Joubert shoots from the lip
By Jeff Rush
TEN YEARS AGO, a 6 -8
baby-faced prep star named Earvin
Johnson prepared for his senior
year at Lansing Everett High
School, a year that ended in the
Michigan Class A State
Championship for Johnson and his
Things only became easier for
the Magic man. He attended
Michigan State University and won
the NCAA Championship his
sophomore year, then turned
professional and promptly won an
That same year a sweet-
shooting, running and gunning
sophomore at Detroit Southwestern
averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds
Antoine Joubert lit up
scoreboards during his next two
years like no Michigan Class A
player ever, scoring over 30 points
per game, grabbing rebounds, and
dishing off assists..
Joubert was the next Magic
Johnson, and college coaches across
the nation wanted the Judge to
bring his bag of tricks to their
Michigan coach Bill Frieder
pulled Joubert out of the hat, and
abracadabra! the Wolverines won
the NIT Championship. Two Big
Ten Championships followed.
Joubert scored consistently and
slipped enough assists to his
teammates to tie the all-time
Michigan assist record.
Despite his individual
accomplishments, Joubert received
a bad rap. He didn't live up to his
advanced billing as the next Magic.
Catcalls came from the stands at
Crisler Arena, the press called him
an underachiever, and he made
statements that upset opposing
And unlike Magic, Joubert
hasn't been able to win the big one.
He lost twice in the state high
school finals, and he has been
mediocre in the NCAA tourney.
"We've lived up to everything
except the national championship,"
Joubert said about Michigan.
As for himself, said the senior
guard: "The program was down in
the dumpster when I got there.
What else do they want me to do? I
turned the program around."
But because his numbers (11.5
ppg, 2.5 rpg) have been much
smaller than those he racked up in
high school, he is a target of those
who insist on criticizing Michigan.
"The writers look at who had
how many points," said Joubert,
who added he thinks he is better
Continued from Page 14
More important, perhaps, are the
scoring opportunities Purdue's big
men will get as defenses are forced
to cover Lewis 20 feet from the
Six-nine center Melvin McCants
(10.0 ppg) and 6-7 forward Todd
Mitchell (16.1 ppg) are two of the
Big Ten's best frontcourt players.
According to Keady, the success
of his team could depend on how
well junior point guard Everett
Stephens performs. Stephens will
get a chance to start with the
departure of Mack Gadis to
Keady has just two seniors on
his roster in reserve guards Tim
Fisher and Doug Lee. So even if
Purdue does not win the title this
year, the future of Purdue basketball
Maybe the most talented team is
Iowa (20-12, 10-8). Tom Davis
inherited a gold mine when George
Raveling went to Southern Cal.
The Hawkeyes are loaded with great
athletes, most notably, Roy
Marble. The 6-6 sophomore from
Flint averaged 12.5 points in his
rookie campaign, and showed
flashes of Michael Jordan on
occasion. He does take vacations
during the middle of the game,
however, something that should be
cured with another year's
In the backcourt, Michigan
natives Bill Jones and B.J.
Armstrong will handle the point
guard position, while Kevin
Gamble and Jeff Moe share time at
Iowa was devastated in the
frontcourt when 6-7 senior Gerry
Wright fractured three bones and
dislocated the knuckles on his
shootingihand inwan off-court
injury. Sir Jamelot was slotted for
the starting center positionwbefore
going down, a position that will be
played now by Ed Horton and Al
Lorenzen. Wright will be back in
mid-January at the earliest.
Davis, who will have his
Hawkeyes running on offense and
pressing on defense, says finishing
as high as the experts predict will
"It's hard for a first year coach to
win," he said. "It's hard to get a
handle on your own players. And it
takes a while for the players to get
comfortable with the coach. There's
a lot of adjustment that has to go
on from both ends."
The fourth team that could
challenge for the title is Illinois
(22-10, 11-7). Losing Bruce
Douglas and Efrem Winters to
graduation could be the best thing
that happened to Lou Henson's
"We plan to play a little bit
faster," Henson said. "Our players
are better equipped to handle the
running game this year than they
have been the last three or four."
Henson's best player is Ken
Norman, a 6-8 center who CBS
college basketball analyst Billy
Packer calls "the most underrated
player in America." Norman (16.4
ppg) can shoot outside as well as
bang underneath. His 64.1 field
goal percentage last year led the Big
Ten and was third best in the
And Norman is not Henson's
only weapon. Senior guards Doug
Altenberger and Tony Wysinger are
back after suffering injuries that put
them out of action for most of last
The Illini will again lie a model
of excellence on defense. Illinois
has led the conference in five of the
six defensive categories for the last
five years, and there is no reason to
think Henson's club won't be just
as effective this year.
"We hope to score and we're
trying to run," said Henson, "but
we don't want to sacrifice our good
"I think you have four teams in
the Big Ten that are better than
anybody else can put out there,"
said Packer. "If the conferences were
all chopped down to four league
teams, those four probably would
win a round-robin league
championship against any
conference in the country."
The other six teams do not
figure to be in the running for the
Big Ten title.
Michigan State (23-8, 12-6)
should be competitive, but the loss
of Scott Skiles will be too much to
overcome. Jud Heathcote's Spartans
do have two of the best players in
the conference in guards Darryl
Johnson (16.6 ppg) and Vernon
Carr (13.8 ppg). There is nothing
behind them, though, which has
"If we can just get anybody to
schedule us two-on-two, I think
we'd have a helluva season, but
five-on-five... we're struggling."
Syracuse transfer George
Papadakos will do his best to
imitate a college center, moving
senior Barry Fordham to power
The rest of the conference looks
Michigan's loss of its four big
men will throw inexperienced
freshmen into action immediately.
Antoine Joubert, Gary Grant, and
Glen Rice will lead the Wolverines
to what could be a 20-win season
and a post-season NCAA birth, but
those are lofty goals.
Gary Williams takes over for
Eldon Miller in Columbus with
perhaps the worst talent in the
conference. But like he did at
Boston College, Williams will
have his team running around and
annoying opponents with its
obnoxious tactics, and the Buckeyes
will probably surprise everyone by
pulling off a couple of upsets.
Williams' only legitimate player is
6-5 senior guard Dennis Hopson
(20.9 ppg), who might shoot and
rebound better than any other player
his size in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin (12-16, 4-14),
Minnesota (15-16, 5-13), and
Northwestern (8-20, 2-16) are all
F-Dennis Hopson, Ohio State
F-Todd Mitchell, Purdue
C-Ken Norman, Illinois
better than they were last year, but
the league is too tough for them to
have any chance of finishing in the
first division. -
V ARBOR'S A
7 TV SCREENS - S
WEEKEND / JOHN MUNSON
The program was down in the
dumpster when Igot there. What
else do they want me to do? I turned
the program around.'
n ' :............................................ .
:: ;:; :.
Take a study break! Come and eat falafel, listen to and sing good
Israeli music, and meet people. For more information, call the
Progressive Zionist Caucus at 663-3336.
Sunday, November 23
Hillel, 1429 Hill Street
1429 Hill St.
than his statistics show. "They
don't look at what kind of game
you played and what kind of game
you can play. We had an All-
American (Roy Tarpley) who could
score, and we fed him the ball."
It didn't make any difference in
the NCAA tournament. Villanova
and Iowa State upset the
Wolverines in their two
"Sometimes you're not mentally
ready. All season long you don't
hear about these teams and then you
don't come ready to play."
Frieder said it wasn't a team
problem. "Antoine individually
sometimes has trouble getting
That might come as a surprise to
those who read the stories that came
out prior to last year's second game
against Michigan State. Joubert
"guaranteed" a win over the
Spartans, and belittled since-
departed Spartan Scott Skiles.
Said Frieder at last Sunday's Big
Ten Basketball Media Conference:
"The guy I brought today is
Antoine Joubert, and as (Spartan
coach Jud) Heathcote will tell you,
he gives good quotes. He said last
year, 'We're going to beat the shit
out of State,' but that didn't
Joubert said his "cockiness" has
been blown out of proportion.
"I'm not cocky," he said. "I
know what I believe. People built
(the Skiles incident) into more than
it was. But that's over and done
"I felt we were going to win. We
Continued on Page 7
"Hunan Garden reaps the rewards
rng of fine preparation."
from Detroit Free Press, March 21, 1986
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WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 21, 1986
WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 21, 1986