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Paae 14 -- Wednesday, November 30, 1983 - The
The Michigan Daily - Wednesday; Nov
Season for SuCce
If you think Bill Frieder had a tough
time rebuilding Michigan's basketball
team,imagine Don Sicko's task at
Detroit. The former Michigan assistant
found nothing but an empty arena upon
his arrival at the city school in 1982.
"There was a game played here -
the last game that the previous coach
(Willie McCarter) coached - and the
attendance was 811 and I guess that just
told it all," said Sicko while searching
his Calihan Hall office for a cigarette.
The 37-year-old helped Frieder recruit
much of the current Wolverine roster.
And recruiting was Sicko's first
priority at Detroit.
"WE WANTED TO do a much better
job, first into the Detroit area and then
expanding out into the state of-
Michigan," he said. "When I got here,
there was a 13-man roster. Two players
were from suburban Grand Rapids.
One was from suburban Detroit. The
other' 10 came from Texas. West
Virginia, Tennessee, New York,
'The program was really a wreck. It began
with outright talent. There wasn't a lot of
it. The academic situation was in a sham-
bles. Scheduling was a mess. Yeah, you
name it, and the program was at a low ebb.'
--Detroit coach Don Sicko
Lurne-meUL mi ian progam a UUUU, -Dut
McAdoo and a combination of leftovers
from McCarter and his predecessor,
Dave Gaines, produced a 12-17 season.
But while his team struggled on the
court, Sicko scored big elsewhere. The
Wayne State graduate bagged one of
the nation's top recruiting classes. Cen-
ter Keith Jackson, forward Brian
Humes, and guards Brian Doss, Tim
Russell and Keith Gray - all from the
state of Michigan - signed with the
GRAY IS A junior college All-
American and a former teammate of
Michigan's Eric Turner at Flint Cen-
tral. Sicko brands him "a big-play
man." Crisler Arena fans might
remember the dunking prowess
exhibited by the 6-2 Gray in the 1981
Class A high school basketball cham-
pionship game or in the 1982 Mid-
American Conference championship
when he started at forward for Nor-
Doss, 6-6, played with the Wolverines'
Quincy Turner at Benton Harbor,
where he demonstrated exceptional
ball-handling skills. Jackson is a 6-10
shot blocker who played for Detroit
assistant coach Stan Allen at Detroit
Henry Ford. Humes is a 6-8 shooter and
rebounder who teamed with McAdoo,
Rainge and Titan assistant coach
Charlie Coles at Saginaw. Russell is a
bomber from Detroit Mackenzie.
Besides these five, Sicko now has the
services of former Michigan forward
Willis "Stretch" Carter, who left the
Wolverines after averaging 3.3 points
and 2.0 rebounds per game as a fresh-
man two years ago.
Finally, Sicko has Greg Wendt, a
transfer from Duke and a former
Michigan all-stater, lined up for next
SICKO'S RECRUITS combine with
senior forward Doug Chappell, who
scored 25 points and grabbed 13 points
By PAUL HELGREN
Nearly four years have passed since
Bill Frieder took over the reins of the
Michigan basketball team. Every year
since then, the Frieder recruiting touch
added something to the - team, until
finally, quietly, a transformation oc-
No longer are the Wolveri es a jum-
bled conglomeration of Frieder recruits
and former head coach Johnny Orr
disciples. The team is undisputably
In those three and one-half years.
Frieder pieced together a team with a.
string of recruiting coups that started
with Clarkston's Tim McCormick (who
was initially contacted- by Orr) and
culminated last spring with the signing
of the state of Michigan's "Mr. Basket-
ball," Antoine Joubert. Now the
Michigan coach, and everybody else
"WE'VE FINALLY GOTTEN to the
stage where we have a club that can be
very successful," says Frieder,, who
.owns a 41-44 record at Michigan. "And
we're still a very young team. We could
start a team with no seniors, if you
don't count McCormick, who has
another year of eligibility."
Indeed, it would seem the Wolverines
have the perfect balance for a surging
program. Joining Joubert in this year's
freshman crop are all-state guards
Quincy Turner of Benton Harbor (25.2
ppg. in his senior year of high school)
and Garde Thompson of East Grand
Rapids (27.2 ppg.). The year before
that, Frieder landed five blue-chip fron-
tcourtmen. Two years ago highly touted
guards Eric Turner and Leslie
Rockymore chose the Maize and Blue.
With all this talent, it would seem the
only problem might be keeping
everybody happy with their playing
time, Frieder says it's not even a con-
"LAST YEAR WE juggled, alter-
nated and rotated our lineup-out of
necessity, not to keep people happy ...
I'm not worried about playing time. I'm
not obligated to anyone.
"Somebody would come up to me last
year and say so-and-so or so-and-so was
going to transfer. I said, 'Good.' It tur-
ned out they all came back. If we don't
get in that upper division (of 'the Big
Ten) this year, I hope they all tran-
Frieder is joking, but only to a point.
He knows that his team must show
results this year. There is only so long a
coach can say, "Well, we're young.
Wait 'til next year." For Michigan, that
time has passed. The future is now.
82-83 Final Statistics
-McFARLAND .............. .......
only- three spots in the lineup ar
claimed: McCormick at center, an
Turner and Rockymore at the guar
positions. This worries Frieder.
"The lineup is not set, which isn
good," he says. "Good teams wi
usually have a strong nucleus returnin
to form a starting five... There are a lo
of things for us to still be determined."
Mainly, who of the remaining pool o
talent will play, and who will sit: Jere i
a breakdown by position of the possibl
MICHIGAN .......................... 28
Opponents -- --.........................28
429-619 .693 1063-38.0 401 2053
493-721 .684 901-32.2 342 1993
"We had to salvage everything. The
program was really a wreck.
"IT BEGAN with outright talent.
There wasn't a lot of it. The academic
situation was in a shambles. Scheduling
was a mess.
"Yeah, you name it, and the program
was just as low ebb," he continued. "We
had to dump everything and start from
Sicko certainly is familiar with
crumbled programs. He stood at
Frieder's side while Michigan fell from
a 19-11 record in 1980-81 to a 7-20 mark
two years ago. He also knows
something about salvage operations.
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Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Canada.
"Under normal circumstances you
are not going to go into another state
and come out with a real, quality,
player. You're going to come out with a
player that the state schools in those
states chose not to recruit. What does
that tell you?"
It tells you why a team that did not
experience a losing season in the '70s
and strung together years of 25, 25 and
22 wins from 1976 to '79 fell to a '9-18
record in '80-81. In '81-82, McCarter's
last year at U-D, the Titans managed a
THEN SICKO TOOK over and im-
plemented his solution to the talent
shortage. His first recruiting class con-
sisted solely on in-state players: Kevin
McAdoo of Pontiac, Louis Rainge of
Saginaw and Bob McGinnis of Detroit.
None of these three. singlehandedly
against Michigan a year ago, to bring a
formidable, home-grown lineup into
Crisler Arena on December 17.
"Now we're at the point where when
this current group of seniors graduates
and we sign next year's group, we will
not have a player on our roster who is
not from the state of Michigan," Sicko
said. "We're right on target. In fact,
we may be even a little ahead of our
original game plan."
Besides Detroit, Michigan's non-
conference schedule this year includes
matches with NCAA semi-finalist
Georgia and tournament participants North
Carolina A & T and Rutgers. Northern
Michigan, Dayton and the Sun Bowl
Classic (Texas El-Paso, Arizona and
Texas Tech) round out the Wolverines'
Not that lastseason's 15-13 club was
an out-an-out disappointment. Perhaps
too much was expected of a team that
usually started two freshmen. But
while a bid from the National In-
vitation Tournament might have
looked appetizing last year, no less than
an invite to the* NCAA tournament will
please Frieder this year.
"For me to feel we've had a succesful
season, we'd have to get an NCAA tour-
nament berth," the 1964 Michigan
graduate says. "If we don't make the
NCAAs, then it's a disappointment."
THE KEY TO accomplishing this
goal, according to Frieder, is to
establish a starting lineup and basically
stay with it the entire season. As of now,
McCormick came on strong at th
end of last year, averaging 18 points i
his last seven games of the season. Th
6-11, 240-pound giant no longer wear
knee braces, which should increase hi
mobility. He is definitely a candidat
for All-Big Ten honors.
McCormick will be backed by Roy
Tarpley, a 6-10 sophomore. Tarpley ha
made such great strides since the end o
last year, according to Frieder, that th
Michigan coach may devise a double
post offense to get the Detroit Cooley
graduate in the lineup more often. Jon
Antonides will see token playing -tim
as the third-string center.-
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the cart before the horse.
"Right now the biggest thing in my mind is winning an
NCAA championship and going to law school. Professional
basketball is on the back of my mind, but right now the first
level is here. I think if I make it here, I've made it."
There was a time last year when pessimists predicted that
Joubert would be making it for another school. While nearly
every major college coach in the country was bending over
backwards to get Joubert to sign on that-dotted line, his
choice was already limited to two schools - Michigan and
UCLA. And when Bruin coach Larry Farmer wined and
dined Joubert during his recruiting trip to Los Angeles, it ap-
peared the state of Michigan might lose its favorite basket-
ball son to the land of sun and surf.
But for academic and non-academic reasons, says the high
school All American, Michigan was the school for him.
"My choice was between Michigan and UCLA," Joubert
reiterates. "I just like the players here more than I did at
"You know, when I came (to Michigan) for my visit, all the
guys came by and talked to me and stuff. When I went to
UCLA I talked to all the guys, but you could see they were
(Continued from Page 10)
shading away because I was like from Detroit . . . Plus I
figured my academic skills would be--more valuable here
than at UCLA. In case I get hurt I can still get a degree here
and get a goodjob."
Joubert's first days at the University have been quiet, as he
prefers to keep a low profile. Even though he enjoys a kind of
celebrity status on campus, he considers himself no different
from any other first-year student.
"Right now I feel like another face in the crowd," he says.
"Back home I felt like a celebrity 'cause bitty guys would
come up to me and say, 'Hey Antoine!' Sometimes (on cam-
pus) I walk and people identify me.. . but a lot of the times I
just walk straight to class with my books."
Just, like any other freshman, right? Hardly. Joubert is a
man with a very special future. He is a man who many people
expect to do great things. And he is a man capable of meeting
that challenge and perservering. He relishes the chance.
"It's just a challenge," he says when asked if the pressure
ever overwhelms him. "I mean, you might say pressure, biyt
I look on it as a challenge. It's nothing more to me than just to
see if I can do it.
"I like pressure. Some people are pressure-packed. And
they bust their bubble. I haven't had mine bust yet. One day it
might happen, I don't know."