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March 03, 1978 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-03-03

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, March 3, 1978-Page 9

PLAYOFF HOPES DASHED, 84-78:

Blue bows to

Minn

Sorry, cagefans...
. . .lWolverines not perfect
MINNEAPOLIS
.M OST OF THE 188,949 fans who filed into Crisler Arena this season were
probably a bit disenchanted with the overall performance of Michi-
gan's basketball team. The Wolverines this year didn't have the killer in-
stinct that the two previous squads possessed.
At best, it could be rated an average team if the NCAA runner-up team
of 1976 or the NCAA Mideast Regional team of last season are the criteria for
judgment.
I think it is pretty obvious just by the reactions of Michigan fans that
they demand perfection and become infuriated when a Wolverine team isn't
rated high in the national polls.
I guess I must be different than most of those Maize and Blue fanatics.
For me, this Big Ten basketball season has been the most interesting of the
three I've paid any attention to since 1975.
What makes this season unique is that Michigan must fight for each and
every win. The Wolverines can't enter a game and be confident that forty
minutes later they'll have another victory secured in the record books. This
uncertainty is what I like. It forces me to pay much closer attention to the
overall conference race instead of becoming complacent and knowing that
the Wolverines will be perched on top of the pack week after week.
The security of Crisler Arena did not emerge, either. Michigan ended its
home season with a 10-4 record, while the 1976 and 1977 teams posted a com-
bined home mark of 28-1. So, with the team dominance gone, the obvious
aspect of the game to focus on was the individual accomplishments. People
began centering their attention on the outside shooting ability.of freshman
Mike McGee or the defensive play of Tom Staton. Even some of the more
astute observers noticed that Dave Baxter was doing an incredible job in the
assist department.
Joel Thompson's conversion from forward to center drew considerable
comment. Alan Hardy's flying dunks received rousing ovations. But what
bothered most fans was that the sum of the parts did not equal a very suc-
cessful whole.
I have to disagree on that point. I won't go as far and say that every one
of Michigan's losses should have occured. Defeats by Toledo, Illinois, and
Ohio State should have been reversed to Wolverine victories. But in
analyzing the overall effectiveness of the 1977-78 team, I think you must con-
sider the talent on the floor. First of all, the season began at a distinct dis-
advantage by losing one of the finest players in college basketball - Phil
Hubbard. Then you reform your lineup to include five players who had never
played regularly for Michigan.
This group of first-time starters was asked to follow a very tough act - a
1977 team which posted an overall mark of 26-4 and a conference record of 16-
2. Taken into account what coach Johnny Orr had to overcome, I think this
Michigan team must be credited for not folding after a few tough losses to
Louisville and Alabama.
And if Michigan fans won't accept this reasoning, just think what the
supporters from Minnesota and Purdue must be saying. These teams have
played an entire Big Ten season with their full contingent of talent. Yet look
at the records they've posted as compared with the Hubbard-less
Wolverines.
Entering their clash with Michigan, Minnesota was only one game
ahead of the Wolverines 10-6 record with a 11-5 mark. Remember the
Gophers are sporting the Big Ten's leading scorer in 6-10 Mychal Thompson,
whoshould command a million dollar contract after the upcoming NBA
draft.
Purdue is in the same boat. They're riding an identical 11-5 record en-
tering last night's game and have the likes of 7-0 Joe Barry Carroll, Walter
Jordan, Eugene Parker and Wayne Walls to support their cause.
So when you compare the proven talent the rest of the teams ahead of
Michigan are utilizing to the conglomerate of Wolverine first-time starters,
you should be satisfied with Michigan's performance this year, if you're
going to be fair in your analysis.
Granted, this year's team was not the best in Michigan's history. But I
feel an average team is good in a sense. People might realize just how well
they have had it being followers of Michigan sports.
Maybe now I won't continue to hear people rate the current Michigan
team with the great ones of the past. They might realize that the current ver-
sion of any team must be judged by its competition at that particular
moment. And if you're willing to accept this, then this season's Wolverine
squad isn't as bad as many observers feel it is.

By ERNIE DUNBAR
Special to The Daily
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneso-
ta outscored Michigan 13-6 in
the final four minutes and six
seconds to post an 84-78 victory
over the Wolverines last night
in Williams Arena.
Michigan had taken the lead
72-71 with 4:26 remaining after
trailing the entire game. But
the Gophers got six points from
guard James Jackson and four
from Kevin McHale to give
Minnesota the victory and up
their Big Ten mark to 12-5.
With the loss, the Wolverines fell to
10-7 and Michigan coach Johnny Orr
finally ruled out the possibility of a post
season tournament bid.

"We had to win her tonight," Orr said
following the game, "plus win Saturday
at Northwestern to go to a tourn-
ament."
McHale was the difference in the
game for the Gophers as the 6-11 for-
ward scored 25 points, 19 in the first half
to lead all scorers. McHale added 11
rebounds for-the Gophers to take game
honors in that category as well.
Jackson finished the game with 22,
while Mychal Thompson fell four points
short of tying the Gopher's all-time
scoring record with his 19 points.
"I THOUGHT McHALE was tremen-
dous," said Orr. "We did a good job on
Thompson, but then we couldn't stop
those other dudes. I din't think they
(Minnesota) were that good on defen-
se," Orr added. "But they were damn
good on offense."
Orr said he had been anticipating the
Gophers to go to a man-to-man defense
due to Michigan's quickness under-
neath the basket.
Both teams shot an identical 53 per

cent from the floor, but the Wolverines'
points came mostly from the outside,
while the Gophers utilized their height
advantage to score considerably under-
neath. In keying the Michigan
comeback from the seven-point half-
time deficit, freshman forward Mike
McGee was the spark, as he netted 12
points in the second half, after scoring
only six in the first stanza.
ALAN HARDY matched McGee's
output while guard Dave Baxter scored
14 on his outside jumper, 12 in the first
half.
Tom Staton hit for 12 points and Joel
Thompson added 10 to place all five
starters in double figures.
Bye bye, NIT
MICIIGAN (78)
Min. FG/A FT/A R A PF T
Hardy ..........39 8/13 2/3 8 5 3 18
McGee'...........407/16 4/6 7 1 4 18
Thompson ........ 30 5/10 0/0 9 0 4 10
Staton............40 6/12 0/1 3 2 1 12
Baxter.......... 32 7/11 0/0 3 5 3 14
Heuermann ....... 1 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
Bergen ........... 10 1/2 0/1 3 0 2 2
Bodnar, Marty .... 8 1/2 2/2 0 0 0 4
Totals..........200 35/66 8/13 35 13 17 78
Hlalftime score: Minnesota 44. Michigan :37

esota
In assessing his teams' performance,
Minnesota coach Jim Dutcher com-
mented that his switch to a man-to-man
defense was an attempt to offset
Michigan's quickness and help. his
teams' rebounding.
MSU ousts
' women
ROCHESTER (UPI)-Michigan State
trounced Michigan, 83-69, last nightn'to
advance against Central Michigan in
Friday's semifinals of the Michigan
women's college basketball tour-
nament.
Mary Itnyre had 19 points and team-
mate Anne Sober added 15 to lead the
Spartans, now 19-6. Michigan dropped
to 8-16.
Western Michigan advanced to the
semifinals against host Oakland, by
blasting Ferris State, 98-42. Mary Pr-
zygocui and Pattie Rendine each had 14
points to pace the Broncos, now 20-4.
Ferris State dropped to 5-13.

MSU clinches title
by ripping Badgers

By United Press International
MADISON - Michigan State took
command midway through the first
half and went on to whip Wisconsin 89-
75 last night, clinching its first un-
disputed Big Ten title since 1959.
'The victory gave the Spartans a 14-3
conference record, 22-4 overall.
Wisconsin dropped to 4-13 in the Big
Ten, 8-18 overall.
Michigan State trailed 14-12 with
12:30 left in the first half and then out-
scored the Badgers 17-4 to take a 29-18
lead.
Freshman Earvir Johnson scored 17
of his 26 points in the second half as the
Spartans continued their dominance.
Forward Greg Kelser scored 23 points
and center Jay Vincent and guard
Big Ten Standings

Robert Chapman each added 13.
* * *
College Basketball
Minnesota 84, MICHIGAN 78
Michigan State 89. Wisconsin 75
Indiana 77, Illinois 68
Metro 7 Tourney
[Louisville 93,. Tulane 64
Memphis State 79, St. Louis 57
ACC Tourney
Duke 81. Maryland 69
Women's
Michigan State 83, MICHIGAN 69
( M' ousted from state tourney)
NBA
New York 128, Portland 117
-NHL,
Boston 4. Atlanta :1
Buffalo 6, N.Y. Islanders 3
Stereo TV. Service
Fast-Competent
RENTALS ATSTUDENT RATES
215 S. Ashley 769-0342
Downtown, I block west of Main,
between Washington and Liberty

MINNESOTA (84)
Min. FG/A FT/A R
Winey ........... 22 2/4 2/2 4
Mlale ......... 36 11/14 3/4 I
Thompson.......40 8/15 3/5 9
Jackson......... 3.5 10/15 2/6 5
Lochkart........403/13 2/2 1
Harmon........22 2/7 0/0 5
Duffy ............ 1.5 0/0 0/0 0
'ream ...........200 36/68 12/19 37
Attendance: 16,870

A PF
1 4
2 4
2 3
1 4
4 3
2 1
0 0
12 19

T
-6
25
19
22
8
4
0
84

SANS SOUCI
large furnished 1 and 2 bed-
room apartments available for
fall occupancy
Located across from U of M stadium
Bus Service every 15 minutes from
Hoover St. to State St.
call 995-395
visit resident manager at
apartment K-1

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--w-Im

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Conference

W
Michigan State.........14
Minnesota .............12
Purdue............ . .12
Indiana ............... 11
MICHIGAN ..........10
Ohio StateN........... 8.
Illinois..............6
Iowa................51
Wisconsin............4
Northwestern ......... 31

L
3
5
5
6
7
9
11
12
13
14

Overall
W L
22 4
17 9
17 9
19 7
15 10
15 11
12 14
12 14
8 18
7 19

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Saturday's Games
Michigan at Northwestern
Purdue at Illinois
Michigan State at Minnesota
Ohio State at Wisconsin
Indiana at Iowa

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