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January 22, 1986 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-01-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 22, 1986
Henderson sparks 'M' off bench

An athlete with the abilities of
Robert Henderson doesn't usually fall
under the category of role player.
But for the Wolverines' sixth man,
all that means is not shaking hands
with the opponent before tipoff.
HENDERSON, who has emerged as
a sparkplug off the bench for the
Michigan basketball team, has
averaged 20 minutes a game. And
while his 6.3 points per outing may not
wow anyone, he has been unyielding
under pressure.
"I look forward to getting him into
the game," said Michigan head coach
Bill Frieder. "If we're struggling on
the floor, we've got great confidence
in Rob and we're going to go with
Frieder has been going with Hen-
derson this season more, and may
even pencil the 6-9 senior into the star-
ting lineup Saturday when the
Wolverines do battle at Michigan State
in East Lansing - Henderson's
"WE'LL probably go with the usual

lineup," the sixth-year head coach
said, "but if I feel by Friday that
something else might be better, we
just might do it."
While Henderson isn't entertaining
thoughts of starting just yet, he does
admit playing in East Lansing is a
special thrill, especially since this will
be his last contest at Jenison
"It's nice to go home," Henderson
said. "I get excited when the crowd
starts booing. It just makes me want
to play harder to show them they're
not going to upset me. I'd like nothing
better than to do something to really
shut them up."
HENDERSON has certainly silen-
ced any critics he may have had
before the season began. His 82 per-
cent free throw accuracy leads the
team, and his 56.2 field goal percen-
tage ranks third among the regulars.
His solid play was quiet until his jum-
per at the buzzer saved a win over
But the forward's success should
come as no surprise to anyone who

surveys his high school credentials.
Michigan's Mr. Basketball in 1982,
Henderson averaged 24 points and 14
rebounds a game on his way to being
named prep All-American.
As a freshman at Michigan - he
spurned Michigan State to "get away
from home, but not too far" - Hen-
derson started 17 games and ap-
peared to be a mainstay in the lineup
for years to come.
THE communication major was
bumped to a reserve role his
sophomore year as he fought a hand in-
jury, however, and saw rare action in
conference play.
"Two years ago he didn't have the
type of dedication - coming in here
on his own time and all of that,"~
Frieder explained.
"I had to do a lot of soul searching,"
the articulate Henderson said, admit-
ting that he had considered tran-
sferring or even quitting school. "A
lot of things go through your mind.
You have to sort through all that and
try to adjust to the role. It would be
nice to start, but I'm getting a lot of
THAT attitude - and a lot of hard
work - has enabled Henderson to
grow into his role.
"I've been working hard and liftinig
a lot of weights," Henderson said. "I
get so jealous of people like Butch
(Wade) who come in here weighing
230 and he's never lifted a weight in
his life," the 220-pound Henderson
"I'm sitting there busting my
behind three days a week in the sum-

mer. I shot as much as I could in the
summer and played in a league and at
the CCRB. I've done a lot of work."
"HE'S developed into a great sub
for us," Frieder said. "It's a matter of
maturity. He's much more sincere
about basketball today than he was
two years ago. Now he's thinking
about continuing to playing basketball
either in the NBA or in Europe."
"Once the season is over, I'll see
what happens in the NBA draft,"
Henderson said. "I guess there's a
possibility of playing in Europe as
long as it's not Northern Bulgaria or
something where I have to bring in
my own water."
For now, the Gary, Ind. native is
content with carrying himself in from
the bench.
"HE COULD be starting on any team
in the Big Ten," said teammate Garde
Thompson. "He could even start here,
but he's playing so well coming off the
bench that they like to keep him there
because he gives us such a spark."
And with someone like Henderson
waiting in the wings, his presence can
ignite his teammates.
"Henderson is the guy that makes
the other guys work hard," said
freshman forward Loy Vaught. "They
know if they don't there's a guy on the
bench that canntake their place and
that's Robert Henderson. He's a
really smart player. I've watched him
and I've learned a lot."
Henderson is teaching opponents a
lesson too, even if he doesn't shake
their hands.


Flexible Breakfast
10% Student Discount
in store and restaurant

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Robert Henderson's intensity and spark have been big plusses for the
Michigan team all season. He is averaging 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds,
while shooting 56 percent from the floor.





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Don't like Chicago...
...gotta like the Bears
DON'T LIKE Chicago.
It's nothing personal - It's just that as a Detroit sports fan, I find it
easy to dislike the Windy City. After all, teams from Detroit and Chicago
are divisional rivals in three different sports.
I've always wanted to see a hockey game in the Chicago Stadium, but it
wouldn't take long for that obnoxious, overbearing horn to get under my
skin. As for the Chicago Bulls, my feelings toward that organization are
probably akin to those of Piston coach Chuck Daly.-As some of you may
recall, on October 26, Daly and Chicago coach Stan Albeck were both
ejected from the Pistons-Bulls game. What's interesting is that both
coaches were ejected for fighting ... EACH OTHER.
When it comes to baseball, the fondest memory that I have of Comiskey
Park was when disc jockey Steve Dahl almost burned it down between
games of a Tigers-White Sox doubleheader. The raging center field infer-
no, part of an anti-disco demonstration, forced Chicago to forfeit the second
game of a twin-bill.
While I don't care too much for Chicago sports in general, I have to ad-
mit that the 1985-86 Chicago Bears leave me a little envious. For years,
the Bears, like the Lions, squandered in mediocrity. Now, however, the
Monsters of the Midway have risen to the top of the football world while
the Lions continue to stagger through the NFC's Central Division.
More importantly, the Bears have added a certain flair to professional
football that has been missing from the NFL for the past few years. When
they weren't busy making music videos or showing up in television com-
mercials, the Bears were simply destroying opposing teams with their
bone-crushing style of football.
It's no wonder that such a team is led by a renegade like quarterback
Jim McMahon. He's cocky, he's a rebel, and his unique personality just
adds to the charm of this powerful team. Clean-cut Roger Staubach he
isn't, but a good quarterback he is.
Another Bear who has captured the attention of the football world this
is William "The Refrigerator" Perry. And while many fans are tired of
hearing about the "Fridge," the gap-toothed Perry has added some ex-
citement to this NFL season. Perry, who once drank 48 beers in one night
at Clemson, seems to fit right in with this year's NFC champions.
A champion throughout his entire career, Walter Payton will finally get
his chance to play in the Super Bowl. Most sports have their great players
who never played for a champion. One of hockey's greatest all-time
defensemen, Brad Park, never sipped champagne from the Stanley Cup.
In basketball, the fabulous Bob Lanier never won an NBA title. It's ex-
citing to see Payton, one of the NFL's greatest, get his chance at a Super
Bowl championship.
Mike Ditka, who leads this unique but powerful team into battle, is also
an interesting personality. Today's NFL features coaches like Tom Lan-
dry, who looks more like an executive for IBM than a football coach. And
while other coaches may appear out of place stalking the sidelines, Mike
Ditka LOOKS like a football coach. A throwback to the era of Dick Butkus
head-crunching football, Ditka has molded the Bears into a truly in-
timidating squad.
The 198-6Chicago Bears have given the NFL a much-needed dose of
flair and excitement. With unique personalities like McMahon, Perry,
Payton, and Ditka, the Bears have given this NFL season some extra
sparkle. From a man who doesn't care too much for Chicago sports in
general, I certainly have to give the Bears a lot of credit.
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