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December 08, 1986 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-12-08

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 8, 1986 -Page 9

Guards spark Blue past UIC

By SCOTT G. MILLER
< Garde King Thompson's middle name told
the story of Saturday's 123-88 Michigan (4-1)
victory over Illinois-Chicago at Crisler Arena.
The senior guard ruled the court, scoring a
career-high 32 points on 11-for-12 shooting
from the field. He dished out seven assists and
even rejected a shot on a three-on-one break.
"I'm not going to let it go to my head," said
Thompson. "I'm just trying to play well and
shoot the ball when I'm open."
THE FLAMES (2-2) left the Grand
Rapids native unguarded all game in three-point
range, and he supplied the heat. Thompson
scorched the nets on 8-of-9 three-pointers,
consciously taking that shot when he had the
opportunity.
"You know when you are running down
there that the line is there. It is blue and dark,
and everyone knows where it is," said
Thompson. "If you are coming down for a
break, why go inside it two feet instead of just
staying out two feet. It's not that long of a
shot."
Nothing seemed that long a shot for the
Wolverines in this game. Michigan's other
starting guards combined for 52 points. Gary

Grant played a spectacular game, which is
becoming common for the junior this season.
After being benched for four minutes in the
middle of the first half for shabby defensive
play, Grant ignited his team's 32-10 run to end
the half with Michigan leading 65-34. The
Canton, Ohio native tallied 30 points on 12-
for-16 shooting, had six assists, and grabbed a
team-high nine rebounds.
"Nine rebounds for Grant is pretty good,"
said Michigan head coach Bill Frieder. "I'll
chew him out tomorrow for not being in double
figures. He comes in here thinking about nine,
and I'll tell him it should've been 10."
ANTOINE Joubert also became involved
in the scoring parade. The Judge, still rounding
himself into shape after a preseason knee
injury, knocked in 10-of-20 from the field and
had six assists.
"We don't have a designated scorer, but we
have a lot of scorers," said the senior. "We have
four good shooters. We just want to move the
ball and put some numbers on the board."
Michigan' 123 points set a record for putting
numbers on the board at Crisler Arena. The
previous high was 117 points against Eastern
Michigan in 1977. The Wolverines shot a
blistering 51-of-79 on the game for 64 percent.

"We started to shoot so well and that led to
them starting to take bad shots," said Frieder.
"That allowed us to get easy transition
baskets."
DEFT PASSING also allowed Michigan
to score easy hoops. Frieder's squad always
seemed to locate the open man. The Wolverines
had 29 assists compared to Illinois-Chicago's
ten.
"We have to make things happen because we
are at such a disadvantage with our size," said
Frieder.
Despite his team making everything happen
for a 35-point margin of victory, Frieder still
sees areas that need improvement.
"We give up a lot of easy baskets, and our
inside defense stinks," said the seventh-year
head coach. "Our rebounding also is shabby at
times."
Although the game was a blowout, it wasn't
meaningless. Frieder had a chance to empty his
bench in the second half, and his starters had an
opportunity to put on a shooting clinic.
"You think a game like that for Thompson
doesn't boost a kid's confidence?" asked Frieder.
"It does wonders for a kid like that."
Michigan plays Western Michigan tonight at
7:30 at Crisler Arena.

V
/ 4

full court

Three-guard offense...

p

S

&I

By ADAM OCHLIS
Michigan basketball fans who
were constantly upset with the
"boring" style of play the last two
years have reason to be upbeat this
year - even if the team does not
win its third straight Big Ten
championship.
r The Wolverines are running and
scoring to the extent that they are
placing themselves in the team
record books. And they have created
an identity all unto themselves.
Credit the three-guard offense
coach Bill Frieder has implemented.
With no player on the roster
taller than 6-6 ever having started a
game for Michigan before this
season, Frieder decided to overhaul
the "dump it in down low"
philosophy and start Gary Grant,
Garde Thompson and Antoine
'Joubert. While this lets the
seventh-year coach ease his
inexperienced big men into the
lineup, it also allows him to play
his three best players together.
In Saturday's 123-88 crushing of
Illinois-Chicago, the threesome
combined for 84 points on 33-for-
48 shooting (69 percent). Add the
ridiculously close three-point shot
(behind which the guards were 12-
of-15), and the Wolverines are
blowing teams out in a hurry.
Saturday it took less than four
minutes to stretch an eight point

first-half lead to 22. In the third
game of the year against Ball State,
Michigan increased a three- point
lead to 24 points in six minutes.
And last week against Central
Michigan, a 54-45 Michigan lead
became a 66-45 blowout in just
five minutes.
Garbage time Saturday started
with two minutes left in the first
half, as Michigan darted to a 65-34
lead at the break. Frieder didn't
empty his bench last year until five
minutes remained in the game.
The three-guard offense has added-
points and excitement to
Michigan's attack.
Unlike last season, Michigan is
running the ball up the court at
every opportunity. For every easy
layup the Flames had (14) Saturday,
the Wolverines had almost two
(26).
"I think the three-guard offense
is helping out a lot," said Antoine
Joubert, who scored a personal
season-high 20 agaist UIC. "We've
got some quick guys who can move
the ball and it puts a lot of pressure
on the other team to stop us."
The quickest is Gary Grant. The
Canton, Ohio junior has elevated
his game to a new level this
season, and he is running the
offense to near perfection. Grant has
improved his shooting to 60
percent (up from 49 percent last

year) and his scoring to 28.2 points
a game (up from 12.2). It is the
other things Grant does, however,
that will make him one of the
country's top guards by year's end.
At 6-3, Grant is Michigan's best
defender, playmaker, and rebounder.
That he is so effective on the boards
(he had a team-high nine Saturday)
makes the run-and-gun offense even
more effective.
At least twice Saturday, Grant
out-muscled UIC's Derrick Johnson
(6-8, 230 pounds), came out of the
pack alone and out-raced the other
nine players down the court for an
uncontested layup.
"He's the catalyst," said Garde
Thompson, whose 32 points (eight-
of-nine from three-point land) led
the team. "He starts the breaks, he
gets the rebounds, he does
everything. I think of him as a
Scott Skiles in his last year."
And like Skiles and the Spartans
of a year ago, Michigan's offense is
centered around the fast break, ball
movement and the outside shot, a
big change from the championship
years when the guards would walk
the ball up the court, and dump the
ball in to the big men (Roy
Tarpley, Butch Wade, Rob
Henderson, and Rich Rellford.)
"This year our team is getting
into our plays a lot quicker than we
were last year," said Thompson.
"We're still running the same

Sriples the fun
plays, but we're moving the ball a
lot quicker."
The improved passing game led
to 29 assists Saturday, which tied
the second best in Michigan
history..
"Yeah, we do a lot of things in
practice to get open for the open
shot," said Frieder. "A lot of times
we have a guard with the ball,
another guard is the next receiver
and as that's going on the third
guard is getting himself in shooting
position. "
"It's a more guard-oriented team
this year and so that can make
things happen with the three
guards," said Frieder.
"Gary and Garde really move that
basketball, and we have to do that,"
said Frieder. "We have to make
things happen because we're at such
a disadvantage with our size."

Garde Thompson flies over Willie Jett for two points in Michigan's 123-88
victory over Illinois-Chicago Saturday.
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By SCOTT SHAFFER
Special to the Daily
MINNEAPOLIS - There are
several possible explanations for
Minnesota's sweep of the Michigan
hockey team this weekend.
Maybe the Wolverines were
intimidated by flying to
Minneapolis to play the fifth-ranked
team in the nation. Maybe they
needed more time to get used to
Minnesota's extra-long rink.
Probably Minnesota was a far
superior team.
The Gophers routed Michigan
11-2 Friday night and completed the
sweep Saturday night with a 5-2
win that raised their record to 13-4.
The Wolverines dropped to 4-14,
tied for last in the league with
Ferris State, which was swept by
r Miami.
The Gophers literally skated and
passed circles around the
Wolverines, especially in the first
game.
"They taught us a lot about puck
control," said Michigan head coach
Red Berenson. "We stumbled with
the puck, batted it, rolled it, and
-kicked it all weekend."
Minnesota's superior puck
handling showed up on the stat
a sheet in the form of an incredible
-: number of shots on goal - 93 in
the two games. Michigan managed
only 43 in the series.
Not only were the shots
plentiful, but according to
Michigan goalie Glen Neary,
"Every shot they take is a quality
shot."
Saturdav's g'ame was the Paul

defender and set up Steve Orth with
an open shot for Minnesota's
second goal.
All of Broten's heroics came in
the first two- periods. Michigan
outscored the Gophers 2-0 in the
final period but both Berenson and
his counterpart Doug Woog
attributed this to a letup in the play
of the Gophers.
Friday's game was a nightmare
for the Wolverines. "We looked
mesmerized by the whole scenario.
I felt we didn't even show up in the
first period," said Berenson.
The Wolverines came out
completely flat in every facet of the
11-2 loss. Not only did Minnesota
lead 5-0 after the first period, but
their goal total in that time was
higher than Michigan's shots on
goal total (3). In fact, they outshot

the Wolverines by a whopping 20-
3.*
The Wolverines were better in
the second frame, when each team
scored twice, but the going got
rough again in the last period when
the Gophers scored four unanswered
goals.
Despite the lopsided score,
goalie Warren Sharples didn't play
that badly for the first two periods.
But when Jay Cates and Tim
Bergland beat him just eight
seconds apart in the third, Berenson
yanked the freshman in favor of
Mike Rossi.
Michigan forward Brad
McCaughey, who was scheduled to
play Friday, was a late scratch
although he was not injured.
Berenson denied he was being
disciplined.

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