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January 21, 1988 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-21

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Women's Basketball
vs. Michigan State
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Crisler Arena

SPORTS
Thursday, January 21, 1988

Hockey
vs. Ferris State
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Yost Ice Arena
Page 8

The Michigan Daily

Improved Badgers aim at Michigan

I

Yoder set for
star wars in
Ann Arbor
By JEFF RUSH
Wisconsin coach Steve Yoder was too busy to immediately join
Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference.
"Steve, are you there?" said Big Ten Service Bureau Director Mark
Rudner into his phone in Schaumburg, Ill. "Steve?"
No answer in Madison.
What was Yoder doing? Making reservations for a possible NIT bid?
In an era where a team only need be one of the nation's 96 best teams
to make a post-season tournament, Wisconsin never has made the NIT.
"STEVE?"
Was he waiting for some sort of early NCAA Tournament bid?
Wisconsin has not been invited to that tourney for over 40 years.
"Steve?" asked Rudner again. "There appears to be some problem."
Not according to Yoder and his Wisconsin players. Don't call them
the badgered anymore, just the Badgers, thank you.
WISCONSIN (2-2 Big Ten, 8-6 overall) - which faces Michigan
(3-1, 14-2) tonight at 8 - won its first two Big Ten games, the first
time they have done so since the 1979-80 season. That was three
seasons before Yoder arrived. "Yeah, this is my best team," said Yoder.
Except for some bad breaks at Indiana (a 55-53 loss) and a late col-
lapse at home against Illinois (an 80-65 loss), the Badgers have played
competitive Big Ten basketball. "We're not playing well the last five
minutes of the game," said Yoder.
But they still are only one game behind a team that had its 13-game
winning streak ended on Monday. A win over Michigan tonight would
leave the two teams tied at 3-2. Yoder, however, is not too confident of
moving into a deadlock with Michigan.
"I don't think Ohio State did us any favors," said Yoder, referring to
the Buckeyes' 70-68 upset of the Wolverines.
HE SAID it did not surprise him, however, that Ohio State beat
Michigan. "I don't think anyone should be surprised. They have great
support at home. It's hard for teams to play well on the road."
Which brings us, or at least the Badgers, to Ann Arbor. Wisconsin
has not beaten the Wolverines since 1984, and has not won in Ann Ar-
bor since 1982, the year before Yoder arrived. Of all Michigan's current
players, only Gary Grant and Steve Stoyko were on the roster the last
time Michigan lost to Wisconsin.
Say hi to Mr. Rice, Mr. Mills, and Mr. Robinson, Coach Yoder.
Rice is averaging 20.5 points a game in the Big Ten, second only to
Grant's 24.5 average.
MILLS has been hot and cold, but decimated Michigan State in the
second half of last week's game in East Lansing.
Robinson is coming off his best game as a Wolverine. He scored 19
points, grabbed seven rebounds, and tossed out six assists against OSU.
Wisconsin counters at guard with junior Trent Jackson, who is aver-
aging 19 points a game, good for fifth in the conference.-Jackson scored
18 first-half points last year against Michigan in Madison, but Grant
moved over to shut him down in the second half.
Wisconsin's other big threat is sophomore Danny Jones, a 6-6, 240-
pound rock of a forward who will remind Wolverine fans of Richard
Rellford. "I think he's one of the best inside players in the league," said
Yoder. "I'm sure he won't get recognized for this because he's only a
sophomore, but he's one of the best."

Glen Rice currently is second in the Big Ten in scoring.

THE GREAT WALL
RESTAURANT.

Specializing in
Szechuan, Hunan
and Cantonese

Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Rumeal Robinson had his best game as a Wolverine Monday night at Ohio
State.
-
Thompson finally'
w 1ining rat race

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While chef at Middle Kingdom,
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By PETER ZELLEN
During the afternoon hours, just
inside Crisler Arena, one can hear
the sounds of scurrying. These
sounds come from the rats. Not just
any rats, mind you. They are the
'gym rats,' the rats on the Michigan
woman's basketball team.
A 'gym rat,' as characterized by
Michigan head coach Bud Van-
DeWege is, "a player who likes to
pick up a ball and play. It's someone
who keeps playing during vacations
or even after the season is over."
The leader of this rat-pack is 5-
foot-7 senior guard Vonnie Thomp-
son. Thompson, a native of Sagi-
naw, transferred from Notre Dame to
Michigan midway through her
sophomore year. During her first
year at Notre Dame she received
plenty of playing time and played
well. However, it was during her
sophomore year that problems arose.
A GENERAL lack of chem
istry between Thompson and the
Notre Dame coaches was cited as the
reason for her transfer. She didn't see
much action that year and she felt

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THE
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CLUB

that she was not given a fair chance
to perform.
So, with no ill-will or angry
feelings towards Notre Dame,
Thompson left the Fighting Irish to
come to Ann Arbor in January of
1986. She was quickly inserted into
the starting line-up the next year.
Thompson led the team: in steals
and minutes played. In addition, she
set the Michigan record for assists in
a single season withh147, enough to
lead the Big Ten in that category.
She proved to be durable also,
averaging 36 minutes per game.
Coach VanDeWegecan certainly
testify to this. "I've only substituted
for her two or three times this sea-
son. She's getting what I need done
out there. I'm very comfortable
leaving her out there on the court all
game," said the fourth-year coach.
T H OMPSON has not let up
this year. She's averaging almost
nine points and four rebounds per
game. She's climbing the list of
Michigan's all-time assist leaders.
Thompson is currently fifth on the
list and is fifth in the Big Ten with a
5.2 average. She had a season high
of 12 against North Carolina earlier
in the season.
Her play has not gone unnoticed
by her teammates. Guard Sarah Bas-
ford is very enthusiastic about her
captain. "She's a complete player
offensively and defensively. But
most importantly she can pull the
team together when we need to re-,
group. Off the court she's a great,
fun, smart person. Vonnie is a real
asset to the program, " Basford said.
Many of the younger players also
admire Thompson. "She's a smooth
player and a good dribbler, said Carol
Szczechowski, a first-year guard.
"She is a leader on and off the court.
She keeps us together. She's going
to be missed."
Coach VanDeWege has a tough
road ahead of him in replacing
Thompson - and he knows it. "I
wish I had been able to recruit her as
a freshman. She's a great competi-
tor. We'll have to look for someone
with the same quickness and ball
handling ability. Also for a great
competitor, a person who does what
it takes to win."
The coaching staff will be con-
ducting a search far and wide trying
to replace the special 'gym rat.' But

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