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February 03, 1988 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-03

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Page 12-The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, February 3, 1988
Pointguard strives to e el on and off court
Armstrong leads Iowaasul

Iowa point guard B.J. Armstrong
has never been one to turn down a
good challenge, whether it be run-
ning the Hawkeye offense, working
as an assistant stockbroker, or go-
ing water skiing.
"I like to just try a lot of things
and see what I really like," said
Armstrong, whose initials stand for
Benjamin Jr. "I think I'm just a
very versatile person."
The Detroit native demonstrated
his adventurous spirit when he
chose to leave his home state to
play basketball at Iowa. This fol-
lowed a brilliait career at Birming-
ham Brother Rice High School,
where as a senior he was named to
The Detroit News' five-player
Michigan "Dream Team."
"I didn't think it was right for
me to stay at home," Armstrong
said. "Being an only child, I felt I
needed an opportunity to get out on
my own a little bit. It was some-
thing I wanted to do, and my par-
ents were behind me."
AFTER a period of

acclimation, the 6-2, 165-pound
junior settled nicely into Hawkeye
country. He rooms with teammate
and good friend, Roy Marble,
another Michigan native.
"I just stuck in there when
things weren't always going my
way," the boyish-faced Armstrong
'I think by the end of
the year as he goes into
his senior year, you're
going to be looking at
maybe the best point
guard in the country.'
-Iowa coach
Tom Davis
said. "I just kept my head in there
and kept fighting through it. Hard
work pays off."
His gradual improvement from
year to year attests to that. He has
gone from seeing limited action as
a first-year player to leading this

year's team in scoring, assists, free
throw percentage, three-point
shooting, and minutes played. He
ranks third in the Big Ten in scor-
ing, tossing in 19.3 points per
"I came here with the attitude
that I knew I could play," Arm-
strong said. "I just continue to
work and try to build my confidence
up to a level where it's supposed to
be, and things have been happening
for the best."
NUMBER TEN molds his
game around his ingenuity. He
never enters a game with a set plan.
Instead, he lets the game's tempo
dictate itself and then adjusts his
style accordingly.
"I think by the end of the year as
he goes into his senior year, you're
going to be looking at maybe the
best point guard in the country,"
Iowa coach Tom Davis said. "If
he's not the best, he's going to be
pretty close, and that's a great trib-
"He's so consistent as an indi-
vidual and as a person, that as a

coach I can predict his success a lot
easier than I would if you're dealing
with somebody who is not quite as
steady in his personal life."
Coaches around the conference
echo Davis' sentiments. "I know
everybody talks a lot about Gary
Grant, and I have a lot of respect for
Gary, but if there's one guard play-
ing great basketball in this confer-
ence right now, it's B.J. Arm-
strong," Wisconsin's Steve Yoder
said after Armstrong's 19-point,
nine-assist effort last week in a
104-89 win over the Badgers.
ARMSTRONG also earned
the praises of Indiana's Bob Knight
when he scored a career-high 27
points in the Hawkeyes' 84-70 vic-
tory over the Hoosiers earlier in the
Armstrong downplays the atten-
tion like John McEnroe downplays
etiquette. "It's just there, and you
just put all of that behind you every
day and remember what got you
there, and that's hard work and a lot
of hours at the gym shooting and
See B.J., Page 13

Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON

Michigan's Gary Grant will have a tough time guarding Iowa's B.J.
Armstrong tonight at Crisler Arena. Armstrong is third in the Big Ten
in scoring, averaging 19.3 points per game.



Hawkeyes next
on Blue slate


Michigan swimmers qualify


Illinois, Syracuse, and tonight
Iowa - the parade of top 20 op-
ponents continues for 11th-ranked
In the 13th-ranked Hawkeyes,
the Wolverines will face their
stiffest conference competition yet
(8 p.m., Crisler Arena. Ch. 62).
"They're playing great basket-
ball," said Michigan coach Bill
Frieder, "and it's no surprise be-
cause they've got a great nucleus
back from a team that had an ex-
cellent season a year ago.

"It's going to be a tough bas-
ketball game. We know we've got
our hands full."
Iowa (15-5 overall, 5-2 in the
Big Ten), winners of five straight,
enters the contest hot on the heels
of first-place Michigan (17-3, 6-
1), and Purdue.
The Hawkeyes rely on their
press, and a balanced scoring at-
tack led by guard B.J. Armstrong
(16.8 points per game) and forward
Roy Marble (14.6 ppg). The rest
of the probable starting lineup in-
cludes guard Bill Jones, forward
Kent Hill, and center Ed Horton.

for summer 01
"It is the highlight for any amateur athlete."-
Jon Urbanchek.
"It is a chance to compete with the best in the
world. It's what all athletes are competing for."-
Mike Barrowman.
"It" is the Olympics. For two weeks in the
summer, every four years, "it" is the focus of the
world's spotlight.
The Olympics are arguably the greatest spectacle
in sports. The exploits of the athletes are magnified,
glorified, and recorded forever in the timeless capsule
of Olympic lore.
HOPEFUL Olympians possess a rare blend of
talent and dedication. They train for years in their
particular discipline, in hopes of fully reaching their
potential. They also must hope that maximizing their
potential will be good enough for them to qualify.
Four current Michigan swimmers, plus two who
graduated last year, have qualified for the tryouts to
represent the United States at this summer's games in
Seoul, South Korea. Their dreams of participating in
the Olympics will be on the line from August 8 to
August 13, during the U.S. trials in Austin, Texas.
Two other Wolverines, Erick Olsen and Alex
Alvizuri, will represent their native countries, Nor-
way and Peru respectively, at the games. Both partic-
ipated in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
AMONG THE Michigan swimmers at the
Olympic trials will be freestyler Brent Lang,
breaststroker Mike Barrowman, backstroker Mike
Creaser, and butterflyer Marty Moran. Several others

ympic trials
are thought to have a shot at qualifying for the trials.
The pressure at the trials will be intense. Each,
swimmer will participate in only a couple of events~
some in only a single event.
"It will be the biggest meet of my life to that°
point. It's what I've trained for the last eight years,"
said Barrowman, who will swim only in the 200 me-,
ter breaststroke. "It's eight years for two minutes:" ;
Freestylers Joe Parker and Dave Kerska starred in
the Big Ten for the past three years, graduating in
1987. Both have stayed with the Michigan program*.
this year as assistant coaches in order to train for the
.BOTH PARKER and Kerska will be trying
out in the 50, 100, and 200- meter freestyle. Both are
among the nation's top 16 swimmers in each event,
of which eight will qualify.
"I'm putting my life on hold for a year to pursue
the trials," said Parker. "I wouldn't have put the time 4
into it if I didn't think I had a reasonable shot. It's
really difficult. If I make it, it will be great. If I don't,
life goes on."
Parker was at the trials in 1984, but he wasn't as
serious about qualifying. "It was my first experience
with big time swimming. I was more or less just
happy to be there. I was more or less overwhelmed.",'
MICHIGAN head coach Jon Urbanchek is
optimistic about his freestylers chances of making the 4
team. "Lang, along with Kerska and Parker, have, a
pretty good shot at the relays," said Urbanchek.

... Olympic bound?
CALL 764-0557



G , NP





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