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February 14, 1980 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-14

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Page 12-Thursday, February 14, 1980-The Michigan Daily
ILLINOIS HOT OFF INDIANA UPSET
Deep illini next for Blue cagers

By ALAN FANGER
Illinois, which sports a 6-6 Big Ten
record and a 16-8 overall mark, has
more depth than any team in the
league, according to Michigan Coach
Johnny Orr.
Come again?
No, it's not a myth.. The Fighting
Illini, who meet the Wolverines (6-6, 13-
8 overall) tonight at 8 p.m. in Crisler
Arena are even-steven with Michigan
tzi the standings. Yet Orr, who speaks
about the teams' first matchup (Illinois
won, 8-69) with solace, continues to be
impressed by the fact that their second
five play nearly as well as the starting
corps.
"I would say they have the ten best
players of any team in the Big Ten,"
said Orr. "They're big, they're quick,
they're great shooters. And they're
strong, strong rebounders."
THE STATISTICS bear out Orr's
point. Four of Illinois' five starters are
hitting on 49.per cent of their shots, with
guard Rob Judson the hottest shot at 55
pier cent.
To further Orr's skepticism, the Illini

are coming off an 89-68 pasting of In-
diana last Saturday. Only two days
earlier, they had breezed by Wisconsin,
67-50.
"I don't think there's any doubt that

of the conference race just waiting for
someone to falter among the leaders."
"Our guard play really has been good
recently," said Illinois Coach Lou Hen-
son, in explaining his team's resurgen-

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THE LINEUPS

(40)
(45)
(15)
(24)
(34)

MICHIGAN
Mike McGee .....
Thad Garner.....
Paul Heuerman ..
Marty Bodnar ....
Johnny Johnson ..

(6-5).
(6-7).
(6-8).
(6-3).
(6-4).

..(6-8) ... Eddie Johnson
. .(6-7) ...... Mark Smith
. .(6-10) ... James Griffin
..(6-2) .......Reno Gray
. .(6-2)......Rob Judson

(33)
(42)
(13)
(10)
(30)

ILLINOIS

have to be just. phenomenal," said
Orr. And indeed, the Illini have been
phenomenal against formidable op-
position earlier in the season, having
knocked off third-rated Louisville, 77-
64, and 13th-rated Brigham Young 86-
76. They also lost a pair of hear-
tbreakers to Missouri (67-66) and
Marquette (80-78).
THE WOLVERINES, meanwhile, are
in good physical shape for the game.
Guard Marty Bodnar is back in
operating condition after battling a
virus that hounded him in Saturday's
68-59 victory over Wisconsin.
WOLVERINE TALES: Mike McGee
continues to lead the conference in
scoring with a 22.5 average. Michigan
State's Jay Vincent is second at
21.0 .. . As a team, Michigan is seventh
in the conference in field goal percen-
tage (47.1 per cent), fifth in free throw
percentage (71.1), eighth in average
rebounding margin per game (-3.5) and
last in opponents shooting percentage
(51.7).
Big Ten Standings

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they (the Illini) and Iowa are the hot-
test teams in the Big Ten right now,"
said Orr. "They are just one of the
many teams bunched up in the middle

ce. "Reno (Gray) has been handling the
ball and shooting well and his defense is
coming along. And Perry (Range) is
getting better and better. He's getting
to be just a tremendous defensive
player."
THE IMPROVEMENT in the back-
court simply adds another weapon to
the Illini attack, which leads the league
in point production (71.8 points per
game). The front line of forwards Eddie
Johnson and Mark Smith and center
James Griffin is averaging over 37
points per contest, and Johnson (16.9) is
seventh among Big Ten scorers.
It was Griffin who did much of the
damage in the team's initial encounter,
which Ii inois won, 80-69, in Champaign.
He hit for a season-high 19 points, while
joining Johnson in their domination of
the boards. As a team, the Illini hit on 59
per cent of their shots, another season
best.
"For us to beat them, we're going to

Conference

Ia

I.

N IakmIrhi

Purdue.....
Ohio State ....
Indiana ......
Iowa .......
Minnesota ....
MICHIGAN ..
Illinois .......
Michigan State
Michigan State
Wisconsin ....
Northwestern

W
8
8
7
7
7
6
6
5
5
4
2

L
4
4
5
5
5
6
6
7
7
8
10

All
W
15
15
14
16
14
13
16
16
11
12
7

L
4
5
7
5
7
8
8
8
10
11
15

nd 1 ILIIXLAI1U1*iM0i1I1
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Wait while your unitis being checked. Nakamichi
owners, pleas
cai769-4700
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Tonight's Games
Illinois at MICHIGAN
Michigan St. at Wisconsin
Ohio State at Minnesota
Indiana at Iowa
Purdue at Northwestern

N EFF
IS
ENOUGH
By Billy Neff
Amateur athletics ..
. .a battered institution
It looks like certain defeat for the American ice hockey team with 35
seconds remaining in the game. The icers finally nudge the puck into the
Swedish zone. Th en, the puck is directed back to former University of
Minnesota star Bill Baker. With the game ticking away, Baker rifles a shot
that sails through the Swedish netminder's pads for the tying goal.
Baker has done it for the red, white and blue. I let out a loud whoopee
when the red lights blink on.
Baker has accomplished more for American patriotism than American
diplomat Hodding Carter..
Turn back your television set just two days and a Cuban boxing referee
does more for American patriotism than Baker has.
American heavyweight Jimmy Clark is fighting that invincible Cuban,
Teofilo Stevenson, a two-time gold medalist. Clark is a replacement for the
injured Tony Tubbs and no sane person believes Clark is anything but a lamb
preparing for the slaughter. But the Americans have to put someone in the
ling against Stevenson and maybe Tubbs won't get knocked out. But wait a
minute, Tubbs isn't even fighting. Clark is.
Unbelievably, Clark seems to be pulling off the impossible. He stalks
after the incredible Stevenson like a dog in search of red meat. Clarke
batters and bruises the champion. Howard Cosell, that master of hyperbole,
can't find a hyperbole in his vast storehouse to describe this amazing
spectacle.
The Cuban referee, obviously, does not like what he is seeing. Every 15
seconds or so, he stops the three round "thrilla" (Cosell's enunciation) and
warns Clark about grabbing Stevenson's neck, lunging for the Cuban or
butting him. Anything the referee can cream of to shortcircuit Clark's
momentum, he does.
Ring politics
When the bout is concluded, and Stevenson handed the decision, the
notion of amateur sports sinks further into oblivion.~
The idea of amateur sports is dead. It has been dead for many years.
And so are the Olympics, or at least, the pure idea behind the Olympics.
Whether it be a referee obstructing a potential defeat for his
countryman,or 11 Israeli athletes being murdered, amateur sports is strictly
political and will always be. Amateur sports has always been an outlet to
display one's patriotism. No more, no less. It has never met the ideal of
having athletes compete apart from the world's problems.
Whether it be "neutral" referees giving the Russians three opportunities
to score a clinching basket in 1972, or Olympic officials not allowing pole
vaulter Bob Seagren to use the pole he has been training with right before he
is to jump, or the boxing match in which American boxer Reggie Jones
pummeled his Russian opponent and lost, amateur sports has been shrouded
in politics. The list of similar political events is endless.
The word "amateur" itself has been abused by most of the Iron Curtain
countries. Their players are subsidized; ours are not. Their athletes receive
money for training. The Russian'basketball team is their country's ten best
players. Can you imagine Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Larry Bird, Julius Erving
and Magic Johnson playing them?,
For all these political reasons, the Olympics should 'die and probably
will. Because of the world political climate, athletes should, unfortunately,
be given numbers and sent to Athens to compete for themselves, instead of
for their countries.
But I will miss the Olympics. To me, an American, where else does good
overcome evil anymore? Where else can the American ideal of an amateur
overcome these communist "pros." Without the Olympics, there wil be no
whoopee like the one that I let out for Baker's goal.
No more flags
Our one chance to be patriotic every four years will be taken from us.
We cannot be patriotic with our presidential selection since at best, we might
get to choose from a peanut farmer, a bad driver, a Texas Yankee or a
retired movie star. But with the Olympics, at least we can root for our
country.
So can the Sudanese, the Trinidadians and the Ugandans. Who can
forget the parade that greeted John Akii-Bua when he returned to Kampala,
Uganda after capturing the 400-intermediate hurdles' gold medal.
Not only are the Olympics a great boon for patriotism but they have done
more for the American black than Jesse Jackson ever did.
When Jesse Owens went to Germany, outraced all of Hitler's supposedly
superior Aryans, and then was snubbed by the exterminator himself. Don't
kid yourself, the average American workingman swelled with pride when he
watched Owens.
Owens, to the working man, was an American, first and foremost, not a
black, since Owens served their ends. Of course, when the Olympics
finished, Owens lost some of his status. But I am certain athletes like Owens
and Sugar Ray Leonard accomplished a lot for the acceptance of blacks in
this society.
The notion of amateur sports is finished, in the pure sense of the word.
Considering the balance of power politics played today, ideals like the
Olympic games will never be attained and should be eliminated.

But I will miss them. Where else
STUDENTS FOR can Americans blindly forget our
country's blunders and cheer for the
CARTER-MONDA LE old red, white and blue? Cheers like
MEETING my whoopee are few and far
THURS., FEB. 14-7:30 PM between these days
MICHIGAN UNION-Conf. Room 2
paid for by the
Carter / Mondale Presidential Committee

S
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* includes a second pair of hard lenses
Dr. Paul C. Uslan, Optometrist
545 Church Street
769-1222 by appointment

FEBRUARY 21, 1980

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