The Michigan Daily-Sunday, February 12, 1978-Page 9
JOHNSON, KELSER LEAD S TA TE
By RICK MADDOCK'
T HE WOLVERINES just didn't have enough to beat the tenth ranked
Spartans. Enough what, you ask. That can be answered in two phases;
the first is specifically aimed at yesterday's defeat, while the other can be
applied to yesterday along with the rest of the season.
The category of part A is adefensive replacement when Tom Staton is in
foul trouble or on the bench. Staton did a fine job on Earvin Johnson in the
first half, as Johnson only scored two points against Staton. Those two came
on a goaltending call. But when Staton was replaced with 6:05 to go until 1:29
left, Johnson exploded for 7 points. When Staton returned he too was unable
to halt the 'Magic' show, as Johnson netted four more points. But as Al
McGuire pointed out during the Kentucky-Notre Dame game, it usually
takes a minute for a player to get back into the game, that is rejuvenate his
"I feel one of the differences in the first half is when I came out with a
few minutes left he (Johnson) got going. Once he gets going, he's a helluva
player to stop," Staton said.
Why did Staton come out? He only had two fouls, but maybe coach John-
ny Orr wanted to give him a rest or prevent him form getting the third foul.
Yet, one would think Staton might have been able to cool Johnson off, had he
been put back in sooner.
There may be one other reason for Staton's removal, and that is to add
power to the offense. Staton's main asset is his defense. Offensivley he
muscles his way to the boards, but he just doesn't score often enough. The
problem with Michigan's offense, however, is not Staton's production, but
the entireoffense itself.,
So now we are into part B, whose category can be labelled Michigan's
stagnant offense. Sure, at times the offense looks like the Army's artillery at
full force, but that's just the problem. Michigan counts too much on it's long
"A lot of shots I took I shouldn't have," Alan Hardy said. "What I was
putting up just wasn't falling. Then for a couple of minutes I hit three in a
row. But that was it."
Hardy did not know why he was taking the shots. Maybe the reason is
because no one else looked open due to the non-existent offense.
"Everybody wants to go down and take the shot, but you've got to work
the ball inside," said Mike Mcgee. "I was posting low, but in the second half
they couldn't get the ball down to me."
And it's too bad they couldn't hit McGee, because he accounted for 16
first half points, including 10 points in a row during the final five and a half
minutes. One reason McGee could not get the ball was the Spartan zone
defense, and the way the Wolverines were playing against it.
"Everybody has just got to move the ball against the zone," said Joel
Thompson. "If everyone who gets the ball takes a couple of dribbles then
passes, it gives the zone a chance to set up. That's what we were doing. We
weren't moving the ball well enough."
Another problem with the Michigan offense is that all of the scoring has
been coming from the front three men. The backcourt with defensive minded
Staton and slump ridden David Baxter offers little offensive threat. But
maybe Baxter's slump is a direct result from the offense.
"On that zone (defense) the guards try to penetrate then pass off to the
forwards or Joel. They draw two guys to them and then they give it to us,"
"On our offense," Baxter said, "we have everything so spread out that
even if I beat my man there's always someone there to pick me up. Most of
the time I'm not even included in the offense. Everything is geared to the
forwards getting the ball from me. Trying to include them in the offense is
taking away from me. That's just what I have to sacrifice.
"How many times do you see me wide open for a shot? I'm not the kind
of player who can force his shots. If there's not a change made in the offense,
then there's not much that I can do. It's the same thing with Tommy. I could
get real technical and call a change where the guards take the forward slots
and the forwards come out, but that takes a lot of cooperation," Baxter said.
And unfortunately Michigan has had some problems with its players
cooperating with one another on offense. So the Wolverine offensive perfor-
mance usually comes down to whether they're hot or cold from the outside.
The result-they win some and they lose some. As a matter of fact, since the
third game of the Big Ten season, Michigan has alternated wins and losses,
never winning or losing two in a row.
"We're inconsistnt in the way we play," Thompson said. "If we play as
a team we can beat anybody. When you play inconsistent the good teams are
going to beat you some nights."
And a good Michigan State team beat them yesterday. Thompson says
the reason was "our shot selection. If you look at the shots in the second half
they were 12 for 18, while we were 17-40. We took twice as many shots as they
did. It's not because we were missing the shots, but our selection. We're not
getting the ball inside, that's why we don't get any foul shots."
The same problem plagued Michigan against Purdue both times.
Michigan could not penetrate and thus did not force any fouls. Meanwhile,
Purdue did penetrate causing fouls and that was the game.
So, in short, Michigan has a offense that has trouble penetrating, has it's
guards almost always covered and at times looks completely helpless. Does
anyone think it's time to overhaul the offense?
"I don't know if it's too late to change," Baxter commented.
Well, if it is too late-as far as post season action goes-so what, you
might as well make the change anyway. If it's not too late, it will be the next
time the offense breaks down unless a change is made.
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(Continued from Page 1) The Wolverines could n
It did take Earvin a while to get going the basket against the z
as he notched only two points in the first pletely relying on thei
14 minutes. But then Johnson turned the shooting. For awhile in the
tide in what had all the makings of a it looked like they might g
close, defensive struggle by ripping off this non-attack, as fresh
11 points in the final two minutes of the McGee unleashed his heav
first half. Johnson's outburst transfor- and tallied ten straight poi
med a 28-26 MSU margin into a 37-28
halftime bulge, and the Wolverines ,Spa
never closed that gap to less than three MICHIGAN
the rest of the way.
"We were fortunate to have a nine- MFG/n FT/A
point lead at halftime," said State Jud Hardy........... 2
Heathcote after the game. "It was a Thompson.......... 3/8 1/2
good cushion and it enabled us to do dif- Staton..............2/6 3/2
ferent things and still stay ahead." Baxter .............3/8 0/0
Lozier .......... / 0/
ot get near
e first half,
get by with
McGee's mates, however, had
trouble getting him the ball in the
late going, and their marksmanship
wasn't enough to keep the game
close. McGee hit on 11 of 21 attempts
and totalled 24 points, but as a team
the Wolverines sank to a 41.4 percent
rta over Athens
E Rt A TP
Those different things that Michi-
gan saw in the second half included a
sticky zone defense that they could
neither penetrate nor shoot over and
a patient Spartan attack that allowed
State to take only the best shots.
Bodnar. Mark ...... 0/0
Bodnar, Marty ..... 3/3
TOTALS ........... 29/0
FGi/A F T/A
Johnson.. .......... 8/1t 9/10
Vincent ............0/2 1/2
Chapman........... 4/12 1/2
Donnelly............ 2/3 0/1
Charles............. 2/2 4/4
Coutre............ /1 1/2
Riewald........... 0/0 0/0
F eidreich .......... 0/0 0/0
Brown. .........0/0 0/0
TOTALS........... 28/46 17/23
Halftime score: Michigan State 37, MICIGAN 28
BIG TEN ROUNDUP
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Mychal
Thompson drilled in 34 points as
Minnesota defeated Iowa 78-65 in a
regionally televised Big Ten Confer-
ence basketball game yesterday.
Thompson, the Big Ten's leading
scorer, hit 20 first-half points to help
the Gophers, 9-3 in the league and
13-7 overall, to a 44-32 edge at
IOWA RALLIED to within one
point as Minnesota went scoreless for
a four-minute period early in the
second half. Then Thompson and
Osborne Lockhart dropped in two
baskets each, and the Gophers again
fashioned a 15-point margin in the
next seven minutes.
Iowa, 3-9 and 10-11, got balanced
scoring from reserve Dick Peth with
13 points, Ronnie Lester with 12, Clay
Hargrave 11 and Terry Drake 10.
The Hawkeyes stayed close until
Thompson scored nine unanswered
points during a four-minute Iowa
cold streak midway through the first
* * *
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Fresh-
man Ray Tolbert scored 24 points,
including 14 in the second half, as
Indiana defeated Northwestern yes-
terday for the 14th consecutive time,
Tolbert had five consecutive bas-
kets during one 10 minute span.
Indiana's Mike Woodson, who wound
up with 21 points, had four baskets
and Wayne Radford also had 21 with
three field goals in the stretch.
THE HOOSIERS, who shot better
than 50 per cent from the field for the
sixth time in seven games, made 33
of 56 shots.
Indiana, 14-7, trailed only once. A
Wildcat basket gave Northwestern a
2-0 lead and Tolbert tied the game. It
was tied again at 4-4 but in the next
six minutes the Wildcats were out-
* * *
Bia(IgeredI Illin i
MADISON, Wis. - Arnold "Clyde"
Gaines scored 19 points and fresh-
man Claude Gregory added a career-
high 18 yesterday as an ailing
Wisconsin defeated Illinois 80-73, in
Big Ten basketball and avenged an
earlier 74-71 loss to the Illini.
Gregory, dividing time between
forward and center, connected on
five field goals, made eight of eight
free throws and grabbed eight re-
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Bus Service every 15 minutes from
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IT WAS the second consecutive
strong game for Gregory,.who had 16
points in the loss to Minnesota Thurs-
Wisconsin, leading 44-35 at the half,
got a quick basket on Bill Pearson's
tip-in after play resumed, then
watched the Illini reel off 10 straight
points that brought them to within
one at 46-45 with 15:20 to play.
The Badgers got some breathing
room, but Illinois pulled to within
three at 60-57. Then Wisconsin took
control, scoring six straight on a pair
of free throws by Pearson, a slam
dunk by Gregory and a basket by
MSU took only 46 shots overall and
a mere 18 in the second half, but the
Spartans were more selective and
ended up with a sizzling 60.8 per-
After scoring'16 his team's 28 first
half points, McGee was held to nine
after the intermission. The State zone
geared more toward the Michigan
forward, often collapsing on him
when he got the ball.
"Everyone wants to go down and
make the shot, but you've got to work
the ball inside," said McGee. "I was
posting low, but in the second half
they couldn't get it to me."
After three baskets by Alan Hardy
and a lay up by McGee narrowed
State's lead to 39-36 with 15:33 to go,
the teams traded baskets for the next
few minutes. But when Staton fouled
out yith MSU up 53-48 and 8:38 still
left, Michigan was caught short-
"We only have one guy who
can cover Earvin and that's Tom-
my," explained Orr.
With Staton confined to the bench;
Johnson took control of the game and
the Spartans increased their lead
70-54 with 2:29 left. Orr then emptied
his bench as the upset-minded fans
began to abandon the arena.
Spartan forward Greg Kelser gave
State a solid one-two scoring punch,
as he netted 21 besides grabbing 12
rebounds. Hardy followed McGee for
Michigan with 14 as the pair of for-
wards took a total of 43 shots.
After the loss a disappointed but
realistic David Baxter spelled out his
team's situation. "I can't lie to you -
we're in trouble," said the Wolverine
co-captain. It'll take a miracle (to
win the Big Ten)"
Teammate Hardy is hopeful of
regrouping in time to salvage a,
tournament berth out of the season..
"We might have lost the battle, but
the war isn't over yet," he said.
Unfortunately for Hardy, unless
his Wolverines can bounce back and
win on the road this week at
Wisconsin and Indiana, they're going
to fight the war without him.
Jbust for the
health of it*:
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