The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 29, 1993 - Page 3
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A member of the '89 NCAA champs
discusses his career in basketball
The last time Michigan fans saw
the men's basketball team win a na-
tional championship, forward Loy
Vaught was a key member of the
squad. The Wolverines' most effi-
cient shooter, Vaught set a Big Ten
record for shooting percentage in
conference games his senior year,
Vaught entered the NBA draft in
1990 and was selected 13th overall
by his current team, the Los Angeles
Clippers. Since 1990, Vaught has
made an admirable contribution to
the Clippers, averaging 21 minutes a
Daily Sports Writer J.L. Rostam-
Abadi spoke with Vaught recently in
a phone interview.
Daily: How has your pro career
developed? Are you where you imag-
ined you'd be when you left Michi-
Loy Vaught: I think I've made
some improvement. Playing with a
lot better players has allowed me to
get better, because you see more, and
in turn you learn more from these
guys. I've been up and down, as far
as the improvement and the playing
time. I've proven that whenever I
play, I normally play pretty well.
D: The Clippers have always
been sort of an enigma. They've
been bad for so long, then they got
some top draft picks, and then Larry
Brown came aboard, and the team
began to have some expectations to
live up to. How do you think the
Clippers have developed as a result
V: Well, since Larry's gotten
here, I think that, especially imme-
diately after he arrived, our team
made dramatic steps forward in the
right direction. We're playing with
enthusiasm again, and we're playing
with a will to win. And like you
said, we'd always been labeled as
losing. Some of the guys that have
been here for awhile, sort of became
too accepting of losing games. But
now I think' we compete every night,
and if we lose, it's not as accepting
as it was.
D:. Do you think the Clippers
will ever rise out of the Los Angeles
V: I sure hope so. It's turning
into a nice cross-town rivalry. It
used to be really lop-sided in favor of
the Lakers, but now we're capable of
beating them. You never know, per-
haps one day, we'll be spoken of be-
fore the Lakers.
D: What was your favorite expe-
rience at Michigan, aside from the
V: Being a part of the student
body everyday, going to class and
-meeting some of the people who
were not athletes. I made some good
D: How do you see the careers of
your fellow Wolverines progressing?
V: I think everybody's done re-
ing to be matched up with?
V: I had them with North Car-
olina. I have them beating North
Carolina to win it all.
D: What's your opinion of the
Fab Five? Do you think they're re-
ceiving too much attention from the
V: No, I don't think so. I think
that stuff, the media attention that
they receive, that's out of their
hands. They have no control over
what gets in the paper and what does
not. But I think as a whole and as a
group they seem to be very comfort-
able with each other, very at ease
with each other, and there doesn't
seem to be a lot of jealousy. That's
great. And that's the reality.
D: Do you think Chris Webber
and Jalen Rose have enough experi-
ence to turn pro?
V: I think both of them could
D: At this early age?
V: Yeah, ... I think they would
serve themselves better if they
waited. But Chris is a different story,
though, because from what I hear, if
he went pro, he could go very, very
high in the draft. But Jalen, I think
he would go very, very high in the
draft if he waited, although he could
D: Do you think they should
wait until they win it all, before go-
V: Oh yeah. I think that they
have an agenda, and I think on that
agenda, winning a national champi-
onship comes before turning pro.
D: Who do you see as the next
impact player in the NBA?
V: Well, there are several; I
think Jamal Mashburn, Calbert
Cheaney. There are a lot of guys out
there who are great players, it all
matters who gets the right situation.
D: What's the most difficult as-
pect of being a professional basket-
ball player, in your opinion?
V: Sometimes you just have to
be really careful that the people that
you hang around with are sincere in
their intentions. You have to make
sure that people like you for you
first. And especially out here in
L.A., where I'm at, you run into a
lot of materialistic people. You just
have to be careful, because some-
times people try and take advantage
of you. It's a great lifestyle (being a
D:.Do you think Steve Fisher
disciplines the Fab Five enough?
There have been some questions.
V: I'm so removed from this
whole situation that I can't really
say, because I don't really know very
D: Do you think the '89 cham-
pionship team could take on the Fab
V: Definitely. I think we'd give
them a run for their money!
Swimmers ide iM
It is late March.
They are competing for an NCAA title.
Some of them went so far as to shave their heads.
And, still, the other guys get all the attention. For doing exactly the
Swimmers, you see, don't steal too many headlines.
The guys in Seattle, in Charlotte, in St. Louis, in East Rutherford.
Those are the ones who command the spotlight this time of year. The
guys on television. The ones CBS-TV paid a billion dollars - literally
- to hype as something called March Madness.
We are glued to the sets, watching as the Fab Five made it back to the
Final Four. Meanwhile, Michigan's other Fab Five - Namesnik,
Wunderlich, Borges, Wouda, Sharp and Gunn (O.K., so that's six.) -
toil in relative anonymity.
Rose and Webber and Co. were fending off George Washington on
Friday. At the same time, sophomore Marcel Wouda and senior Eric
Namesnik were touching the wall in the 400 IM, finishing in second and
third, respectively, at the NCAA swimming and diving championships.
The lead story on ESPN in such a case, of course, is that Vanderbilt
leads Temple, 24-18, at the half. Followed by plenty of highlights. Then
we'll see Dottie Mochrie is leading the latest stop on the LPGA tour.
Followed by plenty of highlights. And oh, yes, Stanford leads the NCAA
swim meet in Indianapolis. Followed by commercials. And then
Now. Swimming is one of those sports - track and field also comes
to mind - where the team relies mostly on individuals and individual
performances. Sure, there are relay events. But, for the most part, it is
every man for himself. You race like hell to finish first, then you throw
your points into the team's pot. There are no fastbreaks, no screens, no
It is simply a bunch of athletes who go out trying to break records
every time they jump in the pool.
For instance, the guy who beat Wouda and Namesnik in the 400 IM
- Greg Burgess of Florida - explained his pre-tourney plan of attack:
"My goals coming into the meet," he said, "were to break both
Burgess, a 20-year-old sophomore, says this without a TV camera in
sight. But Mr. Webber, when he tells us that he will be satisfied with
nothing less than a national title, does so in front of the whole nation.
Performances like Burgess' will stay etched in memory only for
those who were there, then, and for no one else.
Those who packed into the IUPUI Natatorium saw some memorable
performances. And Michigan swimmers, without a doubt the most
successful group of athletes on this campus, provided a lion's share of
There was Wouda, the Dutch import, who Michigan coach Jon
Urbanchek heaped praise upon when it was all over.
"In my mind," Urbanchek said, "he was the swimmer of the year."
Florida's Burgess was named the swimmer of the meet this past
weekend, but Wouda was the main reason Michigan was able to finish
as the NCAA runner-up, realizing a season-long team goal.
Wouda finished first in the 1650-yard freestyle, smashing a new
Michigan record in the process. He also took first in the 500 free, second
in the 400 IM and swam the first leg of the Wolverines' record-breaking
800 free relay. In all, he accounted for 57 of Michigan's 396 points,
which tied him for high-point honors for the three-day meet with
Miami's Dean Panaro.
Brian Gunn also came up big in his last meet for the Wolverines,
finishing second in his specialty, the 200 fly, then dueling Stanford's Joe.
Hudepohl to lift Michigan in the 800 free relay.
Gunn was emotionally drained as he talked to reporters after his last
race. The meet and his college career were both over. When it counted,
he had performed to his peak. So had his teammates.
Stanford was unbeatable. And second-best really isn't so bad.
It's just too bad nobody noticed.
Former Wolverine Loy Vaught is currently playing for the Los Angeles
Clippers. He played for Michigan's only basketball National Champion.
ally well for themselves.
D: Do you keep in touch with
Rumeal (Robinson) and' Terry
V: Only when they come to
town, or when I go to their town; it
seems like, to be honest, we've sort
of grown apart. But when we're in
town, we make an effort to stop by
the hotel, or call someone up and
take them to dinner.
D: Now that it's been a few
years since you and the rest of the
'89 Wolverines won the national
championship, has the feeling
changed? Does the title mean more
V: It just is like a sweet memory
and it's a feeling of a great accom-
plishment now. Then it was a feel-
ing like we were just the best. But
now the feeling that I have is of
great pride. It's hard to believe, and
it didn't even sink in for quite an
amount of time, but now it's great.
D: Can you compare the '89
team to this year's Michigan squad?
V: I can, in that I think they are
very similar. We had several pros on
the team: myself, Rumeal, Glenn,
Terry Mills, and Sean Higgins; we
had five players who are in the NBA
right now. And then Mark Hughes,
he's in Europe now, and Demetrius
Calip had a little stint in the pros
and Mike Griffin's playing over in
Japan professionally. So both teams
I see a similarity in just terms of
talent; just God-given, you know,
D: How far do you think the '93
team can go?
V: I'm pulling for them to go all
the way. I think they can do it. They
have an extra year of experience.
D: Who do you think they're go-
Tar Heels nip Bearcats, 75-68, in overtime
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
(AP) - A dunk didn't do the trick
in regulation so North Carolina went
to the 3-pointer in overtime and
advanced to the Final Four for the
ninth time under coach Dean Smith.
The top-seeded Tar Heels (32-4)
had a chance to beat second-seeded
Cincinnati (27-5) at the regulation
buzzer Sunday, but Brian Reese
missed a dunk after taking an
inbounds pass with .8 seconds to
Once the overtime started,
Donald Williams took care of things,
making consecutive 3-pointers to
help North Carolina beat the
Bearcats 75-68. Because Cincinnati,
a 1992 national semifinalist, failed
to return to the final four, Michigan
is the only team to make a repeat
visit to the "big dance."
North Carolina will meet Kansas,
the Midwest's second seed, in the
national semifinals next Saturday in
New Orleans. That is a rematch of
the 1991 semifinals when Roy
Williams, Smith's long-time
.aS.s'a . at t Tr.. T.Q:c whim
Exel, holding him to two points after
Williams, North Carolina's only
legitimate perimeter threat, finished
with 20 points, but he hit the two
overtime 3-pointers, which gave the
Tar Heels a 74-68 lead with 1:53 to
Smith, the winningest coach in
NCAA tournament history with a
53-23 record, has won just one
national championship. That came in
1982 in New Orleans, when
freshman Michael Jordan hit his
The Tar Heels had a chance of
winning in regulation, but Reese
missed a dunk as the buzzer
sounded. Television replays showed
that it would have been too late, but
referee Jody Silvester said the basket
would have counted if it had gone
Cincinnati tied the game 66-66
with 36 seconds to play when
Tarrance Gibson went the length of
the court with a loose ball after
North Carolina was charged with a
45-secnnd hnt elk violation.
shooting 10 for 41 from the field,
finished 8 for 24 after going 7 for 14
in the first half.
Erik Martin added 16 points for
With Van Exel in control, the
Bearcats took a 29-14 lead with 7:09
left in the half on his fifth 3-pointer
of the game. His sixth and last of the
first half came from NBA distance
and it gave Cincinnati a 33-20 lead
with 4:50 to play.
North Carolina then clamped
down on Van Exel and took
advantage of a serious shooting
drought by the rest of the Bearcats to
take a 36-35 lead 37 seconds before
halftime. Montross started the run by
scoring on a dunk and a layup after a
lob, but the rest of the rally was
without the 7-foot junior, who was
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poked near the eye with 2:54 left in
The Tar Heels scored the next 12
points to take their first lead since 5-
2, but it was short-lived when Terry
Nelson hit a foul line jumper with
two seconds left to give the Bearcats
a 37-36 halftime lead.
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