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March 14, 1986 - Image 16

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-14
Note:
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"if

The Kean Eye
By Tom Kenney
Speaking of clocks,
Frieder, and victory
t . EY, I heard they're gonna use the 45-second shot clock this year
H in the Tournament."
"Welcome to 1986."
"Yeah, OK, but Michigan should do really well then this year, shouldn't
it? I mean, things are going to be different with the shot clock, right?"
"Things might be different this year, but it won't be because of the
clock."
"But it means those teams from the east won't be able to stall us like
before."
"You mean like Villanova last year?"
"Yeah, Villanova. If there had been a shot clock last year, we would
have killed Villanova."
"What if I told you that Villanova held the ball for more than 45 seconds
only twice in that entire game?"
"You're kidding."
"Uh-uh. Whatever you do, don't blame last year's showing in the tour-
nament on anything other than the way the Wolverines played. The fact
that there was no shot clock only made the game more boring. Michigan
lost because Michigan stunk."
"Well then how come Richard Rellford said that not having the shot
clock in the tournament last year was like taking the home run out of
baseball?"
"I honestly don't know, but if he's looking to make the shot clock a crut-
ch this year, he's looking to take a big fall."
"Why are you so pessimistic about Michigan?"
"I'm not. All I'm saying is that last year's Wolverines raised some
serious questions with their performance in the tournament, and those
questions won't be answered by the advent of the shot clock. Like Bill
Frieder said, the clock only takes the out-and-out stal out of the game. Quick
teams can still run the fast break, and half-court minded teams cAn still
hold the ball for a long time and slow the game down."
"Let me ask you something else. What's with Frieder?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean what's his deal? He's always yelling about the press or telling
reporters that they can't talk to his players. And what about closing the
locker room? I thought those tactics were reserved for Bobby Knight."
"First of all,.you have to understand that Frieder majored in paranoia
when he went to Michigan as a student, and since then has done little else
but eat, drink, and sleep basketball. It's an ugly combination."
Yeah, but he has never been like this. You know, threatening to take
seats away from alumni and that kind of thing."
"But think about it. Frieder knows that this is it. He's going to the tour-
nament with one of the most talented teams this school has ever had or is
likely to have for quite some time. He wants every advantage that he can
possibly get. Shutting off the press is no doubt a small sacrifice to make if
it means cutting down on his players' distractions.
"It's also true that the media demands on the team, especially toward
the end of the season antd now in the Tournamen t, haa been tremendous,
so he feels like he has to be selective about whom he lets his players talk
to."
"Oh, I get it, if you have a winning team you make your fans happy, but
you have to get tough on the press. But if your team stinks, not only do you
have unhappy fans, but you have to beg for press."
"I'll admit, it's an odd tradeoff."
"Yes, and you also have to admit that except for those elite few in the
media, for most people, it's not a tough choice."
Mo

The stuffs that
dreams are made of
Senior Richard Rellford builds his
leadership role with slamming, shooting
and spirit

I

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By ADAM MARTIN
OUR YEARS ago as a freshman, Richard Rellford
wasn't even dreaming.
"Never in all my days did I think about having the
opportunity to make the final four and win a champion-
ship," Rellford remembered. "We didn't even dream
about it."
IN RELLFORD'S freshman campaign, the Wolverines
freshmen Roy Tarpley and Butch Wade, and
sophomores Eric Turner and Leslie Rockymore -
finished ninth in the Big Ten with a 6-12 record, 15-13
overall.
They they woke up.
Rellford and the Wolverines rebounded from a dismal
1982-83 season and captured the NIT Championship
after finishing fourth in the conference and 23-10 overall.
Ironically, the NIT title covered up Michigan's failure to
gain a bid in the NCAA's in 1984.
STILL, THE NIT pulled Rellford and his teammates

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and then it was all over."
The lessons were both simple and complex, for Rellford
anyway. The Riviera Beach, Fla. native learned how
crucial it is to do away with the distractions and keep
loose, simultaneously. Now he must disperse the
valuable knowledge.
"One thing you can't do it get yourself geared up," he
said. "Everybody's got to concentrate, play within their
role and not try to do too much. And you also have to stay
relaxed."
THE PARADOX Rellford mentions isn't really a
paradox at all. The Wolverines must simply be mentally
relaxed but physically intense. By applying the
psychological lessons of last year, Michigan should be
ready to meet the tournament challenge.
On the court, the Wolverines will have to battle the op-
position and not just their minds. Again, though. each
Wolverine has a role to play, and Rellford's is critical
At 6-6, 230 pounds, Rellford sees his most important
contribution in the offensive power game. He knows

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from a dream world and pushed them
into reality.
"After the NIT I knew our team was
coming together," Rellford said. "I
knew at the point that we had a chan-
ce to make some noise in the
NCAA's."
The noise quickly turned to
melodies after Michigan traveled to
Europe and handily disposed of a
West German team that featured
current Dallas Mavericks Detlef
Schrempf and Uwe Blab.
THE NOiSE is now a roar, and
Rellford is one of his club's lions. The
senior forward, like all of the
Wolverines, has a role to play. As the
Wolverines embark on what could

'When I'm out there,
I'm always trying to
get people motivated.
It's important that I
can generate
something for the team
and provide leader-
ship.'
--Richard Rellford

Michigan is a running team, and
Rellford helps provide the muscle
needed to complete a sometimes im-
perfect fast break.
"WHEN WE 'run," Rellford said,
"we shoot it quick and that lets me,
Butch and Roy go to the boards. Our
rebounding creates second and third
shots when we miss."
Over the last few weeks of the
season, however, Michigan has con-
verted most of its scoring oppor-
tunities. After turning' in poor field
goal percentages over much of the
season, the Wolverines finally vaulted
above the .500 mark.
Needless to say, Rellford has been
largely responsible for' the increase,

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be a four-week journey to Dallas, Rellford knows he must
keep his team inspired and mentally prepared.
"When I'm out there, I'm always trying to get people
motivated," he said. "It's important that I can generate
something for the team and provide leadership."
That immeasurable quality - leadership - is the
responsibility of Rellford, Wade, Tarpley and Michigan's
fourth senior, Robert Henderson. According to Rellford,
all of the seniors must provide positive psychological per-
spective in the NCAA's for the rest of the team. Without it
Michigan will lose sight of its central task - winning.
"THE SENIORS will have to be the back bone in the
tournament," said Rellford. "We've got to give ourselves
on and off the court, and make sure the team thinks about
the game and the game only.
"We've got to key everybody into how hard you have to
play in the tournament, that each game isa struggle."
Rellford gained his therapeutic skills after Michigan's
dismal experience in last year's NCAA tournament when
the Wolverines just barely avoided a first-round defeat to
unknown Fairleigh Dickinson before bowing out to even-
tual National Champion Villanova in the second round.
"LAST YEAR, we all took Fairleigh Dickinson too
lightly, and they almost beat us," Rellford recalled. "We
were so hurt when we lost because we had won 17 in a row,

-c
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SO

and notably for his ability to sustain the team when the
guards and Tarpley have been off. Rellford's current 59.7
shooting percentage not only leads all Wolverines, but it
is also the highest of any Wolverine since John Robinson's
58 percent mark of 1975.
Rellford has been no stranger to accuracy from the
field. As a junior, he led the club with a 57.8 mark, and in
his sophomore season, Rellford's 56.8 was second only to
Tim McCormick, who is now a member of the Seattle
Supersonics.
Since becoming a Wolverine, Rellford has made a
name for himself both under the boards and around the
perimeter.
Much of Rellford's floor accuracy is undoubtedly the
result of his many slam dunks. But that's taking nothing
away from the smooth-talking, well-dressed forward. In
fact, the slams often serve a definite purpose.
Witness last Saturday's opening possession against In-
diana. When Rellford dashed right and drove past every
Hoosier for the easy dunk, he motivated his teammates
and the fans in dramatic fashion.
"I couldn't hear myself think after that dunk," he would
say later. Rellford wasn't dreaming either, because he
and the rest of the Wolverines had found reality.

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