Wednesday, January 28, 1981
The Michigan Daily
Johnson feels at home
playing under Frieder
By BUDDY MOOREHOUSE
During his first three years at
Michigan, Johnny Johnson seemed to
have a hard time figuring out where he
fit in. Because Johnson and former
Wolverine coach Johnny Orr were often
at odds with one another, Johnson was
never really given the time he needed to.
develop. If the 6-4 guard made a
mistake - a bad pass, poor shot, or
something similar - it was a good bet
that there would be a replacement
kneeling at the scorer's table, ready to
check in for Johnson at the next whistle.
This year, however, is a different
story. When Orr left Ann Arbor at the
end of last season for the financial
security offered by Iowa State, Bill
Frieder took over the head coaching
spot. Nothing could have made Johnson
"I'M A LOT more comfortable under
coach Frieder," said Johnson. "If I
make a couple mistakes, I don't have toz
worry about him taking me out. When
I'm comfortable, I shoot better, I pass
better, I feel more at home."
"Feeling more at home" has cer-
tainly produced impressive results for
the Buffalo native. Johnson is currently
averaging 15.3 points-per-game, good
for second on the team behind scoring
whiz Mike McGee. Johnson's scoring
prowess was showcased last Thursday
in the Wolverines' 80-76 overtime Vic-
tory over Illinois. "JJ." brought the
Crisler Arena crowd to its feet as he
tallied a career-high 31 points -
making his first twelve shots from the
floor without a miss. "That was
probably my best game," said Johnson.
"Everything was going right. Some
days you'r in the groove, some days
you're not." Frieder described John-
son's play that night as "phenomenal."
It's obvious that Frieder's strategy of
keeping Johnson on the floor as much
as possible is working. Johnson's
career average coming into this season
was only 5.7, evidence to the fact that
all Johnson needed was a little more
time on the court. "I think everything
about my game has improved because
I've had more time to play," said John-
son. "When you have time to play, you
THE IMPROVEMENT is no doubt
going to have to continue if the
Wolverines are to have a shot at a post-
season tournament. "Our main goal
this season is to get into the NCAA's,"
said Johnson. But he is quick to add that
the team can't afford a lapse entering
the next four games against the lower
echelori of the Big Ten - namely, Nor-
thwestern, Wisconsin, and Michigan
"We can't have a letdown," said
Johnson. "We have to win all of these
games against the lower-level teams. If
we win these four like we're supposed to
we'll be in excellent shape."
Johnson's improved play this year
has no doubt attracted the notice of
more than just Big Ten fans. "I might
get drafted (by the NBA), and if I do I'll
give the pros a shot," said Johnson.
"But if I don't make it there, I'd like to
come back and get my Economics
FOR THE TIME being, however,
Johnson is only concerned with getting
through the remainder of the conferen-
ce season. "The Big Ten is so balanced,
that everyone can beat everyone," said
Johnson. "The home court advantage is
no big deal now, because the reffing is
lousy no matter where you go."
While Johnson may complain about
the officiating, he no longer worries
about the confidence placed in him by
his head coach. After two years of
rumors about transferring, J.J. would
rather play for Michigan than anyone
toward NCAA bid
By RANDY BERGER
When one meets 177-pound wrestler Rob Rechsteiner, one can see why his
teammates call him "Rock." For a person who is only 5'8", weighs close to 180 lbs.
and whose favortie pastime is weightlifting, Rechsteiner would seem to be a very
scary person to wrestle against.
Bernie Knoblich, Rechsteiner's backup, has the sometimes unfortunate duty of
wrestling with him everyday in practice. "His power is like a hydraulic and he
keeps coming at you like a grinding mill," said Knoblich. "He is not a very quick
wrestler but you don't want to slack off against him because he could hurt you."
Rechsteiner has come a long way to earn this praise. The Bay City sophomore
did not begin wrestling until his freshman year in high school but by the time he
was a junior, he was a state champion. In his senior year, however, he couldn't
wrestle because his school dropped its athletic program for lack of money.
"Because I didn't wrestle in my senior year of high school, I'didn't get any offers
from any major colleges, so I went to a Junior College," Rechsteiper said.
'I will be wrestling
against the national cham-
pion, Ed Banach from
Iowa so I'll do some extra
running and a lot of pray-
Daily Photo by BRIAN MASCK
J.J. SOARS through the Crisler Arena stratosphere to snare two of his
career high 31 points in Michigan's double overtime win over Illinois on
January 22. Johnson, currently the Wolverines' second leading scorer,
averages 15.3 ppg.
************* *** *** *** *** * **
CEDAR-POINT AMUSEMENT PARK, Sandusky,
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Time: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Place: Placement Office
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* CEDAR POINT.~
AP Top Twenty
1. Oregon St. (29) ........15-0
(tie) Virginia (29) .......16-0
3. DePaul ................16-0
4. Louisiana St. (1)...... 17-1
5. Arizona St..............14-2
6. Wake Forest ...........15-1
7. Kentucky ........... 13-3
8. Notre Dame.........12-3
9. Utah ..................17-1
10. UCLA .................11-3
11. Tennessee ............13-3
12. North Carolina.......14-4
14. Maryland .............13-4
15. Brigham Young........15-3
16. South Alabama ........16-2,
17. MICHIGAN .......... 12-3
19. Minnesota .............11-4
20. Connecticut ..... 13-2
Mash 68, Wizards 32
Durameters 43, Ann Arbor Bushmen 42
Irradicators 71, Old Gang 44
Big Dogs 72, D.A.'s Office 30
Last year at Grand Rapids Junior College, Rechsteiner placed fourth nationally
in the junior college division. He said it was an accident that he ended up at
Michigan this year.
"I was at a meetingand one of the wrestlers came up and talked to me. I had no
idea of coming here," explained Rechsteiner.
It is apparent that Rechsteiner has made the transition of going from a junior
college to a major college, as he has posted a 15-5 record so far this year.
"He has made the transition very well," commented coach Dale Bahr. "In early
January he had a let down as he lost confidence in himself, but he won both mat-
ches over the weekend and hopefully he's back on the right track."
As for the rest of the season, Rechsteiner has probably two of his toughest mat-
ches coming up. "Iowa and Iowa State stick out in my mind the most. I will be
wrestling against the national champion, Ed Banach, from Iowa so I'll do some ex-
tra running and a lot of praying."
For now, however, Rechsteiner has his eyes set on the Big Ten Championships,
"I'm not worrying about winning, but I just want to place in the top four and earn a
bid to the national championships," he said. "Next year I look forward to bigger
things and we have a couple of recruits coming in which should help the team."
One of the recruits is Rob's brother Scott, who is one of the top high school
wrestlers in Michigan. Bahr is hoping to convince him to follow the footsteps of his
While Bahr will have to wait for Scott Rechsteiner to come here, but he is no
doubt satisfied with older brother Rob's performance. After all, with Rob
Rechsteiner in the lineup at 177 pounds, that position is solid as a rock.
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University of Michigan Law School
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FREE TO U.M. FACULTY AND STUDENTS