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April 01, 1981 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, April 1, 1981-Page 11
Premier guard key to national title...
.@. ..Isiah Thomas follows tradition

What are the ingredients which make up a
national championship basketball team? For
many coaches, the answer to that question
would make them the gourmets of the coaching
profession. The creation of a championship
team requires many hours spent in a hot kit-
chen. The coaches' duties include recruiting,
disciplining and shaping a group of talented
players into a mold - hopefully a champion-
ship mold which won't crack or crumble during
-the lenghthy season.
Some cooks recommend creating a dish built
around talented and dominating big men. Chef
Terry Holland utilized a spice named Ralph
Sampson, while Eldon Miller threw in an Herb,
namely Williams, but the kitchen creations fell
apart on their way to the serving table.
Other cooks such as Ray Meyer, Bill Cofield
and Lou Henson chose to use a recipe which in-
cluded the seasoning of power forwards Mark

Aguirre, Claude Gregory and Eddie Johnson,
but the cooks neglected a few ingredients and
the result was an unpleasant aftertaste.
Still other cooks follow the directions
specifying the importance of the little
ingredients in the creation of a prize-winning
recipe. Mix up some big men and a forward or
two and then add a dash of the premier guard in
the country. Then cook it all up for about 32
games - there are no guaranteed results, but
this latter recipe wins more prizes than any
Blue-Ribbon guards
Since the 1974 North Carolina State Wolfpack
team ended the UCLA stronghold on the
national title (7 in a row), the team with the
premier guard in the country has been the
recipient of the national title. If the coaches
hung a slogan on the kitchen wall, it would

read: "The chef with the spice of the best
guard will walk away with the blue ribbon
cake. " A listing of the guards and teams


North Carolina State
Michigan State

David Thompson
Andre McCarter
Quinn Buckner
Butch Lee
Kyle Macy
Earvin Johnson
Darrell Griffith
Isiah Thomas

(Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Marques
Johnson, Richard Washington, David Meyers,
Jamaal Wilkes, David Greenwood and Kiki
Vandeweghe), not guards.
Isicah-The Differene
Ever since the end of Bruin domination in
college basketball, however, the top
playmaking guards have remained the only
common ingredient in championship teams.
Why is the dash of the guard so important?
The guard handles the ball, passes, controls
the tempo and has more to do with the offen-
sive execution than any other player on the
hardwood. No matter what gimmick defense
the opposing coach cooks up, the guard will
always have the ball in his hands.
DePaul had difficulty getting the ball to
Mark Aguirre against St. Joe's, Virginia had
Sampson problems against the Tar Heels, Al

Wood rarely saw the bail against Indiana - the
result: NCAA losses depriving these teams
ranked higher than Indiana a coveted national
championship. But then again, those teams did
not have a guard the caliber of Isiah Thomas.
In college basketball, unlike professional,
guards can dominate play and Thomas did just
that. When Indiana began to falter, there was
Thomas making steals, setting up Landon Tur-
ner for easy buckets, and killing time with his
ballhandling ability.
The question arises - who may be the
premier guard in the country next year? Ac-
cording to Dick Vitale, former Detroit Piston
and University of Detroit coach, and now an
ESPN commentator, Wolverine recruit Eric
Turner is the best playmaking guard coming
out of high school. Turner may just be the spice
in a winning recipe for Michigan basketball -
a quick, penetrating guard. Remember Ricky

Arguably, the guards mentioned above (ex-
cept McCarter) were the top playmakers in the
land in their championship season. Only the
UCLA teams seem to buck the trend, but the
Bruins are the exception to every rule when it
comes to basketball.
Traditionally, UCLA has been the spawning
ground for quality centers and forwards

a _ _.

Triumphant Hoosiers


9%6-27 '17

return to I
BLOOMINGTON (AP) - Indiana's
NCAA basketball champions were
welcomed home yesterday by thousan-
ds of cheering students and fans
already looking forward to the
Hoosiers' title defense next year.
The Hoosiers, 63-50 winners over Nor-
th Carolina at Philadelphia Monday
night, were greeted by Gov. Robert
Orr and a noontime crowd of more than
2,000 at Indianapolis International Air-
port. The team then boarded a bus for
the 60-mile trip to Bloomington, leading
a motorcade of some 200 cars.
ANOTHER 10,000 or so greeted the
Hoosiers inside the arena.
The crowd started chanting "Two
more years . . . two more years," as
Ray Tolbert, the only senior starter,
and sophomore Isiah Thomas - both
wearing the nets from the champion-
ship game around their necks - came
forward to speak.
"Thank you for being the best fans in

appy fans
the nation," the 6-foot-9 Tolbert said.
"This sure beats going to classes."
WITH HIS ARM draped over the
shoulder of the 6-1 Thomas, Tolbeit
said: "I'd just like to say this about
Isiah - truly he is an All-American."
Thomas, the baby-faced team cap-
tain who sparked Indiana's drive to the
Big Ten championship and then to the
NCAA crown after a disappointing 7-5
season start, was named the game's
Coach Bobby Knight, whose Hoosiers
also won the NCAA title in 1976, praised
the 1980-81 squad as "The best basket-
ball team in the country. We brought it
(the NCAA trophy) back to the best
behaved and most supportive school in
the country."


INDIANA'S ISIAH THOMAS, still wearing the basketball net from his.
team's NCAA championship win over North Carolina in Philadelphia Mon-
day night, gets set for the bus ride to the airport yesterday and return to
Bloomington. Thomas, the game's MVP, scored 23 points with 19 of them in
the second half to ignite the Hoosiers in their 63-50 victory. On arrival in
Bloomington, the Hoosiers were welcomed by thousands of cheering studen-
ts and fans.

2 Days of Sales Madness!
Aprtl4& 5
U of M Track and Tennis Building

MeGee named Wolverine MVP

Unlike many of the outcomes of the
team's games this season, the awards
given out at Michigan's Annual Basket-
ball Bust at Crisler Arena last night
were generally predictable.
The Bill Buntin Most Valuable Player
Award was presented to none other
than Mike McGee, who led the cagers in
scoring once again this year with a 24
point average. It was the second year in
a row that McGee was named the
team's MVP.
THE 6-5 SENIOR forward was also
honored with a Special Achievement
Recognition by the U of M Club (the
banquet's sponsors) for setting two Big
Ten and Michigan career marks for
scoring, as well as setting the record for
most games started by a Wolverine
Johnny Johnson won the Rudy Tom-
janovich Most Improved Player Award
with good reason. The 6-4 senior guard
from Buffalo went from being a
marginal player in his first three
seasons under former head coach
Johnny Orr to becoming the
Y Wolverines' second leading scorer.
For Bill Frieder, Johnson compiled a
14,5 average, which was 1.5 points less
than his first three years combined.
The Steve Grote Hustler Award was
also easy to allocate. As assistant coach
Don Sicko noted, "if the award wasn't
already named after Grote, it would be
named after him," before he presented
the trophy to Thad Garner. Many
Michigan fans remember Garner for
his diving over benches and doing
somersaults on the floor in pursuit of
loose balls.
IN ANOTHER expected move, Gar-

ner, who will be the only senior on the
team next year and who was co-captain
this year, was named solo captain for
next season's campaign.
The one award which nobody really
had a lock on was the Wayman Britt
Best Defensive Player Award, in part
because Michigan's defense wasn't
exactly the stingiest in the NCAA this
year. But the trophy was nevertheless
awarded to Paul Heuerman, the

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Wolverines' 6-8 pivotman who was for-
ced to go up against many taller op-
ponents throughout the season.
Heuerman, Mark and Marty Bodnar
were also given special recognition for
their Academic All-American status,
which they were awarded last week.
The five seniors (McGee, Johnson,
Heuerman and the Bodnars) were all
given rings and pictures by the spon-
sors, to which they gave short thank
you speeches.
One of the more unexpected and most
refreshing moments of the evening
came during one of these thank you
speeches when McGee, instead of men-
tioning each individual who helped him
at Michigan, like his counterparts,
said: "I'd like everyone out there to
stand up and give themselves a hand."
Find Out How You
Rate On Friday,
April 3rd



... praises seniors

"Full line of backpacking
& camping equipment"
.u_-_.Ri _ . - r__ a m . /1_

" " .51 iJ~i
f ..2 an _ U..... Att...I


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