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March 30, 1976 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-03-30

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Poge Ten -


Tuesday, March 30, 1976

r.' "
~ ': i.




-by Rich Lerner im

Players look forward...
.. .to next year
"I JUST don't think we culd've beaten them unless we played
with six men," said Michigan Coach Johnny Orr, following
the Wolverines' 86-68 loss to Indiana in the NCAA finals, last
night. "I haven't seen anybody play as well as they did in
the second half in a long time."
After Michigan. grabbed a 35-29 halftime lead, the Hoosiers
came storming back in the second half, and completely cut off the
Wolverine attack which had worked so well before the intermis-
For 20 minutes, Indiana did everything a basketball team
is supposed to do. The Hoosiers' harassing defense limited Mich-
igan to 11 baskets. And when the Wolverines missed, Kent Ben-
son, Tom Abernethy, Scott May and Quinn Buckner boxed out
their opponents, not allowing the Wolverines a second chance at
the basket.
They ran their offense patiently and precisely, never
taking a poor percentage shot. Several times, after missing
shots, the Hoosiers scored on the rebound, after being shut
off the offensive boards in the first half.
"They just really started going to the offensive boards," said
John Robinson. ('The key to our getting the lead was controlling
the defensive boards."
"The reason we did so well in the first half was because we
were putting pressure on them defensively, they couldn't get the
ball in to the wing, to run their offense," analyzed Steve Grote.
"In the second half, Jim Wisman came in and did a fabulous
job and really got them going into their offense."
"I can't think of anything I could have done to change the
outcome of the game," Orr said.
Now Orr and the Wolverines must go back to the drawing
board once again. "It's hard not to be sad," Orr said. "To
win a national championship has always been my goal. Two
years ago, we lost to Marquette in the regional final, and I
thought I'd never have another chance. Last year, UCLA
beat us again and again I thought I'd never have another
chance. But this time I'm more optimistic than the other two
"Now we have to get out of our spaceships and come back
to earth," said Robinson. "I didn't expect we'd come this far,
this year," he said, removing his old watch and strapping on a
new timepiece members of the team received in an awards cere-
mnony following the game.
"I'm going to have to go back home and practice up,
said freshman center Phil Hubbard. "Next year, I'm going to
"Maybe everybody didn't expect us to be here," Grote said.
"But I know the guys on our team are winners. After the
first Indiana game, when we fell behind 16-2, I thought, 'oh
my God, we're over-rated.' But at halftime, the lead was only
three points and I knew we had something going. Next year's'
finals are a long way away. Right now, I'm just planning to win
our first game next year."
However, some of the Wolverines did focus their thoughtsI
on Atlanta, site of next year's national championships.
"We'll be back," said assistant coach Bill Frieder. "I
knew when we recruited these kids that we could come this far."
"I definitely plan on being here, if I'm in school," said
tourney all-star Rickey Green. "I've talked to a few people
who think I can play pro now, but I haven't really talked to
any teams though. I would really hope to play in the Olym-
pics, but nobody has invited me."
"I feel we'll all be back next year," asserted Robinson.
"I hope to be down in the Omni next year at this time,"
agreed freshman Tom Staton.
For speech major Wayman Britt, the only starting senior
on the squad, it's back to class. "I'll have to take a few spring or,
summer courses, and then I'll have my degree," said Britt, who{
plans on taking a crack at professional basketball. Britt finished
his four years in a Michigan basketball uniform with exactly
1000 points.
"He (Knight) is going to lose four of those guys," said Orr,
as a sparkle seemed to reappear in the Coach of the Year's eye.
That's all, folks ..,

(Continued from Page 1) Knight began substituting, wav- table, dropped there casually
the stretch," said Orr. "They ing in reserves to replace Buck- and then ignored. Orr, quiet
made all their free throws and ner, May, Benson, Abernethy but not unapproachably deject-
all those shots. That's what you and Jim Crews. ed, sat on a bench in front of
have to do to be a winner." Crews played much of the a cubicle.
The burst that put it away for game in place of starter Bobby "Oh, I feel disappointed but
the champions came with 6:01 Wilkerson, who suffered a con- not terribly down," he said.
left. May, fighting for an offen- cussion early in the game when "Hell, it feels good to be the
sive rebound, twirled in a fluke Britt's elbow accidently hit Wil- second best man in the country.
shot to put Indiana ahead, 65- kerson in the head. There are 800-some teams worse
59. Wilkerson was carried off the than that - that's pretty good.
A turnover by Michigan set floor at 17:17 and never return- You know, one of the rea-
up a pair of free throws by ed. He was resting comfortably sons Indiana is so good, is they
Quinn Buckner to make it 67-59. in the hospital by the end of have a lot of character. That's
Tom Bergen, in for Hubbard, the game. why we're so successful too -
then missed a jumper and the "We didn't change much at we've got classy kids. It's hard
Hoosiers grabbed the ball again. the half," said Knight after an to keep everyone together these
BRITT FOULED Tom Aber- emotional on-court celebration days. The reason we got where
nethy (Britt's fifth) and the with his players. "We had miss- we are is because we hung to-
Hoosier canned two more free ed a lot of lay-ups in the first gether.
throws. A traveling violation by half and it would have made a "I feel great about the sea-
Steve Grote gave the ball back big difference if we had made son, just not so great now. But
to Indiana and Abernethy them. this is as far as any Michigan1
stormed inside for another lay- "We did want to put more team has evergone. Indiana is
up to putsthe Cream and Crim- pressure on them in the second a great team, no doubt about it.
son up, 71-59, at 4:31. half," Knight said. "We also They had the best team and
After Grote missed two free wanted to go inside to Benson we had the second best. There's
throws, Indiana took the ball more in the second half." nothing wrong with that. And
and played keep-away for a Indiana shot 45.2 per cent in we have young men who are
while until Tom Staton, replac- the first half, 60 per cent in the dedicated . . . they'll be back."
ing Britt, fouled May. second and 52.5 for the game. MICHIGAN literally raced its
May swished two more free Michigan made 61.5 in the first, way to a 35-29 halftime lead,
throws to cap the 10-0 spurt that only 35.5 in the second for 47.4 scoring 16 of its points off t h e
deflated the Wolverines. Michi- on the game. fast break or press. The break
gan, without its fast break as Buckner, deadly in the clutch, was launched by some of the
long as the Hoosiers were hit- finished with 16 points and Ab- most aggressive ball-hawking
ting, didn't make a field goal ernethy scored 11. Michigan was and rebounding Michigan has
from 7:10 to 3:40. led by Green's 18, followed by ever displayed.
A COUPLE of rare misses at Grote with 12, Britt with 11 (for Five of the first nine Michi-
the free throw line and a full a career total of 1,000), Hub- gan baskets came off the race-
court press helped Michigan bard with 10 and Robinson with horse fast break, helping the
cut the lead to eight at 2:33, eight. Staton added seven in on- Wolverines streak to an 18-10
but the calm Hoosiers refused ly nine minutes of playing time. lead. Michigan was aided by the
to yield. "I can't think of anything I Wilkerson injury, which came
-Their delay offense forced wouldrhave done differently," with Michigan ahead, 6-4.
Michigan to foul, and (of said Orr. "In the first half, we In the remaining seven-p 1 u s
course) the Hoosiers converted were superb defensively. In the minutes, Michigan hit 75 per
it to two free throws. Michigan second, we weren't as quick, or cent of its shots, and outre-
missed a hurried shot and the maybe they were quicker. We bounded the Hoosiers, 8-2.
Hoois fabrreahot adt needed to come out in the sec- But Indiana came storming
Hoosiers got a breakaway buc- ond half and get a good start, back with nine straight points
ket. Buckner grabbed the ballgeagodsr,
Midchigan but we didn't do that. I think inits classic, patient offense.
from the hands of Mcia it was pretty much due to In- The two teams traded buckets
freshman Alan Hardy and laid diana's great play, though." until Robinson forced in a diffi-
in another basket to put the cult bank shot at 2:58, to p u t
Hoosiers back up 80-66, at 1:47, MICHIGAN'S locker room Michigan up, 33-29.
and virtually clinch the cham- was quiet but not morbidly so. Another fast break yielded a
pionship. The second-place trophy was ly- pair of Green free throws to end
A minute later, coach Bobby ing on its back on the training the half's scoring.
~ - - -

AP Photo
INDIANA'S KENT Benson keeps the ball aw ay from Michigan's Tom Bergen during last
night's NCAA championship game. Bergen re placed Phil Hubbard, who fouled out trying to
contain the Hoosier's big All-American. For his efforts, Benson was named most valuable
player in the tournament as Indiana won its f irst national championship since 1953.


Cage rs



Special To The Daily
Michigan lost here last night, it1
was not for lack of mental pre-1
Yesterday afternoon, t h e
players were relaxed, determin-
ed and confident. After a light
shooting workout in the morn-
ing, they either rested in their
rooms or strolled around down-
town Philadelphia.
"I CAN'T wait to get out
there," said Steve Grote. "It's
going to be fun. It's nice to
know for once what the other
team's going to do. I really be-
lieve we're going to win, and,
I think all our players feel that
"And," Grote continued, "I

Associate Editor
think Indiana knows that we
can beat them."
When asked how he felt about
the game, Rickey Green flashed
a grin, put both fists in the air
and shouted, "GREAT!"
JOHN ROBINSON worked es-
pecially hard this week, doing
extra running afterwpractice.
"If we get good results, it will
be worth it," he said. "I'm just
sorry it's the last game. We
came this far, and we're n o t
about ready to give up now.
'Everybody thinks we're go-
ing to lose," he continued.
"That will make me work even
harder. I think we're going to
win this thing. I'm going to shut
(Tom) Abernathy off. I'll do my
"All those people watching
won't bother me. If I get six
points they won't notice me, and
if I get 26 they don't notice me.
Sometimes that's a good posi-
tion to be in."
PHIL HUBBARD was confi-
dent. He said he was ready, and

he wasn't worried about Hoos-
ier center Kent Benson's size.
No so with Giote., a guard.
"He's huge," Grote said. "I'm
not going in for those layups,
man. I'll just stop and take the
jumpers. "But if he gives me
an elbow, I'll give him one right
back." Grote promised. "Self-
defense is no crime."
Tom Bergen way probably the
rmost relaxed.
"I don't care if we win by one
or 100," he quipped. "I just
want those watches! And I want
that big trophy that says num-
ber one."
"I'll be relieved when it's all
over" said Grote. "It will be
nice to finally be able to sit
down and pat yourself on the
back a little. It's been a long

" t

Steve Grote

fg ft. r pf
5-6 1-1 3 5

R',' I

a tp
2 11

wosn, J 4-8 0-1 6 2 5 8 '
Hubbard 4-8 2-2 11 5 0 10
Green 7-16 4-5 6 3 2 18
Grote 4-9 4-6 1 4 3 12
Berger 0-1 0-0 0 1 0 0
Staton 2-5 3-4 2 3 0 7
Baxter 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0
Tho'pson 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Hardy 1-2 0-0 2 0 0 2
Totals 27-57 14-19 32 25 12 68
Sscore By Halves
1 2 F1
MICHIGAN 35 33 68
Indiana , 29 57 86
Attendance, 17,540

fg ft r pf a tp Now York 5 Philadelphia 1
Abernethy Troronto 5, Pittsburgh 4
4-8 3-3 4 2 1 11 EXHIBITION BASEBALL
May 10-17 6-6 8 4 2 26 Detroit 8-1, Chicago 3-0
Montreal 3, Los Angeles 2
Benson 11-20 5 9 3 2 25 Atlanta 8, New York (NL) 4
Wilkerson 0-1 0-0 0 1I (0 0 Oakland 8, Chicago (NL) 6
Buckner 5-10 6-9 8 4 4 16 St. Louis 11. Cincinnatti 4
Radford 0-1 0-0 1 0 0 0 New York (AL) 5, Philadelphia
Crews 0-1 2-2 1 1 4 2 (A Team) 14
Pittsburgh 12, Philadelphia (B
Wisman 0-1 2-3 1 4 6 2 Team) 1
Valavic's 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 San Diego 7, Cleveland 0
Haymore 1-1 0.0 1 0 0 2 Texas 12, Kansas City 7
Bender 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 San Francisco 9, wilwaukee 3
Team 3M innesota 8, Baltimore 5
Totals 32-61 22-28 36 19 19 86


Briins iab third in
consolation, 106-92

Inside straight
' &=ndy Glazer 1
Loss can t tarnish...
AS THE incredible blitzkrieg that the Indiana Hoosiers put on
in the second half of last night's Indiana-Michigan title game
slowly gave the Hoosiers an insurmountable lead, the thoughts of
Michigan supporters began to drift back over what will be re-
membered as a truly fine season.
Yes, when Scott May hit on both ends of a one-and-one to
give Indiana a 73-59 lead with 3:51 to go, most viewers were
about ready to concede Indiana the title. But Tom Staton hit a
25-foot jumper, stole the ball seconds later, was fouled and made
one of the free throws. At 3:31, Staton stole the ball again and
scored. The Wolverines were within nine.
A Jim Wisman miss of a one-and-one gave Michigan the
ball, but Rickey Green missed a tough driving layup. In-
diana's Quinn Buckner added a free throw to the Hoosier
cause at 3:13, but when Steve Grote stole the ball from Kent
Benson and Green hit on a one-and-one with 2:33 to go, Mich-
igan was back in the game.
Eleven seconds later, Wisman crashed into Steve Grote
near the Michigan bench. The call? Blocking, Wisman getting
a one-and-one, which he converted. Ballgame.
Did the play really destroy Michigan's title hopes?
"That (lack of a) charging call was important, but I don't
think it would have changed the outcome," said a disheartened
but still proud Michigan coach Johnny Orr (named Coach of the
Year by his peers in the National Association of Basketball
Coaches.) "I haven't seen a team play as well as Indiana did in
the second half in a long, long time," added Orr.
The simple, beautiful class of that statement offered a
sharp contrast to some of the sour grapes that have been
flying around in this tournament, such as Rutgers coach
Tom Young's refusal to credit Michigan, and UCLA's Gavin
Smith's statement that UCLA had much better players than
Indiana - that the last player on the Bruin bench was twice
as good as Indiana's Jim Crews, that Crews didn't belong in
the tournament. I
In a weekend where pressure and disappointment have
brought out the worst in many, Johnny Orr was at his best. He
gave credit where credit was and is due: the 32-0 Hoosiers are
simply the better team.
The better team, yes, but perhaps not the better TEAM.
The Michigan concept of team basketball has carried the Blue
to unthinkable heights.
"Going down the stretch, a lot of teams played for them-
selves," said Rickey Green, who had to make the transition
from junior college gunner to major college team player and
therefore ought to know. "'But we hung in there together, and
that's why we were so successful."
"The reason we got here is that we hung together," said Orr.
No one could say that any better, and so with a very
special season completed, this is what one of those very spec-
ial players has to say about next season.
"They're a hell of a team, but we'll be back here next year,"

Special To The Daily

handed Rutgers only its second
loss of the season yesterday as
the Bruins, behind Marques
Johnson's 30 points and 18 re-
bounds, took the NCAA consola-
tion game, 106-92.
Rutgers carried an unblemish-
ed 31-0 record into the semifin-
als but lost its final two games
to end its season at 31-2. UCLA
finished with a 27-5 mark.
After trailing by eight points
at halftime, the Scarlet
Knights charged back to with-
in one before two minutes of
the second half had elapsed.
UCLA upped its lead back to
six, but a rash of Bruin turn-
overs tied the game at 75-75
with 10:39 remaining.
The rest of the game belonged
to UCLA, though, as the Rut-
gers defense began to weaken
while the offense had trouble
I bringing the ball within 20 feet
of the basket.
The Bruins led again by five
a mere two mnutes after Rut-
gers had pulled even and later
scored ' 12 unanswered points
over a 4:13 span to lead, 104-87,1
with 1:26 left.

through only the UCLA rim as
the Uclans went up by five.
Rutgers later narrowed that gap
to two, but the Bruins outscored
them, 11-3, in a three m i n u t e
span to lead, 38-28, with 7:43
The relentless Rutgers attack
whittled the lead back to t w o
once again within the next two
and a half minutes as the score
stood 42-40 with 5:09 left.
With two minutes remaining
in the half and UCLA up 53-
42, Rutgers started yet another
comeback. The half ended too
soon, though, with the Scarlet
Knights down by eight.
The Bruins completely outshot
Rutgers in the game as they hit
for a remarkable 55 per cent
from the floor and 75 per cent
at the line. Rutgers hit 38 per
cent of its field goal attempts
and a terible 59.2 per cent of its
free throws.
Andre McCarter, playing be-
fore a hometown audience,
complemented Johnson' s scor -
ing barrage with 26 points of
his own. All-American R i c h
Washington added 11.
Phil Sellers hit eight of 21
from the floor to lead Rutgers
with 23 points while Mike Dab-
nev scored 21 and Hollis Cope-

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