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January 21, 1976 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-01-21

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Page Eight


Wednesday, January 21, 1,976,

THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednesday, January 21, 1976

Hustling Cawa ignites Blue icers

By PAUL CAMPBELL a household word, but more
and more people are being turn-
Who is the Michigan hockey ed on by his exciting style of}
crowd's favorite player? An- plav.
gie Moretto? Robbie Moore? T
"There is no doubt that Ben
Dave DeBol? Maybe so, but is one of the greatest hustlers
a certain Wolverine is gaining on the team," attested hockey
a lot of respect and admira- ochetamFate."e'sobey
tion from the sometimes fickle coach Dan Farrell. "He's been
fans. playing very well - he shows
H's a natural crowd pleaser. a great combination of effort
Hes afnaturaleck owdh ury, n-and enthusiasm. He stands out
He forechecks with fury, con- Ibcueh' lastyn.
stantly harassing opponents in because hes always trying."
their own zone. He kills penal- Ben views himself in a slight-
ties with ferocious efficiency. ly more modest light.
He will try anything to frus- "I FEEL that I work hard at
trate the opposition's patterns. hockey," said the sophomore
He's been known to dive in winger. "I have to because I
front of pucks and players to don't have the natural abilities
make things happen. In a word, some guys do."
he's a hustler. The work ethic that Kawa

Raiders Junior "A" team. His was thinking about Wisconsin," if they had the abilities."
last year on the Raiders saw Farrell observed. "The way There is very little doubt
them take the championship of they treated him was typical of about the sophomores any
the Ontario junior league and them. more. Kawa, Dave DeBol, Kip
advance to the national finals "He was definitely one of our Maurer, Dan Hoene, Bill Thay-
before falling. top four or five prospects," er, Frank Zimmerman, Rick
as .iFarrell continued. "We brought Palmer, John McCahill - these
bI was faced with a choice him down for a game and he I are names that mean quite a
between . the pros (major A saw that our program was bet- bit to Michigan's hockey for-
league) and college," Kawa
said. "Sault Ste. Marie wanted ter run. tunes,
me to play major A, but that Kawa remembers that game. But back to Kawa. He's a'
would have meant I couldn't go "It was a Michigan-Michigan much bigger part of the Wol-
to college. Though I've had my State game," he said. "Michi- verine game plan this year. So
second thoughts, I chose to go gan won 7-6. I was sold." far he has racked up 15 points
to school." There was a touch of disen- (compared to six all of last
chantment, however, as Kawa year) and a lot of ice time.

"I think I can make it," he
said. "I've got decent size and
I really like to skate and hit."
He will know a lot more about
his chances after the profes-
siopal draft this year in June.
Despite cutbacks .in minor
league operations by pro teams,
Kawa remains cautiously opti-
is "just getting his feet wet"
with various academic endea-
vors.nHe hopes to enter Busi-
ness School next fall. He also
plans to try out for the baseball
team as a pitcher (he pitched
in Toronto and was actually
contacted by a few professional
Kawa's immediate concern
is the fate of the Michigan Wol-
"I think that we're ready to'
explode," said Kawa. "We
know that we are good enough.
We just have to sharpen our
killer instinct."

real first name is Zbigniev, and
his last name means "coffee"
in Polish.
If you haven't guessed yet,
he is known to most people as
Ben Kawa. The name is not yet

espouses has done quite well by
him. Hailing from Toronto,
where he has lived all his life,.
Ben started playing hockey at
a tender age.
By the time he was seven-
teen, he was the captain andI
leading scorer on The Wexford

HOWEVER, Ben was still un-
sure as to his choice of schools.
"I was actually pretty well
set on Wisconsin," he said.
"They kept telling me that I'
was their number one choice.
But that was kind of hard to
believe ifter I found out that
their recruiter had been in Tor-
onto for a week and hadn't con-
tacted me."
"I don't really know why he

?l ll 11 1L, l Y VYV , 5 1 uY
saw limited action last year.
"It's a dilemma a lot of
players face," he said. "I was
a stud in Ontario and suddenly
I was on my ass."
IN FACT, Kawa was part of
a group of freshmen that wor-
ried Farrell.
"We really didn't know if
they were a good group," Far-
rell said. "It just wasn't clear

BEN IS the first to admit
that there is room for improve-
"My offensive play leaves
something to be desired," he
said. "My shots aren't really
that strong, and my net sense
-knowing where to be and
when - has to be developed."
Kawa has professional ambi-



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I 20-20 Hindsight
W.nners . .
I , ..the key to success
"If you want someone to score fifty points for you, you
recruit a Terry Furlow. If you want a winner, you recruit a
Wayman Britt."
-Bill Frieder
Michigan Asst.
Basketball Coach
NO, THIS IS NOT going to be another Britt-Furlow analysis.
I'm sick, to death of them by now, and so, I suspect, is
But Bill Frieder's statement has deeper implications than
the surface Britt-Furlow comparison that it contains. At the
heart of it lies the explanation for UCLA's continuing success,
or Illinois' continuing failure. Some schools always get winners,
some schools get talented 'prima donnas,' and some just never
get the players to compete.
It seems like it should be different. If it can be assumed that
almost all college basketball stars are interested in going on to
the pros, it would follow logically that they would choose the
best showcase for their talents. Of course, other factors are also
important, but finding, for example, a high school All-America
guard enrolling at a university with two junior All-Conference
guards is, at least superficially, reasonable grounds for ques-
tioning the prospect's sanity.
Maryland's Brad Davis though, did just that, and the
outcome (he started as a freshman, pushing one of the other
guards to a forward spot) seems a testimonial to his fore-
sight, not a mark against his intelligence. Lest you think
he's an isolated example, scan the lists, of the nation's "top
recruited groups" yearly, and notice that UCLA is always
at the top of it.
It's like going to college for any other purpose when you
think about it. The high school valedictorian can go to a top
school and compete with the best, or he/she can go to a lesser
school and be the best. The ones who generally have the greatest
success in later life are the ones with the best preparation.
The same is true of athletes. With enough talent, a slayer
can excel in any environment, as witness Indiana's scott May.
Even if one doesn't fall into that category, a player can benefit
enough from the top coaching and rigorous competition to
make it in the pros. The classic example is John Laskowski,
sixth man on his college team who now performs the same
function for the Chicago Bulls.
Meanwhile, talents like Larry Fogle (formerly of Cani-
sius), the nation's scoring leader a few years ago, can't
seem to find pro basketball employment.
Thus the reason for college dynasties is very simple. A
school builds a reputation for success (often by playing over its
head for a year) and good players flock to it; not just talented
performers but those who also possess a winning attitude.
It doesn't happen everywhere, of course. One winning sea-
son does not guarantee long-term success. The program must
have other attributes:
-Like a coach with a good reputation who can giv a olayer
a solid "athletic education." Forget what you've heard about
Lefty Driesell of Maryland or about Johnny Orr for that matter-
if they couldn't coach, they wouldn't attract players.
-Like a recruiter who can sell the positive aspects of the
program and sell them within the rules. If you cheat and they
catch you, it may be a long time until recovery (part of illinois'
-Like good atmosphere within the program involving
both starters and substitutes. Second-stringers may get
caught up in being part of a championship team, and enhance
the reputation of the coach as a handler of men provided
the coach is fair and concerned with the morale of the
whole squad.
-Like the avoidance of racial problems. A program which
acquires- the reputation of being prejudiced or partial towards
the athlete of either color runs the risk of only being able to
attract white or black athletes. That will limit potential recruit-
ing to a fraction of one group, a handicap that should be done
without (Illinois, Michigan State, and Ohio State have had recent
problems of this type).
-Like a school with at least some prominence attached to
its degree, and one conceerned with its athletic program. Believe
it or not, there are smart athletes who do get degrees. A lousy
school can't get the Tom McMillan's or Bill Bradley's (both
Rhodes Scholars). And a school which has the academic quali-
fications but neglects the athletic departments (Northwestern for
example-McGaw Hill is a hole) can't get them either.

-And like a good track record with the pros. Nothing suc-
ceeds like success.
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Who says
athletics doesn't mirror reality?
Hill Auditorium
Box Office
The Blind Pig
and both Discount
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Les McCann
Wed., J an. 21 st

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