The Michigan Daily-Sports Monday- November 30, 1992 - Page 5
Long Road to,, To p
Blue must overcome tough Big Ten field
~irt-~.~head coach Trish Roberts returns to the Big
der, in Ie top spot after serving as an Illinois assistant
qi te 1984-85 season.
things her male counterparts might not have had to.
During her 3-year career as a professional player
tLwo with the Minnesota Phillies and one with the
'~Louis Streak) her $25,000 salary was one of the
i first in the league.
Such a figure is rarely even mentioned after the "x-
'-million" in the annual paycheck of a Michael
Jordan or a Shaquille O'Neal.
; At the collegiate level, Roberts thinks that some
of. the same things that contributed to the demise of
professional women's basketball plague women's col-
lege teams. Poor promotion and publicity led to
empty stands and meager gate receipts.
n "Back when women had their own organization,
*Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for
Women (AIAW), women were in control of their own
destiny. When they converged and the NCAA took
over, they began riding on the coattails of the men, 1
would like to see equ~ality but right now women
areni't. putting enough people in the stands. I hope
that ini the next three to lour yeas,}, womlen's basket-
ball will become areeu proucing sport here like
it is at other schools," he ays
Despite the goings-on in college's governing
body, however, Roberts stresses that Michigan
pushes its women's teams.
"People think that Michigan does not support its
women's teams" Roberts says. "Maybe eight to 10
years ago that. was the case, but times have changed."
With her experience anid the athletic department's
support, how far can Roberts take the vnew'
"To the national championship," she says.
This woman does not mince words.
"I want to build Michigan into a national power,"
she says forcefully. "If I can' make something hap-
pen here, I can't do it anywhere," shce says with a fur-
rowed brow. "I hope I'll be here for a long time," she
says, and a smile escapes.
Some years from now, when the glory is all over
anid the championship banner hangs from the rafters,
you'll be able to find Trish Roberts back in Georgia.
She might be coaching an AAU summnei team, oi try-
ing her hand as a writer.
"I've always wanted to write a book about the
struggles of young black athletes," she says peni
No matter what she's doing, though, you can bet
basketball will still be a part of her life.
"I love the game. I'm glad I can give something
back to a sport that has taken me to nine countries
and almost all 50 states," she says, leaning back in
her chair as if to recall her days as a player spent on
Greyhounds and in airports.
And, even in retirement, you can be sure she'll be
doing it with the same intensity that she boxed out
defenders or barked orders during halftime.
"People misjudge me because I am a very intense
person, and I'm very focused. People see me and they
say to themselves, 'Oh my goodness, she looks
mean.' Once they get to know me they say, She's a
She pauses and looks at the palm of her hand.
Looking up, she cracks a wide grin.
"I'm a very nice person, I think."
by Mike Hill
Daijy Bask etball Writer
The M ich igan women's basket-
ball teanm is getting Rodney Danger-
field treaunent. T[he Bigz [enmicoaches
picked the Wolverines to finish (lead
last. But with only three conference
victories at year ago, Michigan
shouldn't be surprised. And to make
matter s worse, Penn State, which
finished 24-7 last season, joins the
H ere' s a look at the rest of the
1. Iowa- Coach Vivian Stringer
was doing her best. Lou Hloltz im-
pression when she said. "We're se-
lected No. 1 (in the Big Ten by the
coaches) every year. And it's amaz-
ing to me how that happens.
(Coaces) would disappoint them -
selves if they didn't vote us there.
It S~ a joke to men"
Who's she kidding'? The
flawkeyes are easily the class of the
Big; Ten and should figure in the Fi-
nal Hourn iext April in Atlaiita. 1Led
by powcf fom waid Toni Foster (15.5
points pei gamn: last year), Iowa fea-
ties possiably the best front line in
the. co~inary IThrow in guard Laurie
Aaron 'and you 're looking at a team
that will use the conference as a tunme
up for the Big D~ance.
2. Ohio State- Five-foot-I1I
Katie Sinith heads a freshmen crew
that's beinig dubbed the next "Fab
Five." That, comnbir-'d with presea-
son1 unatnimous All- Big [feln selec-
tion Averrill Roberts, gives the
Buckeyes the best shot at knocking
Iowa out of the tope spot.
3. Northwestern- Finally, a sport
that the Mildcats, I mean, Wildcats
calli compete int
All-time assist leader Nancy
Kennelly ;,:turnms aftei missing all of
Michgan Women's Bask etbal
:K:..iY:: SceMcalG 5f oot"I5 S Sr
11~~~~~ TnshStvn G 5foot-B Fr F
12 Moll. y Heiinen G-F 5-foot-11 So. So.
.:1 Valarie Turner F,' 5-foot-Il Jr. So.
23> Jen Nu ,es ::..G 5-foot-6 Sr, Sr.
2;4 > Shirell Striley F 5-foot-11 Sr. Sr.
25 Carriotewart G-F 5-foot-1 1 So. So.
30 ikki eudry F 6i-foot Sr. Sr.
33 She r nyGray F 5-foot-Il Jr, :So.>.,
42 LaTara. Jones F 6-foot Jr Jr.
44 ...::Je~iifr (Crzezinski F 6-foot-1i r Fr,.
4 Trish AndrwFC 6-foot-2 Sr. Sr.
50 Mihle}faill F- 6-foot--3 Sr. Jr.
>54 Rhond.a; J.okisch C 6-foot-i Jr.. drJ.
~Coach °Trish Roberts (first season)
As, stan'ts: Sandra Fhornas, Kathy La~arge, Nikita Lowry
last season with a knee injury. She'll
join sister Moira to make up a strong
backcourt. Coach Don Perrelli will
take advantage of the surplus he has
at guard, promising a fast-paced
style. He also says that he'll occa-
sionally run a four-guard offense.
4. Purdue- The Boilermakers
have been consistent winners over
the past five years under coach Lin
D~unn. During that span, Purdue has
wonl no less than 21 games.
But this season, the Boilers, an
extremely young squad, will have to
make do without the Big Ten's all-
time leading scorer, MaChelle
Joseph. Oan the good side, they
hauled in the nation's fourth-best re-
cruiting class and return defensive
specialist Kay Tucker.
5. Wisconsin- Senior guard
Robin "Threait (19.8 ppg) may be the
best in the Big Ten. And the Badgers
are coming off their best season
"Last season is something that
we all can be really proud about,"
coach Mary Murphy said. "It just
proves that with hard work, you can
get from the bottom to the top pretty
quickly in this conference."
But to continue that kind of suc-
cess, Wisconsin will have to over-
come the loss of Big Ten Freshman
of the Year, Barb Franke. Franke
will miss the entire season with a
6. Penn State- Each year, coach
Rene Portland likes to give her play-
ers tee-shirts that have a slogan for
the upcoming season. That tradition
enided when she realized the faux
pas in her last attempt- -a tee that
iead "It's fun to be on top!"
The Lady Lions won' t have that
problem this year-being the best in
the conference, that is. Not one
starter returns from last year. But
Porltland seems to bring the best out
in her players, having tallied a .742
winning percentage as a head coach.
7. Indiana- The Hoosiers return
three of their top four scorers from
last year's 16-12 team.
Senior guard Kris McGrade will
be the team's outside threat. She led
the league in three-point shooting a
year ago. The Hoosiers will be
strong in the middle also. Sopho-
more Shirley Bryant finished second
in the conference with 8.8 rebounds
8. Illinois- With three returning
perimeter players, the 'Illini will
feature, like many Big Ten teams, an
"We will push the balls a little
more," coach Kathy Lindsey said.
5-foot-7 junior guard Mandy
Cunningham will lead the attack.
She averaged 15.3 ppg and was
named the teams Most Valuable
Player in '92.
9. Minnesota- Michigan beat this
team last year. That might tell you
the quality of this ball club. The Go-
phers were proud to announce that
their average margin of defeat
dropped to only nine points last
year. This year they may drop that
average to six points, but they'll still
lose. Don't expect more than a hand-
ful of victories from this team.
10. Michigan State- The Spar-
tans are really much better than this
tenth-place position. But this writer
just wouldn't feel right putting hated
MSPU any higher.
The Dean of Big Ten coaches,
Karen Langeland, does return a
strong front line. Big things are ex-
pected from 6-foot-3 forward An-
nette Babers after a disappointing
"I think you will see the real An-
nette Babers this year," Langeland
The Spartans biggest challenge
will be replacing backcourters Mar-
line Ferguson and Marie Williams,
both lost to graduation. Expect
Michigan State to finish somewhere
in the middle of the pack.
So as you can see, the Wolver-
ines are in for a long road if they ex-
pect to improve on last season. The
Big Ten coaches agree that this is
the strongest group oif teams the
conference has ever fielded. The
Wolverines' goal is to finish .500. If
they come anywhere near that mark,
they will have to knock 3ff a number
of quality teams.
to forget pastl ills
orward Shimmy Gray will beiefit fromn
bi~averaged 3.9 ppg last year, should
notion was far fronm invenitive.
"At Wisconsin, we feel we've
I rish Roberts' up-tempo style. Gray,
adid scoring punch off the bench,
Stringei said.1"Fist of ai , l think
football needs to do well. We got a
lot of popularity and attention be-
by Mike Hill
Daily Basketball Writer ___
"It can be done if we all justi have the
cour-age to change," some important political
guy this year said.
"We will change," Michigan wvomen's bas-s
ketoalifirst-yea) coach "Trish Roberts said.
a guess "change" is this yeas battle cry.
Okay, comparing Michigan women hoops, or
bask-thall pee-iod foi diat inatter, to natitinal
polite, . imay be a bit extreme. All right,. lt .
uretrne But it is true that af ter only seven wins it~
28 tries a year ago, the Wolverines were in about
as bad shape as the economy.
*Enter Trish Roberts.
Finally the athletic department makes a move
that gives the impression that its serious about
the women's basketball program.
Roberts' credentials are endless. Three
straight 20-win seasons at Maine and an overall
winnling percentage of '/2. She was an all-
American center at the University of Tennessee.
She flayed on the verny first Olympic women's
bask.etbahl team in 1976. And she even played
uIC pro ball with the Minnesota Fillies and the
SL Louis Streak: But most importantly,
Michigan's new coach seems determined to turn
things around here.
ment a fast-paced offense. True, led by 6-foot-2
center Trish Andrew, the Wolverines probably
aren't what you'd call perfect for an uptempo
style. But who cares. If the Wolverines plan to
compete in the future, they're going to have to
run. Besides, all they can do is improve.
But if they plan on that, ugh, change occur-
ring soon, they'll have to step up recruiting -
Roberts' biggest concern. The state of Michigan
has always been a picking ground for out of state
teams. It would be nice for the Wolverines to
convince a few of those recruits to stay home.
Roberts says many of the recruits she's talked to .