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November 30, 1983 - Image 17

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-30
Note:
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Page 10 - Wednesday, November 30, 1983 - The Michigan Daily
Interroatin&!

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, Nov

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Joubert adapts to media attention

By PAUL HELGREN
He stands at the free throw line, his 6-
5, 195-pound frame relaxed, his finger-
tips gently massaging the ball. Practice
is over, but like most of his teammates
this particular player stays after for
some extra shooting. Unlike some of
them, however, ,this player does not
seem to need it.
He lets a shot fly with, a flick of his
wrist. The ball hovers, follows a perfect
arch, then lands with a splash in the
net. He follows that with one just like it.

The ball is retrieved, and Antoine
Joubert starts another shooting streak
with a swish...
If playing basketball in the Big Ten
were as easy as shooting hoops after
practice, Joubert could claim his spot
on the All-Big Ten team right now. But
before this happens he must go through
the inevitable growing pains that ac-
company the transition from high
school to college. But soon, maybe by
the middle of this season, opposing
coaches will tell their teams, "That

'If the game is tied
with five seconds
left, I want to shoot
it. Because I think
I'm going to score.
There's no doubt in
my mind. They can
foul me or let me
make it.'
-Antoine Joubert.

court - will be examined, analyzed,
critized, praised, and discussed. In
other words, it will business as usual for
Joubert.
Last-. year one.Detroit paper alone
used Jouber's nameor nickname in 21
headlines. ,When he played poorly in
two post-seasondall-star games, one
writer speculated that maybe he was
overrated. When he missed 20 shots for
Detroit Southwestern in the Class 'A'
state high school finals against Flint
Central, there was talk that maybe
Joubert shot too much.
As you can see, the expectations for
Joubert's performances are con-
siderable. Nevertheless,. Joubert says
he is not affected by this imbalaiced
focus of attention.
"I'm going to work as hard as I can
for my sake, not for no one else
because, you know, I'm Antoine and
supposed to do this or supposed to do-
that," he. says. "I just want to come
here and play basketball and win."
Michigan coach Bill Frieder, while
not especially happy about the amount
of attention his prize freshman
receives, is confident that Joubert can
handle the pressure.
"He's the type of kid where that type
of thing isn't going to bother him," says
the fourth-year Michigan head coach.
"There will be pressure on him, no
doubt. He's already getting far more
publicity than any one person should
get. But I think he can handle it all."
If adjusting to the spotlight of big-
time college basketball weren't
enough, Joubert also must work to im-
prove many facets of his game.
Of course, no more could be
asked of hisduncanny shooting ability
(he averaged 31.5 points per game in
his senior year) and 25-foot range, but
his defensive skills need sharpening.
Also, if Frieder's plan to occasionally

use him at small forward reach
fruition, Joubert will have to learn how
to rebound against taller and stronger
players.
Joubert is determined to improve his
game so he can become a complete
playeir. He is ready to do anything he
can to help his team.
"I just play to win," says the Detroit
native. "I don't go home and say, 'Well,
tomorrow we're playing a game and I
want to hit 30 or 40 points.' I'm not like
that.
"The team is more important than
me as an individual. I want to do
anything to help the team win. I mean,
I don't care if I don't have no rebounds,
no assists, no steals, and no points -- as
long as I hold ny man to the same thing
and we win."
But deep in his heart Joubert knows
he's going to score. He knows when the
chips are on the table he will want to
play his hand. He wants to take that
crucial shot, if only-because it will help
his team win.
"If the game is tied with five seconds
left, I want to-shoot it . . . ," he says.
"Because I think I'm going to score.
There's. no doubt in my mind. They can
foul me or let {me) make it.
"I'm going to miss some; everyone
misses," he adds. "But I'm going to
make more than I miss."
Apparently Joubert is very confident
about his ability. He is also confident
about his prowess with the books. He
carried a 3.2 grade-point average in
high school and hopes to go to law
school one day.
Of course, the inevitable question
arises: would Joubert delay his un-
dergraduate education and, leave
Michigan if an opportunity to play in
the NBA presented itself? It's hard to
say. While he does not rule out the
possibility, Joubert prefers not to put
See JOUBERT, Page 14

t44

Wolverine
Wolverines
Wolverines.

14

Then another, and another until he has
made 15 in a row. His motions groove
with machine-like efficiency.
Two on-lookers, who moments ago
were about as animated as Crisler
Arena seats, poke each other with their
elbows, point, and smile.
The player's 16th shot rattles the rim
and bounces off. He grimaces, then
smiles. He hates to miss. He doesn't
think he should ever miss.

man, number 11. Antoine Joubert. Wat-
ch him very closely. Do not let him
shoot. DON'T EVEN let him touch the
ball!"
The ominpresent eyes of the media
already are watching closely the man
they call "The Judge." When the
newspaper men come to practice, they
want to talk to Joubert. When the TV
camaras roll in, they focus on Joubert.
Everything he does - on and off the

IL

Eric Turn

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