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February 08, 1993 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-08

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The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - February 8, 1993 - Page 3

!Staudt
The Raycom announcer discusses Big Ten
basketball, the Fab Five, and football recruiting

John Niyo
Blame It On Niyo

Tm Staudt has been a Raycom bas-
ketball commentator for the past three
years. Staudt has been a sports anchor
in mid-Michigan for over twenty years.
He worked at the CBS affiliate in Lan-
sing in the 70s. He now is the sports
anchor at NBC affiliate WILX in Lan-
sing and Jackson. This year he has
covered several Big Ten games for
Raycom including Michigan at Minne-
sota and Michigan at Purdue. Daily
Sports Writer Jeremy Strachan ques-
tioned Staudt about Michigan athletics
and this year's Big Ten basketball sea-
son.
Daily: Which Big Ten teams have
impressed you the most so far this sea-
son?
Staudt: Michigan andIndiana. They
are clearly head-and-shoulders above
the rest in terms of talent. I don't think
the league from top to bottom is as
nearly as strong as everyone said it is
throughallof thehype. Ithink those two
teams are as strong as anyone in the
country. After (Michigan and Indiana)
the rest of them struggle both home and
away. I've seen better Big Ten confer-
ences from top to bottom than the one
this year. I don't think Indiana has
enough depth at this point. I still think if
they have one guy get hurt (they're in
trouble). I think Michigan might beat
them yet. The only thing about Michi-
gan is, are they going to lose one they
shouldn't lose. That's the intrigue in
February coming up.
D: How many teams do you think
the Big Ten will send to the NCAA
Tournament this season?
S: I don't know. But I don't think
any more than two of them (Michigan
and Indiana) will go very far. Michigan
State has some pretty good talent when
they play well, but the problem is they
don't play well very often. They prob-
ably have as much talent as any of the
other ten clubs but whether or not they
can harness that all together, I don't see
them making it past a game or two.
Iowa is the same way. I don't see
them going far. They have a couple of
good players, but them making any
kind of a serious run is a different story.
On the road, and at a neutral site it's
another month away, it's hard to tell
what (the Big Ten) will be like then.
In a single game knockout, they
could lose their first game. With Michi-
ganlastyear, you didn'tknow whatthey
were going to do. They managed to get
a little momentum going and ended up
going all the way to the final game as
freshmen. In a best-of-seven series,
teams are more predictable, but any one
of those clubs could have a bad day and
that would be it.
D: Whoare the teams that you could
see as finalists this year?
S: (Last week) I liked North Caro-
lina. I think Kentucky is a good shot. I
think it's going tobea good tournament.
There are teams thatyou don't really
know how good they are, like Nevada-
Las Vegas, because we don'thearmuch
aboutthem. They've only lostonegame.
Are they any good? It's hard to tell. The
west coast teams don't get as much
exposure. You hear about the Big East,
and those clubs all beat each other back

and forth so it's hard to pin one of them
down. I think it's hard to find ateam that
you say well that's the team to beat in
the NCAA tournament. Good teams
seem to get the farthest along, but then
it gets to be a real crapshoot from there.
Kentucky has a lot of talent, and Michi-

gan has a lot of talent, and Indiana has a
lot of talent.
D: How would you characterize this
year's Wolverine squad as opposed to
last year's NCAA finalists?
S: Well, I think they are a much
better team this year because they have
much more depth. They're used to play-
ing with each other and I think they
realize what it takes to do what they
have to do. They seem much more
mature on the road. I think the differ-
ence with them in my judgment is on the
road. Theyjustlook like they area much
more mature road club tome. That's not
to say they're going to go as far as they
did a year ago. I thought that was a
remarkable achievement last year. But
there are a lot of other factors besides
talent that play into it.
I don't see a game on their schedule
the rest of the way that I would predict
them to lose - including the Feb. 14
game at Bloomington. I'm not saying
there going to win it, but I wouldn't
want to predict them to lose it because
they have so much talent. I think they're
a better team than Indiana in terms of
talent, but whether or not that translates
into winning a championship or not is
hard to tell.
D: Who would you say is in the
running for first team all-Big Ten hon-
ors this year?
S: Well, I'd have (Indiana's Calbert)
Cheaney and (Michigan's Chris)
Webber without any question. To me,
those two are by far the best players in
the league. I don't think anybody else
comes close. Then after that, I figure
Alan Henderson of Indiana I'd put on
there because (Cheaney and Henderson)
are clearly super players. I'm not sold
on (Purdue's Glenn) Robinson. I think
he's a great individual talent, he would

be a first team player. The problem with
Robinson is they have him trying to do
so many things, if he could just stay in
one position and play there (it would be
better). Sol guess Robinson, Henderson,
Cheaney, Webber, and after that there
are alot of guys with talent. (Michigan's
Jalen) Rose is a possibility but then he
scores five points in a game (against
Ohio State). Certainly Rose is a possi-
bility. (Michigan State's) Shawn Respert
is apossibility. Respertis a very talented
player when he's playing under control.
He and Rose are kind of like that. I think
those two guys will vie for the last
position.
D: Comment, if you will, on how the
death of Chris Street affected Iowa, the
Big Ten, and the nation this season.
S: Well, I go with the party line
there. It's certainly a tragedy. How that
will affect them down the road remains
to be seen. I think kids are resilient to
endless grief. Thekids aresadand they'll
miss him, and they'll miss him dearly
over the days of the spring and summer.
In terms of how he helped them as a
player it's hard to tell how much they'll
drop. With him-I don't think they would
have come in higher then third place.
They still may finish third if they beat
the other seven teams.
Emotionally, I don't think they'll be
scarred because they're (mourning) in a
way that's not maudlin. It's like any
tragedy, everybody stops and reflects
about it. The kids I've talked to:
(Michigan's James) Voskuil, (Michi-
gan State's) Eric Snow, and Mark
Davidson from Illinois, are really hit
hard because they knew him so well
(from last summer's Big Ten European
tour). They reflect on it, but then after a
while, you've got school, you've got
games, you've got everything else and

your mind can only take so much. I
think in the slow moments some of
those memories will come back and
guys will react to them differently in
their own ways.
D: Tuesday's Michigan-Michigan
State game has been talked about all
week, comment on the game.
S: Well, everybody says it wasn't
very wellplayed. ButI think that's what
happens when you have an intense ri-
valry like that, when there is so much
pressure and emotion on the line. There
are going to be mistakes, just as in any
other game. But I don't think there were
to many surprises in terms of who won,
and that it was close. Michigan is a little
better team.
D: What did you think about the free
throw shooting?
S: Well, that's killed Michigan State
all year. You know, the national free
throw shooting percentage is down for
whatever reason. It's down as low as it
has been from 1958, according to the
Detroit Free Press, and Michigan State
is doing its part to keep it down there.
It's notthe first game this has cost them.
If they could have made theirfree throws
it would've given them a better chance
to win that game and a couple of others.
D: And aforecast for theMarch 20th
game in Ann Arbor between Michigan
and Michigan State?
S: It will probablyjustbe exactly the
same. It will be hard-fought. You know,
the visiting team won both games last
year and since the Fab Five came, the
visitors in the series are now 3-0. So you
are probably gonna have another very
close game.
And it's one of those things where
whoever plays ;t little bit better with
fewer mistakes is gonna win. On paper
Michigan is abetter team, but it doesn't
always happen that way. So it will be
fun to watch. There will be a lot of fan
emotion and playeremotionjustas there
has been in the first three. There'll be a
lot of mistakes probably. But the team
that shoots the best probably will win.
D: Switching frombasketball to foot-
ball: the top midwest recruit, East Lan-
sing's Randy Kinder, decided to attend
Notre Dame last week. Your thoughts
on that, please.
S: Well, he's the best high school
football player I've seen by a mile and
I've been covering it for 25 years. But
that doesn't always translate into a su-
perstar in college. He's got all of the
tools. It's a tough break for Michigan
State, because he is a hometown kid.
And they certainly needed him more
than theother four (Michigan, Stanford,
Penn State and Notre Dame), because
the other four all went to bowls last year
and they probably will be ranked real
high next year. I think one thing that
really put it over the top for Notre Dame
was that they had an opening at that
position. Timing is everything.
D: Comment on Michigan's foot-
ball recruiting class.
S: In my lifetime Michigan is never
going to have a bad (recruiting class).
It's well organized and the tradition
gives them quality athletes. They have
national recognition, national reputa-
tion. Their recruitng class every year is
not a predominantly Michigan-based

recruiting class, because they can get
better players nationwide. It's to their
credit that they can maintain that level
of excellence every year. I'm never
surprised when they get all of those
guys.

Webber, Robinson
put rivalry on shelf
The rivalry was just a sidelight, supposedly. Basketball, both sides vehe-
mently attested aftwerward, is a team game. Five to a team, not one-on-one.
That has been Steve Fisher's most monumental task the last year-and-a-half
- trying to get the focus off individuals, and onto the team "where it belongs."
He cringed every time he heard the words "Fab Five" last fall. After victories he
stresses the good help-defense, not the dunks.
But this was Chris Webber vs. Glenn Robinson.
It is a rivalry that is hard to brush under the rug. The two best players from
the high school class of'91. They traded dunks in the McDonald's All-American
game that Spring. Some say Webber, the more powerful one, is better. Some say
Robinson. There is no consensus.
In January, Webber had 22 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks against
Purdue. Robinson had 30 points and eight rebounds. Robinson-Webber (Part I)
was a draw.
This was Part II. Reporters lobbed questions from the back of the press room
Sunday afternoon, when the dust had settled, many of them asking about the
Webber-Robinson matchup. Fisher couldn't dodge them all.
"They both lived up to their billing today," he said, begrudgingly, after
Michigan's hard-fought 84-76 victory over Purdue Sunday.
Then Michigan's coach added this gem:
"Glenn Robinson was Glenn Robinson. He was sensational."
Thank you, Steve.
The final stats had Glenn Robinson, playing the partofGlenn Robinson quite
well, winning the duel. He pumped in 31 points on the afternoon, hitting 10 of
17 shots from the field, including all five of his three-point attempts.
"He was rainin' 'em in from all over the place," Fisher said.
In between showers, there were also five rebounds, two assists and a steal in
Robinson's 38 minutes on the floor.
Webber, meanwhile, got off to a slow start. He rarely got the ball down low.
Other Wolverines, like Jimmy King and Juwan Howard, were scoring easily, so
Webber didn't want to force the issue. The Team, remember.
But it was, by Chris Webber standards, shaping up to be quite an off-day.
And the frustration showed a bit in the second half. Webber came off the
bench after a timeout without his protective face mask that he wears to shield a
broken nose. Anything to get back on track, he thought. He had been stuck on six
points for what seemed like an eternity.
But losing the mask wasn't the answer. He knew it. And the coaching staff
let him know right away.
"Yeah, I tried to go without it," Webber admitted after the game, "but then
Coach (Fisher) talked some sense into me. Hopefully, I don't have to wear it
much longer."
Mask affixed once again, Webber finally did catch fire.
A jump hook in the lane fell. So did an off-balance prayer in traffic after an
offensive rebound. Then he broke free for a pair of monster dunks - one a
reverse on a fastbreak, the other a powerful one-hander in the middle of a crowd
of black and gold jerseys.
When it was all over, he had finished with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He
also added four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Great players will get their
points, even on a "bad" day.
And the rivalry? Give the edge to Robinson after the twomeetings this season
(very likely the the only two times they will meet in college), but don't forget to
note that Webber's team won both times.
And don't forget to mention that Robinson's supporting cast pales in
comparison with Webber's.
"He can score a lot,"' Webber said, before offering some exaggerated
parameters. "When you take 70 percent of your team's shots you're gonna score
a lot. I don't want to take anything away from Glenn, because he's a great
player...
"I'm just glad we don't have anybody on this team taking 70 percent of our
shots."
Touch6, Mr. Webber.
But he is exactly right. Circle a bunch of Line Darners and Matt Painters
around Webber and he probably throws in 40 and grabs 20 boards. Give
Robinson a Jimmy King and a Juwan Howard and his numbers probably fall
back into the stratosphere.
Someday they will meet on more even terms. They have in the past - in
summer leagues -and they certainly will in the future. The NBAbeckons both
young men.
So whatthey're saying makes sense. Forget the rivalry, fornow. Call itadraw.
Whatever. And wait for the rematch in the NBA - one or both may jump to the
pros after this season. They can go one-on-one in the NBAAII-Star Game some
February afternoon a few years from now.
In the meantime, they will shake hands and just worry about winning games.

Strong second half leads
Nebraska past No. 3 Kansas

udcent
formua
Sports Nutrition

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