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November 15, 1991 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-15
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NwcoerE kePAeur
U ~IYT 11 ~ Newcomers key resurgence

Michigan will no longer be a
pushover in the rough and tumble
Big Ten conference, thanks to a
couple of teenagers. But
newcomers Juwan loward and
Chris Webber can hardly be
called kids.
"The talent level they have,
you'll see it," Fisher said. "So
often you see freshmen come in
and you say,'In two years and 20
pounds, he'll be good.' Chris and
Juwan, they're bringing that 20
pounds with them. And we're
hoping that in two years they'll be
that much better. So I'm hoping
that will somewhat allow them
not to play like freshmen."
Howard and Webber were the
top two scorers in last Saturday's
Blue-White scrimmage, with 25
and 22 points, respectively.
"The five of us (rookies) -
we're not freshmen in
basketball," Webber said, "We're
freshmen in college."
But they are still new. And
they will have to beat out some of
the older players for starting jobs.
Both James Voskuil, a 6'7"
junior, and Freddie Hunter, a
walk-on who earned a place in the
starting lineup at the end of last
season, return for the Wolverines
in the frontcourt.
Voskuil is Michigan's top
three-point shooter, and has
improved his overall game, thanks

of Michigan's
in part to his tour this summer
with a Big Ten All-Star team in
Europe. Voskuil's progress was
hampered last season when he
underwent foot surgery in
November. Still, he came on to
start ten games, scoring in double
figures in several Big Ten
Hunter was Michigan's second
leading rebounder a year ago, and
his hustle is invaluable. lie is a
crowd favorite, and he will look to
score more this season,
complementing his tenacious
defense. Ihunter, who started 12
games last year, also won the
three-point shooting contest at
Midnight Madness.
Sophomore Sam Mitchell is
now Big Sam Mitchell, as a result
of his offseason weight training.
At 6'9," 236 pounds, Mitchell has
added 20 pounds to his frame to
help him survive the physical play
in the Big Ten.
Rich Mciver showed flashes of
brilliance last year, providing
some spark off the bench on the
road against Duke and Iowa. An
excellent shotblocker, McIver is
still adjusting to the college game.
Chris Seter is yet another
returning forward, adding even
more depth to the position -
thus eliminating a major
weakness from last year.
Michigan will not be forced to put

a small lineup out on the floor
like they often were last season.
And the big men are agile.
Webber is quick and explosive.
lie already appears capable of
taking over a game. Both he and
Howard fill the lanes on the break
extremely well and will step out
to the top of the key in the
halfcourt offense, keying the
passing game.
"One thing Juwan will bring to
us for a big man, and he's not a
great leaper, but he's got very,
quick feet," Fisher said. "And
he's.a good passer, and he's
Meanwhile, the least
publicized of the rookies is
making a big impact in the
preseason. Ray Jackson, a strong
6'6" perimeter player and also a*
great leaper, has been impressive
in practice. Hle will be a
swingman for Fisher, moving to
the backcourt when needed.
"lIe's very athletic, he plays,
hard, he's going to be a fine
player for us," Fisher said. "He's
a perimeter player, and I hate to
start throwing, 'Ie's a point
guard, he's a two-guard.' He's a
perimeter.player with a lot of
athleticism, who, because of how
hard he plays, is going to get a
long look and great opportunity."
by John Niyo-

Senior Freddie Hunter sparks Michigan with his hustle and intensity.
Bulked up Eric Riley now
has help in the middle

and bang people around."
King will backup both guard slots, and
provide a lot of excitement with his aerial
The two met up again at the
McDonald's All-American game last April.
Both played for the victorious West team,
along with Rose and Webber. This was
their first taste of playing together. King
even teamed up with Webber and Rose on
a special "Michigan dunk" to win the
Over the summer, Howard joined'
Webber and Rose on Team Michigan,
which won the AAU 19-under National
Tournament. Webber and Rose also led
Superfriends to the AAU Junior Olympics
All the experience these four have
playing with one another can only be a
positive factor for the Wolverines this
season. Familiarity with each other's
playing styles will help the team gel more
"It's like we kind of knew each other
and what each other did well before we
even got here," Rose said. "So it's like a
blessing in disguise. If we practice all the
time now, we'll be that much better."
Ray Jackson is the least-heralded
Wolverine rookie, but he is a fine player in
d his own right. At 6-foot-6, 213 pounds, he is
considered by some the finest athlete of
the five.
"Ihaven't seen a better player in
Texas," said his high school coach, Mike
McShane. "King may be better in one
thing, but Ray is more versatile. He can
pass, rebound and block shots.
"I think he'll be an immediate impact
player. He's got all the tools."
Jackson's college choice came down to
Georgetown, Arkansas and Oklahoma,
along with Michigan. Some coaches even
told him they would build their programs
around him. But Jackson wanted to play
with other players of his caliber, and
Michigan was the place.
"It just all fell together - the
academics, the basketball, the program, the
coach," he said.
There was some speculation that
Jackson might be redshirted this year
because of the abundance of players on the
squad, as well as the raw nature of his
skills. But Fisher has apparently seen
enough of his talents in practice to put that
rumor to rest.
"You're going to like him," Fisher said.
"He's a perimeter player with a lot of

athleticism whc
plays, is going t
Although Jac
McDonald's ga:
did not play on
he is still consid
"lle fits inju
said. "No differ
player, and you
Ray plays hard,
- that's one of
he runs the floc
hard, he scores.
"They just a
pulled me in.'T
coming in regar
or not,"' Jackso
kind of mad, be
the summer. T
wait so late to c
it easy, real easy
These five v
Michigan baske
go remains to b
Michigan's mos

Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and the rest of the most ballyhooed recruiting
class ever will create many exciting moments for Wolverine fans this upcoming season.

Junior Eric Riley's weight is
not as big of a concern as it was
last year at this time. Like forward
Sam Mitchell, Riley has bulked
up - he now we.ighs 225 - and
it shows in his upper body.
But this season, with the
arrival of I oward and Webber,

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Riley won't be fighting the-
battles alone, which is-fine by
"I can concentrate more on
rebounding, get more tip-ins, put-
baks, whatever," Riley said. "I'm
taking the off-post instead of the
main post."
And the intense competition in
practice, provided by Webber,
I loward and reserve Chip Armer,
will help all concerned.
"That's basically game style,
the banging we do in practice,"
Riley said, "so when the game
comes around, we should be
Riley was the second-leading
rebounder (8.6 rpg) and
shotblocker (47 blocks) in the
conference last year, while
averaging double figures in
points. The addition of the new
frontliners and the improvement
of those returning will relieve
some of the pressure on Riley to
improve those statistics. It will
help him stay out offoul trouble
as wvell.
Several of the frontcourt
players- Webber, Howard,
Mitchell, and McIver in particular
- could find themselves at
center during the course of a
game this season. All are capable,
and Fisher has said he plans to
use a variety of different lineups,
especially early on in the season.
by John Niyo

that," Rose said.
Southwestern had incredible success
during Rose's.four years, capped by
consecutive Class A state titles his junior
and senior years. The Prospectors were
named the No. 1 team in the country last
year by USA Today. Webber enjoyed
similar good fortune at Country Day,
capturing a Class C and two Class B titles
his last three years.
Although they triumphed on their own,
both dream about what would have
happened had they both played at
"Man, I don't even want to ... it
would've been something," Webber said.
Juwan Howard and Jimmy King became
friends when they visited Michigan during
the same weekend last November. Both
committed to the Wolverines days later.
"It was the first time we met, and right
then we just hit it off -no personality
conflicts, nothing like that," King said.
"We just hit it off. Ever since then, we've

been calling each other on the phone and
stuff like that ... Our friendship just
The two are now roommates, and wear
consecutive uniform numbers 24 for
King, 25 for Howard. Neither decision was
made by accident.
"It seemed like when I first met him
that I'd known him for a long time,"
Howard said. "It seemed like we were
friends in the past, and we hadn't seen
each other for a wehile."
After using a three-guard offense much
of last season, Michigan will return to a.
standard lineup this year. Howard, a strong
post player who dominated the paint
during last Saturday's Blue-White
scrimmage, will play an important role in
this transition.
"Hc is big and strong and tough, and he
will battle for playing time inside," Fisher
said. "We will no longer have to say, '-lov
are we going to rebound with these teams.
I think we can put bodies on the floor that
can go out and look like Big Ten players

- 1982's 'FabL
'Tarpley, Butch
Robert Hender
Finished 7-11 in
This squad I
point to the lac
other famed inc
inexperienced 1
in crunch time.
"(Fisher) ha
absolutely great
Michigan State

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