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February 13, 1987 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

.4

Page 14 - The Michigan Doily-- Friday, February 13, 1987
Strugging

Spartans to

battle

Blue

By SCOTT G. MILLER
The 1986-87 basketball season
cannot end soon enough for
Michigan State. Spartan head
coach Jud Heathcote has labeled the
campaign the "most disappointing"
in his tenure at East Lansing.
While a win against Michigan
this Sunday at Jenison Field House
(2:00 p.m., ABC-TV) will not
salvage the year, it would help
soothe the Spartans' disappoint-
ment.
"Our kids haven't quit," said
14eathcote. "They practice hard, and
there's some talk about winning."
MICHIGAN STATE (8-12
overall, 3-7 Big Ten) needs less talk
and more action. After last season's
third-place conference finish, high
expectations permeated the Spartan
program. A lack of leadership and
inside scorers have caused Heath-
cote's problems.

"Maybe we were spoiled with
Scott Skiles the last two years,"
said Heathcote.
Guard Darryl Johnson, the Big
Ten's fifth-leading scorer, averages
22 points per game. But the senior

three-guard offense because of
erratic play from forwards Carlton
Valentine and Bobby Worthington
(11.2) and center George Papadakos.
Vernon Carr (13.3) and Kirk Manns
(8.1) join Johnson in the backcourt.

'Our kids haven't quit. They practice hard, and
there's some talk about winning.
-Michigan State basketball coach Jud Heathcote

can't get up for the Michigan game,
you shouldn't be wearing the
Spartan uniform."
Michigan head coach Bill Frieder
also expects an improved contest.
"It should be a great game.
(Dick) Vitale is doing (ABC color
commentary), and he'll make it
good," said Frieder. "He'll make it
good if it isn't good."
Despite road losses at Ohio State
and Indiana, Frieder cannot
complain about his team's
performance. With 15 victories, the
Wolverines need only three or four
more wins to guarantee an NCAA
appearance, according to the
Michigan coach.
"We have four teams coming up
that are in the second division," said
Frieder, "so we have to take care of
business. If we do, we'll be in good
shape going into the tournament."
GARY GRANT should be in
better shape for the Michigan State
game. Leg strains hampered the
junior guard last week. Grant and
his teammates are rested after taking
Monday and Tuesday of this week
off. A healthy Grant could increase
the Spartans' misery.
"Grant makes it difficult for DJ,"
said Heathcote. "(Grant) is the best
defensive player in the conference."

has not matched his preseason All-
America billing.
"I don't want to downplay the
year he has had," said Heathcote.
"But for us to have a better year, we
needed DJ to have a better year."
THE SPARTANS employ a

Earlier in the year, the
Wolverines' three-guard offense
provided the Spartans with one of
their many disappointing losses of
the season. Michigan (15-8, 6-5)
won 74-70.
"The second half was a typical
Michigan-Michigan State game,"
said Heathcote, "while the first half
looked like two teams sleeping
through an ordeal."
Heathcote prays for a better
game on Sunday.
"WE'RE HOPING for more
emotion, excitement, and enthu-
siasm from our standpoint," said
the Spartan head coach. "If you

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D aily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Michigan senior guard Antoine Joubert shoots over an Iowa defender in a
recent contest. Joubert and his Wolverine teammates hope to end their
two-game slump at the expense of Michigan State.
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