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February 14, 1992 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-14

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The Michigan Daily- Friday, February 14,1992- Page 15

Rice cooking with

the Heat

Michigan's all-time leading scorer is making it big in the NBA

by Theodore Cox
Daily Sports Writer
little less then three years ago when
Glen Rice was on top of his game.
The Michigan forward led the
Wolverine basketball team to the
1989 NCAA National Champi-
onship by averaging over 30 points
per contest during the tournament.
Rice was hailed as a great college
player on a great college team. It is a
level of success that Rice has been
trying to duplicate ever since gradu-
ating from Michigan, because when
he joined the second-year Miami
Heat franchise in the fall of that
same year, he found he was just an
average NBA player on a lousy
NBA team.
But one thing remained constant
in the transition - he was the cen-
ter of the offense. When he played
well, Miami played well, and vice
versa. Two seasons later, Rice is on
the verge of becoming a great NBA
player, and Miami is on the verge of
making the playoffs.
"He's proven that he's a big-time
NBA player," Heat coach Kevin
Loughery said. "He's getting closer
and closer to that all-star status,
* which I think he'll reach next year
if everything keeps developing."
A recent game against the De-
troit Pistons proved just how valu-
able Rice is to the Heat. His shot
was off and his field goal percentage
dipped to 35 percent for the evening.
The missed opportunities from the
outside allowed the Pistons to de-
fend the Miami inside game. Detroit
went on to win, 109-98.
But even though his shooting
game was off, Rice still scored 21
points. And he didn't have the help

of rookie guard Steve Smith, who
was out with a family illness.
Rice has become more than a
shooter since leaving Michigan. He
splits time between small forward
and shooting guard with the Heat.
His 6'8" frame gives him a defen-
sive edge against guards, and he is
still able to average over four re-
bounds a game.
"He's a complete player,"
Loughery said. "He's starting to
create his own shots now and that
helps. I think once he gets comfor-
table taking the ball up to the hoop,
there's no holding him back."
The only weakness in Rice's
game could be his hands, which
Loughery points out are incredibly
small for his size. But his hands
have never stopped him from mak-
ing the occasional spectacular dunk.
However, there were times
when Rice couldn't do anything
right and the Miami organization
certainly didn't hold back its criti-
cism. Part of the problem was the
high expectations the Heat had for
Rice after he was taken as the fourth
overall pick in the NBA draft.
Rice had just set a NCAA tour-
nament scoring record of 184 points
while leading the Wolverines to the
championship. His outside touch
was incredible; he hit 57 percent of
his shots from the field.
So when Rice was taken by the
Heat, it is no wonder the team de-
cided to build the franchise around
him. Miami had just completed its
first year, only to end up in the
NBA cellar. The ballclub needed a
scorer to add some excitement to
the franchise.
Rice thought he was ready to be
that player. But lingering champi-

onship celebrations and a marriage
kept Rice busy during the summer.
The disruptions took him away
from his game and made the transi-
tion to the NBA difficult.
"I think what made it so tough
for me was that I came in over-
weight," Rice said. "If I had come in
good shape and playing the way I did
in the tournament the year before, I
don't think there would have been
that much pressure."

work year-round and keep my disci-
pline," Rice said. "Then I can go
into training camp feeling comfort-
There was another major change
that took place after his first year at
Miami. Four of his teammates (Sean
Higgins, Terry Mills, Rumeal Rob-
inson and Loy Vaught) joined him in
the NBA. The group still stays in
contact, taking each other out when
one's team plays against another's.
"We always make it a point to
give each other a little bit of advice,
especially when our guys have ad-
versity on- their side," Rice said.
"We're still trying to stay together
as a family."
Rice has also had time to view
Michigan's newest basketball fam-
ily, the Wolverines' five rookies.
"I think they are a really good
team right now and I think they can
become a great team," Rice said.
"One of the things they are going to
have to get used to this year is they
are going to take some lumps. One
of the things they got to do is really
look forward to next year, and this
year kind of hang in there and let
everyone know, 'Hey, Michigan is
going to be a great team."'
Rice encourages the Heat to take
the same philosophy. So far it is
"We are playing with a great
deal more confidence," Rice said.
"We are going out thinking and be-
lieving that we can beat any team in
the league."
Rice is finally beyond just be-
lieving. His team is now winning.
Rice just has to take his team to the
step of winning consistently and he
will be revered just as highly with
Miami as he was at Michigan.


On top of the weight problem,
Rice's wife had a miscarriage in the
middle of the season. The dis-
traction took him away from his
game mentally.
But Rice learned from the frus-
trations. The next summer, he spent
only half the offseason home in
Flint. The rest of the time he spent
conditioning and practicing with
teammates in Miami.
"I feel right now that I've got to

Spikers host Buckeyes, Notre Dame

Glen Rice displays the shooting touch that made him the Miami Heat's
No. 1 selection (fourth overall) in the 1989 NBA Draft.

by Dan Linna
Daily Sports Writer
Break is coming early for the
*Michigan men's volleyball team.
The squad will leave Ann Arbor for
a month-long roadtrip following
Saturday's tri-match at the IM
Ohio State and Notre Dame will
meet the Wolverines at 3 p.m. Sat-
urday before Michigan goes to
Bowling Green, where it will also
face Kentucky as part of a tri-match
at 3 p.m. Sunday.
* "Notre Dame downed the
Wolverines in preseason play at the
MSU Comeback Classic and Michi-
gan did not fare well against the
Buckeyes in preseason play either.
With a 4-3 record in the Big Ten (5-3
overall) in match play, the Wolver-
ines cannot afford to let home
games slip away.
"We are definitely looking to
take both matches, especially con-
sidering we dropped two out of
three last weekend," sophomore
outside-hitter Justin MacLaurin
said. "They are tough teams but we
just need to execute. These should be
two good matches."
While the Irish and Buckeyes are
considered tremendous football ri-
vals, Michigan team members
pointed out that this struggle was
present in all sports.
"These are two of Michigan's
biggest rivals, period," sophomore
outside-hitter Michael Rubin said.
"They have the same sense of rivalry
and none of the teams will have a
problem getting up for these
While Sunday's matches with
Bowling Green and Kentucky will
have no bearing on the Big Ten
standings, these matches will be
important when seeding is deter-
mined for the MIVA (Midwest In-
tercollegiate Volleyball Associa-

tion) Championships at the end of
"It is important to rack up as
many victories as possible," sopho-
more outside-hitter Tony Poshek
said. "Victories are important not
only in our seeding down the road
but for our confidence now.
"We try hard to win every single
match no matter who we play.
Bowling Green and Kentucky are
very good teams and they expect us
to be good so they will be ready."
The Wolverines have had only
three dates on the road this season
and have a 2-2 match record to show
for it. Although Michigan has not
been overly successful away from
home, the team said it doesn't feel
that its performance suffers on the
"When you are home and have
fan support, it can be a big lift,"
Rubin said. "But I don't think this
team is negatively affected by the
road. If anything, we give a stronger
push on the road and that helps us to
be a better team.

"If we play up to our capability,
I see no reason why we shoudn't
sweep this weekend."
This will be Michigan's last
chance to play together as a unit, as
not all of the team members will be
traveling on the spring break trip.
They hope that a strong showing
will get them through the layoff
and ready them to pick up where
they left off.
"Something was missing last
weekend and it is important that we
do well this weekend before the
break," MacLaurin said. "I think it
is very reasonable for us to think
that we will take all four matches
this weekend."
The begining of the season
brought personnel problems for the
Wolverines, as the team lost two
players who didn't return to school
and another player who had schedul-
ing conflicts. While Michigan's
record is not where some had hoped
it would be, the team is gelling now
at the mid-season mark.
"As a whole, I think the team

has improved to the point where if
we pass and play defense like we are
capable, few teams can beat us," Ru-
bin said. "I think our coach has
found that he can go a little deeper
into our bench. The reserves have
stepped up and filled their roles


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