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February 08, 1979 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-08

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Page 10-Thursday, February 8, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Flashy frosh leads Blue

Diane Dietz is a living contradiction
to the common misconception that
women basketball players can't shoot.
"Shooting's the main thing," laughed
the freshwoman guard. "We just can't
make the shots look as good (as the
Dietz has consistently given fine per-
formances on offense making her
position as leading scorer on the
women's basketball team pretty un-
shakable. ;
"I'VE ALWAYS shot a lot," said the
: Bloomfield Hills native. "I've worked
on my shooting, especially from the left
side, since about seventh grade."
Dietz currently holds a 17.2 points per
game average, quite an accomplish-
ment on a team that sports a high-
powered offense and three strong
.shooters: Dietz, Abby Currier, and
Katie McNamara.

"I like a fast breaking offense," Dietz
said. "In getting shots off, I feel it's an
advantage to keep running.
"We can tire out most other teams.
And if that .doesn't work, we do slow
down and set it up."
"BEING ON A fast breaking team
adds dimension to Diane's game,"
commented Coach Gloria Soluk. "She
sets down the court fast and can take
her man one on one."
"I know .I made the team on my of-
fense," explained Dietz. "When we
started practice, Coach said, 'Katie,
Abby, Diane - you guys are going to
"When you develop a shot, once it's
there, you're not going to lose it. It may
be off some days, but you really don't
lose it."
With the reputation of being a
shooting artist comes the challenge of
dealing with the opponents' hyped-up

defense. Players like Dietz are forced
to add a little mobility to their game.
"YOU HAVE to move," she said.
"You look inside to the center or else
pull out and hit from the outside."'
Then there's the slump to deal with -
the bane of athletes everywhere.
"If my shots are off and I can't figure
out why, I try to move in close or take
some fast break shots. That gives me
more confidence from the outside.
"I also kind of divide the game up and
think of the second half as-a whole new
game. There have been games when I'd
score a few points in the first half and'
about 20 in the second."
If the last few games are any in-
dication, Dietz will play in today's Big
Ten tournament game against Iowa in
the point guard position. She's pleased
with this recent change from the wing.
"YOU'RE RUNNING the offense on
point guard; it's a whole different
game. You don't score as much, but to
me it feels great to pass off to someone
who does."
S o luk expresses confidence in Dietz's

ballhandling. "Her greatest attribute is
that she is extremely heady; she's
smart and I can depend on her out,
Although Dietz admits that offense
comes naturally for her, she is quick to
draw attention to sharpshooting team-
mate Currier. Both are outside
shooters, but Dietz says Currier is "like
a picture. I've never seen anyone shoot
so consistently."
Is Dietz ever bothered by the fact that
a pro career is next to non-existent or
that there's a lack of recognition com-
pared to the men'
"It doesn't bother me," she said. "I
didn't come here only for basketball;
I'm making a career for myself.
Basketball makes school that much
more fun. I love it."
For the team, there's the Big Ten
tournament starting today, and the
state tourney in March to look forward
to. For Dietz, there's three more years
of hoop to look forward to, and for the
fans, three more years of keen shooting

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Last' of the -Ninth
There's two down and it's a three-two count on Graig
Nettles. Here's the pitch ..
N OTHER WORDS, folks, this is the last of the Last of the Ninth. Actually,
it's tough to reflect on four years of sportswriting and schooling here at
the big U of M. There was a lot more writing than schooling, as a matter of
fact I had my first story assignment before I attended a class. The story was
a preview of Southeastern Conference football. I picked Auburn to edge out
Alabama, but as it turned out, Auburn was terrible that year.
I came here because of the sports program, which I'm somewhat
ashamed to admit now. There were other factors involved in my decision to
come here, but the main factor was the glamour of Big Ten sports. Now, I'm
not saying that I wish I had not come here, because the opportunity to cover
these sports is something that most schools don't offer.
Two changes in attitude took place in me over the course of the years.
The first was a growing disenchantment with the big business atmosphere of
the Michigan athletic department. As I became more and more involved as a
sportswriter, I also noticed another conceptual problem. What is a student
sportswriter supposed to do when he is spectating a sport that he sometimes
This latter thought hit me in the Fall of 1976 when attending a Michigan
hockey game. Here I was a member of the hockey beat, covering about half
the games, but at the same time, a student attending the school with the
right to cheer for it.
Then something happened to help me take my mind offof the aforemen-
tioned problems. The hockey team was so hot that it began to melt the ice.
The local icers made it all the way to the NCAA finals at Olympia Stadium,
shocking all of the collegiate hockey world. The cinderella team almost
pulled a story-book finish, as they fought back- from a three-goal deficit,
tying number one Wisconsin near the end of the game.
I can still see Wolverine Dan Hoene getting off a weak shot that stopped*
in the crease, Badger goalie Julian Baretta was still recovering from an
,earlier save, and there was the puck inches from putting the glass slipper on
Coach Dan Farrell and his team. As it turned out the puck got slapped out of
there, and Michigan lost in overtime.
Still, out of all the college contests I've seen, that hockey game was the
best as far as the actual contest was concerned. The nice thing about it was
that the game finished above the hoopla, somewhat of a rarity in this day and
age of marketing.
Back in Ann Arbor, it's my junior year and I'm on the basketball beat.
The first encounter I and my fellow writers had with Johnny Orr was a lec-
ture about a story in The Daily concerning basketball players who didn't
graduate. We listened for about an hour,and the message was clear. Orr
repeated it to the press after Michigan beat Minnesota at Crisler on national
"We want you to write nice things about our basketball team," Orr said.
Well, Coach, sometimes that isn't our job, dammit. You have a public
relations department and there is no reason for the sports pages of the
newspapers covering your team to turn into extensions.of that office.
Down deep, I feel sorry for Orr. He has put a lot of pressure upon himself
and had a lot put on him by others. In some respects it has affected him, and
I'm afraid the main culprit for this negative side effect is that the importan-
ce of the game has been over-emphasized. Ah, yes, once again, it all falls on
the shoulders of big business. Money, money, money.
I realize-that it takes money to build and maintain comfortable struc-
tures like Crisler Arena (which, as far as I'm concerned, is the best place on
campus to watch a sporting event). It takes money to support non-revenue
sports, which football and basketball do. But for every positive factor that
one can name from all of this money - Michigan football netted five million
dollars this past year - I'll name one negative one. All I have to do is to look
at one John Orr, a nice man who is being torn up inside. Is it worth it?
The first basketball practice I viewed became a tragic memory within
fifteen minutes. Phil Hubbard came down wrong on a tender knee and he
yelped out in pain. He didn't play for the rest of the year. Now he gets flak.
because he has a bad knee. He's another guy who doesn't deserve the bad
treatment he's been getting. -
Talk about bad treatment, then you're talking about covering the
Michigan football team. I don't mean the sports information people, because
they do everything they can, but they get bad treatment, too. Bo Schem-
bechler does not even tell them about all the injuries.
That's the thing that really ticks me off about Bo. He treats football as if
it's a life-or-death matter.
It ain't Fort Knox, Bo. It's only a football team, a college one at that. So
why don't you start treating it that way and enjoy life a little more?
I worked three long years here to get the honor of covering the football
team. But I soon found out that it wasn't an honor. Sure, it was great to sit in
the press box, to attend the Monday luncheons and to go to Pasadena.
It wasn't so great when I had to do a feature on a player, only to find out
that I had to go through sports information, which had to go through Bo, for
the okay.
They're big boys, Bo, and they have to learn to handle the press,
especially if they go on to professional football. You're like an over-
protective mother. You don't give them enough credit. They can handle
themselves with the media. At least give them the chance..
Finally, if there are any ADR's (average Daily readers) left, who are
wondering about my dilemma, I'll explain how I solved it. I don't really
cheer all that much anymore, except in special cases. The Michigan State
basketball game was one instance. I
--ate those green folks, mainly because
In have a lot of friends who are State
fans. It was so nice to see Keith Smith

drop that foul shot in. The way I usually
cheer is for individuals on the teams;
people I know, either from meeting
them in the dorm from freshman year,
in classes' or through interviewing
I'd 'like to close by saying thanks to
those who helped me out when I needed
information or credentials and to ex-
plain to those I've criticized that I only
E, MIT; MBA, Harvard) o so in hopes of helping out. And lastly,
tative I'd like to tell the Geeter to hold his
tofdifference from head up. Slumps don't last forever, and
next as to whether they either does collegelife

Photo by Bob Kal.mbach
MICHIGAN FRESHWOMAN Diane Dietz (right) prepares to throw a bounce
pass past Kim Cunningham (32) of Adrian in a game played earlier this year at
Crisler Arena. The Michigan women won the game, 80-76, as Dietz scored 24
points in the game. Cunningham, a sophomore forward, scored 12 points before
fouling out in a losing effort. ,
The NEW and the ONLY

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