Page 12S - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 28, 1984
The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, N
ONE SMALL VOICE One win away from Fi
Bi JffBergida ...,*or was it all c
Entering his fifth season at the
helm of the Michigan basketball
program, head coach Bill Frieder
is facing many new challenges.
Daily sportswriters Tim Makinen
and Jeff Bergida talked
with Frieder three weeks into prac-
tice to see how everything was
shaping up for the 1984-85 cam-
DAILY: You've been practicing for a
few weeks now, are there any surprises
BILL FRIEDER: I'd say the biggest
surprise is Gary Grant being as good as
he is right now. He's already proven to
me, the staff, and the team that he is
going to be a strong factor on this
Q: Who are you going to look for as the
BF: Well, you know, I think this is the
kind of team that is going to have to get
leadership from a lot of players. We
don't have a real veteran returning
with a lot of experience. So that's one of
our question marks, as to where the
leadershiphis going to come from.
That's what we're going to have to
Had Tim (McCormick) and Eric
(Turner) not left, they'd have been our
leaders. But they're gone and now we
might find ourselves in a position where
we don't even have a senior starter.
Senior guard Leslie Rockymore is a
possible starter, but if he doesn't start
we won't have a senior starter and
you've got to find your leadership nor-
mally from the seniors. That's one of
our tough problems.
Q: Do you see anybody who has special
BF: Well, you notice it in one kid one
day and another kid another day, but
the consistency of one guy providing it
every day has not emerged.
Q: In retrospect, is there anything you
would have done differently to try to get
Turner or McCormick to stay another
BF: No, the school blew it on McCor-
mick. I think enough has been said on
it, but when they sent him his rejection
notice (from the graduate com-
munication program) he was not going
to come back to Michigan. It's as sim-
ple as that. I can't control those people.
It's a serious mistake but it's too bad.
Turner, he had his mind made up all
year that he wanted to play pro ball so
that's what I felt he should have done.
You don't want to talk a kid into staying
if he feels that he should go.
Q: What would you consider a suc-
cessful season in terms of record, place
of finish, or post-season play.
BF: I think a successful season is if we
got into the NCAA tournament. We won
the NIT last year and now we want to
improve upon that and get into the
NCAA. Our goal is to win the Big Ten
championship but that is going to be ex-
tremely tough with Illinois and Indiana
having all their players back and with
six of the other eight teams improved.
Q: In what ways will the 45-second shot
clock help Michigan?
BF: It's going to help the league in
general because it's going to take away
from the out-and-out stall. Teams like
Indiana and Iowa and Purdue, they're
not going to be able to take a three-point
lead with 12 minutes to go and sit on the
ball for two minutes. So from the stan-
dpoint that you know they're going to
have to shoot it in 45 seconds, it is going
to help the league in general.
But what you have to realize is that 45
seconds is still a long time. It gives you
a lot of time to take (your) time, be
patient and run your five-on-five offen-
se. You're not going to have a run-and-
Q: You've been saying all along that
the Big Ten is the kind of league where
you can't run and gun because you'll
get killed. Exactly why is that?
BF: Number one, the teams are great
defensive teams and if you run-and-gun
it is going to mean you aren't going to
get the types of shots that you need to be
successful. To win in this league,
you've got to shoot 55 to 60 percent. You
run into teams like Indiana who might
only miss 12 or 13 shots in a ballgame.
If you miss 30 or 35 shots and your op-
ponent only misses a dozen, you're in
And so a combination of the size
which prevents you from getting the
break started, the shooting percentages
which prevent you from getting the ball
off the board, and the overall depth in
the league prevents you from running a
Our first preference is to run. If you
watch our practices you can see we try
to stress running and going. But, boom,
once that's taken away, you've got to go
to the next thing.
Q: Is that why you run a lot more in
BF: Sure. That's why, last year, we
ran well in the non-conference and we
ran well in the NIT. Because the teams
weren't as big, they weren't as defen-
sive-oriented, and they weren't Big Ten
caliber. Wichita State, for instance.
They were 25 for 75, they missed 50
shots and they had 27 turnovers. You
give me any team that does that and I'll
show you 90 to 100 points.
Q: What do you think of your non-
conference schedule this year?
BF: Our total schedule is one of the top
10, 12 or 15 in the country. What makes
it a great schedule is the Big Ten
games. But our non-conference
schedule is very tough. You have to
take into consideration that, in addition
to 18 Big Ten games, we're playing
Tennessee, Kansas, Dayton, Rutgers,
and Georgia. Those other teams like
Alcorn State, they're good. And Detroit
is better. Those are all good teams.
It's a very good non-conference
schedule. You take a look at some of
the others. You look at Michigan
State's and Iowa's. Really, you take a
good hard look and you compare them.
It's a big, big difference.
Q: Recently Scott Skiles of Michigan
State was charged with possession of
cocaine and drunk driving. Do you and
your staff forsee any drug problems in
BF: I think drugs are always a
problem in life. You know, they're on
the college campuses, they're in the
high schools, they're in the junior highs,
they're in the elementary schools.
You've got guys like DeLorean
screwing around with drugs, you've got
guys like Denny McLain, so it's a
problem. I don't think it's a problem in
my basketball program. And I think
one of the reasons it isn't is because we
are very selective with the types of kids
we recruit, and we have a drug testing
program which deters that type of
thing. But I think it is something you
have to be aware of, you have to discuss
with your players, and you have to stay
on top of the situation.
Q: Could you go over the five starting
positions and give us a breakdown on
how the competition shapes up?
BF: The two guards are going to come
from (Antoine) Joubert, Rockymore
Grant, and Garde Thompson. Right
now, I think it's a pretty good battle.
Roy Tarpley is going to be the center
and the two forward positions are going
to come from (Robert) Henderson,
(Butch) Wade, and (Richard) Rellford.
Then, possibly, Joubert or Rockymore
if they get beat out at guard. And it's
about as simple as that.
Q: Henderson looks a lot more sure of
himself this year. Where do you see the
team's improvement coming from?
BF: Henderson is getting better. All of
our players, I think, are improved over
last year at this time. Most of our
players are improved over when we
finished last year. Rockymore, Tar-
pley, Garde and Henderson are better
than when we finished in March.
Rellford and Wade are a little behind.
Our freshmen are in much better
shape than most freshmen that come
into a system. (Steve) Stoyko and Grant
have done a great job as far as being
prepared physically and mentally to
handle the types of practices that they
have to handle.
Q: You're considered one of the top
recruiters in the country. Every year
your class is rated in the top 30 or so.
What is the key to being a good
BF: Oh, we work hard and just work
year round at recruiting. But most
people do. I don't do anything that
anybody else doesn't do.
I think we've done a good job of get-
ting in on kids we think we have a good
chance at. We don't waste a lot of time
on some kid in California or a guy down
in Texas. If we leave this area we have
to know that we have a chance to get the
kid. We might tell a kid, "If we're going
to recruit you then you're going to have
to visit in the fall." And if he won't visit
then we're not going to waste any time
When we recruited Rellford (out of
Florida), we told him he had to let us
know by February 15 if he was coming
or-not because we weren't going to take
any more time. So I think if you leave
the area you have to be careful to make
sure you have a solid chance on the kid.
But most of our recruiting is
Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio. You
have a better feeling for the kids.
You've seen them many more times
and you're on top of the situation a little
In terms of calling kids and sending
them mail, and communicating with
them and showing them what Michigan
is all about in the 48 hours of their of-
ficial visit, you've got a great place at
Michigan. If you get a kid to visit, he's
nuts if he doesn't consider Michigan.
The kids in our program are super, our
athletic program and tradition is
tremendous, our facilities are second to
It's been over seven years since a Michigan club
has earned a berth in the NCAA basketball tour-
nament. Last year, however, Bill Frieder's club
came within a two-point overtime loss at North-
western of a probable spot in that prestigious event.
The 1984-85 version of the Wolverines is an enigma.
It's extremely difficult to say just how good this team
can be. Such are the teams of which dreams are
December 1, 1984-Michigan raises its record to 2-0
with an 86-70 victory over the under-manned Georgia
Bulldogs. Freshman sensation Gary Grant leads the
attackwith 19 points and 11 assists while, in the stan-
ds, a rookie guard with the Detroit Spirits thinks,
"That could've been me."
December 22-The Rutgers Scarlet Knights come
marching into Crisler Arena, out to gain revenge for
the great state of New Jersey. The last two times
these clubs met, the Wolverines pounded the Garden
Staters by scores of 86-70 and 97-69. Rutgers coach
Tom Young predicts an upset in the name of toxic
But Rich Rellford spoils Young's day with 23 points
to lead Michigan to its eighth straight win, 90-65.
Rutgers scampers on home to exit 120.
January 2, 1985-All the students are still home on
break. Crisler is filled with nursing home patients,
there to see the 9-0 Wolverines open their conference
schedule against Bobby "I make Bo Schembechler
look liberal" Knight and his 9-1 Indiana Hoosiers.
The Geritol sect greets Bobby Sportcoat with a
chorus of boos. They still remember last year's in-
cident when Knight called Frieder a string of ob-
A nail-biter comes down to the final seconds when
Hoosier guard Steve Alford has two free throw at-
tempts with Michigan leading, 61-59. Alford misses
the second and Michigan wins by one. In the
pressroom after the game, Frieder decks his hefty
rival with a left hook.
Tlhe Illini roll on
January 10-The Wolverines are within two of a club
record 13 straight wins as they head into Champaign
for a showdown with the nation's number-one team,
the Fighting Illini. Despite the loss of center George
Montgomery, whose jaw was shattered by the force
of a dunk by Maryland's Len Bias in the Great
Alaskan Shootout, Illinois has cruised out to a 15-0
The undefeated Wolverines, ranked fourth in both
polls, just "can't get going in front of 16,153 orange
maniacs. Roy Tarpley and Antione Joubert get into
early foul trouble and a strong second-half comeback
isn't enough to prevent Lou Henson's club from its
16th victory, 71-67.
January 17-Despite his club's 12-1 record going into
tonight's game with Minnesota, Frieder is worried
about his 9-4 opponent. "You can't take any team in
this league lightly," he comments.
Frieder, of course, has to say that. The Gophers,
who fattened up their record against such giants as
Montana State and Wisconsin-Green Bay, fall, 75-54.
Robert Henderson, who has earned the starting spot
at big forward, leads the way with 16 points.
"They were tough," Frieder said after the game.
"We were lousy," counters Minnesota head man Jim
January 24-The eighth-rated Wolverines face the
struggling MSU Spartans. Jud Heathcote is having a
tough time finding a replacement for guard Scott
Skiles, currently serving one-to-five for embez-
State's frontcourt of Ken Johnson, Larry Polec and
Richard Mudd is pathetic on this night as Tarpley and
Rellford have a field day, scoring 22 and 19 respec-
tively in Michigan's 80-73 win. Garde Thompson
comes off the bench to contribute 15 points to the
February 2-Frieder makes the big time, Al
McGuire's pre-game show. The 17-1 Wolverines are
getting national attention and Al jumps right on the
bandwagon with such insightful questions as "What
about dat Grant kid, Bill?" and "Youse guys are
really puttin' it together, huh?"
Michigan is in Madison today to take on poor Steve
Yoder and his 8-9 Badgers. Yoder has been getting
abused by his players and the media alike for the past
three seasons. His talented players either transfer or
go hardship. The Wolverines win, 88-76.
February 7-Frieder was 0-8 against Gene Keady's
Purdue Boilermakers going into the season but ended
that streak earlier this year in West Lafayette.
Keady, who earned his reputation as an outstanding
coach over the past few seasons, has got his club up
among the Big Ten leaders once again with a 6-3 con-
ference mark, including an upset of Illinois.
Michigan is hot, though. Freshman forward Steve
Stoyko is called into action when Henderson and But-
ch Wade each get three early fouls and responds with
14 points and nine rebounds. Joubert leads the attack
with 24 in a 67-60 victory and moves up to second in
the league scoring race behind Illini forward Efrem
February 14-The Wolverines have hit their peak at
20-1. Frieder and Joubert are on the cover of Sports
Illustrated this week.
It may have been the S.I. jinx or it may have been
the trip to Iowa City but Michigan plays its worst
game of the year. Hawkeye center Greg Stokes
dominates the middle in sparking Iowa to a 66-54 win.
Following the loss, the Wolverines drop from second
in the nation to fifth (A.P.) and sixth (U.P.I.).
March 2-In the anni
western comes into Cr
hands the mighty Wolh
March 6-Michigan tal
over the NIT-bound C
Joubert and Grant toss
my personality in the w
Following its finz
first two rounds of the N
March 15-Rellford les
team in the Mideast re
the Big Ten, to an easy
champ of the rugged M
The only interesting
of the players on the E
named after cities in In
son, Fort Wayne Watki
be strong to make the to
March 17-The Wolver
Villanova. The Wildcat
called the Wildcats?)
eliminated the Bethune
The game makes n.
Gary Bender and Bill:
language, Tarpley desi
middle and Villanova
janitor" Massimino pre
the final four.
"We just play 'em o
Frieder, a statement w
March 22-We down in
next two games. Mic
ghost of coach Ray Me
have inherited a larg
Demons blow a twelve-
at the buzzer wins a thr
March 24-For the thi:
the Illini but now it's
outside shooting gets.b
but the depth and str(
paign prove to be too :
the second half to win, I
Tarpley is a second
wins the Big Ten scorir
Wait 'til next year.
(Continued from Page 8)
unreal," said Johnny Orr, former
Michigan head coach who now runs
things at Iowa State.
That offensive improvement,
however, would not have the same pun-
ch were it not accompanied by some
talent at the other end of the court. But,
just as defense and blocks are
significant aspects of Karate, so are
they important parts of the total Roy
With 69 blocked shots last year, Tar-
pley set a Michigan single season
record. He also played good enough
defense to be named the team's Best
Defensive Player for 1983-84.
"HE GOT better and better defen--
sively," Frieder said. "He'd make the
big play in big games ... , but he's not
a great defensive player. He's got to do
more with team defense."
The player agreed with his coach's
criticism, but said he is confident he
"My offensive game is coming
around," Tarpley said, "but my defen-
se, I'm struggling there a little bit.
"(BUT) PRACTICE makes perfect,
so pretty soon I'll be a perfect defensive
player," he added, laughing.
Opposing coaches find it more dif-
ficult to find humor in Tarpley's
deficiencies. Buckeye head man Eldon
Miller bristled at the suggestion that
Tarpley's second performance against
OSU last year was an exceptional one.
"A lot of players had good games
against us," grumbled Miller, who wat-
ched a 24-point Tarpley tornado sweep
the Wolverines to a 62-59 win in Colum-
"THERE ARE two types of big
men," said a more talkative OSU
assistant Landrum. "There's the big
lumbering guy who goes inside and
bangs you around. Then there's people
like Roy who can go inside or outside
and use his quickness to get you from
The victim of Tarpley's finest
showing last season, Wichita State head
coach Gene Smithson, praised the same
things Landrum saw.
"Oh hell, he's an outstanding player.
He's got a great future," said the man
whose Shockers absorbed a 27-point, 10-
rebound, four-block beating from Tar-
"HE WENT inside on us, he went out-
side on us. He did everything against
us. I was just impressed with his total
game," Smithson added.
Having watched Tarpley play in last
spring's Olmypic trials, Orr also
praised the junior's overall ability. But
the coach who led Michigan to its last
NCAA tournament appearance used a
different measure to describe what he
sees as Tarpley's greatest strength.
"(It's) his long arms, man, and jum-
ping ability around the basket," said
Orr. "He can rebound, man, I mean,
he's got wingspan!"
TARPLEY will need to use his 85%
inch wingspan to make up for the loss of
fellow front-liner Tim McCormick to
the pros. Frieder says his only player
over 6-9 may be surpised at the effect of
"He doesn't understand yet how
much tougher it's going to be without a
Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
The coach takes control during a timeout.