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November 24, 1976 - Image 25

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-11-24

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Wednesdoy, November 24, 1976


Poge, Seventeen

Recruiting a year-round job

Earvin Johnson, Jimmy Rad-
iff, Brian Allsmiller, Tommy
Baker, and Eugene Banks may
not be household name. to Mich-
igan haskethall fans throughout
the country.
However, these men could be
the key to Michigan's success
in the near future. These prep
cagers are just a few of the
names on the Michigan recruit-
ing list for this year.
"This year we will hove one
of the top five recruiting years
in the United States," said
Michigan head coach Johnny
Orr. "We're in with some of the
greatest players in the nation.
We have a selling point now.
The recruits k n o w Rickey,
Grote, and Rob leave."
BASKETBALL recruiting is a
year-round job for the coaching
"We go twelve months a year
on recruiting," said assistant
coach Bill Frieder. "In the sum-
mer we find out about our po-
tential prospects. In the fall we
establish rapport with the re-
cruits and try to get to meet
"And in the spring we close
everything we've done prior to
that time and sign them."
However, landing a top notch
recruit is not as eas as it may
sound.-The coaching staff must
follow certain rules, and the re-
cruiting process takes up a lot
of time.
MICHIGAN is allowed to have
18 recruits visit the campus and
only 15 players on tender at one
time. The Wolverines have six
scholarships available this sea-
Michigan's chief recruiter is
assistant coach Jim Boyce.
"I see the kids play and find
out how they fit into our recruit-
ing plan," Boyce said. "Some
players have contacted us and
we look at the services and see
how they rate."
The "services" Boyce was re-
ferring to are recruiting reports
which rate prep players and
give the coaching staff a lead
on the quality ball players.

high school;" said Frieder. "We
recruit on our own needs.
"A good player who plays
hard is better than a great
player who doesn't put out as
much," Frieder added. "We re-
cruit by how we feel certain
players will fit into our system."
Michigan recruits primarily in
the Midwest, including Ohio,
Illinois, Indiana and of course
"It's easier to see them play
when they are from the Mid-
west," said Frieder. "Also you
don't run intorIheproblems of
transportation for the kids, and
their parents can come and see
them play."
THE COACHES h a v e the
tough task of comparing the re-
cruits and narrowing down their
"The first thing about recruit-
ing is to know the kid is a bona-
fide player," said Boyce.
"Then I proceed to meet peo-
ple, such as his coach, and
parents who might be influential
in helping him make a deci-
sion," Boyce continued. "Then
we evaluate them."
ONCE THE coaches have
made their decision on who to
go after the real recruiting
struggle begins.
"When we get the fish on the
hook we keep going back to es-
tablish position," Boyce said.
The coaching staff can pro-
ceed to "establish position" in
various ways.
"WE DON'T do a lot of fancy
stuff," said Frieder.
"We want to sell Michigan as
the number one academic and
athletic institution in the na-
tion," Frieder continued. "We
can point to last year's success,
our strong future schedules, a
conference that is very good-
there are many things you can
point out to get a kid inter-
"Heck, we're consideredl a na-
tional power, and it's easy to
build on that kind of thing,"
Frieder said. "The national ex-
posure and a great place to play
also help. "

the players can actually sign a
tender," said Boyce.
"Boyce is on the road most
of the time and Orr and I will
see as many games as pos-
sible," added Frieder.
OFTEN TIMES, Orr and Frie-
der scoot around the state after
Michigan games to catch a
glance of their recruits in ac-
After many sleepless nights
and numerous jaunts to various
high schools, the coaches an-
xiouslyawait the deciisons of
their recruits.
"Whether they like the coach-
ing staff, players, how close to
home they are, if he is going to
play in college and getting a
good education is what it is all
about to the recruits," said
LAST YEAR the Wolverines
recruited numerous blue-chip-
pers but were faced with one
serious problem - 11 returning
"We could have gotten many
players," said Orr. "That was
not a problem. We did not feel
Stuart House (standout center
from Detroit Denby) could come
in and play for us as a fresh-
man, and we told him that,"
Orr added.
"You take Rickey Brown,
Branning who went to Notre
Dame, Colscott at North Caro-
lina, Darryl Griffith at Louis-
ville, Brian Walker - you call
any one of them up and they
will tell you that their decision
came down to Michigan or some
other place," Orr concluded.
"WE WERE in the position
that we had most of our team
returning and we didn't want to
waste scholarships on second-
line players," said Frieder. "We
wanted to save the scholarships
for this year when they are
valuable," added Frieder.
"Hell, I couldn't tell a parent
their kid is gonna play when I
know damn well he won't," said
Orr. "They can't replace Hardy
and Staton."

"We can't say we need them-
they saw our depth on national
TV," Orr went on to say. "They
saw David Baxter score 18
points against Missouri on TV.
They saw Staton in the tourna-
AT THIS time of year the re-
cruiting war is in full swing and
Orr, Frieder and Boyce are
right in the midst of it.
"I don't think anyone has got-
ten better recruits to visit,"
said Orr.
Eugene Banks and Earvin
Johnson-the latter a forward
from Lansing Everett-are high
on the Wolverines' 1977 recruit-
ing list,
the greatest players in the
country," said Frieder.
"I think the ACC and Notre
Dame will be really strong on
Eugene Banks, too," said Orr.
"You know Banks and John-

son aren't going to tell you until
way late," Orr continued.
"Then you have to make a deci-
sion whether to wait on them or
sign other players."
"OUR PLANS next year are
to take four recruits," Orr said.
"We'll lose the seniors and may-
be someone else."
"We'll get three or four really
top notch players. I just cannot
believe we're not going to get
them," Orr concluded.
Admist all the hard work,
soney and time involved in re-
cruiting, fans must w o n d e r
whether c o a c h Boyce (who
spends "99 per cent of his time
on the road") can really enjoy
the demanding circumstances of
his job.
"It is fun going to see good
games and players, but the
most distressing thing is to see
a player who isn't as good as
you thought," said Boyce.

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SWE s h "If he's interested, then we've
HOWEVER, the coaches cer- got a shot," Frieder concluded.
ainly do not solely rely on the
ecruiting services. Contacts WHEN THE players begin to
rom other coaching associates consider Michigan, the coaches,
lso play an important role. especially Boyce, attempt to fi-
"Steve Grote didn't average nalizetheir decision.
lot of points and Wayman Britt "The end of the basketball
was not that highly recruited in season is a crucial time-when
Coaches' combined
tfmoned from pace 91 Because of the NCA A rling,

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mean leaving the eans."
Boyce came to Michigan at
the beginning of practice last
season, leaving the University
of Detroit and loveable head
coach Dick Vitale.
Boyce was an AUi-State play-
er from Detroit Northwestern
where he returned as head
coach to win three division
championships. Boyce's teams
compiled a 62-16 record.
"Boyce is really a class guy,"
Frieder said. 'He's been doing
a great job. "
Fife, who played three years
of vanity basketball at Michi-
gan, joined the staff last sea-
son after four years of strug-
gling with major league base-

forser assistant coach Fifeis
naw "administrative assistant
Fife," which as Orr says,
"sounds a whole lot better
than my job."
Except for being restricted to
campus, Fife's duties remain
the same. He handles the jun-
ior varsity, helps out with the
varsity recruiting, and does
whatever else he can.
Heading into this potentially
great season, both on the court
and in recruiting, the staff will
be putting in a lot of overtime.
But they will probably love ev-
ery minute of it.
"We have a great staff,"
Frieder reflected. "Everyone is

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