliance with rules, having to miss time

with relatives during the holidays, ad
nauseam.
"After a certain number of years,
that would drive a nvbodv nuts,''
Frieder said.
AD I) 'I' IA the fact that the Big
Ten has become by far the most corn
pet itive conference in the country, and
you've established quite a coaching
grind.
"lecruiting has changed in the Big
Ten. Everybody is working much more
than before. The only coaches who were
around when I started with Michigan
are Bobby Knight and Orr, and the new
coaches are working harder," Frieder
said. "Overall, the Big Ten and Atlantic
Coast coaches are working the hardest
recruiting right now."
And that can make it pretty rough
signing talent out of your home state. A
few years back, Michigan literally stole
Hubbard out of Canton, Ohio, right
from under former Buckeye coach
Fred Taylor's nose. It's doubtful that
Eldon Miller, the man who last April
nabbed Kellogg, would have lost an in-
state player of llulbbard's stature.
It's seemingly like studying for a test
you know everybody in the class has
been preparing for for the last two mon-
ths. You just can't let up.
"YOU GO TO the tournaments for
high school kids around the country,
and the Big Ten coaches are always
there. Most of the Big Ten coaches
didn't even go to the NCAA tournament
last year, including us," said Frieder.
"'They were busy recruiting."
And so after all was said and done
last spring, the Wolverines emerged
from the recruiting wars with Joe
James, Ike Person, and Leo Brown
forming this year's freshman class. Not
a bad group, but nowhere near to mat-
ching the success of Ohio State, and not
enough to challenge for top conference
honors this season.
"What we need is a power player up
front who can give us 18 points and 12
rebounds per game. We're one player
away from being an excellent basket-
ball team," Frieder said.
But being one player away in a league
like this year's Big Ten, with some 42 of
50 starters returning from last year,
isn't enough. So the recruiting search
for that elusive big forward goes on for
the Wolverines.
And it won't be easy. Nothing comes
easy in Big Ten basketball recruiting
nowadays.

I

Mark Bodnar

I

.,.
,;wa; , ;, 5 '
m,.. wa ...,

3 O Jun. 175 6-3
A SfTRESS fracture
of the left foot set.
Mark Bodnar back early
last season, and he
never really got his act
together, seeing very
limited action. Mark is
at full strength for the
coming year, however,
and is expected to see
considerable more
playing time at guard.

Mark is a great passer
with excellent court
vision, and his lefthan-
ded jump shot was con-
sidered better than the
jumper of twin brother
Marty during their high
school days at Barber-
ton High School in Ohio,
where they led their
team to 51 straight vic-
tories. Mark is an ex-
cellent student (with a
:3.2 GPA) and wants to
major in business.

I

li

N

r

I

Thad Garner
45F Soph 180 6-7
NE OF the keys to
Michigan success
this seasonhwill be the
play of Thad Garner.
Garner started six
games last year as a
freshman but never
played up to the poten-
tial he demonstrated as
an Honorable Mention
All-Ameican at Bishop
Noll H.S. in Hammond,
Indiana.
Garner lacks a
shooting touch, but he
has excellent leaping

1

ability and is constantly
looking to crash the
boards. "He plays with
reckless abandon," Orr
commented. "It'll be
hard for him to make it
through the year
without being injured."
If Garner should
remain healthy, he'll
likely hold down the
forward post opposite
Mike McGee. A good
year underneath the
hoop for Garner could
greatly improve what
appears to be a weak-
rebounding MIchigan
team.

Marty B(
24 GJun. 175 6-
W HEN ASKED t
name the best all
around player on thi
year's Michigan squad
Johnny Orr thought fo
a moment and replied
"Marty Bodnar."
Known for his tw
last-second baskets tha
gave the Wolverine
wins over Illinois anc

Johnny Johns
3 4G-F.Jun.2006-4
JOHNNY JOHNSON
is one of the most
potentially explosive of-
fensive threats on the
Michigan team. A fine
performance in the
Wolverines' impressive
win over Notre Dame in
the season finale last
year thrust him into the
starting picture.
Johnson has gotten off

\ .

J)

ff

I

1

Keith S-
G Soph. 160 6-0

25

5 M"

I

I

Better .get Timb('rlan ds! Stubb )rn Yankee craftsmanship has made
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y I
i -
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Boots and Shoes
Friday-November 30, 1979
From : 10:00am to 5:30pm O U k
V 17itSko

I

4 '. p
i 1 %I

Mark Lozier
32G Sr. 185 6-3
THE ONLY senior on
the Wolverine
squad this season, Mark
Lozier assumes a
leadership role as the
team's co-captain. He
started the last four
games of 1979 for the
cagers, playing a major
role in the remarkable
upset of the Fighting
Irish at the Silverdome.
Lozier's main claim to
fame for the Wolverines
is a 22-foot jump shot he
dropped at the buzzer in
East Lansing two years

ago that beat the Spar-
tans, 65-63. "Every-
body keeps on talking to
me about that one shot,"
Lozier complained.
"This year I'll be able to
talk about something
else since I was named
captain."
A very strong com-
petitor, he plans on
making a larger con-
tribution this year.
"Sure, it gets
frustrating to sit on the
bench, and that's one of
the reasons I was so in-
consistent in my first
few years," he ex-
plained.

I

A S IN THE case with
most freshman
thrust into a starting
role in a big-time
college program, Keith
Smith's performance
last year could best be
described as incon-
sistent.
Scholastic trouble, as
well as his lack of size

-- -M

SOPHISTICATED ART
OF TRIBAL CULTURES

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