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December 02, 1977 - Image 10

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-12-02

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lag*e 10-Friday; December 2, 1977-The Michigan Daily
PREP PROSPECTS PLACED ON PED

CST A I.

R 'r'

ge recruits practice

joyriding'

full court
WIPRESS-

By DAVE RENBARGER
Every year it's the same old story.
High school basketball hotshots
reeze through their senior seasons,
dazzling one and all with their hoop
wizardry.
Meanwhile, drooling college re-
cruiters from all four corners of the
country sit in the stands, imagining
hat Johnny All-American would
kbok like in a State U jersey. The
recruiters all converge upon Johnny
6- at home, at school, and after
"hours, trying to sell him on State U.
JOHNNY HAS made the unofficial
Most Wanted List' - not the FBI%,
*ut the NCAA's.
Like every other school entertain-
ing thoughts of a successful basket-
ball program, Michigan is out there
every year, actively seeking those
prep blue-chippers-.
This past year five such seniors
were enticed to join the ranks of the
Wolverines - Johnny Johnson, Mike
McGee, Paul Heuerman, and twins
Marty and Mark Bodnar. From the
junior college ranks came Mike
Robinson.
Although the six new Wolverines
;ended up at the same place eventual-
.┬░ly, they .each rode the recruiting
~carousel for varying lengths Qf time,
-and all report mixed emotions from
:heir experience.
OF THE ENTIRE group, Johnson
=sand McGee proved to be the hottest
commodities, on just about every-
one's lists, the pair, however, offers
plenty of contrast. Johnson took the
recruiting route all the way while
McGee chose to bide his time and
mull over his decision at home.
Coming out of Nichols Prep Acad-
emy with about as, impressive an
array of credentials as possible (31.6
ppg), Johnson was swept away in the
r recruiting whirlwind. He paid plenty
of personal visits to campuses
around the country, including USC,
North Carolina, , Texas Tech and
Florida. "I took a lot of trips," said
the flashy swingman. "I didn't-really
P plan on going to all those places. It
was like a joyride."
DURING HIS travels, Johnson
enjoyed himself. "I had a great tim%.
They (the colleges) really took good
care of you and you stayed in the best
places. When I came here, we went to
the Basketball Bust at a really nice
place (Weber's Inn). The guys on the
team took me out and everyone
.4 .

l

showed a general interest in me."
After a while, Johnson became
tired of the entire scene.
"Every time you'd come home
they (the recruiters) would be
there," he said. "It'd mess up all
your plans. Like everything else in
the world, if you get too-much of it,
then it's bad."
In McGee's case, the coveted
forward from Omaha never did get
that much of it, mainly because he
wasn't overly interested. With a 38.1
scoring average and enough broken
records to fill a book, McGee chose to
forsake the globbtrotting adventures
offered to him.
"I VISITED Michigan and Minne-
sota only because I knew I wanted to
be in the Big Ten," he said. "I was
one of the last guys to sign up. I took
my time because I didn't wiant to
make a mistake."
During his visit to Ann Arbor,
McGee was impressed with more
than the school, the team and the
coaches. "When I came here,'I got to
meet President Ford. He was all
right."
Like McGee, Heuerman was not
overwhelmed with the recruiting
maze, but for a different reason, He
was' thinking more in terms of
finishing high school than starting

college.
"My coach screened me from a lot
of it," said the 17-year-old from
Akron. "I didn't want to mess up my
senior year too much.
"AT FIRST it (being recruited)
was like a big ego trip," he .contin-
ued. "But deep down inside you know
it wasn't going to be all glamour.
When you're being recruited you're
really something special, but when
you get there, you're just another
player."
Heuerman did manage to get away
enough to visit Michigan State,
Tennessee and Miami (Ohio) besides
Michigan, but his travels didn't
overly excite hm.
"It got to be monotonous after
awhile. You'd miss a lot of school.
Your senior class would be doing
something and you'd be off flying
somewhere."
FELLOW OHIOANS Mark and
Marty Bodnar made it to Michigan
by way of Barberton. To them,
recruiting wasn't that big of a deal
because of their special "two-for-
one" clause.
"Me and Mark went together,"
explained JMarty. "We made that
clear right away. Since not every
school in the world was in the market
for an entire backcourt, the picking

suddenly became a bit slimmer.
"Michigan jumped on us right
away in December and by mid-
January we were pretty much decid-
ed. It's perfect," said Marty.
As a junior college transfer, Robin-
son was in a different class altogeth-
er. Although he had ambitions of
following his brother Johnny's foot-
steps to Ann Arbor directly out of
high school, poor grades forced a
one-year stop-over at the College of
DuPage, outside of Chicago.
IN ADDITION to Michigan, Rob
was considering Minnesota and paid;
a visit to New Mexico just for fun.
"Being recruited was a real trip,"
Rob summed up. "Everyone comes
over to your house, calling you up all
,the time. It makes you feel real
special. Some guys really take ad-
vantage of it. It's like a big joyride.
Guys go out and joyride all over the
place, just for the plane ride. I did
that a little bit when I went out to
New Mexico."
So, it seems as though there is no
common path that the prep hotshots
follow in making their way to college
ball. It appears that the entire re-
cruiting syndrome is better suited to
some prospects (are you listening,
J.J.?) than to others (right, Paul?).

IIU -

III

Not a classic .. .
. . but class established
By CUB SCHWARTZ
I guess the best way to describe Michigan's 48-point victory over
Eastern Michigan last night is: criminal. Eastern was possibly the worst
team to ever enter Crisler Arena - the Hurons barely left alive.,
And on the other side of the scorer's table Johnny Orr had a team which
can hang with the best in the nation. So it's really tough to tell if the lopsided
margin was due to Eastern's ineptitude or the Wolverines' brilliance. I
suspect it was a mixture of both.
Not that anyone really expected Eastern to make a game of it. Coach
Ray Scott has a gutsy ball club playing for him - the talent just isn't there.
But few if any expected the Wolverines to mangle the opposition.
"I was surprised (by the outcome)," admitted Orr, "I anticipated a
closer game."
For a while during the first half, when Tom Staton was driving past his
man at will and Mike McGee scored only if he had nothing better to do, the
game reminded me of those played at the IM Building. A clearly superior
team dominates the floor for as long as it wishes, scoring when it wants, for
as long as it stays interested.
I almost hoped the Michigan cheerleaders down in the south endzone
would call winners at the end of the half so that Eastern could elude further
humiliation.
Orr was really powerless to do anything about it. Michigan had a 29-
point lead with five minutes left in -the first half. But at this point in the
season, he has to leave the starters in the game so they can adjust to each
other.
Next week's game against Louisville won't be easy and it will be the
starters that determine the outcome. While all of the starters found double
figures, I think two deserve special attention - Joel Thompson ard Dave
Baxter.

Northwestern tries new coach;
Red Wings hire ex-Hawk Hull

* * *

* * *

V

By The Associated Press
EVANSTON - Rick Venturi was
named Northwestern University's
football coach yesterday replacing
John Pont. At the age of 32, Venturi
became the younget head mentor in
the Big Ten.
Venturi returns to a school where
he played football and served as a
freshman coach under Alex Agase
while working on his master's de-
gree. He went with Agase to Purdue
in 1973 as his linebacker coach and
last season moved to Illinois as
defensive back coach.
John Pont resigned as Northwest-
ern coach two weeks ago but stayed
on as athletic director, a dual role he
had been serving.
Venturi told a news conference
yesterday, "I am thrilled to have the

opportunity to be head coach at the
university I so dearly love. I was part
of the program when we won and feel
confident we can win again. I
understand and believe in the philos-
ophy of Northwestern and feel posi-
tive I can -aggressively, sell the
program based on the university's
principles."
The Wildcats' only victory of the
season was 21-7 over Illinois in the
last game.
* * *
A new Red Wing
DETROIT - Dennis Hull has
joined the Detroit Red Wings after 13
National Hockey League seasons
with the Chicago Black Hawks.
General manager Ted Lindsay of
the Wings said yesterday that Hull
wanted to come to Detroit but there

was a problem negotiating the payoff
to the Hawks.
"The compensation is future con-
siderations," Lindsay said. "I'm just
happy that we worked it out." ,
Hull, 33, had his best season in,
1972-73, when he collected 90 points
on 39 goals and 51 assists. He has
scored 30 or more goals for four
years and 25 or more goals seven of
his 13 seasons in the league. Last
year, Hull had 16 goals and 17 assists
in 75 games.
"He has good size and strength,"
Wings Coach Bobby Kromm said of
Hull. "Defensively, we have been
playing very well but we can use
some scoring punch. With his shots,
he'll be able to give us that."
Kromm said Hull might play with
the Red Wings in Toronto and Buffalo
this weekend.

Joel Phils in well
Granted Thompson played against an inferior opponent, but he seems
set on proving the skeptics wrong. Many people have been wary of his ability
in the pivot.
Against Western Kentucky he pumped in 19 points, and he copped game
scoring honors Wednesday night with 22. These two outings give Joel the
part of the game he has always lacked, confidence.
Orr, Frieder and recruiter Jim Boyce have all admitted that Joel has the
mechanics of the game down pat, it's the mental mistakes that hurt him.
"I'm a lot more relaxed out there now. I don't have to worry about
making mistakes and coming out," Thompson said.
But the senior center contends he always knew he could do the job.
"There's been people who said 'Thompson can't do the job'," he says, "but I
always knew, I could." Whether JT really believes that I'm not sure, but
either way he is changing some people's minds.
"He's (Thompson) the franchise now that Hub is out," said Baxter.
"We'll win when he's in there."
The realfranchise
With all deference to. Baxter's good judgment, however, it seems to me
that he is the franchise.
The senior co-captain only scored 10 points last night, but he was the
most valuable man on the floor. He was only credited with 8 assists for the
night and perhaps that in itself is the biggest crime committed Wednesday
night.
I am sure I saw 15 or 20 assists; alley-oops'to Staton, hitting McGee and
Johnny Johnson on the break and setting up some powerful Alan Hardy slam
dunks.
"When everyone is hot it's just my jobto get the ball to them," said Bax-
ter. Indeed everyone was hot. The four men he fed most of the night, Staton,
McGee, Thompson and Hardy hit a blistering 61% of their shots.
Baxter was also valuable in keeping the game under control after Orr
began inserting the freshmen. As a group, they averaged 13-and-a-half
minutes of playing time, and Orr wanted Baxter in there to hold the fort
down.
"He left me in there to keep things under control," Baxter explained.
"He didn't want things to get out of hand. He brought the freshmen in there
one by one so they could get into the flow of the game."
So maybe Michigan really wasn't tested but there were benefits to be
found. Thompson is finding himself more and more comfortable at the cen-
ter position and Baxter is emerging as a very capable team leader. Fur-
thermore the victory had to boost team morale.
But Al Cicotte 6EMU center) isn't a Joe Barry Carroll, Hank Wiggins
(guard) isn't a Wes Matthews, but Louisville isn't an Eastern Michigan.

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