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November 20, 1987 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-20
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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

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By PETE STEINERT
Last winter engineering junior
Inder Soni sat down next to Mark
Hughes on a train going to Chicago.
Along the way Soni and a couple of
other Michigan students struck up a
conversation with Hughes, unaware
of who he was at the time.
Not once during the entire trip did
Hughes reveal his basketball iden-
tity. He never said, "Hi, I'm Mark
Hughes, I'm on the Michigan bas-
ketball team. I bet you want my au-
tograph now, right?"
So much for the common stereo-
type that all college basketball play-
ers were voted most in love with
themselves by their high school se-
nior classes.
SOME PLAYERS may dwell
on their scoring averages and shoot-
ing percentages. Hughes and team-
mate and close friend Loy Vaught,
however, concern themselves with
more important issues - like win-
ning, something the Wolverines
should do quite a bit of this season.
"Even if I don't play or don't
score, as long as the team wins,"
said Hughes.
"I like to see everybody on our
team do well," added Vaught. "It's
great when one guy has a great
night, but I'd rather see everyone on
our team have a great night."
This unselfishness characterizes
their easy-going personalities off the
court. Together they consist of 13-
and-a-half feet and 460 pounds of
pure likableness.
This past October Hughes and
Vaught shared some of that giant
friendliness with the community.
Along with several other Wolverine
players, they co-hosted Mosher-Jor-
dan's annual "Halloween at MoJo"
for underprivileged children in Ann
Arbor.
THE TWO, who roomed to-
gether for their first two years at
Michigan, also appreciate quieter
times to themselves to escape the
spotlight of major college basket-
ball.
"I have a place to myself," said
Vaught, "and I guess I'm kind of a
loner because I like to go there and
just be by myself sometimes, watch
TV, listen to music, lay on my bed
and just think about stuff, (or) get
on the phone and call home."
Hughes, a former homecoming
king, listens to gospel music and
reads poetry.
Certainly, though, some things
must disrupt their normal good na-
ture. "One of the things that really
gets me pissed off is if I think I
made a good play either offensively
or defensively, and I get whistled for
a foul," Hughes admitted. "(The
officials) haven't been doing a bad
job, but they're not perfect."
The likenesses in Hughes and
Vaught stem from their similar

Hughes and Vaught just a
couof friendly giants

the season.
"We try to (push each other in
practice)," Vaught said, "but not in a
mean way or whatever. We .try to go
at each other hard, but there's still
respect between both of us."
So far neither one has taken the
upper hand over the other in prac-
tices and scrimmages. Hughes,
bothered recently by nagging injuries
to his elbow, hamstring, and knee,
started in the pivot last season and
has more game experience.
V A UG H T, on the other hand,
has significantly improved his game
from a year ago, particularly his
consistency, which has been a prob-
lem for him in the past. He already
possesses great leaping and running
ability.
Frieder could very well hold off
on his final decision until a few days
before Michigan opens its regular
season against Miami, Fla., next
Friday in the Great Alaskan Shoot-
Out.
Regardless of who starts, Hughes
and Vaught will see plenty of play-
ing time with the non-starter likely
to hear his name called first off the
bench.
"It's going to be the type of sea-
son where if they keep using that
competitiveness, along with Terry
Mills, it can't do anything but make
this team better," said senior guard
Gary Grant.
DESPITE HUGHES' and
Vaught's battle for a starting spot
and their talents as inside players,
most of the pre-season media atten-
tion has gone to Grant, an All-
America candidate; junior forward
Glen Rice; and the three highly
touted newcomers: Mills, Rumeal
Robinson, and Sean Higgins.
A sports writer could spend a
whole season (maybe more) just
writing about those five players. "I
imagine Hughes and Vaught are tired
of hearing about the rest of those
guys," Frieder said jokingly.
"It's not anything that I really
concern myself with or even think
Q about that much," Hughes said
i smiling.
j "I feel that those are the people
o that the fans love to see," he contin-
i ued. "They score all the points. They
# get all of the aention. I guess that's
the way society is."
Though Hughes and Vaught
sometimes go as unrecognized as
one's old classmates, they just keep
it all in perspective.
Said Michigan assistant coach
Steve Fisher: "The one good thing
about the both of them is that they
do have egos, but they're not so big
that they can't cope with not being
the focus."

m

Juniors Loy Vaught (left) and Mark Hughes both will see plenty of playing time in Michigan's frontcourt this
season.

backgrounds. They both grew up in
the suburbs of western Michigan.
Hughes graduated from Reeths Puffer
High School in Muskegon as a two-
time first team all-state selection.
Vaught, a first team all-state selec-
tion as a senior, graduated from East
Kentwood High School in Grand
Rapids.

THEY MET each other as high
school sophomores through a bas-
ketball tournament and have been
friends ever since.
"Mark and I, in a lot of ways,
we're very much alike," Vaught said.
"We laugh a lot together, and we
have a good time. We can
communicate really well."

Ironically, Hughes and Vaught
now find themselves battling each
other for the starting center position
in head coach Bill Frieder's lineup.
They represent the basketball team's
equivalent to Demetrius Brown and
Michael Taylor who vied for the
Wolverines' starting quarterback job
this fall up until the first game of

tre uil. cause i dunk goo.
THE ONLY BILL in the picture that He's not the only Wolverine who can make a ' ."$f
day was the one on the Michigan bench. that claim. Loy Vaught's dunk against Navy with two seconds left in the
maintenance crews fixed the rim.
WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 20, 1987

PAGE0 WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 20, 1987

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