-I t 4 k
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Sunday, March 28, 1971
Sunday, March 28, 1971
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
GO WITH THE BLUE
to Ann Arbor's No. 1 Sporting Goods Store-
for teams or individuals it's
Stein & Goetz Sporting Goods
315 SO. MAIN ST.-DOWNTOWN
Open Mon. & Fri. 'til 8:30 p.m.
Henry Wilmore Rod Ford
The coach and his man
-table of contents -
TEAM ROSTER ........................
WOLVERINE BASKETBALL HISTORY......
N.l.T. 1971 ...........................
SUPER SEASON .......................
SEASON RECORD .................... .
THE WAY IT ,LOOKED ..................
THE BIG TEN . . . . .............
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY ............
SUPERFAN .............. ..............
THE GUYS ...........................
Mort Noveck-page 2, bottom; page
page 5, top; page 9; page 11.
Terry McCarthy-the rest
Photo technician-Terry McCarthy
3, center left;
By .TERRI FOUCHEY
A casual observer, the average fan, of
the renaissance in Michigan basketball
would express the main reason for this
remarkable change of fortunes in these
two words, "Henry Wilmore."
A more informed respondent, most like-
ly a member of the knowledgable press.
would agree and add, "Ken Brady and
the rest of the sophomores should be
taken into account, too."
Everyone has a different way of saying
the same thing, the idea which is the
theme of the above statements. The idea
is that the sophomores brought with
them not only the talent, but also the
attitude to transform the Wolverine
cagers into winners over the span of one
Winners the Wolverines did become in
one season, but not solely on the basis of
the super sophs performing their roles as
Messiahs to a T. The sophomores, bring-
ing with them a winning spirit and only
winning experience at Michigan, have to
be considered an important factor in the
team's resurgence. However, different
players were not the only new addition
to the team. A new, winning, "we can do
it" attitude, perhaps picked up from the
sophomores. possibly lying dormant wait-
ing for the breaks to fall, was the inter-
vening variable, the main difference be-
tween the teams with 10-14 and 18-6
This is the opinion held by the people
presiding over the metamorphosis, the
coaches and p 1 a y e r s themselves. As
assistant coach Fred Snowden notes, "The
basic ingredients in the difference are a
great collective winning attitude and in-
dividual desire and dedication."
Senior forward Rod Ford echoes Snow-
den's sentiments, "Winning spirit is the
main difference. We also play together
much more as a team. We were close knit
last year, but we just didn't play to-
Captain Dan Fife explains the sopho-
mores part in the turn-about. "The soph-
omores have done nothing up here except
win; that's their whole idea. They've made
believers of the seniors. Their winning
attitude's brushed off of us and the
This winning attitude began gaining
momentum and eventually control after
Michigan had lost their first three games
Pessimists were ready to write them off
and chalk up another losing season even
in the midst of all that talent. The reports
of death didn't reach the cagers however
and Snowden describes how they took
their foot out of the grave.
"The turning point of the season was
actually the courage they showed after
those first three heartbreaking losses. It
involved having enough character to beat
Eastern Michigan. Eastern had all the
psychological advantages at that point-
their biggest game of the season, every-
thing to win, and nothing to lose.
"We, on the other hand, were depress-
ed and beginning to doubt our own abili-
ties and needing a victory to vindicate
our own philosophies. Under these cir-
cumstances we won and then we realized
that even with all that adversity against
us we could still win.
"it helped us realize that when things
were normal, we would have a great op-
portunity to win any basketball game we
Fife offers the background leading to
that first win. "After our first three
games, the team got together and we
talked things out. It helped because the
sophomores came of age and we began to
win the close games. We saw we could
win and one victory just led to another."
Then off to Hawaii where the cagers
discovered the extent of their potential.
Fife describes the unearthing, "We
hadn't played well the first two games
and we lost to Hawaii. Then, we beat
Villanova, and they were ranked quite
high at the time. We had never before
put it all together. Villanova made us
realize our capabilities; how good we
From then on it was just a case of
using the talent and newfound team
spirit to the results everyone had pre-
dicted for this team. Junior guard Wayne
Grabiec describes the outlook which the
team holds, "Everyone on the team is
unselfish. On the court we all look for
the open man and are trying constantly
to get open. Off the court, we stick to-
gether; we all stick with someone who's
down. This is very important, that we're
a team on and off court.
Fife finds this prevailing perspective
manifested in several ways. "Every man
out there knows his job and what they
have to do to win. The team isn't de-
pendent on any one person.
"On defense, everyone plays hard. Be-
fore we weren't pulling together, and it's
important because so much of the game
is on defense and rebounding. Now we
are and we're winning. Also, if we lose
one good player or they're stopping him,
we can still win because everyone can
score. Everyone's contributing on both
offense and defense and that's what
makes a team."
Ford adds, "It's a 14 man deal. Every
man is vitally important to the team's
Snowden comments on the sophomores,
"They are essential to the team's pro-
gress. They filled the voids that existed
and made it possible for a cohesive, tal-
ented unit to come together."
The player who is credited with doing
the most to bring Michigan basketball
back to prominence is Wilmore, every-
one's hero, who is touted as picking up
where Cazzie left off. His 610 points and
25.4 average obviously added a great deal
to the Wolverines' efforts, but he himself
discounts any notions of being a super-
man. "There's no really important player
on our team. All the individuals work to-
gether. You can't single out any one in-
Convinced of his own importance or
not, Wilmore did contribute abundantly
to the ascent of the team. However his
own views go along with the unselfish,
team attitude which has put the Wolver-
ines in the position they now find them-
selves; participating in the NIT.
His teammates, however, recognize his
accomplishments and their value to the
team. Fife states, "Hank could shoot all
the time, but he's so unselfish. Hie only
takes about 16 shots a game and what's
important is that he makes most of
them. Some of his shots are amazing, the
way he 'uses the backboard."
Fife also attributes much of the team's
success to center Ken Brady, another su-
per soph. "Brady's the whole secret; the
way he gets the ball out and releases it
so quick on rebounds, it makes it easy for
us to run the fast break or to set up our
Another prime factor in the success
saga is Fife himself. A fact head coach
John Orr attests to, "He has a burning
desire to win and this rubs off on the
others. Combined with his talent and en-
thusiasm and his willingness to sacrifice
anything for the team, this makes him
a tremendous leader."
Fife returns the compliments of his
coaches and presents them these acco-
lades from the team. "The hardest thing
to do was to take all of us, from our dif-
ferent backgrounds, with our different
ideas, and mold us into a team. They've
been very successful and done a great
job. We're a team and that's why we're
winning and that's what they made us."
Really only one four letter word is res-
ponsible for the renaissance in Michigan
basketball. Through experience, observa-
tion, and encounter, every individual con-
nected with the cagers has learned all the
connotations, aspects, and facets of this
Fred Snowden: The Fox
on a Fine Season!
cartoons by John Lockard Sr.
221 S. Main St.
III! ' --_ -_ -- _--- ____ ___ ___ ___ _-_ ___'
Dave Hart Steve Bazelon