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January 24, 1980 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-24

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Page 8-Thursday, January 24, 1980-The Michigan Daily


The picture is easily visualized. As a matter of
fact, it's a rather common occurrence in these parts.
A Big Ten team, let's say Michigan, sends shock
Johnny Johnson
... gets starting nod
waves through the conference by defeating one of the
league's giants, let's say Ohio State. The team wades,
in a pool of euphoria for several days, awaiting the'
invasion of a lesser-regarded opponent, let's say
Michigan State.
What occurs in the packed arena that evening is

lue cagers
enough to throw the team into a whirlwind identity
crisis. It knows no reason for its strange behavior,
nor its strength relative to the league's other mem-
WOLVERINE COACH Johnny Orr is acquainted
with this syndrome, and has thus set out to make sure
his cagers don't fall prey to it when they battle,
Michigan State tonight at 8:05 in Crisler Arena.
"I've been honest with them (the team)," said Orr,
who was thrilled beyond ecstasy after Michigan
defeated the second-ranked Buckeyes in overtime,
75-74. "I told them we have to take these games one
at a time.
"But I also told them that if we came out of these
first six games 3-3 or 4-2, then we'd have a shot at a
post-season tournament. If we lost (tonight), I told
them wewould have to come back and beat North-
AT THIS RATHER early stage in the race, nobody
has the Wolverines solidly embedded in post-season
play. But after Saturday's shocking results, fewer
people are ruling "out the possibility that they may
occupy one of those precious spots come March.
"Michigana is going to be tough," said Spartan
assistant coach Edgar Wilson. "They just beat Ohio
State and they're going to be sky-high. I think they'll
be out to get us for last year (MSU won 8[h-57, in East
Lansing). But we'll go out and play hard. We know
we can win."
Only recently have the defending NCAA champions
reacquainted themselves with Big Ten success. After
dropping their first four conference encounters, the
Spartans pulled themselves together and knocked off
both Wisconsin and Iowa in friendly Jenison Field

battle MSU
MUCH OF MSU'S recent success can be attributed
to guard Kevin Smith. The 6-1 transfer from the
University of Detroit poured in a career-high 23 poin-
(40) Mike McGee. (6-5). F .(6-8). Ron Charles (15)
(45) Thad Garner (6-7). F .(6-4) Mike Brkovich (21)
(15) Paul Heuerman (6-8). C .(6-8) .. Jay Vincent (31)
(24) Marty Bodnar (6-3). G .(6-1) . Kevin Smith ( 5)
(34) Johnny Johnson (6-4). G .(6-2) Terry Donnelly (11)
ts in Saturday's 75-67 win over Iowa, a performance
which boosted his scoring average to 9.9 points per
game. Center Jay Vincent remains the Spartans
steadiest player; he is averaging 20.5 points and 7.7
rebounds per contest.
.gFor the firstatime in several games, Orr is
changing the starting lineup for a game. Junior
Johnny Johnson, a hot shooting commodity of late,
will be inserted into the ballhandling guard spot
which Keith Smith has occupied for 14 of the first 15
encounters. Johnson came off the bench against Ohio
State to pour in 17 points, while grabbing six reboun-
ds in the process.
Tonight's matchup with Michigan State marks the
beginning of "lull" in the Wolverines schedule, if the
conference slate is any indication. Following this
game, they travel to Evanston for a Saturday contest
with last-place Northwestern (1-5, Big Ten), remain
on the road to face Wisconsin (2-4) one week from
today, then return home for a second meeting with
the Wildcats Feb. 2.




T University of Michigan
nter for Japanese Studies &
partment of English Language and
Japanese Poet in Residence, 1979-80
Oakland University
Thursday, J$nan$y 24,1980-3:30 pm
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union

Celts crunch Pistons

Speci"l to The Daily
PONTIAC - The Pistons dropped
their second in a row last night before
10,510 fans at the Silverdome, as the
high-flying Boston Celtics whipped
Detroit, 131-104.
The Pistons stayed even with
the Celts throughout the first
half, due primarily to the aggressive
play of forward Greg Kelser, who led
both teams in scoring with 29 points, 18
of those coming in the first half.
The score was tied at 54 at the inter-
mission, but that was the closest
Detroit came.
"THEY SIMPLY wore us down on the
boards in the second half," said Piston
coach Richie Adubato. "We got a good
effort from Kelser in the first half, but
Boston has simply got too many offen-
sive threats."

_ I

straight baskets in the fourth quarter,
and the Celtics never looked back.
Bob McAdoo poured in 21 points and
Terry Tyler netted 16 points and 14
rebounds for Detroit.
The loss drops the Pistons to 13-37 on
the year, while the Celtics raised their
season mark to 36-12. Detroit's next
game is at New Jersey Friday night.
NBA All-Stars named
NEW YORK - Seattle guard Dennis
Johnson, winner of the Most Valuable
Player Award in last season's National
Basketball Association championship
series, and five other players were ad-
ded to the Western Conference team
yesterday for the NBA All-Star Game
on February 3.
Joining Johnson as a reserve on the
West squad were his Seattle teammate,
center Jack Sikma, plus forward Scott
Wedman and guard Otis Birdsong of
Kansas City, and forward Walter Davis
and guard Paul Westphal of Phoenix.
THE WEST starting lineup, picked by
the fans, will be forwards Marques
Johnson of Milwaukee and Adrian Dan-
tley of Utah, center Kareem Abdul-
Jabbar of Los Angeles, and guards
Earvin "Magic" Johnson of Los
Angeles and Lloyd Free of San Diego.
The East's starters will be forward
Julius Erving of Philadelphia and John
Drew of Atlanta, center Moses Malone
of Houston, and guards George Gervin
of San Antonio and Eddie Johnson of
In reserve for the East will be for-
wards Larry Bird of Boston, Elvin
Hayes of Washington and Dan Roun-
dfield of Atlanta, center Dave Cowens
of Boston, and guards Nate Archibald
of Boston and Michael Ray Richardson
of New York. - (AP)

A Neff Is Enough
By Billy Neff 4
Boo Johnny Orr?.
*not any more
AND AT THE other guard, number 24, Marty Bodnar. Michigan is
coached by Johnny Orr.
Boos cascade from the rafters at Crisler Arena, and I must admit, I used
to be one of the vocalists.
Now when Johnny Orr's name is announced and the boos still come can-
nonading down, I wince, instead of participate.
You see, I have had a chance to meet this controversial man and it is
very difficult to boo such a sensitive and charming human being.
How can I boo someone who demonstrates the emotion he does after a
victory? Watching Orr throw his fist into the air after his team's spectacular
upset of second ranked Ohio State, was heartwarming.
Too often, coaches win big games and strut off center stage with little
expression on their faces. A mystique has developed around coaches like
Fred Shero, who would never show any sentiment during his Stanley Cup
years with the Philadelphia Flyers.
But emotion is great. It shows how involved he is in the game and how
much he wants his players to succeed. What's wrong with that?
Not only is Orr 'human' on the court, but his personality doesn't change
off of it, either. He is always accessible in his office. He never shies away
from an interview. But still he gets criticized.
Before this season's opener against Massachusetts, I went in to visit
with him in the morning. I didn't know what to expect - I had written some
inflammatory columns about Orr in the past, and hell, I didn't even have an
For the next hour, Orr talked on and on. He didn't hold a grudge towards
me. I was treated to his experiences as a Massachusetts coach. He told me
everything I wanted to know.
This is a man who has spanned the spectrum of human emotion in just
three years. From a national championship finalist, Orr had slipped to a 15-
12 season and this year, his cagers were picked a distant eighth in the Big
T.hree years ago, his team sailed through the season and finished as the
top team in the nation. Then, there was grave disappointment when his
national championship dreams came shattering down in an upset loss to
unheralded North Carolina-Charlotte.
Disaster struck the following year when Phil Hubbard went down before
the season with a severe knee injury.
Last year, in pre-season polls, his cagers were picked anywhere from
fourth to eighth nationally: It was not to be a banner season for Orr as his
team finished sixth in the Big Ten.
The good recruits were going elsewhere. Many, many times, Michigan
was the final choice along with another school in a prep star's plans. But
players like Earvin Johnson, Clark Kellogg and Darrell Griffith found
greener pastures.
Then, his star, Phil Hubbard passed up his senior year for the woes of the
Detroit Pistons. His frustration had reached the breaking point. From the
kleig lights ofnational television and coach of the year honors to a spot in
history alongside of that sports power from Evanston, Northwestern.
Orr sank to his all-time low this summer when he made some critical
comments on radio of former Michigan State All- American Greg Kelser. Not
only did they show an intense frustration, but they demonstrated a profound
jealousy, also.
But Orr has had little to be jealous of this year. He has turned what
looked to be a horrid team into a Big Ten challenger. He has molded the per-
sonalities of former troubled players like Johnny J, . adMike McGee
into a fine basketball squad.
It is not hard to understand and sympathize with s man. He is a eery
sensitive and friendly man who becomes emotionally involved in everything
he does. Whether it be throwing a jubilant fist to the crowd, being quite ac-
cessible or just giving candid answers, Orr is very refreshing from a repor-
ter's point of view.
I was finally convinced of his human side after the Ohio State game.
When he strolled comfortably into the press room, he apologized to one of my
colleagues, Alan Fanger.
Apparently, after the Illinois game, Orr had become quite irritated with
a question by Fanger: Okay, his critics can say that it is easy to apologize af-
ter a win against someone the likes of Ohio State. But the fact is - he DID
If his apology wasn't clear enough, he then drew this reporter aside to
make sure his feelings were known. Pretty human, wouldn't you say?
Although I may not always agree with his coaching decisions and for
that matter, may never agree, you have to feel for this man.
Unfortunately, the boos in Crisler Arena have begun to dwindle because
of the miracles he has worked with this season's quintet. That's human
nature, I guess.
These boos should dwindle due to the genuine emotion emanating from
this man. Anyway, who likes to wince?

A The majority of Boston's rebounding
PT77A (j '.came from backup center Rick Robey,
playing in place of the injured Dave
Cowens. Robey grabbed 19 caroms in
has conquered the Munch es! addition to a 24-point scoring effort.
For details and Free Delivery Celtic forward Larry Bird, who had
ten rebounds and 21 points,
Ca11 663-0511 acknowledged the fine play of Robey.
"Rick played a fine game. It seems like
he always comes through when we need
him," said the rookie sensation.
THE CELTICS lead was 91-79 at the
end of the third quarter after being
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Big Ten Leaders
Pts Avg. HI
Carroll, PUR .................... 135 22.5 Lj
Matthews, WIS........ ..... 133 22.2,
Vincent, MSU .................. 123 20.5
McGEE, MICH .................. 120 20.0 25
Williams.OSU ...................117 19.5 26
GregoryWIS.................... 1m 18.5 27
Johnson, ILL .................... 108 18.0 26
McHale, MINN........................ 57 9.5
Krafcisin, IOWA ....................... 51 8.5
Tolbert, IND .......................... 51 8.5
Gregory, WIS .......................... 51 8.5
HEUERMAN, MICH................... 50
Johnson. ILL ....................... 48 8.
Vincent, MSU .......................48 8.0
Virginia 90, Duke 84
Maryland 66, North Carolina St. 62
Gieorgia 55. Tennessee 5
Clemson 85,Furman 67
Kentucky 89. Mississippi St. 67
Notre Dame 84, Canisius 63
Louisiana St. 72, Mississippi 66
Ala bama 50, Auburn 46 OT0
Kansas St. 63, Iowa St. 53
Wayne State 74, MICHIGAN 72
N.Y. Islanders 5. Detroit 3
Boston 131, Detroit 104
New Jersey 117, Cleveland 10:3
San Antonio 114. Indiana 1:30

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