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Basketball. Sixth grade. I was a
guard for my school team, the John
Ball Superstars. I wasn't entirely
sure what a guard was. Even so, I
knew what I would do...
Steal the ball!
See, I'm not very tall. Never have
been. I've gradually realized that this
places me at an extreme disadvantage
when it comes to shooting the ball
over people. But when other people
dribble, the ball often travels from
what is for me eye-level, to the
floor. I have found that if I grab the
ball as it passes the knees of my
opponents, the worst that can hap-
pen is we'll end up wrestling for it,
and sometimes, I get away with it.
And that's when the problems
start. See, my hands are tiny. Al-
ways have been. Back in sixth grade
they were even tinier. Once my fa-
ther tried to show me how to palm a
basketball. I grasped the concept, and
Dribbling was never a strong suit
for me. Even without a ball to con-
tend with, I'm no "speed merchant."
With a ball in front of me, I have all
of the grace and speed of a soused
My shooting's not too hot either.
I hit 50 percent of my free-throws,
but my field-goal percentage for the
One of the top five recruits in the nation, he's
trying to prove he's one of the top five on the
Michigan basketball team
Sean Higgins was one of the most highly recruited high school
basketball players in the country last season. In an unusual and
extremely controversial situation, the 6-8,195-pound swingman from
Los Angeles originally signed to play close to home with the UCLA
Bruins. He later claimed that he did so under duress because his step-
father had threatened him with a baseball bat. The NCAA began an
investigation and subsequently released Higgins from his binding
letter of intent.The ruling allowed him to return to Ann Arbor, where
he had lived until age nine, to play for the University of Michigan:
Higgins recently spoke with basketball reporter Adam Schefter during
basketball media day at Crisler Arena.
Daily: As a high-school hoops star you received many
scholarship offers. The bidding for you was intense. Coach Frieder
thrives upon recruiting. When did you start receiving love letters from
Higgins: I think I started receiving letters from Coach Frieder in
the tenth grade.
D: What did those letters say?
H: Some of them just used to be one-liners like, "How are you
doing? How did you play today? Did you get enough sleep last night?
How's the girlfriend doing?" Things like that.
D: When .practice first started, the running drills were a bit
excessive. Coach Frieder was hard on you guys. Yet, you seemed
more winded than the other guys. Were you unprepared for the rigors
of college basketball practice?
H: I wasn't unprepared. That's what you probably read in the
paper, that I was falling all over the floor. Someone wrote that.
D: I wrote it.
H: You wrote it? Well, that was just a joke. I just fell down
because they told me that Richard Rellford used to fall down on the
floor. So I fell down too. Now everybody says that I'm another
Richard Rellford because of running.
D: How does it feel to bring your Californian style out to the
H: I think it's a plus for the people in the Midwest because I think
a lot of the people in the Midwest are so-called hard-core, they say.
But I think'a little finesse and a little smoothness are needed out here.
D: Do you think you can start for this team?
See INTERVIEW, Page 21
year hovered around 0.0 percent,
jumping briefly to 0.1 percent, when
I "drew iron" from eight feet, and
then returning to neat, round, sym-
metrical 0.0 percent.
Even so, in a crucial game Karl
Mayweather passed the ball to me.
Karl was the finest athlete at m y
school. He wasn't that much taller
than me, but his muscle-to-poundage
ratio was probably twice mine.
Karl had nabbed a key rebound at
the other end of the gym. He charged
downcourt, dueling an opponent.
The other guy had a real uniform,
specially printed with his name and
school colors. The Superstars all had
homemade t-shirts, and we had been
jealous when the other team charged
out, looking like they were for real.
But Karl looked better now, forc-
ing his jittery foe to backpedal
clumsily all the way to midcourt.
Suddenly, the guy tied Karl up, and
Karl saw that I was in the clear. I
was complimented that Karl would
consider passing to me, though to
this day I have no notion what pos-
sessed him to do so.
Karl's pass was beautiful. Hard,
fast, solid, and right on target. I
ducked. The ball ricocheted off of the
gym wall, sounding like a bazooka-
shot hitting a gong. I ducked again.
The ball slashed over my head and
out of bounds.
It was the final game of the sea-
son. Our coach chewed Karl out for
not thinking about who he was
passing to. Karl apologized, and
played his heart out for the rest of
Remember the free-throw
percentage? That was earned in this
game. I was fouled after I stole the
ball from a pituitary victim, and I
hit the first side of a one-on-one. I
missed the backboard on the follow-
up. 50 percent. We ended up losing
by one point.
I mised the free-throw in early in
the second quarter, but when all was
said and done, I felt like the goat all
the same. I was sure that I had been
the difference between the loss, and
sudden-death overtime. And in sud-
den-death, we would have taken them
In the locker room after the game,
See LOGIE, 'Page 21
By SCOTT SHAFFER
Welcome to prime time.
The Michigan basketball team is determined to
prove that it merits all the pre-season attention it has
been getting. It is determined to prove that, yes, the
Wolverines do belong in the limelight - even if head
coach Bill Frieder has to be dragged along kicking and
Everyone seems to think that this year's team will
be one of the great ones. The players think so. The
television announcers and the sports magazines think
so. The fans certainly think so. But Frieder thinks that
the lofty predictions made for his team are undeserved.
"Despite what you've heard about our team, no one
knows better than me that we are extremely young.
You have to have veterans returning who have had
success. Those are the teams you want to discuss," said
the man who followed up back-to-back Big Ten cham-
pionships with a 20-12, fifth-place finish last year.
SO WHY ARE so many people so excited about
such an extremely young team?
When the kiddie corps consist of Terry Mills,
Rumeal Robinson and Sean Higgins, three high school
All-Americans, and you throw in Gary Grant, one of
the best all-around guards in the country, one can un-
derstand why there might be more than a few
enthusiastic supporters. Enough supporters, in fact, for
Michigan to be ranked seventh in the nation by Sports
Illustrated and ninth by the Associated Press.
Simply calling Mills and Robinson young is like
saying Picasso is dead. Sure it's true, but there is a lot
more to the story. Both of them were forced to sit out
their freshman seasons, victims of the NCAA's
Proposition 48. During their senior year, the two of
them were rated equal to or just a shade below J. R.
Reid and Rex Chapman, respectively. That's some
pretty elite company.
The 6-10 Mills will start either at center or power
forward, while Robinson, at 6-2, should start at the off-
guard position. When they committed to Michigan
over a year ago, experts rated Michigan's recruit class
as the best in the land. Finally, Mills and Robinson are
eligible to play.
FRIEDER, however, remains unmoved. "We have
six new players and three of them will be in our top
eight players. And we have only one guard who has
ever played one minute for Michigan."
Frieder's troops are
armed and dangerous
But, oh, is that one guard a dandy. Gary Grant is a
complete player. Last year, he led the conference in
steals, finished fourth in scoring and free throw per-
centage and third in assists. He already has been named
the pre-season Big Ten Player of the Year.
And when it is prime time for the Wolverines, you
can bet it will be the Gary Grant show. Frieder, as di-
rector, will make sure of that. "We are going to use
the one-guard offense this year. We have to rely on
Gary to have that basketball because he's our captain
and he knows what to do with it," said the eighth-year
With the graduation of the other two backcourt
starters, Antoine Joubert and Garde Thompson, the
pressure on Grant is even more increased. And the man
they call the General is well aware of his responsibili-
ties. "This year I'll get the ball on almost every play. I
have to be the set-up man and make sure everybody
gets their points and no one gets upset," said the 6-3
Grant. All this in addition to maintaining his scoring
duties and playing his aggressive brand of defense while
staying out of foul trouble.
IF GRANT IS THE STAR of the show, then
the nomination for best supporting actor certainly goes
to forward Glen Rice. A 6-7 junior, Rice was second in
the league with 9.1 rebounds per game last year. He
also was among the top seven in scoring and field goal
As a freshman in 1985, Rice was a pleasant sur-
prise, giving Michigan some scoring off the bench.
Last year, he became a starter and top-flight rebounder.
This year, he will have to become a leader and take
some of the heat off Grant. "As far as I'm concerned,
I'm willing to step out and do the job and face the
pressure," said the Flint native.
The final starting job will be shared by big men
Loy Vaught and Mark Hughes. Although overshadowed
by the excitement over the newcomers and Grant, their
performance will nonetheless be a key indicator of the
reviews that Michigan will receive. The 6-9 Vaught is
a flashier player, but it was the 6-8 Hughes who logged
more minutes last year. This duo will be relied on to
provide aggressive rebounding and tough inside defense.
With the starting cast completed, the plot thickens
when it comes to the role players, the bench. Who will
emerge as the third and fourth guards remains a mys-
See TEAM, Page 19
OFF THE WALL
Look closely at those you most
despise. In them your unexplored
THAT IS BULLSHIT - YOU
MAY LEGITIMATELY DESPISE
FALSENESS AND CRUELTY.
We are nothing but associated
random molecules striving to reach
equilibrium within the cosmos.
Why is there so much aggression
expressed on this door?
CAUSED BY CONSTANT
EXPOSURE TO FLUORESCENT
He (or she) who accepts novel
conceptions which are unsupported
by tangible verification w11
inevitably become bewildered and
That is, skepticism as a practical
state of mind must be incorporated
into one's learning process if
veritable mentality is to be revealed.
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Indiana's Keith Smart (23) and Dea
their Big Ten and national champions]
rest i n
By PETE STEINERT
"People are saying, 'Poor
Michigan.' I don't go for that. They
have a good team."
- Northwestern senior center
Shon Morris on Michigan's 1986-
87 team at last year's Big Ten press
The Wolverines did indeed prove
themselves ' as a good a n d
sometimes great team last season.
As far as wins were concerned, they
had some real keepers.
Michigan defeated three teams
ranked in the top five in the country
during the regular season on its way
to a 20-12 overall record (10-8 in
the Big Ten). The three victories
over Syracuse, Iowa, and Purdue all
came at Crisler Arena, where the
Wolverines went 15-3.
Michigan then advanced to the
NCAA Tournament and beat Navy
in the first round of the East
Here is a game-by-game look
back at the "Fab Four":
Michigan 91, Syracuse 88
January 18, 1987
The Wolverines entered this
game on a mission - to beat
undefeated and fifth-ranked Syracuse
- and they fulfilled their quest.
"I know Loy (Vaught) made a
couple of great plays in the game
with a couple of big dunks,"
recalled Mark Hughes.
Vaught, who came off the bench
to score 10 points, jammed twice
on consecutive M i c h i g a n
possessions with less than two
minutes remaining to keep the
Orangemen off the Wolverines'
Syracuse head coach Jim
Boeheim called Garde Thompson
"the key to the ball game." The
senior guard scored 23 points with
his nine-of-13 floor shooting, four-
PAGE 20 WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 20, 1987
WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 20, 1987