The Michigan Daily
Sunday, October 18, 1981
Heuerman takes a step
'forward'as a pro cager
By RON POLLACK
When last seen in Ann Arbor, Paul
Heuerman was playing center for the
Michigan basketball team and giving
up four or five inches in height to his
counterparts at the pivot.
Now, the 6-8 cager is playing forward
for the NBA's Phoenix Suns, who
picked him up in the fifth round of, the
1981 draft, and he can finally look eye to
eye with the players he guards.
THE SWITCH to forward has
changed Heuerman's responsibilities in
a uni4ue manner.
"Believe it or not, I was moving more
outside at Michigan," said Heuerman.
"Here at Phoenix they're emphasizing
more post-up play where the forwards
come across to post up and play low. It
seems that here I post up more as a
MacLeod. "He was schooled well in
college. We like a lot of things about
him. He runs well, he's a good passer,
he knows how to free a teammate with a
pick and how to get open."'
WHILE NOT all NBA players are
willing to spend time on picks or
passing (when they could be shooting
instead), Heuerman finds such areas of
the game to be of vital importance since
he is not a prolific scorer or a
dominating force on the court.
"There's no area I shine at, but no
area I'm really bad at," said Heuer-
man. "I just have to play consistent."
"I think he's played very hard," said
MacLeod. "He played well at camp and
he's given a great effort. But he has not
ALTHOUGH Heuerman (7.8 ppg last
people aren't in the NBA that are good
enough because they weren't in the
right place at the right time. It's just a
matter of fitting in at a place where
they might need you. It's a numbers
Should the "numbers" dictate that
Heuerman be cut, he will not throw in
the towel. Instead, he will seek an op-
portunity with either another NBA
squad or in a European league.
"I've been told that it's pretty easy to
go to Europe for a big guy," said
Heuerman. "Plus, I came from a name
school and I'll have stuck with Phoenix
for a while. All that will be in my
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October 12-Applications Available
October 30-Applications Due
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'He 's .a heads-up player. He was schooled well in college.
We like a lot of things about him. He runs well, he 's a good
passer, he knows how to free a teammate with a pick and
how to get open.'
-Phoenix Suns' head eoach John
MacLeod on Paul Heuerman
forward then I did as a center at
Phoenix head coach John MacLeod
believes it, because it was he who
moved Heuerman closer to the hoop.
"We try to use all of our forwards low
and develop an inside game for the high
percentage shot," said MacLeod. .
TAKING THIS explanation into con-
sideration, one might wonder why
Heuerman wasn't used inside more in
college. Wolverine head coach Bill
Frieder explained the reasoning behind
not setting Heuerman up within
dunking distance of the basket more of-
"He was very mobile and a good
shooter," said Frieder. "And when
you're playing versus Herb Williams
(6-10), Joe Barry Carroll (7-1) and
Randy Breuer (7-2) at center, they
won't come out and play on Paul.
Defensively, Heuerman also has had
to adjust to the playing styles of pro
forwards, which are significantly dif-
ferent from those of the centers he
played against in college.
"(LAST WEEK) I played against Joe
Barry Carroll, but didn't have to guard
trim," said Heuerman. "Now most of
the guys I guard are quicker,
. Despite the changes that Heuerman
i having to make in his game, he has
been able to fit into the Suns' system of
play. "I guess .they emphasize a lot of
passing here, and at Michigan we used.
of lot of passing," said Heuerman. "So
i've been well prepared."
Another plus for Heuerman in his at-
Stempt to make Phoenix's 12-man roster
is that he is a fundamentally sound
player. "He's a heads-up player," said
year at Michigan) has not been lighting
up the scoreboard for the Suns,
MacLeod has not given up on the
"I think it's just a matter of getting
some breaks," said MacLeod. "He's
had some good shots, but they haven't
been falling. We know he's a batter
scorer than he's shown."
The former Wolverine is battling for
the final spot on the Suns' roster and the
competition is fierce. Fighting for the
same position on the squad are rookies
Sam Clancy and Craig Dykema, free
agent John McCullough, who worked
out with Phoenix last year but did not
suit up, and veteran Clifford Ray.
"I GUESS IT will be tight," said
Heuerman of his chances to make the
final cut. "Some days I play well and
think I can make it and other days I
don't play well. The coachesare
positive to me, but they are positive to
"It's just a matter of being in the
right place at the right time. A lot of
Reading from their works
Mon., Oct. 19-8 p.m.
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Come in and register for our
Winners will receive a
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HP-41lCV list $325.00
we re celebrating
* Drawing will be held at the showroom
Friday, Nov. 27, 1981
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Stop in, see our new digs and take advantage
of these and other specials too
numerous to mention here.
Celebration sale ends Saturday, Oct.
( ' S