The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, November 11, 1981-P'oge 9
H e Turner could be best guard in Big
Ten some tie says coach Frieder
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By RON POLLACK
During the latter part of last Thur-
sday's Michigan pre-season basketball
press luncheon, many of the Wolverine
cagers were either aimlessly walking
about or shooting jump shots, when
highly touted freshman Eric Turner
came out of the locker room.
Up to this point, the media had paid
on the court, engaging in small talk
amongst themselves instead. But the
appearance of Turner caused the
previously complacent press to swarm
about the 8 guard, writing furiously to
capture his words.
SUCH A receptionwas for a player
who has never scored a point in college,,
or fed a Wolverine teammate for a
layup. But this attention was also for
an individual who could become the
most dangerous point guard at
Michigan since Rickey Green donned a
maize and blue uniform (1976-1977),
and who Michigan head coach Bill
Frieder hopes can spark a squad that
lost four of last year's starters to
"I think Eric has the potential to be
the best guard in the Big Ten,
some time," said Frieder. "That might
not happen his freshman year and it
may not happen his sophomore year.
Now when that happens depends on how
fast he comes along and how fast he
Frieder proceeded to qualify this
vision, saying that star status will not
be handed to the 175-pound guard out of
Flint Central High School. "He's got to
work harder than he's working in order
to be a great player, and he's got to play
better defense to be a great player,"
said the Wolverines' menfor.
TURNER ALSO indicated that
defense is something that he must work
on. "To be able to perform on both ends
of the court will be difficult," the
freshman said. "You really have to be
in good shape to play defense the full.
"'I thought I worked out hard over the
summer. But no matter what I did, I've
been sucking ' air (in practice)."
'When not gasping for breath in prac-
tice, Turner has been trying to acquire
as much knowledge as he can about his
teammatest style of play. "I think the
hardest thing has been to find where:
everyone likes the ball when I pass it
and find out where they'll be in a
position to be most effective,", said
ACCORDING TO Turner's new
teammates, the freshman point guard
has indeed learned how to get the ball to
them. "He's a good penetrator, and if
you're open he'll hit you," said Ike Per-
son, who has the inside track on the
starting center spot. "So he'll give all
the big men a lot of layups."
- -- . a._ caYs.. _...t_
"When he first came here he was
throwing passes no one could catch,"
said team captain Thad Garner. "You
wouldn't even see them. Now he's
throwing those passes and it looks like
there's no room for them to get through,
but they do."
"He has good vision," said Dean
Hopson who would start alongside Tur-
ner if the season started now, according
to Frieder. "If you're open, he'll get the
ball to you and it's just automatic to put
the ball in the hoop then."
THIS PRAISE aside, Turner has
become more selective when it comes
to how often he passes the ball. "The
biggest problem I had in high school
was passing when I should have shot,"
he explained. "'Now I've improved to
where I shoot whenI should."
As the Wolverines' point guard, Tur-
ner will be a center of attention when
Michigan has the ball.
"I'm looking to run things, control the
offense and make sure everyone keeps
his head," said Turner. "I'll be like a
coach on the court."
THI$ ROLE, along with all of the
pre-season hoopla surrounding the
freshman guard, could well result in a
N great deal of pressure being placed on
"I think he's got a lot of character
and charisma and I think he can handle
(the pressure)," said Frieder. "I do
think expectations are gonna be high. I
think he's gonna have a load on his
shoulder if we expect him to run the
'team at the point with such an inex-
perienced team. A lot of things just are
not gonna work, because passes that he
made in high school that (led to)
baskets will get rejected or intercepted
in our conference."
Turner said that he has yet to feel the
tension.' "It's more excitement than
pressure for me," he said.
LAST SEASON, Tim McCormick
found himself in the same situatibn as
Turner insofar as pre-season expec-
tations are concerned. But the 6-11 cen-
ter did not have the banner season that
many predicted he would. Frieder does
not believe that the same circumstan-
ces will befall Turner.
"Eric's come from a much better
league," said the Michigan coach. "He
had much better competition in high
school and I think he's much more
ready to play at this level than Tim."
But the key word nFrieder's com-
ment is "think." So it remains to be
-seen whether Turner plays in such a
manner to cause the media to continue
to take note, or instead engage in trivial,
chatter when the 6-3 point guard joins
his teammates on the court in the
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MICHIGAN FRESHMAN cager Eric Turner engages in some aerial
acrobatic antics near the basket during the McDonald's All-American Game
played April 11, in Wichita, Kansas.
What is the difference between Pur-
due, Minnesota and the rest of the Big
Ten? Give up. Well, these schools have
grass playing fields and they also have
the best won-loss percentage in the
Gridse picks. Scientists are still
debating if there is a correllation bet-
ween grass and better Gridde results. If
you would like to compete with the fans
from Minneapolis and West LaFayette,
in the name of science, then drop your'
Gridde picks at the Daily by midnight,
Friday. The winner gets a chance to
compete with the 'artificial turf'experts
of the Daily sports staff, and also gets a
one item pizza from Pizza Bob's.
1. MICHIGAN at Purdue
2. Iowa at Wisconsin
3. Indiana at Illinois
4. Minnesota at Michigan State
5. Northwestern at Ohio State
6. Alabama at Penn State
7. USC at Washington
8. Arizona State at UCLA
9. Oklahoma at Missouri
10. Maryland at Clemson
11. Auburn at Georgia.
12. Brigham Young at Hawaii
13. Iowa State at Nebraska,
14. Bowling Green at Eastern Michigan
15. So. Mississippi at Florida State
16. Brown'at Dartmouth
17. California at Washington State
18. Arkansas at Texas A&M
19. Clark at Morehouse
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