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March 16, 1989 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-16

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 16, 1989 -Page 10

1989

NCAA

Tournament

Preview

Vaught

orchestrates move

I

into

basketball's forefront

Steve Blonder

BY JULIE HOLLMAN
During the past few months,
Michigan center Loy Vaught has
moved from second fiddle to first
trumpeter, and the tune he's cur-
rently tooting sounds sweet.
As the 1989 NCAA Tournament
begins, Vaught no longer lingers in
the shadows of his big-name team-
mates. During the regular season,
Vaught stepped to the forefront of
Michigan's all-around game plan and
emerged as the team's leading re-
bounder and third leading scorer.
Only the Big Ten's most prolific
player, Glen Rice, and guard Rumeal
Robinson topped Vaught's offensive
production.
He is currently the *nation's
second best shooter with a 69.4 field
goal percentage. His 67.7 percent in
conference play is the best in the Big
Ten and his accuracy places him atop
Michigan's season field goal per-
centage list.
THE NOISE Vaught has made
around the basket has forced people
to take notice.
"I was worried about Rice. I was
worried about (Terry) Mills. I was
worried about Robinson. Now I've
got to worry about Vaught too,"
Central Michigan coach Charlie
Coles said after losing to Michigan.
"Hell, he's going to be a first-round
draft pick. I can't take much more
worrying."
Despite his recent accolades, the
Grand Rapids native maintains a
humble attitude. "I'm a good player
on a team of great players," Vaught
said. "I'm the dark horse on the
team, behind Glen, Rumeal, Terry,
Higgins. Those are the guys that
came in with all the ink. They're
great players, and when I get my
name mentioned in the same breath
as theirs, it's a great feeling."
This season, however, Vaught is
getting his own share of the ink. His
13.9 points and eight rebounds per
game earned him Associated Press
third team All-Big Ten honors and
United Press International All-Big
Ten honorable mention.
BUT MORE than personal
accomplishments, Vaught covets a
national championship. He and the
Wolverines enter the tournament to-
morrow realizing that past Michigan

teams have not satisfied post-season
expectations. The Wolverines have
been plagued by average or sub-par
performances.
"In the past, instead of guys
playing over their heads, it's been
the reverse," Vaught said. "Maybe
guys are getting too emotional.
When you start relying on your
emotions, they can take you down as
fast as they can bring you up."
But if a more business-like atti-
tude is the solution to Michigan's
tournament blues, then Vaught is
the last player to set an example.
When Michigan is on a roll, the 6-
foot-9 junior is the first to initiate
animated celebrations.
Said Vaught: "I'm a happy per-
son. I'm happy for my teammates
when they do something and I'm
happy for myself when I do
something positive. I like to yell or
give a guy a high five. That's one of
the more enjoyable parts about
basketball. I'm like a kid out there
when things are going good."
"(Loy's) an emotional player,
who if he gets going, can be
sensational," Michigan ex-coach Bill
Frieder said.
V A UG HT, redshirted his first
year, started playing basketball later
than most college stars. When he
was just starting out in the ninth
grade, Vaught was tall enough to
block a lot of shots, but he was
skinny and timid. Eventually,
though, he progressed into a high
school All-American.
Now in college, Vaught is a
force in the middle and has even been
called a "thug" by some opponents.
"He's got a Big Ten body," Frieder
said. "When we recruited him, we
didn't know if he'd be good offen-
sively, but we knew he was strong."
No one questions Vaught's shot
anymore either. Said coach Jud
Heathcote after the Michigan State
game: "He didn't miss. What do you
want me to say? He never seems to
miss."
Although his success has stirred
talk .of an uNBA career, Vaught only
thinks of it as a possibility. He sees
himself as much in a NBA jersey as
in a business suit.
"I JUST HAVE the idea that
whatever I do, I'll be successful and

A list to check twice before
'M' starts the tournament
From watching ex-coach Bill Frieder's squad struggle through a season of
inconsistency, several things are evident for Michigan to begin April in
Seattle.
Glen Rice: Michigan needs his scoring and his leadership if the,
Wolverines aren't to make a quick exit. On the road in past seasons, the
basket has had a tendency to move after Rice's shots are in the air. He seems:
to have overcome the "away-gitters" this season, but Rice still has had his
problems getting open because defenses are now keying on him.
Frieder joked earlier this season that he would put a sign reading "Shot
Glen, Shoot" in Rice's locker, but shooting more is not the answer. Rice
needs to shoot better than he has recently and provide Michigan with better
rebounding.
Terry Mills: He has certainly been one of the great mysteries this
season. Sometimes he shows up to play, and in other games, such as last
week against Illinois, Mills tends to disappear.
It seems as if Mills gets discouraged if he doesn't get the ball during the
first two or three trips down the floor. Once he gets discouraged, Mills puts
his head down, his intensity level decreases, and his whole game suffers.
Also, when defenses play with any intensity against Mills, he tends to
move farther and farther away from the basket. I recognize your true desire is
to play point guard, Terry, but Michigan needs you inside. The team needs
Mills blocking shots and banging with other players his own size for
rebounds.
Loy Vaught: The best shooter in the Big Ten this season, hitting on
nearly 68 percent of his shots. And fourteen rebounds against Iowa? Not bad
for one game. Vaught hitting 8-10 from the field and not 8-16 can help this
Michigan team, especially when teams start keying on Rice.
Mark Hughes: Just plays good steady basketball off the bench. Hughes
comes over and provides weakside help on defense and eats up a lot of space
in the middle. Most importantly, Hughes plays smart basketball when he
comes in - you don't see him make a lot of mistakes - and this should
help in the tourney.
Rumeal Robinson: Certainly the key to this basketball team. Robinson
is expected to run the offense, run the defense, and be the on-court leader. In
the recent stretch when the team won five in a row, Robinson got everyone
involved in the game and showed no problem handling pressure defense(
But Rumeal has a tendency to get into quick foul trouble, and force thing.
If he regresses into the Rumeal of old, Michigan will not be spending much
time in Atlanta.
Mike Griffin: He really sets the tempo for Michigan by diving on th
floor after loose balls, taking the charges, and the like. Doing th
intangibles Michigan needs to win. If he could just shoot a little more whei
open, maybe the fans wouldn't yell "shoot" when he steps up to the charity
stripe.
But then again, Frieder told us before he resigned that if Griffin takes fo
shots per game instead of three, someone else won't get their fair share.
After all, the team only gets about 50 shots a game.
Sean Higgins: If he's on, watch out. But if his shots aren't falling, run
for cover. If Higgins is going to take six shots, he's got to hit four of theni.
Consistency is the key, or rather the missing, ingredient for Higgins J
offense.
The only two constants are that he will shoot the ball, hence the
nickname "Trigger," and not play defense. While scoring a lot of points
usually wins basketball games, a litle defense can make that job even easier.
Demetrius Calip: When Calip comes in, he can not afford to make
mistakes. Calip needs to move the ball around, and get everyone into the
game. Five on five isn't an even game if three players on your side are
standing around.
Size is a disadvantage for Calip defensively, and he needs to compensate.
But the key is not giving Michigan any minuses, as Calip's ball handling
will be needed to get Michigan past pressing teams such as Oklahoma.
All in all, what does this mean?
On paper, Michigan has tremendous talent, but the team must play
together.
Teams that have been successful against Michigan are primarily those
that slow up the tempo of the game, and force the Wolverines to play 30-40
seconds of defense every trip down the floor.,
Rebounding. With Michigan's size and strength up front, there is no
reason why the Wolverines should not dominate the boards. Against
Illinois, the smaller Illini players were able to get inside position, and get a
lot of second chance points.
Shooting. Michigan led the nation in field goal percentage for the second
straight year, and Frieder used to tell us this team will "live or die by the
three-point shot." If the shots are falling, teams will have a hard time
competing as Michigan's line-up causes match-up problems for many
teams.
Once Michigan dispenses with Xavier and the South Alabama-Alabama
winner, Michigan vs. North Carolina should be a good game. A third loss
in as many tries is too much for me to handle, but it ends there.
I guess I've spent too much time listening to Frieder say, "We don't have
the guards."
Sorry guys, but a trip to Seattle doesn't seem to be in the cards.
Oklahoma should prove too tough in the Regional final.
But at least you get to see Atlanta and Lexington.

C

Michigan center Loy Vaught has made people
name. Vaught enters the NCAAs scoring 13.9
grabbing an average of eight rebounds.
happy. I just have that confidence in rapper or si
myself," Vaught said. "I don't need a even though
lot of money, just enough where I him to give
could be happy and have some nice
things." But whet

DAVID LUBLINER/Daily
take notice of his own
points per game while
nger. He loves to sing
some people have told
it up.
her he can sing or not is

Although Vaught has achieved a a secondary concern. If Michigan
level of athletic accomplishment wants to avoid hitting a sour note in
most can only dream of, he would the tournament, it will need a stellar
trade it in a second to become a performance from Loy Vaught.

q

Everything you wanted to hear, and more

BY ADAM SCHRAGER
With the end of the regular season
upon us, it is time to reflect upon
what insights, revelations, and
general comments we have heard
throughout the nonconference and
Big Ten seasons. Following are my
awards and comments.
Most confident with reason
1) Purdue coach Gene Keady-
"The referees are kind of like my
players, I don't think they understand
the game." Purdue finished eighth in
the Big Ten this season.
2) Minnesota coach Clem
Haskins before the season-"For the
first time, I feel like we can win
some ball games." The Gophers are
going to the NCAAs for the first
time since 1982.
Most confident with no reason
1) South Dakota State coach Jim
Thorson-"We play a better zone
than Oklahoma." South Dakota
State is a Division II team. Okla-
homa is the No. 2 team.

2) Ex-Michigan coach Bill
Frieder-"You can check my record
against the Wisconsins, Minnesotas,
and Northwesterns. In order to win
the conference, you have to beat the
bottom teams. In the past we've
taken care of business against those
teams." Michigan lost to both
Wisconsin and Minnesota and al-
most to Northwestern. Is that why it
didn't win the conference?
Most Hypocritical
1) Indiana coach Bobby Knight-
"No matter how poor the officiating
is, you don't throw things on the
floor." Need I say more?
2) Frieder on Loy Vaught-
"Sometimes, he plays like he's got
nothing up there." The pot calling
the kettle black?
Most Creative
1) Michigan State's Parish Hick-
man on the first M-MSU game-"I
think we played well in the first half
but we broke down in the second. It
was two different games. We won

the first, they won the second. Too
bad this isn't the CBA where you
get a point for winning a half."
2) Sean Higgins on playing
guard-"I have to run the whole
game. I get tired of chasing those
little mice around the entire time."
Sean, when you're the big cheese,
that's what happens.
Most Cruel
1) Frieder-"Chris Seter (Mich-
igan forward) is injured; he's been
injured; and will probably always be
injured."
2) Indiana center Brian Sloan on
Michigan-"If you put five guys out
on the floor who are better prepared
and conditioned, then it doesn't
matter if they are better athletes."
The subtle kind hurts.
Most Complimentary
1) Iowa coach Dr. Tom Davis-"I
think Glen Rice is the No. 1 player
in the country. If he's not No. 1,
then he's definitely up there. You
don't think about shutting him out.

He's too outstanding for that."
2) Ohio State Jamaal Brown-
"Rumeal Robinson...he's a great
player. You can't stop him. You can
only try to contain him. He can do
whatever he wants on the court."
3) Central Michigan coach
Charlie Coles-(Michigan) has five
first-round picks on their team with
three or four possible lottery picks.
It is one of the greatest assemblages
of talent that I've seen. Despite all
that we're looking forward to play-
ing the game."
Most Idealistic
1)Williams-"We'll get over the
loss of Jay Burson." What have they
lost, eight in a row since his injury?
2) Frieder-"Tell (Dick Vitale)
when he comes in to bring all his
bullshit because we need some for
some patch-up work around Crisler
Arena. We can just throw it around
there and fix up some of the stuff
that needs fixing." Why Coach, you
won't be around to see it?

6

12. Loyola Mar mount 20-10
4. Louisville 22-8
13. Ark.-Little Rock (23-7)

1989 NCAA

4. Ioa 2w2- -4
. Rutoners lt(18-12)

6: Georgia Tech (20-11)

MIDWEST

EAS~T

6. Kansas State (19-M0

11. Texas (24-8)
3. Missouri 27-7
14. Creighton 20-10 '
7. Florida 21-12
10. Colorado State 22-9
2. Syracuse 27-7
1. Oklahoma 28-5
16. East Tenn. State 20-10
8.L alie (-51
9. Louisiana Tech 22-8
,5 Viroinia 119-10L =

I I

40

SEMIFINALS
Saturday, April 1
Seattle Kingdome
NATIONAL
CHAMPIONSHIP
Monday, April 3

11.Ariznona 27-1
1.Retan Morris21-
8. Wet.Vina Caif-4
9.Clemneson 1-10
56.RoetMoris . 21-80

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