Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 8, 1984
the people blame Frieder...
.. . has he missed a free throw.
T'S FASI4ONABLE these days to criticize Bill Frieder. Everyone wants
to blame the Michigan basketball coach for his team's three-game losing
streak and 4-5 Big Ten record.
"With all the talent Frieder has, he shouldn't lose a game," they say.
"Why don't they fire Frieder?"
Why don't they destroy three years of progress?
Frieder, people forget, led the Wolverines to a 15-13 record last year after
finishing 7-20 in 1981-82. Picking up eight extra wins in a season is quite an
accomplishment. With 12 victories already accumulated this year,
Michigan is sure to improve on last season's mark.
Even another 4-5 run through the Big Ten will insure that.
Unfortunately, the critics don't care about the upward trend in Michigan
victories over the last few years. Instead they're obsessed with this year's
seven Wolverine defeats. They want to find someone to blame for the losses
and Frieder happens to be the obvious target.
But Frieder didn't miss 'seven of 11 free throws in the first half of the
Michigan State game. His players did. Nor did the coach blow successive
fast breaks at Wisconsin. Rich Rellford and Roy Tarpley did.
Michigan's players are as much to blame for the defeats as Frieder. With
few exceptions, the individual Wolverines have not performed up to anyone's
Tim McCormick immediately comes to mind. It's not that the 6-11 senior
has performed poorly. He leads the team in scoring. The Wolverine defense
toughens up when he plays, too.
But after an outstanding pre-season practice and a few excellent non-
conference performances, McCormick was supposed to dominate the mid-
dle. He hasn't. Big Mac is a 20-point scorer with a 12-point average. His
jump shot is off. He regularly loses two points per game on missed free
throws. His career shooting percentage from the foul line is .804. This year
only .636 of his free throws fall.
Antoine Joubert and Leslie Rockymore have disappointed, too. Both are
known for their shooting and scoring abilities. Both are hitting less than 44
percent on their field goal attempts. In Big Ten games they have combined
for an average of 14 points per game. They should score near 25.
Robert Henderson is experiencing the sophomore jinx to end all
sophomore jinxes. The 6-9 forward averaged six points and six rebouids a
game last year. He contributed greatly to Michigan's dominance of the back
Now Henderson cannot even keep his balance after jumping for a rebound.
His performance in nearly every aspect of the game has declined.
Only Tarpley performs head-and-shoulders better than last year. The
Wolverines play their best basketball when he and McCormick line up
together. They suffer when Tarpley runs into foul trouble and Frieder pulls
him off the court.
Dan Pelekoudas, too, has improved. But for all his effort, Pelekoudas is
still Pelekoudas - smaller and slower than most guards in the conference.
Finally, there's the critics' scapegoad - Frieder. Everyone points to his
substitution practices as the reason for Michigan's slump. But many of his
substitutions are forced by Tarpley, McCormick and Butch Wade ac-
cumulating fouls. Many more substitutions come at the end of the game
when the Wolverines trail. Frieder replaces offensive-oriented players like
Joubert with defensive-oriented ones like Wade when the opponents have
If people want to criticize Frieder, they should point to his team's inability
to score against a zone defense. If every Big Ten team played 40 minutes of
2-3 zone against the Wolverines, Michigan would struggle to win another
Frieder also refuses to use a zone defense. A zone might keep foul-prone
players like Tarpley and McCormick in the game longer. Even Bobby
Knight plays a zone now.
The Michigan basketball season is far from over. Three wins should earn
the Wolverines a berth in the NIT. Six will place them in the first division of
the Big Ten and, most likely, in the NCAA tournament.-
In order to accomplish this, Michigan needs continued strong play from
Tarpley and the recently revived duo of Eric Turner and Rich Rellford.
More importantly, the Wolverines could use some caffeine to awaken the
slumbering McCormick, Joubert and Rockymore.
If these three players perform as originally as expected, then maybe
Frieder could take a break of his own.
Grading the Wolverines
" ROY TARPLEY-Scores almost effortlessly. Rebounding is much im-
proved. Must stay out of foul trouble. Grade A.
*ERIC TURNER-Returned to form with the start of the Big Ten season.
Horrible before. Needs to take charge. Grade: B+.
a RICH RELLFORD-Excellent since Wisconsin. Starting to take and make
jump shots. Must rebound better. Grade: B.
" TIM McCORMICK-Lost free-throw touch. Hasn't rebounded like a 6-11
man should. Hasn't hit the jumper. Still scores inside. Grade: B-.
" BUTCH WADE-Too many fouls. Doesn't know his shooting range. Can't
hit a free throw. Can rebound, though. Grade: B-.
" DAN PELEKOUDAS-Michigan's best defensive guard. Playing his best
basketball in four years. Neither says much. Grade: B-.
e ANTOINE JOUBERT-Hasn't shot well. Poor defender and rebounder.
Handles the ball well and has good court sense. Grade: B-.
" LESLIE ROCKYMORE-In a horrible shooting slump. Not playing much
defense, either. A major disappointment. Grade: C+.
" GARDE THOMPSON--Shoots well and handles the ball ok. Not ready for
the Big Ten yet. Grade C.
" PAUL JOKISCH - Hasn't played much. Shows little when he plays.
a GERARD RUDY-Never plays. Grade: C.
" JON ANTONIDES-Ditto. grade: C.
* ROB HENDERSON-Used to be a good rebounder. Isn't anymore.
Seems to have lost his confidence. Michigan needs him to come back. Grade:
* BILL FRIEDER-His team doesn't play well against a zone defense. It
might also benefit on occasion from playing a zone of its own. Plays three
guards too often. Grade: B-.
Long, Tripucka lead
Pistons in rout
Cavs ree injured
By PHIL NUSSEL
Special to the Daily
PONTIAC - There was only one
question at the Pontiac Silverdome last
night - how in the world did the
Cleveland Cavaliers ever beat the
Detroit Pistons a week ago? Last night,
the Pistons thrashed their rivals from
across the lake, 130-99.
After the game, Pistons' coach Chuck
Daly offered a few explanations for the
turnaround, "They're tougher at home,
and without (World B.) Free, they're
obviously not the same team."
FREE, averaging 33 points a game,
was injured under the basket three
seconds before halftime. He didn't
The win kept Detroit one game out of
first behind Atlanta, which also won
After finishing the first quarter ahead
36-26, the Pistons maintained a 10-14
point lead throughout the second stanza
and led 63-50 at the half. I
- OFFENSIVELY,.. Detroit had a
balanced attack with Isiah Thomas,
Kelly Tripucka, Bill Laimbeer, John
Long and Vinnie Johnson all in double
Long, who was criticized for taking a:
questionable shot late in last week's:
loss to the Cavs,was hot, hitting six of=
nine shots from the floor. He ended up.
with 24 points to lead the team.
"John Long came out of his slump:
tonight," Daly said. "Sometimes he'
gets a little bit lazy with his shot -
when he does that, he doesn't shoot the
ball very well."
THE PISTONS completely took
command in the second half with a 67-
point barrage. In the third period,
Detroit scored almost everytime it had
the ball hitting 18 of 25 shots with only
Pistons' guard Isiah Thomas said,
"We pushed the ball up the court and
we were able to get into a fast tempo.
My job is to come in every night:and
play the best basketball I can." Thomas
finished with 14 assists and 15 points.
Cliff Robinson led Cleveland with 22
points and seven rebounds. Tripucka
added 20 for the Pistons, who play
Golden State at home Friday night.
Isiah Thomas (11) dishes off one of his 14 assists to John Long, who scored 24 points
to lead the Pistons to victory last night over the Cavaliers.
Ski team glid11es
tn g y
By TED LERNER
For some months now, American ski
lovers have turned their attention to
Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, site of the XIV
OlympicdWinter games. In the next
week and a half they will be on the edge
of their seats as eleven American skiers
try to gain recognition as the best in the
Closer to home, however, and with lit-
tle fanfare, the Michigan ski team has
raced its way into the upper echelon of
college skiing. Although ABC-TV has
not rushed out to cover the story, the
Wolverines skiers certainly deserve
some praise and recognition.
THE MICHIGAN ski team is not a
varsity sport. That means it receives no
scholarships from the athletic depar-
sometimes contain up to 17 schools
fromsthetMidwest. Some of the top
teams that race are Northern
Michigan, University of Minnesota St.
Paul, Michigan Tech, Notre Dame and,
of course, Michigan.
The team does not ski the faster and
more crowd-pleasing downhill. Rather
they ski slalom and giant slalom.
With a team the caliber of Michigan
one might wonder why they are not
elevated from club to varsity status.
"I THINK if we went varsity,"
Neuman said, "they'd (the athletic
department) also have to let lacrosse
and rugby. I guess they have to draw
To raise money, the ski team holds an
annual ski swap in the first week of
December. This was the thirteenth an-
nual year that the team held the event.
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For Information Call Bill or Gale - 764-7415
tment. Yet, last year, Ski Racing
magazine ranked the men's team sixth
in the nation among colleges and the
ranked women's team ninth. In com-
petition this year, the mean have
gained an impressive two firsts, two
seconds and three thirds, while the
women have placed first in each of their
The team consists of five men and
five women, chosen out of over 60
people who tried out in early January.
Yet while it takes good competitive
skiers to produce the victories, most of
the team members are here for other
"We have quite a few people on the
team who are top United States Ski
Association skiers," said Mike
Neuman, captain of the ski team. "But
basically they're going here for
EVERY TUESDAY and Thursday
the team travels to Brighton, the ski
area closest to campus. There they
prepare for weekly meets that
"We sell equipment for ski shops and
for individuals," Neuman said. "People
come in with their equipment and we
sell it for them. then they get a check
for what they sell. We take out 18 per-
This year the ski team raised nearly
$8,000. Combined with the money it
receives from the recreational sports
department, the ski team pays for all
So, with some business acumen and
some great skiing, the Michigan ski
team has become one of the best in the
It may not be the Olympics but so far,
the results have been golden.
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