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March 20, 1990 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-20

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Women's Gymnastics
Big Ten Championships
Friday and Saturday, Time TBA
Varsity Arena


Men's Swimming
NCAA Championships
Friday and Saturday, Time TBA
Indianapolis, IN

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, March 20, 1990

Page 9

Wolverines net split decision
Blue beats Arkansas, loses to West Virginia

by Eric Berkman
Daily Sports Writer
A weekend jaunt to Pittsburgh
Onetted the Michigan men's tennis
team mixed results. Sparked by sin-
gles victories by David Kass, John
Karzen and David Pierce and doubles
wins from Kass and Scott Cuppett
as well as Karzen and Mitch Rubin-
stein, the Wolverines pulled off a 5-
4 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
. "Arkansas beat us last year in the
same event," coach Brian Eisner
said. "So it was nice to get the win
back. Overall, we had a good team
performance-everyone played well.
If you can put nine good matches
out there, you should usually get
five points."
However, Michigan was not as
fortunate Sunday, losing to West
Virginia 7-1, the sole Wolverine vic-
tory coming from Rubinstein.
West Virginia is a better team,"
Eisner said. "They also beat
Arkansas. West Virginia plays ex-
tremely well on hard, fast indoor
courts, which is exactly what we
played them on."
Eisner described the 7-1 deficit as
"a very deceptive score."
"We lost three three-set matches,"

he said. "If we had gotten all three of
those close matches plus Rubin-
stein's win, a doubles win would put
us right over."
Eisner stressed that Cuppett had
two very close matches. In addition
to losing 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to the Razor-
backs' Donnie Wood, he lost 2-6, 6-
4, 6-4 to West Virginia's Paul
"Cuppett has been outstanding,"
Eisner explained. "Both of his
matches were extremely close three-

set matches. Against Mancini, who
is between 10 and 20 in the nation,
he played a really tight match."
"I played well, but I should have
won both," Cuppett said. "They
were tough matches, but I'm not sat-
isfied with letting two very close
matches get away.
"These were much tougher
schools than what we have left, so I
look to win my next few matches,"
he added
Eisner also noted that Kass,
Michigan's first singles player, was
hampered by an injury this weekend.
"Kass's shoulder was bothering
him, so I defaulted number one dou-
bles on Sunday," Eisner explained.
"We have spent a lot of time work-
ing on putting more spin on his
second serve-this changes the posi-
tion of his toss, moving it to the
left. This created an irritation in his
shoulder. He'll play Wednesday-
then he can have a few days off and
correct it completely."
Summing up the whole weekend,
Eisner said, "you never feel satisfied
in losing but I do see improvement.
And the guys see it and know it

Michigan forward Sean Higgins hams it up during last year's post-championship pep rally. Speculation has
persisted that Higgins is about to announce his plans to file for the NBA draft.
A word to the wise for The Dean

It is clear that I
suggest that Sean
forward, should sta


'm not breaking new ground when I
Higgins, Michigan's 6-9 junior
y in school for his senior season.
Everyone from Higgins' high
school coach at Los Angeles' Fairfax
High School, Harvey Kitana, to his
college coaches, to NBA scouts, to
his father feel he would profit from
spending another year in college to
work toward his degree in education.
"At this time I think it's the
wrong thing to do," Higgins' father,
Earle, said last night. "The only
thing I have to say is if I see that he
consciously made that decision on
his own I could learn to live with

e tan
by Michael Bess
Daily Sports Writer

The agonizing waiting game is almost over. Indi-
anapolis is only a couple of days away for the men's
swim team, as the NCAA's begin on Thursday.
Go back to November. Coach Jon Urbanchek and his
team had their season goals clearly in mind. First,
&steady improvement in times throughout the regular
season. Second, a fifth consecutive Big Ten champi-
onship. Third, a national title.
Two down, one to go.
In listening to the coaches and swimmers all year,
the NCAA championships are all that seem to matter.
It's almost as if their season would be a disappointment
if they are unable to capture the national title. Talk
about high expectations. It would be absurd to down-
play such a successful season.
But this collection of athletes is extraordinary. We're
talking about some of the premiere competitors in the
world. Everyone knows about the magnificence of Brent
Lang and Mike Barrowman, but often lost in their
shadow are a number of All-Americans. Names like
Rick Wilkening, Eric Wunderlich, Eric Bailey, Eric
Namesnik. All must perform in order for the maize and
blue to reign supreme.
The Michigan program has won five consecutive Big
Ten championships under Urbanchek. Impressive per-
formances. Also significant is the Wolverines' progres-
sive improvement in the past four NCAA champi-

Reality of NCAA
title approaches
1986- Big Ten Champions, 25th in the NCAA's.
1987- Big Ten Champions, 6th in the NCAA's.
1988- Big Ten Champions, 5th in the NCAA's.
1989- Big Ten Champions, 3rd in the NCAA's.
Notice a pattern. The Wolverines are determined not
to regress, which means they must finish no worse than
second. Quite a challenge, but the they are prepared.
They have viewed the regular season as merely an exhi-
bition to the big show in Indianapolis. Every perfor-
mance has been measured against NCAA standards. To
put it lightly, they have a one track mind.
Go back to January. Michigan defeated number one
Stanford at Canham Natatorium. The following week,
two heart-breaking dual meet -losses to highly ranked
USC and UCLA. Five days later, a first place finish in
the Dallas Morning News Invitational.
For most, such a roller coaster ride of fortunes would
be emotionally draining. Invigorating victories, disap-
pointing defeats. Yet throughout the season, the
Wolverines have remained remarkably focused on their
ultimate goal.
If they accomplish a national title, will students de-
molish South U. in a drunken frenzy? Probably not.
But whether they win it or not, Urbanchek's swimmers
should be recognized for what they are. The premiere
team at the University of Michigan.

Then why has he fueled speculation by remaining in
Los Angeles to discuss the matter with his mother?
It is obvious that a player who came into Michigan
with all his credentials-he was California's state
Player of the Year twice, and a McDonald's and Parade
All-American-could feel that his talents were over-
looked or underused on a team with three other potential
NBA players.
In addition, he has endured a frustrating three seasons
at Michigan which started even before he arrived in Ann
Arbor. First there was the highly celebrated incident in
which he claimed that his step-father coerced him into
signing a national letter of intent with UCLA..
Next, Higgins, along with teammate Demetrius
Calip, was declared academically ineligible and missed
the second half of his first season. He was also involved
in an off-court drinking incident and a fracas at the
This season he had been playing solid all-around
basketball until he was injured. He was recognized as
his team's best defender after he shut down
Northwestern's Walker Lambiotte, Illinois' Kendall
Gill, and Minnesota's Willie Burton.
He finished the season third on the team in assists
and connected with the third-most three-point goals. But
on January 31, he suffered a stress fracture in his left
foot and was phased out of the offense somewhat on his
Whether or not Higgins' apparent interest in turning
pro resulted from a lifelong interest in the NBA game
- Higgins has often stated he always preferred the pro
game to the college version- frustration, or simply the
lure of NBA riches, is something only Higgins knows.
Pete Babcock, the Atlanta Hawks Director of Player
Personnel, feels that no matter what his reasons would
be for turning pro, Higgins should wait another year.
"My philosophy has always been that there are very
few players who benefit from coming out early,"
Babcock said. "I understand the enticement but (the
NBA) is such an adjustment even after your senior
season. If you come out early, then maybe you don't

make it (past that adjustment). "
Babcock also pointed out that the NBA does not
make a point of soothing damaged egos. "You don't
have as much attention as you do coming out of the
schools in the NBA."
NBA Director of Scouting Marty Blake concurred.
"That's (going pro) is his privilege, of course, but the
fact that he applies doesn't mean that teams are
obligated to select him."
He then added somewhat sarcastically, "I don't know
why (he may have decided to go pro). On the basis of
his superlative junior season?"
Los Angeles Lakers general manager Jerry West was
even more emphatic, saying "I just think he should stay
in school, period."
Though much of the speculation abouttHiggins'
future may be unfounded-Higgins has yet to make a
decision according to Michigan Sports Information
Director Bruce Madej- Higgins' father is under-
standably a bit frustrated.
Earle Higgins played his college basketball at
Eastern Michigan and later played for the NBA's Indiana
Pacers. Currently he spends his time counseling youth
with a program called ALERT (Athletes Learning
Educational Resource Training) which encourages
youngsters to get their education.
Mr. Higgins understands the irony involved in his
"It's kind of sad," the elder Higgins said. "You give
advice to somebody else's kid and they listen to you. I
guess he"ll have to learn from his mistakes. Sometimes
that's the best way.
"Sometimes prioritizing is difficult when all you're
life you dream of going to the NBA and you try to
follow your father's career."
Before the younger Higgins makes any decision on
his career, he would be wise to pay heed to the message
of a poem relayed to his father by former Wolverine
great Cazzie Russell:
Sometimes when you're feeling important.
Sometimes when your ego is in bloom.
Sometimes when you think that you're the most
important person in the room.
Sometimes when you think that your leaving will
leave an unfulfillable hole.
Just follow these simple instructions and see how it
humbles our soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water. Put you're
hands in it up to your wrists. Take your hands out and
the hole that is remaining is the measure of how much
you will be missed.
Now you can stir as you enter or you can splash
galore but its the same as it was before
The quaint moral of this story is to do the best that
you can and be yourself because there is no indis-
pensable man.


onships. Look at the record:

Continued from Page 1
fin, Loy Vaught, Rumeal Robinson,
and Terry Mills. A short while later,
the speculation was quelled when
both the coaching staff and Higgins
adopted the stance that he would re-
main for his senior year.
0 "People just assume I'm going to
go pro because of the situation (the
loss of four seniors)," Higgins said
in January.
"The NBA is something I've al-
ways dreamed of but it's not some-
thing that can't be waited for. I plan
on coming back but you never
Apparently, the season's disap-
pointing conclusio. rekindled Hig-
gins' thoughts of the NBA. He had

been playing the most consistent
basketball of his college career until
a stress fracture in his left foot side-
lined him on January 31. At the
time, Higgins was averaging just
over 16 points a game.
He returned six games later but
his playing time decreased signifi-
cantly. In his last six games, he av-
eraged 6.8 points and less than 20
minutes of playing time.
Higgins Sr. said that he has re-
peatedly advised his son to stay in
school and finish up his senior year.
"He knows how I feel about it," he
said. He added that he didn't feel his
son's decreased playing time weighed
into it, and indicated surprise over
the recent developments.
"I thought he was looking for-
ward to next year," Higgins Sr. said.

"He and Demetrius Calip would
probably be the only seniors starting
and it would have been his year."
"(The coaching staff) is not really
sure what is going on either. They're
taking a 'let's wait and see what
happens' approach."
1.Texas 632.0
2.Stanford 622.5
3.Florida 477.0
4.Califomia 263.0
5.UCLA 224.0
6.USC 182.5
7.Michigan 163.0
8.SMU 122.0
9.Arizona State 118.0
10.Nor'western 100.0

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