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December 06, 1980 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-12-06
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'Pog 26 Saturday, Denber'6, X90- The Michigan boaly



The Michigan Daily-Saturdc

Indiana will repeat

Scoring machine: Senio

Over the past six years, Big Tern players
have been the first selected in the NBA draft.
This fact belabors the obvious-that the Big
Ten is the top basketball conference in the
nation. This season, talent in the Big Ten on-
ce again abounds, which should make for
another exciting basketball season race.
Indiana, last year's champion, lost forward
Mike Woodson to graduation, but the
Hoosiers played without him formost of last
season, so the loss won 't be devastating to
them. Illinois, bolstered by a top-notch
recruiting class, and powerful Ohio State will
be chasing Indiana; Iowa, Minnesota,
Michigan and Purdue all have the potential to
challenge for an NCAA berth, while Wiscon-
sin, Michigan State and Northwestern will try
to escape the cellar.
On the following three pages, Daily
basketball reporters Greg DeGulis, Mark
Fischer, Buddy Moorehouse and Drew
Sharp, and Tipoff '80 editor Scott M. Lewis
analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each
conference team, in a predicted order of
1. Indiana
For teams in the Big Ten, the non-
conference schedule is usually a time
for working out any kinks, letting
everyone log a lot of playing time and

resting up for the Big Ten season. Not
so for the Indiana Hoosiers. While
Michigan faces such foes as Eastern
Michigan and Kent State, Indiana will
be fighting off the likes of Kentucky,
Notre Dame, Kansas State and North
Ordinarily, the prospect of facing
such national giants would frighten a
college team. But it would appear that
Indiana has nothing to fear. Although
the Hoosiers lost Mike Woodson to the
New York Knicks last year, they return
a stellar cast from last season's squad.
y Foremost on the list of returnees is 6-
1 sophomore guard Isiah Thomas. As a
freshman last year, Thomas was
named to the All-Big Ten team,
averaging 14.6 points per game.
Michigan coach Bill Frieder calls
Thomas, "the best guard in the Big
Also returning for coach Bobby
Knight are 6-9 senior center Ray
Tolbert, 6-10 junior Landon Turner and
6-8 sophomore Steve Bouchie. Tolbert
(10.3 ppg, 7.2 reb) has led the Hoosiers
in the board-clearing department for
the last three years.
Joining Thomas in the backcourt will
most likely be 6-6 junior Randy Wit-
tman, who saw action in only five

games last season due to an ankle in-
jury. Others who may help out at guard
are 6-3 sophomore Jim Thomas, 6-2
sophomore shuck Franz and 6-2
sophomore Tony Brown.
Top recruits include 6-5 Craig Bardo,
an offensive specialist from Illinois and
6-9 Mike LeFace of Indianapolis.
With a tough non-conference schedule
to prepare them for the Big Ten, In-
diana fans can expect big things from
their pride-and-joy.
2. Ohio State
One need not shed tears for coach
Eldon Miller and his Buckeyes over
their loss of standout point guard
Kelvin Ransey, who was drafted by the
Chicago Bulls and traded to Portland.
The departure of Ransey may,
ironically, turn out to be somewhat of a
blessing for Ohio State.
Ransey was most effective when he
was handling the ball-which meant
fewer scoring chances for Herb
Williams, Clark Kellogg, and Carter-

Scott. This year, Miller plans to in-
troduce a new dimension to his team:
the passing game.
Folks in Columbus have been waiting
(none too patiently, it might be added)
for Miller to take advantage of his
team's superior front line strength.
Williams, the 6-11, 240-pound center, is
the best pivotman in the conference
(17.6/9.1) and, if he continues to im-
prove his offensive rebounding, may
become the finest in the country.
Another big factor is Kellogg, a 6-8
sophomore forward who averaged
almost 12 points and eight rebounds per
contest. Kellogg has a flair for the spec-
tacular, but tended to commit too many
Flanking Kellogg at forward is defen-
sive specialist Jim Smith, who scored
at a 7.1 clip last season. A year ago,
Kellogg started at the small forward
spot and Smith at power forward. Those
two may change roles this season, ac-
cording to Miller.
Ohio State's backcourt may stand
between the Buckeyes and a conference

Like everyone else, basketball players
have specialties, things which they do
best. Some are rebounding specialists-
"Chairmen of the Boards." Another
may serve as his team's "Secretary of
Defense." Michigan senior forward
Mike McGee's specialty, as his coach
Bill Frieder noted, is also clear:.
"Mike's a scoring machine. He's the
greatest offensive player I've ever been
associated with."
McGee himself doesn't argue with
this point.
"Everybody has their main assets,"
he said. "My main asset is scoring. I've
always been a high scorer-it's natural
for me."
McGee isn't lying, and neither do his
numbers. As the Wolverines' leading
scorer for three years in a row, the 6-5
speedster has compiled 1707 poin-
ts--just 457 shy of Cazzie Russell's
Michigan career record-for an overall
average of 20.3 per outing.
His first year, he scored the most
points in a game (38)-as well as for
Michigan All-Time
Scoring Leaders
Years Points

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Cazzie Russell, g
Rudy Tomjanovich, f
Bill Buntin, c
Henry Wilmore, f-g
Phil Hubbard, c
John Tidwell, f
Steve Grote, g
Dennis Stewart, f
Rickey Green, g



goal is for him to play well at both ends
of the court, offensively and defen-
sively, game in and game out. If he
can get so he can consistently play
complete games, he'll be an All-
McGee isn't too worried about it,
though, for he feels his defense "is just
as good as anybody else's-I get lots of
steals. It's not that I don't play good
'D'-I just need to improve my defense
off the ball, (my) weakside help."
The Omaha, Nebraska native has
been working on his defensive
positioning about ten minutes a day
with assistant coach Don Sicko since
practice started this season, and he
says it has improved and. "gets better
as the year goes on.
It'll have to get better if McGee is
going to play guard, which Frieder said
is a possibility this season. "It's
tougher to play defense out there (at
guard)," said Frieder. "There's more
ground to cover."
McGee is open to the possible switch:
"If it will help the team I'd be glad to do
it. I like to play guard, and I'm con-
fident I can. I'm an outside shooter, you
know." The phys ed major also said
that he worked on ballhandling this
"He's not playing much guard right
now, though," said Frieder a week
before the season began. "If he does
we'll go to a one-guard front so he'll be
at a more natural position. He'll spend
most of his time at forward this
Wherever he's to play, McGee is
ready for this, his fourth and final win-
ter in a Michigan uniform.
"It's my last year, I want it to be my
best one," he said. "I've got a few per-
sonal goals-I'd like to break the recor-
ds (McGee is also zeroing in on Mychal
Thompson's Big Ten career scoring
mark)--and a. few team goals."
McGee noted that he's "past the
point" where he feels that the pressure
of leading -the team or providing the
bulk of the scoring rests squarely on
him, and that as a result he feels "very
confident" about himself and "very en-
thused" about the team this season.
"We've got five starters back, and
there's no reason we won't do well if we
stay healthy. Everybody out on the
floor there's a leader . . . Everybody
else in the Big Ten lost key players. ., I
think we can go far."
McGee himself has already come a
long way at Michigan-as a person.
"There was quite a bit of difference
between Mike's sophomore and junior
year," said Frieder. "McGee is an out-
standing individual, and the maturity
he developed last season molded him
See FINAL, Page 14

best y4

the season (531)-ever by a Michigan
freshman. After a "sophomore slump"
in which he netted "only" 511 points, he
came back strong last year to lead his
team in scoring in 22 out of 30 games as
he amassed 665 points for a 22.2
"When Mike gets hot there's no stop-
ping him," said Frieder. "He has a
super outside shot and has that ex-
plosive speed that can allow him to
capitalize on may fast breaks.. . he's a
phenomenal scorer."
There are two sides to every coin,
however, and two ends of every basket-
ball court. This brings up the question
of McGee's defensive attributes, which
have Frieder a little concerned.
"I would like to see Mike's defense
improve," said the first year coach.
"He's capable of great defense. My

LAYUPS, SHORT bank shots, and 25-foot bomb
can make it. McGee had his finest offensive pe
last winter, scoring 665 points in 30 games
significantly, his field goal percentage improv
last year.

Supplement to The Michigan Daily
EDITOR: Scott M. Lewis
STAFF WRITERS: Greg DeGulis, Mark Fischer, Mark Mihanovic, Buddy
Moorehouse, Jon Moreland, Ron Pollack, Drew Sharp
SALES MANAGER: Kris Peterson
SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Joe Broda, Randi Cigelnik, Barb Forslund,
Sue Guszynski, Eric Gutt, Mary Ann Misiewicz, Beth Lieberman
BUSINESS MANAGER: Rosemary Wickowski
Center Spread Photo by Jim Cruz
Cover photo courtesy of Michigan Sports Information Department

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