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January 21, 1987 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-21

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 21, 1987

NORTHWESTERN SEEKS FIRST BIG TEN WIN

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(Continued from Page 1)
loss to Ohio State a couple of
weeks ago, Foster put him on the
bench and started freshman Bryan
Ross.
Ross (averaging 3.3 points a
game) should start tonight against
the Wolverines, but Cucuz will
also play.
Also up front is Northwestern's
best player, Shon Morris. The 6-10
junior forward is a legitimate Big
Ten player, who should see the ball
a lot against Michigan's smaller
and inexperienced big men.
Earlier this year, Morris scored
27 points against Purdue and 22
against Illinois. Last year, Morris
(16.5 overall) was the only player
other than league MVP Scott
Skiles to score 15 or more points
in 11 consecutive Big Ten games.
In an attempt to open up the
inside for Morris, and to add some
offensive punch to an impotent
Wildcat attack, Foster is inserting
6-2 Jeff Gross into the lineup, and
moving Elliot Fullen (6-2) to small
forward.

Foster had refused to do this in
earlier games because of the severe
height disadvantage the three-guard
offense presents. But against
Michigan, a team that also utilizes
three guards, Foster thinks he can
get away with it.
"We need some scoring, and the
threat of scoring from outside could
help alleviate the double-teaming
and triple-teaming that we've seeing
on Morris inside," said Foster.
Despite the talent advantage
Michigan seems to have, Wolverine
coach Bill Frieder is not taking
lightly the Wildcats or Wisconsin
(also 0-6 in the conference), who
Michigan will play Saturday.
"What I tell my kids every year
about this trip is that (Northwestern
and Wisconsin) are probably going
to be the ninth and 10th place
teams but they're going to win.
three, four, or five games every
year," said Frieder. "You have to
make sure that you're not the one
that gets it because they rise to the
occasion and they catch someone."

Miller Time
BY SCOTT G. MILLER
Recruit to Michigan?..
.one life to live_
D rama, intrigue, and selfishness.
The recruiting of high school basketball player Sean Higgins
had it all. Only a demented soap opera writer or professional
wrestling choreographer could have created a more bizarre scenario.
The 6-9 Higgins, considered by basketball experts to be one of
the top five seniors in the nation, is currently averaging 27 points
and 13 rebounds per game for Fairfax High School in Los Angeles.
Fairfax's 14-0 record places the school second in the USA Today's
high school rankings.
Higgins, who lives with his mother, narrowed his college
selections to Michigan and nearby UCLA and planned to announce
his decision during the NCAA early-signing period at a press
conference on November 18. He never appeared at the press session.
During that morning Higgins contacted his sister Jamie, a
freshman at Michigan, and his father, Earle, who lives in Detroit, to
tell them he would attend Michigan. But later that day, he signed a
national letter-of-intent with UCLA.
"He had more than pressure from his mother," said Jamie
Higgins. "It was something along the lines that she made his mind
up for him."
HIGGINS' PARENTS are divorced, which led to speculation
his mother wanted to either keep her son close to her or away from
his father. Regardless, it appeared fate had dealt Michigan basketball
coach Bill Frieder a cruel rejection.
This writer contacted UCLA to ask about their good fortune.
Coach Walt Hazzard was out so I spoke with his secretary, who had
not heard the circumstances surrounding Higgins' decision. After I
told her the story, the conversation went as follows:
"Hah, haaaaah, haaaah. Who are you? You're awfully funny."
"I'm a basketball writer, and that's a true story."
"Please call coach Hazzard later. He'll love a good laugh. Bah,
hah,hah."
Nobody in the Bruins program is laughing now. Claiming he
signed under duress, Higgins has petitioned the NCAA to release
him from his commitment to UCLA. Higgins waited until he turned
18 on Dec. 30 to appeal.
HIGGINS DESPARATELY wants to come to Michigan. He
follows the Wolverines on. television and is impressed with their
play this season.
"I like Coach Frieder and his staff," said Higgins. "I like.all the
players and not just basketball-wise. It seems that they all jell
together."
The thought of Higgins' jelling with next year's Wolverines has
to resemble the sight of black jack for noted card-counter Frieder.
The combination of Higgins and Proposition 48 victims' Terry
Mills and Rumeal Robinson would give Michigan the best group of
newcomers in the country.
Visions of grandeur, though, are not filling Frieder's mind just
yet. He cannot cite a precedent for this situation and is not expecting
much from the NCAA.
According to Higgins, Hazzard will free him from the
commitment, but it must be done through NCAA procedures. He
sounds like Mikhail Gorbachev telling a prospective defector to first
consult the KGB for correct procedure. Hazzard this week refused
comment. His office issued a statement saying they are aware of the
situation, and it has been referred to the Pacific 10 Conference office.
PAC-10 OFFICIALS said yesterday they had not been
contacted by UCLA regarding Higgins. They also said that letters of
intent are handled by the Collegiate Commisioners Association
headed by the Southwest Conference chairman Fred Jacoby. Jacoby
did not return my call. Considering past rule violations by SWC
members, don't be surprised if Higgins plays for Southern Methodist
University next season.
Wherever Higgins enrolls next season a basketball program will
greatly benefit. Where is anyone's guess.
"I would like him to come here," said his sister. "But I just want
him to go wherever he is going to be happy."
And that would be a switch. A soap opera with a happy ending.

;
..

Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Sophomore forward Glen Rice leads the Big Ten with 11
rebounds per game this season.

A)ST L LEIN
A M ER ICA S C O.LLE GE R IN G

Stop by and see a Jostens representative
this week to save on the gold ring of your choice.
Monday Jan. 19th-Friday Jan. 23rd, 11a.m. to 4p.m.

5 YEA RS
MORE THAN A BOOKSTORE

549 East University
Ann Arbor, MI (313)662-3201
(at the corner of East U. and South U.)

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COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) -
Lawrence Taylor, playing in his
first Super Bowl following the best
of his six NFL seasons, hinted
yesterday that he might retire when
190. . .

ay retire
his contract expires in two years.
"I don't want to be like Tom
Jackson and stay around 12 or 13
years," the New York Giants
linebacker said in a reference to the
35-year-old Denver linebacker who
will face the Giants in the Super
Bowl. Taylor will turn 28 Feb. 4.
"They keep coming up with new
kinds of offenses and I'm taking a
pretty good beating," Taylor said. "I
don't know if I can take it much
longer than a few more years."

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