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January 26, 1978 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1978-01-26

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, January 26, 1978-Page 11

Wolverines u

ary of
The current Big Ten basketball season su
coach Bobby Knight and his Hoosiers.
After breezing through the non-conference
impressive 9-1 mark, the Hoosiers were look
year's 14-13 overall record, including a 9-9 mar
IT SEEMED LIKE a realistic hope, conside
Dame by one point and had handled Alabama b,
vote in the polls rated the Hoosiers as high as ten
Then came the Big Ten schedule. After a
Hoosiers dropped their next three conference
Wisconsin, the last two coming on the road. A v
Purdue brought Indiana's Big Ten record to 2-4
tonight at 8:05 in Crisler Arena.
Indiana is off to its slowest start in the Big
1972, in which the Hoosiers dropped their first fo
experience coach Knight is forced to deal with
coaching career, Knight doesn't have at least on
around. Among the eight returning letterwinne
16 games during their collegiate careers p
remaining five players are all freshmen.
But this inexperience doesn't seem to mak
less respectful of the Hoosiers' talent.
"Their rebounding worries us the most and
Orr said. "In past games with Indiana, it's been
which have beat us.
count for their four conference losses, Orr sai
nothing different. I can't tell you why they lost.'
Assistant coach Bill Frieder concurred with
the toughest defensive team we've gone agains
you," Frieder said. "They are very young and a
been so up and down. But we respect them becau

slumping Hoosiers
BAR and Alabama."
re hasn't been too nice to Indiana One of Knight's 16-game plus players is 6-5 guard Mike Woodson. After a
freshman year in which he led the team in both field goal and free throw percen-
portion of their schedule with an tage and ranked second in the Big Ten in scoring, bright things were expected from
ing forward to improving on last Woodson. So far the sophomore hasn't disappointed many people. He leads the
k for fifth place in the conference. team in scoring with an 18.5 average and is ranked fifth in the conference in that
ring Indiana had knocked off Notre department.
y nine points. Even the people that _"Woodson saved the Hoosiers trip to Ann Arbor last year for one of his finer
nth at one point. games, netting 32 points on 15 of 19 shots and collecting 11 rebounds. It was all for
in opening victory over Iowa, the the record book however, as Michigan won the game, 89-84, and eventually split the
games to Illinois, Minnesota, and series with Indiana.
ictory over Ohio State and a loss at TEAMING UP WITH WOODSON at the guard position will be Indiana's only
for the battle with Michigan (4-2) starting senior, kWayne Radford. At 6-3, Radford is the team's second leading
scorer at 10.7 points per game and is one of the stronger rebounders on the squad.
Ten since Knight's first season in At the forward position, Knight should go with 6-8 freshman Steve Risley and 6-
ur conference games. 9 junior Scott Eells. Risley was one of the most sought after players in the state of
oosier's slow start may be the in- Indiana in both basketball and football, but decided to stick with-the roundball.
h. For the first time in his 13-year He's hit at a 7.3 clip per game.
ne or two two-year regulars to build Eells is thought of as a better perimeter than inside player, although his added
rs, only two had started more than weight has helped his inside game.
rior to the current season. The THE OTHER FRESHMAN in the Hoosier lineup is 6-9 center Ray Tolbert. He
was one of the most sought after cagers in the nation after being named Indians's
e Michigan coach Johnny Orr any "Mr. Basketball." Hitting at a 9.7 scoring average, Tolbert has taken over the
rebounding responsibilities formerly assigned to All-American Kent Benson, nqW
their defense is extremely good,'. with the Milwaukee Bucks.
in those second attempts after shots Knight will probably come with 6-5 Butch Carter or 6-2 Jim Wisman as his fiist
players off the bench in the guard slots.
na may be doing differently to ac- WOLVERINE TALES: Freshman forward Mike McGee is third in the Big Ten
d "They're doing the same things, in scoring with a 19.6 conference mark. He's ahead of Michigan State's freshman
standout Earvin Johnson who's in fourth place with an 18.2 percentage ... Indiana
h Orr's feelings. "They're probably has won six of the last seven meetings with Michigan. In the past two year's,
t so far because they really crowd Michigan has amassed an overall record of 35-9 compared with Indiana's 24-18.
ire learning and that's why they've T HE TTN TU IS
use of what they did to Notre Dame

Mike Woodson Coach Bobby Knight
By Scott Lewis
Pro basketball woes...
. o. fans, excitement lacking
W ITH ALL THE TALK of the troubled state of professional sports in
' this country today, baseball, with free agents driving salaries up
to unthinkable heights, has received the most attention.
Professional basketball, on the other hand, is said to be flourishing at
the moment. After all, the NBA-ABA merger gave the fans the chance to see
all of the country's top basketball stars in one league.
In cities like Portland and Denver, seats are extremely hard to come by,
as the respective basketball teams dominate sports in those places during
the winter months.
But those cities are not representative of what it's really like in the NBA.
Using the Detroit Pistons as an example, and definitely not an exception,
professional basketball has not made an impression on the American sports
fan like baseball and football have.
From a fan's point of view, the game leaves a lot to be desired.
Unlike the college game, professional basketball exhibits nothing more
than a run-and-shoot style of play. That is, instead of intricate plays and deft
passing, the pro teams play one-on-one most of the time, until a player can
find an open shot.
Outside shooting overemphasized
Except on Portland, and maybe a couple of other teams, movement off
the ball isn't stressed. All that matters is if a player can work himself free
for a twenty-footer and pop it in.
Once in a while you'll see a player get loose for an easy layup under-
neath, but the great majority of baskets in the NBA come from the
perimeter. This can become a very boring spectacle for the fan.
The baskets seem to be less meaningful as compared to college, where
excellent movement and precision passing can pay off in many crucial
baskets inside.
Experts say that the 24-second clock saved the NBA, but it has also taken
much of the strategy out of the game - something which makes college
basketball more interesting.
The 24-second clock, however, cannot be blamed as the only contributor
to pro basketball's woes. If most pros can hit the outside shots with relative
ease, it would seem a waste to try to work it in underneath.
In baseball, strong pitching and superior fielding counteract the better
hitters. Hockey provides superior goaltending as well as top-notch defense-
men to keep the games tighter, while football's strong defenders can hold
back the superb offenses.
In basketball, however, the defensive play of the pros doesn't seem to
counteract the offense's superiority. Although the scores may be signifi-
cantly higher as a result, the games aren't as exciting as college games.
The excellence on the offensive side of the court can't be an excuse for
the defensive lapses. Late in the NBA games it seems to be much more dif-
ficult to get the easy buckets. Maybe the players finally decide to play good
In college, you'll usually see all-out play on both sides of the court all
game long. But in the pros, player motivation doesn't seem to be a strong
Long season, meaningless games
Many factors may contribute to this alleged lack of desire, but the ex-
tended schedule must be the prime factor. It's ridiculous to expect the
players to psyche themselves up for every game. The 82-game schedule, as
compared to the much shorter schedule in college, insures more meaning-
less games for the pros.
Add to this the ease with which the pros can make the playoffs, and you
have even the best teams playing lackluster ball at times. A team assured of
a playoff berth by mid-season - a common occurrence with the NBA's
present playoff format - shouldn't be expected to go all out the rest of the
With all these deficiencies, fans have many reasons to keep away from
the pro games. Getting back to the Pistons, it's no wonder that Cobo Arena is
half-empty' many nights.
Without the fans to lend their support, the dullness of the games is com-
pounded even more.
A Piston game among only 4,000 rather quiet fans resembles nothing
more than an exhibition game. Neither the players, nor the fans, seem to
care - a significant contrast from a crowd of 13,000 screaming fans at
Crisler Arena.

Blue gymnasts weigh


It is an odd system of scoring,
really, that they use in gymnastics
After an afternoon of individual
performances, it is the team scores
- the totals of the individual points
amassed - which are most often
brought to the forefront by judges
and meet officials. And newspaper
accounts commonly play the team
totals prominently.
Still, it is hardly a unanimous
group which feels gymnastics can be
properly termed a "team" sport.
"I THINK that gymnastics has to
be one of the most individual sports,"
says John Corritore, parallel-bar
specialist on the Michigan men's
gymnastics squad. "I get pleasure
from being with the team, but still,
when you're competing, it always
comes down to this: It's just you and
your apparatus. There is no one out
there helping you."
Corritore concedes, though, that
his outlook is determined largely by
his status as a-specialist - a compet-
itor who performs only one event.
"An all-arounder (one who competes
in all six events) is in a different
"Someone like Nigel Rothwell who
does everything will be more in-
volved because he works with every-
one and because the team depends so
much on his total scores. That's why
all-arounders make the best team
captains," Corritore continues.
ROTHWELL, the team captain,
would probably agree with the last
assertion, but differs dramatically in
his view of the sport's nature. "It is
definitely a team sport," the all-
arounder says.
"It's individual too, for sure, but
you have to have the moral support of
your teammates. Because each com-
petitor is out there all alone, it's real
easy to get down on yourself. And the
other guys can really pick someone
up when they're down."
Ginger Robey, co-captain of the
women's team, and Anne Cornell, the
coach, agree that team spirit is an
essential ingredient of success. But
both also point to the negative conse-
quences which result, for women at
least, for individual stars because of
team-point tabulations and team
THE ILL consequences result
when: After the meet with the state's
other teams, only those teams which

of Scoring
have totalled 118 points or more are
invited to regional competition. Even
an individual who couldn't climb onto
a beam is entered, as long as her
team score was high enough.
From teams which do not reach
that plateau, however, individual
stars who reach a certain mark are
also invited, with or without their
teammates. Such was the setup last
The key, however, is that once in
the regionals, the top teams are
seeded, and get to perform last in the
optionals, while individuals must
perform first thing in the morning. So
"WELL, AFTER HOURS of watch-
ing events with only a five-minute
coffee break every three hours,'
laments Cornell, "the judges just
don't feel like itemizing all their
deductions or facing the coaches'
protests anymore."~
And Robey, who feels this hurt her
last year when she failed to make it
to the regional finals after perform-
ing in the morning, adds another
factor, "Since the teams going last
are seeded tops, and the judges know
this, they just keep sliding up scores"
as the day progresses.
CORNELL FEELS that perhaps
the regionals should be spread over
an extra day, or permit fewer teams
to enter, so the judges won't become
so weary. But men's coach Newt
Loken isn't sure anything should be
"Judges swear they don't do it, and
it's just a negative thing to be
questioning their integrity or what-
ever," Loken says. But he does
admit, "the guys are always saying,
'don't put me up first or second'."
A team sport? Some feel the team
nature of the sport is limited, or
worse, unfortunate, but others dis-
agree. And when you're alone on the

Mike McGee (6-5)............. F
Alan Hardy (6-6).............. F
Joel Thompson (6-8).........C
Tom Staton (6-3).............. G
Dave Baxter (6-3)............. G


..............Scott Eells (6-9)
...........Steve Risley (6-8)
..............Ray Tolbert (6-9)
.........Mike Woodson (6-5)
........Wayne Radford (6-3)

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