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February 03, 1992 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-03

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Page 6-The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday - February 3, 1992

Fisher needs veteran
help for Big Ten run
by Matthew Dodge
Daily Basketball Writer
Steve Fisher made a monumental wager in October. He chose to lay all
his chips down on the developing rookie class. As the fortunes of the frosh
went, so would go the Wolverines.
The risky move threatened to break Michigan's bank yesterday.
Throughout the first half of the Wolverines' 68-58 defeat, Chris Webber,
Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson finally played
like Ohio State hoped they would - like jittery high school players.
The moment was inevitable. At some juncture during the season, Fisher
would need to have his veterans produce.
Sunday's loss was a critical point in the Big Ten race. With a win,
Michigan would have moved within a game-and-a-half of first-place
Indiana. Fisher's frosh have played wonderfully through most of the
" season, but the coach needed an alternative plan when his rookies faltered
against the tenacious Buckeyes.
As Fisher went window-shopping down the Wolverine bench, he saw
several antiques. Michigan captain Freddie Hunter, Kirk Taylor and Eric
Riley all started for much of last season. But Riley now averages merely
16 minutes per game, while Hunter and Taylor rarely see the court.
The Michigan staff desperately sought a change in personnel, so Fisher
reintroduced himself to the three players as they ran past him to check in at
the scorer's table.
"One thing we've been saying is that we're a deep team," Hunter said.
"(The non-starters) are a good resource for the coach. Everybody practices
hard, so we're always ready. (Fisher) has the confidence to put me in."
Hunter played six minutes in the second half. The senior forward ripped
down two rebounds and drew a charging foul on Ohio State's Jamaal
Brown. Taylor played well in each half, and buried a clutch three-pointer to
cut Ohio State's lead to seven points late in the game.
"The coaches don't know who the person is going to be," Hunter said.
"They're looking deep onthe bench for minutes. It's a matter of waiting
for the opportunity and doing well when you get the chance."
The Buckeyes may have been as surprised as anyone when the older
Wolverines shirked their warm-ups and walked on the court.
"The guys who haven't played as much can give you a spark because
they're not known," junior forward James Voskuil said. "If they've been
playing all along, the Big Ten scouts would have been ready for them. They
give us a good surprise-factor."
The Michigan coaching staff should feel lucky that they saw good
things from the veterans. No player can be expected to play well when he
has not stepped on the hardwood in weeks. The success found by Hunter and
Taylor - who also played well in limited time at Indiana two weeks ago
- is a credit to the players, not their coach.
Fisher has allowed the skills. of several solid basketball players to
atrophy. If Hunter, Taylor and Rob Pelinka had received important minutes
through the non-conference games, they would be prepared for the rigors of
Big Ten competition.
"It's always harder when you haven't played," Voskuil said. "It is
easier to shoot when you play 40 minutes a game. This has to do with the
roles that have been established. Hopefully, everybody will be ready to go
when they are called upon."
Hopefully, Fisher will cease sacrificing the present for the future.
Granted, Webber, Howard and Rose deserve to start every game. But the
veterans are capable of providing solid support off the bench. They
demonstrated yesterday that they deserve the chance.
The Wolverine coaches have 11 games remaining to prepare for an
NCAA Tournament run. Hunter and his upperlass peers will have a say in
the degree of success Michigan will enjoy.
Fisher needs Hunter and Taylor - not to be stars, but to at least
provide reinforcement for the inconsistent rookies. He must call off all
bets on the future and play for today.


finds a home

Columbus prep star back where he belongs - with Buckeyes

by Albert Lin
Daily Basketball Writer
When you talk about Ohio
State's basketball, the first name
that pops into everybody's head is
that of All-American Jim Jackson.
Last season's Big Ten player-of-
the-year is doing it again for his
Buckeyes, leading the team in scor-
ing in every game this campaign - a
Big Ten-best 23.4 points per contest
- and making a great case for
national player-of-the-year honors.
But the man who may be the key
cog in Ohio State's surge toward a
national championship is transfer
Lawrence Funderburke. The 6'9"
sophomore joined the team at the
beginning of the second semester
and provides the play in the middle
the squad lacked.
In seven games going into yes-
terday's contest vs. Michigan,
Funderburke was averaging 11.0
points and 5.9 rebounds a game. He
was also leading the Buckeyes in
blocks despite playing less than half
his team's games.
For Funderburke, it's been a long
trip back home.
The Columbus native's saga be-
gan during his senior year at Wehrle
High. He was kicked off the team
early in the season, following a
state title and player-of-the-year
honors his junior year, and was la-
belled a head case. He then shocked
college basketball followers by
choosing to play for Indiana and

coach Bob Knight, saying he needed
"It was a rational decision as far
as what happened in high school,"
Funderburke said. "We as human be-
ings have to learn from everything
we do, and I just want to get better
in life."
The relationship lasted six
games, during which he averaged
11.7 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Funderburke left the Indiana in
December and wanted to transfer to
Louisville, but Knight wouldn't re-
lease him from his letter-of-intent.
He eventually decided to head home
to Ohio State, where he would play
Knight twice a year.
"I just didn't feel I fit in (with
Ohio State's progrn coming out of
high school)," Funderburke said.
"Coach Ayers didn't have the job
yet, and I just wanted to get away
from Columbus, away from Ohio."
Funderburke completed his first
year of studies at Indiana the fol-
lowing fall, and then enrolled at
Ohio State - where he is paying his
own way because of a Big Ten trans-
fer rule - last January. He sat out
one year, and became eligible last
"I'm happy playing for coach
Ayers," Funderburke said. "I enjoy
basketball a lot more here. I'm ec-
static playing with these guys.
"I just want to go out and try to
play hard. I'm used to relying on my
talent instead of busting my butt

when I get out there. First I want to
come out and rebound, and score
when they give me the ball. I just
want to do whatever I can to win."
Yesterday, Funderburke came off
the bench early in both halves, play-
ing a total of 28 minutes and con-

stepped on the baseline and missed a
short turnaround. In the second half,
he was called for a three-second.
violation and then fouled Juwan
Howard on an entry pass.
But he also demonstrated excep-
tional quickness and athleticism for
a big man. He got out ahead for two
alley-oops. He jumped over Eric
Riley to tip in a Jackson miss. He:
'I've been labelled a
primadonna, but that's
not like me at all....
Whatever it takes to
win, that's what I'm
gonna do.'
grabbed a short layup attempt by
Jamnaal Brown and jammed it over
Howard and Riley.
There were flashes of greatness
for Funderburke, who was rated
near the level of Kenny Anderson
and teammate Jackson entering his
senior year in high school. And h'
knows that as he gets re-accustomed
to Big Ten basketball, he will be
able to help his team more and more,
whether coming off the bench or
"Whatever I can contribute, I
will. I've been labelled a pri-
madonna, but that's not like me at
all. I think my record speaks for it-
self in the win-loss column.
Whatever it takes to win, that's
what I'm gonna do."

tributing 12 points and three re-
bounds. Ohio State coach Randy
Ayers has been reluctant to start
Funderburke because he does not
want to disrupt his starting unit.
"Offensively, we're still adjust-
ing to Lawrence. We have a tendency
to stand and watch after we feed the
ball to him in the post. We've got to
get more movement once he has the
ball because he is a good passer."
Funderburke still shows signs of
his layoff out on the court. When he
entered the game in the first half, he



Fab Five, Freddie
lead late 'M' surge

by Jeni Durst
Daily Basketball Writer


Continued from page 1
I'm not a referee," Webber said. "I
could be a crybaby and say that
should have been a foul, but you
can't depend on the ref's call on
something like that. It was just a
great play by a great player."
More importantly, it was a play
that derailed the furious Wolverine
comeback. It was Ohio State's only
field goal in the last nine minutes.
"It's especially tough when
you're trying to get back in the
game," Ohio State coach Randy
Ayers said. "You've got a run going,
they miss two free throws, and then
they get the tip. That was a big play
and we got going after that."
Ohio State now moves into a
first-place tie with Indiana in the
Big Ten. For Michigan, the loss just
teaches a young team a new lesson.
"(Ohio State) is a great team,"
Ray Jackson said. "Against any
other team we might have won. We
can't always fall behind and expect
to win it in the second half."

FG FT Rob.
Mn. M-A M-A O-T A F Pts.
MJent 31 4-6 2-2 2-4 3 3 10a
Jackson 37 8-19 6-7 3-9 1 1 22
Robinson 17 1-2 0-0 1-5 1 3 2
Brown 32 2-6 2-4 1-5 1 1 6
Baker 34 7-14 2-4 0-5 3 2 16
Hall 8 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 2 0
Fundburke 28 5-10 2-5 2-3 0 3 12
Skelton 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Dudley 6 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 1 0
Etzler 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 27-59 14-23 12-37 9 16 68
FG%- .458. FT%- .609. Three-point goals:
0-5, .000 (Brown 0-3, Jent 0-1, Skelton 0-1).
Team rebounds: 4. Blocks: 1 (Jent). Turnovers:
14 (Jackson 5, Jent 3, Robinson 2, Brown,
Baker, Funderburke, Dudley). Steals: 5
(Jackson 2. Brown 2, Jent). Technical fouls: 0.
FG FT Rob.
Min. MA M-A OT A F Pts.
Webber 34 4.8 0-1 3-11 2 3 8
Voskuil 11 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 0
Howard 26 3-7 3-3 1-7 0 4 9
Rose 37 7-17 0-0 3-4 5 4 15
Talley 15 0-4 0-0 0-1 1 0 0
King 23 2-9 4-4 3-4 1 3 8
Jackson 18 2-6 2-3 3-5 2 3 6
Pelinka 11 1-4 0-0 3-4 0 0 2
Riley 13 2-5 1-1 2-4 0 1 5
Taylor 6 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 5
Hunter 6 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 1 0
Totals 200 23-65 10-12 19-45 11 21 58
FG%- .354. FT%- .833. Three-point goals:
2-20, .100 (Rose 1-7, Taylor 1-3, King 0-3,
Pelinka 0-3, Webber 0-2, Talley 0-1, Jackson 0-
1). Team rebounds: 3. Blocks: 5 (Webber 3,
Jackson, Riley). Turnovers: 22 (Rose 5,
Webber 4, Howard 3, Talley 3, King 3, Pelinka 2,
Voskuil, Taylor). Steals: 5 (Rose 2, Webber,
Howard, Taylor). Technical fouls: 0.
Ohio State .......... 28 40 - 68
Michigan ................ 13 45 - 58
At Crisler Arena; A-13, 609

Michigan center Juwan Howard posts up Buckeye Bill Robinson yesterday. Howard scored
nine points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Wolverines' 68-58 loss.
Badgers stop losing skid vs. Purdue

Associated Press
In Madison, sophomore guard Tracy
Webster scored 20 points yesterday as the
Badgers snapped a five-game losing streak
with their 79-69 victory over Purdue.
Wisconsin (2-5 Big Ten, 11-9 overall) got
14 points each from Carlton McGee and
Michael Finley and 12 points from Brian
Purdue (3-4, 11-8) was led by senior guard
Woody Austin with 27 points.
Michigan State 76, Indiana 60
No. 13 Michigan State (4-3, 14-3) downed
fourth-ranked Indiana (6-1, 15-3) in East
Lansing Saturday, snapping the Hoosiers' 13-
game winning streak.
"If they're as good as they played today,
we'll never beat them," Indiana coach Bob
Knight said of the Spartans.
"This was a great win for Michigan State
basketball," said Spartan center Mike
Peplowski, who had 16 points and 11
rebounds. "We played very well together, and
not many teams can do that."
It was a superb defensive effort by the
Spartans, who limited the Hoosiers to 39

percent field goal shooting and outrebounded
Indiana, 40-24.
"We were never really a threat today,"
Knight said. "Their effort and enthusiasm just
knocked us out of sync."
Iowa 87, Minnesota
Acie Earl scored 15 points and blocked
seven shots as the Hawkeyes (4-3, 12-5) ran up
29 points to Minnesota's eight in the second
half to beat the Gophers (5-3, 13-8) at Iowa
'We had good balance today. That's when
we are at our best, with good balance," said
Iowa coach Dr. Tom Davis, whose team won
its third straight.
Northwestern 45, Illinois 43
Northwestern edged Illinois as the
Wildcats (1-7, 8-10) snapped a 29-game Big
Ten losing streak in Evanston (2-4, 8-8).
Northwestern forward Cedric Neloms'
30-foot desperation shot at the buzzer downed
After picking up a loose ball from Illinois
forward Deon Thomas, "I let it fly and I
prayed," Neloms said.

It may be time to add another player to the "fab" list.
Off the bench in the second half, forward Freddie
Hunter teamed with the first-year players to spark
Michigan's comeback bid.
Despite just six minutes of playing time, the senior's
combination of hustle and defensive prowess spurred on
both his team and the Wolverine crowd. And althougli
his game was void of any points, Hunter grabbed two,
rebounds, drew a charge, and harassed Ohio State de
fensively before leaving the floor to a standing ovation.
coach Randy Ayers to the list of admirers of Michigan's,
rookie class.
"They play with a'lot of enthusiasm," Ayers said.;
"They're a young team, and they always think they can
win. Even when they breakdown, they can make a play
because of' their great athletic ability."
PLANET OF THE APES: The Phoenix Suns' gorilla
mascot was on * hand yesterday to entertain the crowd
during the seemingly endless television timeouts.
At one point in the first half, he stood a blindfolded-
fan on the foul line, made him hold a basketball above
his head, and then left the court. Unaware of the situa
tion, the fan remained there even after the timeout wa
After a word from Michigan's Chris Webber, a ref-
eree and finally a Crisler Arena official, the man finally.
left the floor. The hairy one's other antics included*
several of his highlight-film slams off a trampoline,-
climbing the basket supports, and riding a wheeled-
surfboard across the court. Considering Michigan's 13
point first half output, the gorilla was probably the only y
early excitement for many Wolverine supporters.
CARDIAC KIDS: Michigan is starting to get a repuo-
tation as a second-half team. In five ganes this season
- against Duke, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State, and,
Ohio State - the Wolverines have made runs in the
second half to try and overcome large deficitsv,:
Michigan proved victorious in only two of those cone;
tests: against Iowa and MSU, both in overtime.
OUCH!: Turnover trouble once again plagued the:
Wolverines yesterday. Their first half total of 18 sure
passed their point total for that stanza by five. The};
ended the game with 22, as opposed to 14 for the
TEAM MVP: Ohio State All-American Jim Jackson
has led the Buckeyes in scoring in each of their gamn5'
so far this season. He had a game-high 22 in yesterday's
matchup with the Wolverines.

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