Page 10 -The Michigan Daily- Monday, January 19, 1987
S ull court Hughes anti Vaught...
+* PRESS ... best center on court
By JEFF RUSH
Syracuse center Rony Seikaly may have had the
best game of any single player on the court in
Michigan's 91-88 victory over Syracuse yesterday.
But the Wolverines may have had the best center.
Confused? Look at the stats. Seikaly was high in
the game with 25 points and 15 rebounds, and he tied
for honors with two blocked shots.
The numbers of Mark Hughes, Michigan's starting
center, were dwarfed by those of the 6-10 Seikaly.
Hughes scored 12 and grabbed six boards.
But Hughes isn't Michigan's only center. Since
day one, he, Loy Vaught, and J.P. Oosterbaan have
competed for the right to inherit the spot vacated by
=All-American Roy Tarpley.
YESTERDAY they proved fans may not have
to dream of the days of Tarpley for long.
Hughes and Vaught combined for 22 points, nine
rebounds, and two blocked shots - numbers only
slightly lower than Seikaly's. More importantly
though, Hughes and Vaught together went 10-of-13
from the floor. Seikaly took 20 shots to make only
"I don't know who said they weren't any good,"
"I think people who say they are not very good
are underestimating them. Their big men are
"Either they (Hughes and Vaught) are better than
they think, or we didn't do a good job defensively,"
said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.
EARLIER IN the season a coach may have been
able to get away with saying that bad defense was the
only reason Hughes and Vaught scored. The two were
putting the ball in the hoop as often as Indiana coach
Bob Knight makes it to press conferences.
But the Wolverines weren't playing just any team
yesterday. Syracuse came into the game 15-0,
undefeated in the Big East, and ranked fifth in the AP
poll. Teams don't accomplish any of that without
having some notion of life beyond offense.
The Orangemen have two outstanding big men in
the form of Seikaly and Derrick Coleman, a 6-9
freshman forward from Detroit. Coleman was voted
the Big East pre-season Freshman of the Year and has
been outstanding for Syracuse.
It wasn't a defensive lapse that allowed Hughes and
Vaught to score. The two are simply learning they
can play in college like they did in high school.
EARLIER IN the season, said Hughes, he
would have passed up many of the shots he took
yesterday. When Indiana refused to come out and
guard him at the top of the paint last Monday, he
responded by putting the ball in the hoop.
Though Hughes went only two-of-eight against
Michigan State, against Syracuse "the shots were
falling," he said.
Vaught started the season well, scoring 12 points
against Bradley. But before yesterday's game his
average was down to 4.3 points per game. He seemed
tentative going to the hoop. He wasn't tentative
yesterday - he slammed three times.
"I busted my butt to get down the floor," said
Vaught about one of the second-half dunks. "Antoine
(Joubert) found me open."
SEVERAL WEEKS ago Joubert may have had
to pull up and shoot a jumper. About 50 percent of
Joubert's jumpers reach their mark. Seikaly and'
Coleman each committed fouls while finding out that
there's no stopping a Vaught dunk.
"I think that I pretty much rose to the occasion
when the team needed help," said Vaught. "I thought
the dunks were a big lift."
With Hughes and Vaught improving, opponents
are unable to concentrate as much on Glen Rice. Rice
had a fine offensive game yesterday, scoring 19 points
from all over the floor.
The result is a team that, regardless of whether it
can win the Big Ten title, truly is showing signs of
being able to play with the best in the conference.
"There's no doubt they're very good basketball
players," said Seikaly. "It's stupid for anyone to
underestimate them because they're as good as anyone
we've played or anyone we are going to play."
Daily 'phote by SCOTT LITUCHY
Michigan's Jack Kramer tangles with Sherman Douglas for a loose ball. She.._nan led the
Orangemen with four turnovers.
riJice Prep star to Michigan?
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By SCOTT G. MILLER
Sean Higgins, a highly-touted
high school basketball player from
Los Angeles, has petitioned the
NCAA to release him from the
letter of intent he signed with
UCLA. Higgins claims he signed
the letter under duress.
"I have spoken with (UCLA)
coach (Walt) Hazzard, and told him
I don't want to attend UCLA," said
Higgins Saturday. "I want to attend
The 6-9 forward planned to
announce at a November press
conference his intention to play for
Bill Frieder. But his mother applied
pressure on him to stay closer to
Higgins' sister is enrolled at
Michigan, and his father lives in
Detroit. Both received phone calls
from Higgins the morning he
signed his letter of intent informing
them he decided on Michigan.
Higgins refused to comment on
the status of his appeal, but he said
the NCAA has begun an
"I have never heard of a precedent
for that type of case or an appeal
that worked," said Frieder. "So I'm
not counting on much."
Join the Daily's
Mass Meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. upstairs in
the Student Publications Building, 420
Guards help 'M' hand
Syracuse first defeat
Murd4 L IwU 0Uto hi
frtdG9, Thbrua 6
a three-point play instead of two
points, and I tried going into the
guy while shooting it and I just
Michigan center Mark Hughes
anticipated that Seikaly would get
the ball with the game on the line.
"He flashed over and I just bodied
him up, bodied him up, and made
him take an off-balance shot," said
THE GAME featured 16 lead
changes and eight ties. While
Syracuse's Seikaly and Detroit
native Derrick Coleman (16 points,
11 rebounds) controlled the inside
most of the way, Michigan's
frontcourt played well, especially in
the late stages of the game.
Hughes (12), Glen Rice (19) and
Loy Vaught (10) combined for 41
points, 16 over their collective
season average. And no baskets
were any bigger than Vaught's two
dunks on consecutive Wolverine
possessions with less than two
"(Michigan is) complaining
about their big men," said Syracuse
coach Jim Boeheim, "and their big
men don't do this and don't do that,
and their big men were 10-for-13 in
The two teams see-sawed during
the first 20 minutes, and Michigan
led at the break 39-36. Seikaly
paced the Orangemen with 13 first-
half points. Rice's 11 and Garde
Thompson's 10 led the way for the
GRANT HAD one of the best
six-point halves a player could
have, racking up three steals,
causing numerous other Syracuse
turnovers and holding Douglas,
who came into the game with a
17.1 scoring average, scoreless.
But Michigan's hard work in the
first half almost went for naught, as
the Orangemen scored the first six
points of the second halfon a
Seikaly three-point play and a
Monroe three-point shot.
But despite being in serious foul
trouble (Syracuse was in the bonus
situation just four minutes into the
half), Michigan held tough.
The Wolverines shot 58 percent
from the field in the second half,
while Syracuse shot less than 40
percent. A Thompson three-pointer
gave Michigan a 61-59 lead, which
it would never relinquish.
Thompson, whom Boeheim called
"the key to the ballgame," finished
with 23 points on 9-of-13
shooting, 4-of-7 from three-point
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