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February 03, 1973 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-02-03

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Saturday, February 3, 1973
"rr's saving grace:
Canha m's on his side {
--john popanek I
DON CANHAM sat back in his plush swivel chair behind a great
mahogany desk, his confident face just a bit reddened, as he
talked about the current state of affairs of the Michigan basketball
team and its persecuted coach Johnny Orr.
Canham obviously likes Orr. Everybody does. As a man,
Orr is gracious, friendly, and always smiling. He's just like
your favorite uncle.
And there was Canham, a man who has built a reputation
as possibly the most ambitious and innovative major college
athletic director in the country. In his four years at the athletic
directorship, he has turned Michigan's athletic program toward
prosperity, an achievement predicated on one simple secret:
To make money, you need fans, and to get fans you need to
So when he took over in 1968, Canham eased out the popular
but mediocre football coach Bump Elliott and brought in Bo
Schembecher. He replaced the retiring wrestling genius Cliff
Keen with young Rick Bay, who is expertly carrying on Michi-
gan's winning tradition. And perhaps the most brilliant and am-
bitious of all the coaches is Brian Eisner, who has fashioned
a nationally-contending tennis team.
And now, while thousands of fans foul the air in Crisler
Arena with boos and jeers and crys of "Orr must go!" the
message must be getting across to Canham that the fans want
a new coach who can finally produce a winner.
"Listen," he said yesterday, "I don't give a damn if all those
people boo. They certainly have a right to. But my personal
opinion is that those people don't know anything about basketball.
"For one thing, anybody who thinks Michigan has the best
talent in the conference is dead wrong. And for another, we're not
even half-way through the season yet. I'm telling you that the
team that wins the championship will have three losses."
It may be true that the Michigan fans had dreams a bit too
lofty for reality, but I don't believe anyone expected the Wol-
verines to go through the tough Big Ten season undefeated. In
this league, certain games are almost guaranteed losses: Ohio
State at Columbus, Minnesota at Minneapolis, Indiana at Bloom-
ington, MSU at East Lansing.
Road games are tough, they are supposed to separate the
good teams from the bad ones. So what happens? Michigan
wins its first two road games at Ohio State and Michigan
State, then loses two sloppy ones at home.
Poof, the fans scream that Michigan is out of the race and
suddenly "Orrmust go.",
"I can't understand how loyalties can change like that,"
Canham says. "Before this year, Orr's reputation was just the
opposite. In fact, when he had very little material, like when
he had Rudy Tomjanovich and no one else, he got great mileage
out of his players."
Well, that year Michigan was 10-14. The year after that,
the year of the Wilmore-Brady-Johnson super-sophs, he went
197 ahd into the NIT. Last year, the Wolverines careened to
a disappointing 14-10 and this season is on the verge of
becoming a disaster.
"Orr must go!" has been heard around here as long as "Off
the Pigs!" and "Right on!"
Are all those screaming fans ignorant, spoiled, cruel or what?
"I really don't think Orr has had a fair shake," says Canham.
He thinks that a remark in Sports Illustrated before the season
began that said in effect that Orr does not believe in defense and
"has trouble leading his team out of the dressing room" was
reprehensible and irresponsible.
The remark gave Orr a coast-to-coast dog tag, evidenced by
the talk among the effete New York writers covering the ECAC
Holiday Festival in Madison Square Garden during Christmas.
During the tournament, Campy Russell and Henry Wilmore
shined at various times, but the Wolverines, favored to win the
whole thing, floundered at the hands of St. John's and were
embarrassed by weak Manhattan.
"Any decent coach in the country could take those five
players and make them a national contender,"said sports-
caster Bob Wolfe, on the Garden cable TV hookup. Most of
the writers in the press room echoed similar sentiments.
Maybe they, too, thought Michigan had a better team than it
showed. Anyway, the word is out even among those who never
saw Michigan play: Orr has been branded as a poor coach.
Canham thought hard. "I can't do anything about what
people think, they're entitled to their own opinion. Orr has done
as well as any other coach in the conference, and the season's
not over yet.
"You can't evaluate a guy in the middle of a season. Hell, I
never worry about a one-year situation, anyway. Winning and
losing is not the only thing we're concerned about a the Univer-

sity of Michigan. We're not like those wild places where they hire
a guy for two years, then fire him because he didn't get a
"You should see the stack of letters I got that said 'Fire Bo
Schembechler' because Bo didn't kick the field goal in the Ohio
State game. I can't listen to all these nuts."
But the sad fact that remains is not that Michigan lost
a couple of games, but that it has played so inconsistently;
that Orr attributes losing to Indiana and Purdue to "too many
missed shots," or "mental collapses."
"Look," says Canham, "I'm not going to pull my hair out
over a one-point loss to Purdue or an unfortunate loss to Indiana.
Unless you have talent like UCLA, a basketball team is going
to have a few bad games. Minnesota had two bad games, Ohio
State-what's happened to them?
"John Orr, in my evaluation, has done a good job. I wouldn't
say that I'm happy the way the season has gone so far, but hell,
I'm not going to blame the coach for that.
"Sure he's frustrated, just as the players are frustrated, but
you've got to remember that if a few baskets had gone in that
didn't, we'd be in great shape."
So, maybe the fans can scream till they're blue in the
fate. For now, Canham is standing firmly behind Orr. But
it.:is mid-season, and Michigan still has a chance, if only a
slim one. At this point of evaluation, it does look like the
Wolverines are lacking a thing or two: a good floor leader
a la Danny Fife, and a winning attitude.
But there is also something else missing; an intangible. It is
an etheral kind of spirit that can get inside.five individuals and
make them a consistently good team. Canham, a former coach
himself, knows all about 'it, and I think he knows that it isn't


Page Sever






Heavyweight Gary Ernst's
7-1 victory pulled Michigand
from impending defeat to vic-!
tory last night in a dual meetc
against Iowa. Ernst's successt
over Jim Washeck erased the NIGHT EDITORS:
Hawkeyes' threatening two-
point advantage and provid- FRANK and ROGER
ed the Wolverines with an 18-
17 triumph, the grapplers Greco-Roman champion, turned
ninth consecutive victory this the match around.
season. A quick takedown, followed by
Although Coach Rick Bay was a near fall, put Ritzman on the
happy with the meet's result, he ropes. Seconds later, the match
didn't think it was an especially ended. Ritzman's shoulders level-
outstanding performance by either ed the mat, Referee Claude Wi-
gqpad Ibanks spanked the canvas, and:
squad. sy Holm had himself a win-by-fall.j
"Both teams were really slug- Michigan had lost all but one pointf
gish tonight," observed Bay. "For of its seven-point lead. Iowa wast
a big meet, everyone was really back in the meet.
The meet started on an ominous The stunned Ritzman explain-
note for Michigan. Jim Brown, ed what happened in the eerie
Michigan's normally reliable 118- quiet of the Michigan locker
pound sparkplug, lost convincingly room. Did he get tired?
to Iowa's Dan Sherman. ' Brown "No, that's just it. I didn'tI
had defeated Sherman in the Mid- get gassed at all. I got out tot
lands Tournament earlier this that early lead and thought 'I've
year, but the Hawkeye had the got that turkey. Just play it coolI
Wolverine's number last night. and he's all mine!'" Then whatr
Bill Davids gained Michigan a happened?
short-lived 4-3 lead when he reg- "I just had a mental lapse. Ie
istered a superior 15-2 decision got overconfident and let him c
over a former state champ (Holm) take control . . . I1
named Tim Cysewski. But when couldn't believe it when it wasI
Jeff Guyton lost a close 3-2 de- over. I couldn't believe it." E
cision at the 134-pound class, the "We had it (the meet) all wrap-
Wolverines looked to be in ped up. A victory by Roger would;
trouble. have ended it."c
On Thursday, Bay had called The Wolverines maintained theirt
the contest's first three matches tenuous one-point edge through the
"the key to the meet." Smiles John Ryan-Dan Wageman 2-2 draw
were few as Michigan left that at 177 pounds. But when Dave
trio of events on the short end of Curby dropped a physical 4-1 ver-
a 6-4 tally. dict to Hawkeye Fred Penrod, Iowa

by reversing the disadvantageous
"referee's position" for another
two points. With a 4-0 lead, Mich-
igan smelled victory. Jerry Hub-
bard, Big Ten champion and head
cheerleader, egged his muscular
teammate on.
"You want to eat tonight?
Huh? You want raw steak to-
night, don't you Gar? Don't
you?" implored 'Hub.' The temp-
tation was too great. Ernst
worked for the pin, settled for a
predicament situation, wrestled
off the final seconds and the vic-
tory, both personal and team,
was won.
Before the meet, Coach Bay
predicted a tough evening. But
this tough?
"It was just as tough as we
figured," claimed Michigan's men-
tor. "We certainly didn't think it
was going to be easy."
Jerry Hubbard thought the match
went about as planned.
"About right," chipped in last
year's NCAA 150-pound runnerup.
"Except for Roger (Ritzman) get-
ting pinned, it went about right."
Billy Davids, perhaps Michigan's
most impressive wrestler 1 a s t
night, preferred to look ahead.
"The big one's tomorrow," offer-
ed the 126-pound scrapper. "This
one's over, we might as well for-
get it."
The "big one" Davids referred
to starts at 3:30 this afternoon fol-
lowing the gymnastics meet. Min-
nesota furnishes the opposition, an-
other hurdle on Michigan's path
to an undefeated dual-meet season.

Daily Photo by STEVE KAGAN
GARY ERNST GRABS a waist and an ankle in last night's heavyweight attraction against Hawkeye
Jim Washeck. Ernst's victory erased a two-point Iowa advantage and propelled Michigan to a narrow
18-17 dual meet victory.

But Michigan rallied admirably
in the next three matches. Bill
Schuck took Mike Bostwick 6-4,
Jerry Hubbard downed Chuck
Yagla 6-1 and Mitch Mendrygal
edged Jan Sanderson 5-4. After six
outings, Michigan led 13-6. When
Roger Ritzman came out strong
against Don Holm, victory seemed
The DeKalb, Ill., senior built
an early 5-0 lead and led 7-1 mid-
way through the second period.
But then Holm, a former national
Pistons cre
Hawks sha
By The Associated Press I
DETROIT-Dave Bing and Bob.
Lanier teamed up for 49 points to
spark the Detroit Pistons to a 114-
104 National Basketball Associa-
tion victory over the Philadelphia,
76ers last night.
It was the 76ers' 14th straight
defeat and 52nd loss in 56 NBA
games this season and the Pis-
tons' third straight victory.

grabbed a harrowing 17-15 lead.
Curby's defeat set the stage for a e
Ernst's heroics.
Ernst, a former state champion By ROBIN WAGNER
hailing from Saline, came pre- special To The N aiR
pared for his chore. Just seconds E S elANSINGT-e Iai wil
after the opening horn, a takedown EAST LANSING - In a wild
gave the Michigan heavyweight a game featuring a wilder finish
2-0 lead. Ernst kept Iowa's Was- Michigan State's Mark Calder
heck riding the mat the remainder scored on a breakaway with only
of the opening canto, sitting back 57 seconds remaining as the Spar-
near his foe's ankles and wearingi tans came from behind to down
Washeck out.d an inspired Michigan team 6-5:
Ernst opened the middle period last night.
The game had it all. Brawls,
confusion, emotion ,spirit, and
crazy fans. The. lead changed
hands three times during the con-
am Pilly;:52i
aiti. l~lilly; test and an incredible third period
contained six goals and 11 pen-
i C elt ICI The maize and blue opened the
scoring early in the first period.
On a breakaway set up by a Ju-
Lanier had 26 points and grab- lian Nixon pass, Don Fardig's
bed off 17 rebounds, while. Bing shot was blocked by State goalie
finished with 23 points and a sea- Ron Clark. Alertly following the
son high of 16 assists. Eleven of play, Don Dufek slipped the puck
Bing's assists came in the first past the sprawled Clark.L
half, a team record. At 13:39 of the first period the
* * * Spartans tied the game. After car-
BOSTON-Pistol Pete Maravich rying the puck the length of the
scored 37 points and the Atlanta ice, John Sturges let go with a
scokre 37cpita dathe Alatashot that was deflected in front
Hawks capitalized at the free of the net to Chris Murfey. Mur-
throw line last night in hanging on fey proceeded to unload a shot
for a 100-99 National Basketball which eluded Robbie Moore into
Association victory over the Bos- the twine.
tan Celtics. Two minutes later, another of
Maravich hit for 14 points, in- Michigan's all too familiar defen-
cluding a decisive free throw sive lapses occurred. While the
with 44 seconds left, in the Spartans were short-handed, Frank
fourth period as the Hawks held DeMarco intercepted a Michigan
off a Boston rally and handed pass, unmolestedly skated in on
the Celtics only their 10th loss Moore, watched the helpless net-
in 51 games. minder commit himself and lifted
Atlanta, which had lost three the puck high into the net.
previous meetings with Boston, Except for this defensive error,
built a commanding lead with the teams played even hockey in
nine s t.r a i g h t points midway the first period. The second twen-
through the third period. The ty-minute session was a different
Hawks were in front 77-68 heading story, however. Michigan appear-
into the finale and the Celtics were ed disorganized and lackidazical
unable to catch up. throughout the period, but stayed



close on the scoreboard.
Enjoying a man advantag
with five minutes gone in th
period, MSU increased its ma
gin to 3-1 on a tipin by Bill S
pola. The Wolverines retaliate
quickly with a power play go
of their own. From the corne
Rick Mallette fed Tom Lind
kog, whose shot was deflectedt
Pierre Sarazin. Sarazin letp
with a wrist shot which barge
through a crowd at the go,
mouth and somehow found ti
Down 3-2 with twenty minu
of play remaining, Michigan cax
out on the* ice with the killer
stinct they had been lacking
year. Less than two minutes i
the period, Fardig, the recipi
of superb passes from Nixon a
Dufek, nonchalantly approach
Clark and lifted the puck off t
post and in.
Literally seconds later (two s

goals Ichill lecers,
onds as a matter of fact), Spar- Michigan shorthanded, and this
e tan Steve Culp deposited the puck arena going berserk, Culp lifted
e n the upper portion of the Michi- a short shot over Moore for a tie
r-. fan net behind Moore. Was it time game. Just 23 seconds later, Cald-
i- or the Maize and Blue to pick up er scored on another breakaway,
d and go home? Not quite. and that was all she wrote.
al ,oAkhustling Randy Neal dead- Onthe whole the Michigan
r, locked the game four minutes pucksters played their most in-
s- later. While forechecking, Neal spired hockey of the year. The
to stole the puck from astounded first line of Nixon-Dufek-Fardig
go State defenseman Paul Pavelich, forechecked well and consistent-
d found nothing but ice between ly kept the pressure on State.
thi l nd Ck aime- Rick Mallette was also outstand-
heI diately scored.. ing, singlehandedly killing off
With nine minutes 'remaining in the nagging Wolverine penalties.
tes the game, Gordie Cullen put the
me Wolverines ahead, but not for The two teams resume action
in- good. On a power play Randy Tru- tonight at 8 P. M. in the Michigan
all deau uncorked a slap shot which Coliseum. Michigan's record .is
nto hit the backboards hopped over now 4-20, while the Spartans stand
ent and in front of the net and onto at 16-7-1. Hopefully the Wolverines
nd the waiting stick of Cullen. Sur- can save a little of that determina-
ied prised but not dumbfounded, Cul- tion and killer instinct for tonight's
the len planted the puck in the net for
a 5-4 Wolverine advantage. game and bring the hometown
ec- With 1:'16 left on the clock, folks a long awaited victory.


GIsous :

Detroit 114, Philadelphia 104
Atlanta 100, Boston 99
Milwaukee 114, Buffalo 108
Baltimore 89, New York 77
New York 106, Dallas 93
Memphis 114, Utah 110
Kentucky 118, San Diego 106
Penn 76, Yale 56
Brown at Princeton, ppd., flooding
Columbia 84, Dartmouth 57
Howard 85, S. Carolina St. 73
Lowell Tech 78. Suffolk 69
Virginia St. 92, Campbell 79







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