Hockey vs. Michigan State
Tonight, 7:30 p.m., Yost Arena
WCBN (88.3 FM) and WJJX (650 AM)
' versus Illinois
Tomorrow, 2 p.m.
the Michigan Daily Saturday, January 28, 1984 Page
cagers look to bounce
back vs. Illini
By PAUL HELGREN
CHAMPAIGN - It was the last
question in the world the young
reporter expected to hear as he
walked into the Illinois coach's
"Would you like something to
drink? A Pepsi? I've got orange,
too, if you'd like."
-"UH, A PEPSI would be fine, Henson
"All righty," responded a broadly grinning coach
looking more like a friendly neighborhood real
estate agent than a veteran of eight Big Ten cam-
paigns. Ever the southern gentleman, Lou Henson
'politely fielded questions he had undoubtedly heard
hundreds of times before, smiling all the while.
. If Henson's cordial demeanor seemed somewhat
out of place in the tense and often business-like
world of Big Ten basketball, there is good reason.
His Illini are sitting on top of the conference with
Purdue, both sporting 5-1 records. Henson is being
sighted as one of the reasons for the Illinois "sur-
PRE-SEASON EXPECTATIONS were not high
for the Illini. All-America Derek Harper turned pro
at the end of last season and starting forward An-'
thony Welch went down early this season to a leg in-
jury. Most observers agreed the inexperienced Illini
Loss to Purdue makes
Illinois game a " must"
had little chance of contending for the league title.
And look what happened. Only a close loss to Ken-
tucky (56-54) and an overtime defeat by Indiana (73-
68) stand between Illinois and a perfect season.
Even Henson admitted surprise.
"I think we're definitely a surprise," said Henson.
"We lost three-fifths of our team. We lost Bryan
Leonard (to graduation), Derek Harper and An-
thony Welch...We lost all of that and still we're
starting three sophomores.
"WE'RE JUST HANGING on. We can't afford to
lose anyone else."
Two of the sophomores Henson speaks of, forwar-
ds Efrem Winters- and Doug Altenberger, lead the
team in scoring with 14.6 and 13.0 averages respec-
tively. The other sophomore may be Illinois' best
player, guard Bruce Douglas, who is near the top of
the Big Ten in assists.
Illinois' other two starters are junior center
George Montgomery and senior Quinn Richardson.
And that's pretty much the entire team as only cen-
ter Scott Meents has seen extensive playing time
among the reserves.
WHILE HENSON confessed he envies someone
like Bill Frieder who can call up to ten players
during a game, he sees an advantage to his
"We've run into adversity and maybe that's
brought out the best in us." he said. "We got down to
eight people in practice. We had walk-ons, so we'd
have someone to practice against."
Henson downplayed his role in Illinois' emergen-
ce as a league power.
"THIS IS REALLY not a difficult team to coach
because they're inclined to do what you want them to
do. All players are not that way. So it's pretty easy
to coach a team when they're coachable."
With Illinois on a roll and Michigan coming off a
disappointing 61-57 loss at Purdue, it would seem
that the unlikely co-leaders of the Big Ten are liable
to send the Wolverines home with a .500 lead record.
Henson is skeptical of that scenario.
"If anything it will make them better," Henson
said of Michigan's possible reaction to Thursday
night's loss. "Because it's a key game for Michigan.
It's almost a must game for Michigan."
Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Wolverine coach Bill Frieder and assistant coach Mike Boyd talk strategy
during the Iowa game earlier this season, while junior guard Gerard Rudy
looks on. Michigan will need a good game plan today against Big Ten leader
Michigan (12-5) Illinois (14-2)
(44) Tim McCormick .. (6-11) F (24) Efrem Winters .... (6-9)
(11) Antoine Joubert ... (6-5) F (22) Doug Altenberger . (6-4)
(53) Butch Wade ....... (6-7) C (23) George Montgomery (6-8)
(24) Leslie Rockymore . (6-3) G (25) Bruce Douglas .... (6-3)
(25) Eric Turner ....... (6-3) G (21) Quinn Richardson (5-11)
SITE: Assembly Hall
TIME: ^00 p.m. EST
RADIO: WUOM (91.7 FM), WAAM (1600 AM), WWJ (950 AM),
WPAG (107 FM).
TV: Ann Arbor Cable (Channel F, 19)
LAST YEAR: Illinois 87, Michigan 74 (Crisler)
Illinois 91, Michigan 71 (Assembly)
RIES RECORD: Illinois leads, 54-49
full court Rst
By PAUL HELGREN
Special to the Daily
VERYBODY HAS an opinion, goes the old saying. Opinions about the
'E Michigan basketball team can be heard every day. This writer has been ;,.-"
known to make a comment or two on the Wolverines.
But there is a problem with opinions: an opinion is not a fact. An opinion is
never "wrong," which also means it is never "right" as well.
So how does one know if he's right if he says Dan Pelekoudas doesn't hurt
the team when he's on court, or if one says Leslie Rockymore is strictly a
shooter and not a complete ballplayer?
That's where-facts are supposed to come in. Unfortunately, in basketball, n
"facts" come in the form of statistics, which only tell half the story.
Statistics will tell you that Eric Turner shoots 41 percent from the floor.
They don't tell you what kind of defensive player he is or if he provides floor T
leadership. There should be some way to evaluate every phase of the game.
Maybe, just maybe, there is. As a devotee of Bill James (of Baseball Ab-
stract fame) I firmly believe statistics are like hieroglyphics. You can't tell
what they say unless you know how to read them.
Such is the case with basketball statistics. There is a better way to deter
mine the true value of a player, a way that takes all phases of the game into _
account with one simple number.
That number, fellow statistics lovers, is the plus/minus rating.
SHockey fans will be familiar with the plus/minus statistic. It simply keeps - x---
track of who was on the ice when a goal was scored, giving a plus to those on x 7~,44 s=
the team that scored a minus for those on the opposition. This way the entire
team shares partial blame or credit for any goal.
The same thing can be done for basketball. By keeping track of the score"
and substitutions (admittedly a trying task when following Michigan) you k
can determine any player's plus/minus rating. If a player comes in with the
score tied and leaves with his team in front by 10, hIe gets a plus 10.,
Similarly, a player will earn a minus 10 rating if the opposition outscores his -ei " .4 44*~ .~--
team byl.1 points while he is in - -- --
Then add all the pluses and minuses for his total rating. Hoopsters that go / ---' , M ~
the full 40 minutes make the job easy - their plus/minus is simply theirk 5' ~ f BZ ~i*Lr
team's margin of victory or defeat. 6/A U°W I
Here are the results for four Michigan games this year.
Iowa osU Indiana. Purdue Total
Eric Turner ...... +8 -2 +13 +1 +20 4 ,
Leslie Rockymore, . ....... +6 + 8 4 0 +14 Y').
Tim McCormick......... +1 +5 +6 +11 S O W IT AIL O
Rich Rellford ........... -2 -3 +13 +1 +9 ..
. T......... ..+11 .+2 0 -6 +7.................... ...f..
Antoine .loubert "........" +9 ~+7 -s - 7 +4 S~. £ah 6 YQ b c>
PalJksh+ 3Garde Thompson +1...J - - 0 ~
IButch Wade.......... +3 -4 -3 -8 -12 R
Dan Pelekoudas -5 -10 +2 -8 -21
Robert Henderson ....... -12 -8 - -2 -22
Tea ...... r..a.ra.. +4 -2 +5 -4 u3 '4 44/4 <5 3 s.'sg ss s:Tb
Although four games is a bit meager for conclusions, this chart does seem
to shed light on a few things. f}}wA fx ".,.at td Best4aaasti
Ialasappeared tha this tta lie an die wit Turer His t£_ if 2 i<"4.j £ p,
plus/minus doesn't refute this notion. In the two games where Turner was
substantially in the plus range, Michigan won. When his plus/minus was ,sseqxa£ r f y£~s 3Y^i"o "s1,
near the team average, it lost.rhti, z
It .also appears maybe the Crisler Arena boo-birds are right about