vs. #1 Penn State
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 29, 1987
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The Michigan Daily
By SCOTT G. MILLER
The University of Minnesota
Basketball Media Guide portrays a
wide-eyed Clem Haskins casually
surveying Williams Arena.
When first-year Gopher coach
Haskins enters Crisler Arena to face
Michigan tonight (PASS T.V.,
7:30 p.m.), his gaze may be
hardened. After opening the season
with a 7-3 nonconference record, the
Gophers' record is now 9-8.
They defeated Wisconsin and
Northwestern before losing their
last five Big Ten games, which is
enough to make any coach want to
shut his eyes.
YET IN his first year as
Minnesota head coach, Haskins'
eyes remain open because his
expectations have been less than
starry eyed. Haskins set his sights
on one major objective.-
"The thing I'm trying to do this
year at the University of Minn -
esota," said Haskins, "is build
character and try to bring some
credibility to the program."
The Gophers disintegrated last
season when players George
Williams, Kevin Smith, and Mitch
Lee were arrested on sexual assault
charges. All were later acquitted,
but the scandal caused 11-year head
coach Jim Dutcher to resign.
Minnesota is regaining cred -
ibility thanks to Haskins. His team
reflects the characteristics he dis -
played as a player in college and in
the National Basketball Ass -
"I'M VERY, very impressed
with their aggressive play, their
unselfish attitude, and their work
ethic," said Michigan head coach
Bill Frieder of the Gophers. "When
you have a team like that, you are
capable of beating anybody,
especially if the opposition isn't
ready to go."
Unfortunately for Minnesota, a
Big Ten champion needs more than
a good attitude. Haskins knows his
team lacks the talent and the height
(the Gophers' tallest starter is 6-7)
to be one of the top teams in the
conference. He feels the Gophers
have only four legitimate Big Ten
One of those players is freshman
Willy Bu ton from Detroit. Burton
averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds
a game as a senior at DePorres high
school and scores nine points a
game for Minnesota as a starter.
"Burton is like all young kids. It
takes time to make the adjustment
from a high school senior to a
freshman in college," said Haskins.
"He's going to be an outstanding
player his junior and senior years."
HASKINS also expects
freshmen Richard Coffey (7.4 ppg)
and Jim Shikenjanski to develop.
The Gophers need increased
production from sophomore Kelvin
Smith. His play reflects his teams'
largest weakness - inconsistency.
But with six freshmen on the
roster, Haskins understands his
"The ultimate goal is to win,"
said Haskins. "But when you're
outmanned, you have to be
realistic. And we are trying to be
realistic in evaluating our ball
Realism means looking to
improve each game and to stay
within 10-15 points with the top
six to seven teams in the Big Ten.
In two or three years, Haskins
expects the Gophers to again be
These meager goals pale in
comparison to the achievements
Haskins sought last season as head
coach at Western Kentucky, which
finished the year 23-8. He left the
safety of his alma mater, where he
compiled a 101-73 mark in six
seasons, to take the Minnesota job.
"I think the opportunity to coach
in one of the toughest conferences
in the country and to coach at the
state university would be a big
challenge for me," said Haskins.
"I'm used to that."
'The ultimate goal is to
win. But when you're
outmanned, you have to
be realistic. And we are
trying to be realistic in
evaluating our ball club.'
- Clem Haskins
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