The Michigan Daily-Saturday, January 14, 1978-Page 7
ILLINI PL AGUED BY INCONSISTENCY:
Blue seeks fourth
By ERNIE DUNBAR
Special to The Daily
If any of the Illinois fans make the
mistake of attending today's contest
with Michigan, without a program, they
could be in for a long afternoon.
It has been Illini coach Lou Henson's
policy to shuffle his players in and out
of the lineup so frequently that his style
of play has resulted in the nickname
"revolving door offense." Illinois, 1-2 in
the Big Ten and 7-5 overall, has six of its
players averaging twenty minutes or
more of playing time. But the Fighting
Illini may need all of their talent to not-
ch a victory.
MICHIGAN, which is 3-0 in the con-
ference and 8-3 overall, has captured
the past three battles between the two
teams. The Wolverines have also netted
six of the last seven. Illinois has lost its
last four home Big Ten games in a span
of two years.
So what is the theory behind using so
many players in a ballgame?
"We're going to take advantage of
our depth and use as many as ten to
twelve players to beat the other team,"
remarked Henson. "We want to push
the ball up the floor quickly and get the
good shots as soon as we can, but to be
effective you have to keep fresh players
on the court. Lots of people will see
regular action for us."
INDEED, ILLINOIS has depth, as
Henson has the luxury of choosing from
ten returning lettermen, with all five
starters back from last year.
Henson's offensive system was evi-
denced in Illinois' 82-70 loss to Michigan
State on Thursday. In that game,
eleven of the Illini's fourteen players
But even though the Illini offense
may seem a bit unsettled, Michigan
coach Johnny Orr still has respect for
an Illinois team which went 6-12 in the
Big Ten last year and finished in seven-
"Illinois is a much improved team,"
said Orr. "They are strong, aggressive
rebounders. They are a very capable
team. They are capable of beating
anyone," he added.
LEADING ILLINOIS on offense is 6-9
center Rich Adams. The senior has hit
for a 13.5 average as well as being
second in rebounding with a 6.3 -aver-
Close behind Adams is 6-5 guard
Audie Matthews, who has hit at a 13.3
clip per game. Illinois' most valuable
player last season, Matthews will run
the Illini 1-2-2 offense.
At the other guard, Henson has the
option of going with 6-2 junior college
transfer Reno Gray or 6-2 sophomore
Rob Judson. Gray, a two-time All-
American, has seen more action of late,
and is third in team scoring with an 11.3
mark. Judson has a 6.4 scoring average
for the season but has a slight advan-
tage in the rebounding department over
A pleasant surprise at guard for Hen-
son has been the play of 6-7 freshman
Eddie Johnson. Johnson led the Illini
scoring attack with 22 points against
Earvin Johnson and company and has
an excellent outside shot.
PACING THE FRONT line players
will be 6-6 sophomore Neil Bresnahan.
He has hauled in a team high 6.8 re-
bounds per contest and contributes 8.0
points on offense. Bresnahan was Hen-
son's sixth man last season, but has
come on to start in all but one of Illinois'
Teaming with Bresnahan at forward
is 6-6 sophomore Levi Cobb. He became
the first Illinois freshman to pace the
team in rebounding and scored more
points than any other Illini freshman.
Despite Michigan's success with their
1-3-1 zone defense, in the 66-56 victory
over Iowa on Thursday, Orr plans to
continue with a man-to-man defense to
open the game.
ILLINOIS WILL counter with a man-
to-man but may fall into a 2-3 zone if
they manage to grab an early lead.
Despite the improved status of the
Illini, Orr still feels his Wolverines will
be ready for the game.
"At this point we are mentally and
emotionally as ready for this game as
we could be," Orr said.
harging down court is Hawkeye Ronnie Lester as Michigan's Mike McGee
uickly moves in during Thursday night's game in Iowa City. Lester was top
corer with 20 points, but the Blue cagers went on to defeat the Hawkeyes, 66-56.
By ERROL SHIFMAN
Special to The Daily
MINNEAPOLIS - The Michigan
icers will charge onto the ice here
this afternoon as a sleeping giant.
Riding the crest of a four-game
conference losing streak, the big
question will be whether they can
awaken and get hot in the frigid
Standing in the way of a Wolverine
turn-around, however, is a Minnesota
hockey team which is unbeaten at
home this year in 12 games. The
Gophers are an incredible 11-0-1 on
icers host struggling Blue
Michigan zone.. .
.makes opponents groan
By DAVE RENBARGER CHAMPAIGN
DURING JOHNNY ORR's 10-year reign as king of Wolverine basketball,
D he has established a prestigious, winning tradition at Michigan. Orr's
teams play an exciting, fast-paced brand of basketball, sparked by their
tenacious, man-to-man defense.
Well, not exactly. At least, not any more.
In keeping with tradition, the Wolverines are still w'inning. But Michigan
is winning in an altogether different way this year.
Defensively, the Wolverines are relying more and more upon the zone
when the chips are down. Never has this emerging trademark been more
evident than it was Thursday night in Iowa City where the Wolverines
applied a smothering second half zone defense to subdue Iowa, 66-56.
Throughout the first half, it was the old Orr-coached team once again-
trying to match up against the bigger Hawkeyes with a man-to-man align-
From the outset the contest was as close as it could be, as Orr sat
quietly on the edge of his chair, his face blanketed with concern. There
were nine ties and five lead changes in that first half, and neither team
ever broke open more thana four-point lead.
After the intermission, Orr unleached his new weapon, the 1-3-1 zone,
and confounded the Hawkeyes.
Instead of looking at just David Baxter, Ronnie Lester, the one Hawkeye
who can really make things happen, wass face to face with five Wolverines.
Baxter met him at the top of the circle. Behind him in the center was Joel
Thompson flanked by Tom Staton and Alan Hardy. Stationed underneath
was Mike McGee.
Going one-on-one against Baxter, the explosive Lester had things
pretty much his own way, netting 14 first half points while saddling Baxter
with three fouls.
But, working against the rest of the Wolverines, Lester found himself
outnumbered. Usually, Lester tried squeezing the ball right through the
zone into the middle. The usual results-a quick hand by Thompson would
cause a deflection and a turnover.
Frustrated, Lester occasionally tried shooting over the zone-certainly
not his specialty. The usual results-a missed shot and a Michigan rebound.
In the middle, Thompson was like a perpetual motion machine. During
one stretch, he notched three consecutive turnovers by tipping away forced
passes. Always known more for his offensive skills, J.T. was the catalyst
that made the Wolverine zone click. He attributed his standout performance
partially to a slight alteration in his defensive strategy.
"I used to get right in front of the guy," said Joel. "Now I try to play
sort of to the side of him and a lot of times they think he's open when he's
?!mbers alone tell the story. At halftime, Michigan clung to a slim
3443 margin. After clamping down the airtight zone, the Hawkeyes never
again came up for a breath. They managed merely eight points in the
first seven minutes of the second stanza, while Michigan answered with
20 to lock things up.
"The zone is now one of our stalwart defenses," proclaimed an
exuberant Staton. "It worked so well that after a while there was no doubt
(about the game)."
Staton explained why the zone works so well. "Our zone is primarily
directed against letting the ball inside. But because of our quickness, we
also get to the guys on the perimeter."
Counting last Sunday's impressive victory over towering Minnesota,
that makes two big wins in a row for Michigan in its zone. Now, the key
question is whether Orr will continue to store his zone in the closet, to be
dusted off only in emergencies.
After the Iowa game, Orr reiterated his defensive philosophy. "We
never start out in a zone," he said. "We like to be able to play man-to-man
and stay with it, unless we get into foul trouble."
Fortunately, that was the case against Iowa.
One has to wonder, however, what would have happened if the officials
had not been so kind as to whistle the Wolverines so often.
"What we did out there tonight gave the coaches new faith in the zone
defense," said Staton.
.Let's hope so.
But, remember, it is often difficult to teach old coaches new tricks.
A KEY TO this unbeaten streak is a
defense that has allowed only 4.2
goals a game, fourth best in the
Minnesota's defense is anchored by
junior Bill Baker. Baker leads the
Gopher scoring from the blueline
overall (3-11-14), but most of the
Gopher defensemen are known for
One of the most physical Gophers,
defenseman Bob Bergloss, will be
sidelined this weekend with a foot
Swimmers swamp Badgers
Special to The Daily
Michigan's women swimmers traveled to Wisconsin yesterday for their
first Big Ten competition of the season and thoroughly drowned the Badgers,
"I was really pleased with the way we performed," remarked coach
Stu Isaac. "The trip over was really tiring and we were four hours late
But that didn't stop them. The women tankers held the Badger paddlers
to only a single win,.and raised their season record to 4-0.
Despite the fatigue, the women were able to pull out national cutoffs
times in the 400-yd. medley and the 400-yd. freestyle.
Another potential drawback was Sharon Flaherty, who was suffering
from a shoulder injury. She bounced back to win the 400-yd. individual
medley (2:40.4), and the 200-yd. backstroke. The score in the backstroke
qualified her for the nationals.
Jody Ford was victorious in the 200-yd. individual medley, 200-yd. free-
style, and the 200-yd. breaststroke.
The divers had an excellent showing, sweeping the board 1-2-3 in every
event. Team captain Chris Seufert claimed the one-meter board, Julie
Bachman won the three-meter, while Liz Higgins made the national cutoffs
on the three-meter board.
"All and all we showed some good improvements," said Isaac, "and
we're looking forward to a good meet tomorrow (at Chicago)."
The Big Ten Invitational opened at Crisler Arena last night with gym-
nasts competing from Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Western Michigan, Michi-
gan State, Ohio State, and Michigan. The tumblers performed their com-
pulsory routines, competing on an individual basis, in a meet where no team
points will be scored.
High scoring honors in floor exercise went to Michigan's Paul Fis hburg
with a 9.0. Fishburg, also scoring an 8.8 on vault, said about his chances for
the finals, "I just want to hit my optional and will take it from there."
Other high scorers from Michigan were Darrel Yee on rings and Hal
Dardick. Both gymnasts scored an 8.75 which was good for second place.
Michigan's John Corritore on parallel bars and Bob Creek on high bar.
Both earned a 9.3 for their performances.
The high score of the evening went to Michigan's Carl Badger with a 9.5
on vaults, clinching the lead in that event.
First place on rings went to Mark Lee of Ohio State with an 8.85. Lee also
tied for second place in floor exercise with an 8.9.
Indiana's Tom Connelly placed first on pommel horse with a 9.15. Con-
nelly's teammate Pete Murao scored an 8.9 on floor exercise, tieing for
The competition continues through today beginning at 10:00 a.m. with
the optional competition. Individual finals will start at 2:30 p.m., featuring
ALTHOUGH THE Michigan of-
fense has appeared impotent of late,
Minnesota will still be trying to stop
the second best offense in the league.
The Wolverines currently are scoring
at an average of 5.6 goals per game.
The Golden Gopher offense is led
by three sophomores. Center Steve
Christoff is the leading scorer (13-17-
30) along with forward Tim Harrer
(13-12-25) and center Eric Strobel
Winger Don Micheletti (8-9-17) will
watch the game from the stands for
the Gophers. He has a knee injury.
THE WOLVERINES are injury-
free, and have been hard at work on
defense this week in practice. For-
ward Ben Kawa has been moved
back to defense and will be teamed
with John McCahill.
Coach Dan Farrell hopes that
Kawa will help the defense get the
puck out of the zone, something they
have not been doing of late.
Minnesota Coach Herb Brooks
feels this series (today and tomorrow
afternoon) is crucial for his team.,
"We feel that Michigan is the team
we have to beat out to finish in the top
four," said Brooks. "We're only one
point ahead of Michigan, and we need
At the same time, Brooks is leery
of the sleeping giant.
"A good team doesn't stay in a
slump that long," commented
Brooks. "They have to break out
THE WOLVERINES are confident
that they can snap their losing streak
"We know it will be tough,"
beamed goalie Rick Palmer, "but we
wanna prove we can come out of it on
ICER ICINGS ... Senior Ben Kawa
pitched, batting practice for the
Toronto Blue Jays last summer ...
Minnesota holds the lifetime series
edge over Michigan (103-98-15) ...
Michigan has defeated the Gophers
in nine of their last ten meetings ...
Dan Lerg celebrates his 20th birth-
day tomorrow ...
Boston 114, New Jersey 111 (OT)
San Antonio 98, Atlanta 92
Washington 102, Portland 93
Philadelphia 118, Buffalo 93
Indiana 108, Kansas City 106
Marquette 56, St. Louis 54
Cleveland 5, Toronto 2
Notre Dame 5, Denver 3
FA CE NOR THWES TERN, COL ORADO
By GEOFF LARCOM
And the beat goes on and on for the
Wolverine wrestling team. Nobody
here is dancing though, as a continu-
ing tide of injuries has given coach
Bill Johannesen and his squad little
to be joyful about.
"Right now, we have only two indi-
viduals I can call completely heal-
thy," said Johannesen. "Other than
Mark Churella at 158 and Bill Konov-
sky at 167, everyone is hampered in
some way." J
Joining the casualty list over the
holidays was 190-pounder Bill Petos-
key, who severely dislocated his
elbow. Prior toethe injury, Petoskey
compiled a 5-3-1 record and seemed
to be improving with each match.
Wrestling in place of Petoskey is
sophomore Dennis Bauer, one of
many new faces which will dot the re-
vamped Michigan lineup in today's
match with Northwestern and Color-
ado in Evanston, Illinois.
"The only veterans we'll be start-
ing Saturday will be Todd Schneider
at 118, Karl Briggs at 150, and
Churella," said Johannesen. "For
everyone else, it's either their first
competition or first year on varsity."
the holiday break.
"We simply isolated the cases and
kept them out of practice for a-
while," stated Johannesen. "We're
all healed now, but I have to laugh.
What more can happen to us?"
Despite these problems, an atti-
tude check finds the Blue grapplers
hardly in a quitting mood.
"I'm feeling really good," en-
thused varsity newcomer Bauer.
"We've been working like fools since
we got back last Tuesday. I feel in
200% better condition than I did a
"Practics shave been excellent."
agrees assistant coach Cal Jenkins.
"Though we've beenareally pushing
them, in order to get an edge through
better conditioning, the feedback has
all been positive."
Reflecting a typical situation, cap-
tain Karl Briggs has had his hands
full in practice, in battling back from
a bout with the flu. Like his
teammates he remains undaunted.
"You have to start all over after
being out with an injury," said
Briggs, whose record this season is
10-4. "But being such a young team,
this group is still eager to wrestle. A
group of veterans might not be after
so many injuries."
"We can win both matches if we
stay off our backs," asserted Johan-
nesen. "The more inexperienced
guys will have to avoid pins and we'll
need falls from two or three of our
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