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February 25, 1971 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-02-25

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Page Eight


Thursday, February 25, 1971 ~

Page Eig t T E MI HIG N D ILY hur day Feb uar 25 19





1 ut t

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The 1971 swimming dual meet
season ended quite similarly for
the Wolverines as the 1970 cam-
paign. Michigan went 10-1 for the
year, placed second to Indiana in
the Big Ten Relays, and are
again favored to take second in
the Big Ten Championships be-
ing held March 4-6. Just like last
year, right? Well, hopefully so.
Of course everyone knows that


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Indiana will win the Big Tens.
No one who knows anything
about the conference - or the
Hoosiers for that matter - will
dispute this fact.
But it is not so evident this
year that the Wolverine Tankers
can hold off main challenger
Ohio State, despite a dual meet
win over them.
It appears that the Buckeyes
will present the most formidable
opposition to Michigan; but how
can that be after last week's
humiliation of the Bucks 74-49?
Wolverine Coach Gus Stager gave
his reasons before the OSU meet,
"We know we can win the dual
meet, but we're concerned about
them (OSU) at the Big Tens at
Ohio State . . . they're difficult
every year at home."
As fate would have it, this
year's championships take place<
at the Buckeye pool. And if any-
one has an advantage in their
own pool, it is Ohio State.
Two years ago Michigan went
into Columbus - that nasty
place - to take on the Bucks in
a dual meet. It appeared to be .
a sure win for the Wolverines-
at least on paper. But an extra-
ordinary effort by the Buckeyes
caused some early upsets and
forced Stager to make some
quick last minute adjustments in
the line-up. Michigan just man-
aged to "dig out a win."
In addition the Bucks' freshmen
beat Indiana's frosh two years
ago, but have not come up to ex-
pectations since then.
Ohio State also has an excel-
lent diving contingent headed by
Mike Finnerman, and this event
has been one of the Wolverine's
strong points all season long.
Stager is counting on the diving
events for some needed points.
In preparation for the Big Tens,
Saturday's basketball game
between Michigan and Ohio
State has been sold out.
The Junior Varsity Wrestling
match scheduled for tomorrow
has been cancelled.
There will be a Gymnastics
meet against Michigan State
held in Crisler Arena tomorrow
at 8 p.m. Enter through the tun-

Stager has started to 'taper' his
squad. More quality workouts
and sprints are being carried
out so the tankers can reach a
mental and physical peak.
The Wolverines have 18 open-
ings for the trip to Columbus and
15 of those spots are already fill-
ed. The other three positions are
up for grabs although Dan Fish-
burn helped his cause along with
firsts in both the 500 and 1000
freestyle events last weekerid
against the Bucks.
Another likelihood is that
Stager will take along a fourth
breast-stroker, Dave Claike.,
since the conference appears to
be the weakest in that event.
The final position most prob-
ably will be filled by a third diver
since diving has gone so well for
Michigan. Dick Rydze and Jce
Crawford already have sewn up

positions, according to diving
coach Dick Kimball.
Kimball plans to also switch
to more quality workouts in addi-
tion to the dive-offs for the last
remaining position on the Big
Ten team. Double workouts have
been initiated, and the afternoon
sessions will stress quality more
than quantity. Each diver will do
11 dives in the dive-offs in order
to simulate championship com-
petition. And only one chance will
be given for each dive instead of
the usual three so that the divers
will get into the habit cf making
every dive count.
All in all the championshps
should be interesting and cow-
petitive - at least fcr second
place. And if what's on paper is
right, then Michigan should come
away with their eleventh straight
second place finish.

Bang the boards ..
and bounce the Bucks
MICHIGAN could have come close to clinching the Big Ten
basketball crown last Tuesday night. If they had beaten Indi-
ana a victory Saturday over Ohio State would have virtually as-
sured it. They still need the win Saturday, but now it's not a lux-
uty. It's a necessity if the Wolverines are to stay alive in the race.
Tuesday afternoon it looked as if the Big Ten was shaping
up to be a two team battle with Michigan in the lead and Ohio.
State chasing. But, by losing to the Hoosiers, the Wolverines
let them edge back into the race.
The game was actually more of a must for Indiana. They
had already lost twice and another loss would have ended their
dreams. Michigan, while needing the win, wouldn't be eliminated
by a loss. Strangely though, Hoosier coach Lou Watson felt that
most of the pressure was on Michigan.
Ignoring the fact that his team needed to win to keep breath-
ing, he stated that, "Michigan had the pressure on, we didn't. If
p they had won they were the Big Ten champions." He later added
that the loss "puts a little more pressure on Michigan.
Michigan coach Johnny Orr obviously wasn't very happy
about losing, but his back isn't as close to the wall as Watson
thinks. Assessing the situation, Orr commented, "I think that
the Big Ten race will go right down to the end. If we win our
next five games, we win."
If they win the next five games, they deserve to win the Big
Ten crown. Tuesday's loss has to take some of the momentum
out of the Wolverines as they were soundly beaten. The game
was close only for about five minutes. After that the Hoosiers
took control and watched in delight as Michigan fought in vain
to catch up. Even Orr admitted that "they deserved to win."
But he went on to add that the loss wouldn't crush the team.
"We're proud," he stated. "We never gave up. We'll be back on
Saturday," he promised, "and we'll be ready to play."
They'll have to be ready Saturday as the game will be
their most important of the season. OSV now leads them by a
half game and a Buckeye victory could nip Michigan's basket-
ball revival in the bud. If the Wolverines lose, interest will
shift to Columbus where Ohio and Indiana clash on March 9.
In order to dump the Bucks the Wolverines will have to
improve the facet of the game that hurt them most Tuesday,
their boarding. Ohio, like Indiana has a big front line. Center
Ken Brady will have to be more aggressive in going for the
ball than he was against Indiana when Big Red musc emen
played bump and bound with him.
Both coaches agreed that the boards made the difference.
"They beat us on the boards," said Orr.
"I figured they couldn't get out with us crashing the
boards. Our kids took it to them, echoed Watson. "We'went
after Brady, we sent all three guys" to the offensive board,"
he added.
Assuming that none of the also rans pull off an upset, Ohio
will go into that contest with one loss while Indiana and Michigan
will have two each. So Indiana will have a chance to tie the
whole thing up in a three way knot while Michigan will have to
pray for the Hoosiers while playing the Iowa Hawkeyes.
But they can make things easier on themselves by winning
Saturday. As Rod Ford said after the Minnesota game, "it's nice
to be out in front and having others chasing you. Let them fight
it out to see who goes to the NIT. I'd rather go down to Athens
and play in the NCAA."



$24 & $28


E. Liberty

-Associated Press
INDIANA'S STEVE DOWNING (32) leaps high in the air to grab
off a rebound in Tuesday's battle against the Wolverines. Michigan's
Henry Wilmore (25) is caught flat-footed under the basket in the
game lost by the Wolverines 88-79. The loss was Michigan's first
this year in conference play.





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