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September 04, 1975 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-09-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

---A

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

I nhursdcly, Sep emi er -tI r

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Basketbal:

Baffling

the

oddsmakers

Two seasons,

41 wins - can unpredictable

Wolverines keep up the pace in 1976?

By BILL STIEG
They litter the newsstands
every fall - those basketball
magazines filled with reworded
press releases and confident
declarations of who will do what
in the coming season.
Remarkably worthless, these
magazines have at least given
Michigan fans a few laughs the
past two years. And again this
fall, it should be interesting to
read why Johnny Orr's team
doesn't have what it takes to
win.
Two years ago, the gradua-
tion of all-America Henry Wil-
more, Ken Brady, John Lockard
and Ernie Johnson was consid-
ered a blow sufficient to knock
Michigan into the Big Ten's sec-
ond division.
So said the "experts."
But another all-American,
Campy Russell, led four tal-
ented teammates to a series
of exciting upsets in 1973-74.
The Wolverines won 22 times
that season, tied Indiana for
the Big Ten championship,
and advanced to the finals of
the NCAA Mideast Regional.
They were ranked seventh in
the country at the year's end.
But then conference MVP
Russell decided to turn profes-
sional, foregoing his last year
of college eligibility. Once again,
the pre-season seers all but ig-'
pored Michigan, regarding it to
S"potential darkhorse" status,
citing as evidence the loss of
Russell's team-leadingrebound-
ing and scoring.
What the predictors failed to
emphasize was the fact that the
four other starters from the
championship team would re-
turn: Joe Johnson, C.J. Kupec,
Steve Grote, and Wayman Britt.
These four, plus newcomer John
Robinson and some capable re-
serves, embarrassed the experts
again.r
They finished all alone in sec-
ond place in the Big Ten, had
a 19-8 record, and came within
a shot of beating eventual na-
tional champion UCLA in the
West Regional.
Few foresaw such an excel-
lent season. But that'stnot sur-
prising, for perhaps the most
important element in Mich-

igan's success the last two years Tom Bergen was declared in-
doesn't show on the roster or eligible by the Big Ten, after
stat sheet. the NCAA had said he could
Intangible qualities - com- play.
monly (and accurately) label- But the nucleus of Johnson,
ed hustle, desire, and team- Grote, Kupec and Britt remain-
ork-have helped Michigan to ed. Robinson, expected to play
its .759 winning rate over two in Russell's place, sprained his
years as much as any hot- ankle before the opener, and
shooting forward. sophomore Rick White started,
So it would be more than instead.
foolish to predict a mediocre The non-conference schedule
season for 1975-76, despite the was highlighted by a hard-
graduation of co-captains and fought win over Tennessee, and
co-MVP's Kupec and Johnson. two tournament championships.
Kupec, like Russell, led the Michigan won seven of the
team in scoring (18.1) and re- eight non - conference games,
bounding (8.4), and Johnson losing only to Southern Illinois.
was the floor leader of the The Wolverines bounced back
team, and second leading scorer from that loss to beat Dayton
(14.1)., on the Flyers' court and then~
On the surface, such a loss won the Michigan Invitational
would seem too costly-at least and Motor City Classic tourna-
enough to postpone champion- ments. Virginia Tech, Manhat-
ship talk for a while. But that tan, Western and Eastern Mich-
was the attitude last year at igan all fell in succession, each
this time, after Russell an- losing by at least 11 points.
nounced he was leaving. And The first half of the Big Ten
look what happened: season was less than satisfy-
Besides Russell, three other ing. After wins against Illinois
players quit the team before and Ohio State, Michigan went
the season started. Lionel Wor- into a slump, losing five of its
rell, sixth man on the cham- next eight games. Two losses
pionship team, transferred to were to undefeated Indiana,
Oral Roberts. while games at MSU, Minne-
Chuck Rogers, substitute for- sota, and Purdue also ended
ward, decided basketball in- in defeat for Michigan.
terfered with his promising The first Indiana loss was
baseball career. And Bill Ay- Michigan's loss in Crisler Arena
ler, another forward, quit for in 17 games. Michigan's home
personal reasons. record the last two years is 234.
Two weeks before the start Its away record is 17-12.
of the season, transfer center After the second loss to In-

diana, Orr benched Grote in
favor of freshman David Bax-
ter. Baxter played well, but
Grote played even better as
sixth man, winning back the
starting spot five games later.
Michigan won four of those five
games, including crucial vic-
tories over MSU and Minnesota.
Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan
State, and Michigan were all
battling down to the wire for
post - season tournaments, in-
cluding the NCAA, which would
accept the first and second
place Big Ten teams.
The Wolverines climbed to a
clear-cut second (behind In-
diana) by winning the last three
games with Purdue, Illinois,
and Ohio State. The first fea-
tured an explosive offense, and
the last was one of their best
defensive games.
As ready as they could be,
the Wolverines travelled to
Pullman, Washington for their
first round NCAA game with
UCLA.
And was a game it was. Few
Michigan fans can discuss it
without uttering the words, "If
only . . ." For in the end, only
one shot stood in the way of a
great upset. But instead of up-
set, Kupec's potential game-
winning jumper at the end of
regulation time bounced off the
rim.
In overtime, the disappointed
Wolverines were outdistanced
by the reborn Bruins, 103-91.
The near-upset was Kupec's
and Johnson's last game for
Michigan. So the automatic
question is: can they be re-
placed?
Those who saw Joe Johnson
play the last three years may
find it hard to believe that the
speedy playmaker can be re-
placed. But from a group con-
sisting of a couple of fine re-
cruits, a transfer, and Baxter,
will very likely emerge an ade-
quate substitute.
Edgar Burch, a transfer
from Duke (where hetstarted
as a freshman) may have the
inside track, but will be press-
See BRITT-GROTE
RETURN, Page 7

Daily Photo by STEVE KAGAN
Wayman Britt
Senior forward Wayman Britt shows why he plays forward for
Michigan, despite standing only 6-2. Britt has started for two
years at Michigan, averaging double figures in both seasons.
His tremendous jumping ability and quickness make him
very effective on defense, his specialty.

.
i
,
:
r

Basketball
Football. ..........
Hockey...........
Doctor's Prescription......................
Swimming ..............................
Baseball................................
IM Sports.... ...............................
Women's Athletics. ........................
Track ..............
Tennis....... .....
Football Ticket Info.............
W restling .............
Golf.....................................
Gymnastics.............................

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Daily Photo by PAULINE LUBENS
Steve Grote
Guard Steve Grote lays the ball in against Michigan State,
after squirming inside. The 6-2 junior scores many of his
points in close, and rebounds as well as some forwards.
He's aggressive on defense as well, never hesitating to use
physical force when needed.

On the inside

23,000 Michigan Students Can't Be Wrong
About the Wolverines-Join Them This Fall

'Your Support is Vital!'.... Bo.
"You don't win championships in
football by yourself. Many things
help and I am convinced one of
our biggest assets at Michigan is
the support of our students. We
certainly hope you will loin us
this fall."
-Bo Schembechler
Here's Your Home
Football Schedule
STANFORD-Sept. 20 ... Traditional power in the Pac-8 and
Rose Bowl winner over 'M' in 1972.
BAYLOR-Sept. 27 . . . Champions of the Southwest Confer-
ence and Cotton Bowl representative. This is annual High
School Band Day game.

than
ines.

Football Saturdays are special dates for the more
23,000 Michigan students who watch the Wolver-
This fall will be no eception.

The most difficult nonconference schedule in years
is included in Michigan's seven home games. And, of
course, such Big Ten powers as Purdue and Ohio State
will visit Michigan Stadium.
You, as a Michigan student, can enjoy an entire
fall of football for less than half the cost of a regular
ticket. Season tickets for seven games are $21 each.
The Ohio State game already is sold out, but you can
reserve your seat for this game by taking advantage of
the special season ticket bargain offered Michigan
students.

Join your friends and be
season of football.

part of chamiponship

There's Always Plenty of Action .. .

Student Football Ticket Facts
A complete listing of football ticket distribution appears elsewhere in this
special sports section of The Daily. The distribution dates are Sept. 5-8-9-10
according to the number of years you have attended Michigan. As a student,
you qualify for special rates for season tickets. Michigan's game against Ohio
State was sold out at the earliest date ever, but enough tickets were held to ac-
commodate all season ticket buyers. You must, however, take advantage of your
season ticket option to see this Nov. 22 game as no individual tickets will be
sold.

MISSOURI-Oct. 4 ...
Stadium (1969) and aI
fall.

Last team to defeat 'M' in Michigan
Big 8 Conference title contender this

NORTHWESTERN-Oct. 18 ... Has 13 regulars back, includ-
ing Big Ten's fifth top rusher in tailback Jim Pooler.
INDIANA-Oct. 25 ... Has 45 lettermen and 17 starters from
a team that nearly upset 'M' a year ago. Homecoming Game.
PURDUE--Nov. 8 . . . Always strong and with 13 regulars

And the Entertainment Is All Michigan.. .

Here are some points to remember:

* Students will be charged for
their footbol ticlkets through the
Students Accounts Office. Price for
the 1975 seven-game home sched-
ule is just $21, less than half the
price of a public ticket.

4 p.m. (Building located between
the baseball field and railroad on
Ferry Field.)
9 Priority b a s e d on number of
years in attendance at Michigan
and your tickets should be picked

-U

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