The coach talks about Arizona State,
* Steve Fisher and leaving Michigan.
As head basketball coach at Michi-
gan from 1980 to 1989, Bill Frieder
won 191 games, second in school
history to Johnny Orr (209), and led
the Wolverines to consecutive Big Ten
Championships in 1985 and 1986.
In 1989, he moved on to the Pa-
cific 10 conference. to coach Arizona
State. Frieder has led ASU to post-
season play in each of hisfive seasons
in Tempe, including four NIT ap-
pearances and one NCAA tourna-
Priorto his arrival in March 1989,
Arizona State didn't have a winning
season oradvanceto post-seasonplay
since 1983. This season, Frieder's
troops went 15-12, including
0 Saturday's 94-87 upset over seventh-
ranked A rizona, and advanced to the
NIT and post-season play for the fifth
straight season, a school record.
His career highlights as coach of
the Wolverines include five straight
NCAA tournament appearances
(1985-89) and six straight 20-plus
win seasons (1984-89). Frieder is
one of only eleven active coaches to
win 200 career games before losing
In March 1989, FriederleftMichi-
gan prior to the NCAA tournament
amidst much controversy. His re-
placement, Steve Fisher, led Michi-
gan to the NCAA Championship.
Recently, Daily sports writerBarry
Sollenbergerspoke with Friederabout
Michigan, Arizona State and college
basketball in general.
Daily: What are the major differ-
ences you've experienced in coach-
ing at ASU compared to Michigan?
Frieder: Well, the biggest thing is
ASU, at this point, does not have the
tradition or the alumni support of a
Michigan, Notre Dame, Duke, Ken-
tucky or North Carolina and so you
always fight that.
Secondly, ASU does not have the
winning tradition in basketball that
Michigan has. Michigan has now de-
veloped a pretty good winning tradi-
tion over 30 years. My years in the
'70s whenI was an assistant (to Johnny
Orr) were very good and in the '80s
we built it to a national program, a
top-five, top-ten program and it has
been that ever since.
ASU hasn't had that. We came
into ASU where they hadn't had a
winning season in (six years) and
attendance was down and everything
was down and you had to build and
we are slowly building that. We've
turned it around and we are building
it. We just still have a ways to go.
D: What ties, if any, do you keep
F: Just basically with close friends
back there and Steve Fisher, who is
one of my closest friends.
There was a big misconception
when I left. First of all, the change in
athletic directors had a lot to do with
my leaving. People misconstrue my
comments about Bo (Schembechler)
as being comments about Michigan
and they shouldn't because I love
I've got two degrees from Michi-
gan. I grew up in Michigan. I was a
Michigan fan all of my life and still
am. I was in Ann Arbor almost half of
my life, between being a student, as-
sistant coach and full-time coach.
People back there, however, seem to
think I ran out on Michigan and I did
not do that. I left Michigan as a result
of a lot of things.
People don't understand that Bo
Schembechler gave Arizona State per-
mission to talk to me in February
(1989). (Former Athletic Director)
Don Canham would have never done
that. Don Canham would have told
them to wait until the end of the sea-
son, but they gave ASU permission to
talk to me.
Well, one thing led to another and
then all of a sudden I was going to be
the next coach at ASU when the sea-
son ended. Well, word started to leak
out and I'm on my way to Atlanta
with my team and I had a decision to
make. Was I going to lie to the Ari-
zona press and the Michigan press in
Atlanta or was I going to be up front?
I decided to be upfront and say that
when the season was over, I was go-
ing to Arizona State. I was kind of
chastised for that. I was criticized for
being honest and upfront. Maybe I
should blame myself for getting my-
self into a no-win situation.
But people have to understand
that I love Michigan. I root for
Michigan every time they are out.
There are still chills up and down
my spine when I watch them play
Notre Dame in football or watch
them in the Final Four or anything
else. I love Michigan. That's my
school. That's basically it.
D: Do you keep in touch with your
former players that are now in the
NBA such as Glen Rice, Rumeal
Robinson and Gary Grant?
F: All of them. Every one of them.
Every month. They are all very good
friends. At least three or four of them
have helped me work my camp here
in the summer. Most or all of them,
including Tim McCormick, havebeen
on my TV show.
D: Who are your best friends in
the coaching field?
F: I would say that Fisher is num-
ber one. Gene Bartow of Alabama
Birmingham might be outside of
someone I haven't worked with.
Bartow and I go back to when I was a
high school coach at Flint Northern.
Eddie Sutton is another one. I would
say that those are three but there are
This has never been in print be-
fore. When it was clear that I wasn't
coming back to Michigan, I told
Schembechler that, well, at least you
have a great coach in Steve Fisher.
Just like when Johnny Orr left Michi-
gan he wanted me to get the job; when
I left I wanted to see Fisher get thejob.
That's never been in print before.
D: How does coaching in the West
compare to coaching in the Midwest?
F: There's not as much pressure
out here. It's more laid back. It's not
as intense and there is not nearly the
pressure. You don't think of practic-
ing or playing when it is 75 degrees
outside. It's a little different that way,
but I enjoy it. After being in the pres-
sure packed phase of it for so long it's
D: Compare the quality ofcompe-
tition in the Pac 10 to the Big Ten.
F: I think the big difference is that
we don't have the number of great
players that the Big Ten has from top
to bottom. I think that Arizona, Cali-
fornia and UCLA compare well to the
top of the Big Ten, but the bottom of
this conference can't compare with
the bottom of the Big Ten.
D: You've always had the reputa-
tion as being one of the best if not the
very best recruiter in the nation. How
has recruiting changed over the last
F: Well, I think that it has been a
little bit blown out of proportion be-
cause I was blessed with great talent
at Michigan. It's easy when you're
recruiting guys like Glen Rice 10
minutes down the road in Flint.
I'm a nuts-and-bolts kind of guy
and have beat other coaches by just
working harder. I must have been to
Terry Mills' high school 4,000 times.
There was no way anybody else was
going to get him. You can't do that
anymore now and I think it's helped
the cheaters and the major programs
that play on national television all of
D: Are you on the road recruiting
more or less than, say, 10 years ago?
F: Much, much less.
D: How do the facilities here com-
pare with the facilities at Michigan?
F: I think that ASU has the great-
est facilities in America. Our football
stadium isn't as big as Michigan's,
but it is much more modern. The
(basketball) arena is really nice and
track, baseball and tennis are second
to none in the country. They are phe-
nomenal, the overall facilities here.
D: Much has been made of your
being "under-appreciated" at Michi-
gan. Do you feel you've experienced
any of that here at ASU?
F: No. Everybody here has been
just phenomenal. Just the opposite.
Everybody here has been just fantas-
D: Do you follow Michigan bas-
F: I watch every game.
D: Earlier this year, Michigan was
pounded in Tucson (by Arizona, 119-
95) at McKale Center. How does
McKale compare tosay, tough places
to play in the Big Ten?
F: McKale is the toughest place to
play. Ever. Pullman (Washington
State) is the toughest crowd because
of the abusive language and vulgar-
ity. Talking about your mother and
stuff like that.
D: What was the best team you
'There was a big
misconception when I
comments about Bo
being comments about
Michigan, and they
shouldn't because I
coached at Michigan?
F: I would say the national cham-
pionship team. We lost to Illinois in
the (final regular season) game, but
won our previous five games. We
were on a mission to win it all. People
think that we started to play well only
when I left and that is not true.
D: What do you think about the
distance of the 3-point line in college
F: Ilike it. Ithink ithas added alot
to the game. I don't think that it is
worth three points, but I like it.
D: Did you get to know the "Fab
Five" through recruiting?
F: I met Chris Webber in the
ninth grade. And I'll tell you some-
thing, I always thought that he was
destined to go to Michigan. Not to
take anything away from Fisher,
because I think he did a great job
with the others. I just always felt
that Webber was destined to go to
D: What do you think about the
35-second shot clock?
F: I don't have any problem with
it, either. The only thing I don't like is
when they hurt defenses by taking
away the five-second closely guarded
D: Do you look forward to a future
encounter with Michigan?
F: We actually won a tournament
with Michigan in it (1990 Tribune
Classic in Tempe). Texas beat them
and then we beat Texas. I know that
weprobably can't beatMichigan now,
but if we meet (in the future), fine.
The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 14, 1994 - 3
The R.H. Factor
make no sense at all
Y esterday, the Purdue Boilermakers took the Big Ten men's
basketball title the old fashion way - they earned it.
That's more than most of the 1994 conference champions can
say. After 10 days of ESPN's self-proclaimed 'Championship Week" it has
become obvious that most college conferences in America care about their
regular seasons about as much as the National Hockey League does.
While logic has never been something that the NCAA, or the rest of the
powers that be in college sports, have possessed, the way in which
automatic bids to the NCAA tournament are given out seems as reasonable
as Dennis Rodman playing an entire game without being ejected.
Instead of rewarding teams that have played consistently well
throughout the season with a bid, it has been decided that their fate should
be left up to how they do in the three-day vigil known as the postseason
Thus, as you begin to look over your NCAA tournament brackets don't
be surprised if you've never seen or heard of many of the select 64 teams
that make up this year's field. Until last week, no one knew anything about
Southwest Texas State except that it was in Texas, presumably in the
southwest portion of the state.
The post-season tournament idea started with the Atlantic Coast
Conference in the 1954. While recognizing the regular season champion,
the ACC has long considered its tournament winner to be the conference's
As the years moved on, other conferences began to sniff the monetary
aroma of the ACC tourney and decided that they too wanted some of the
spoils. Copying the ACC format, postseason tournaments began to appear
more frequently than Dick Vitale on ESPN.
Surprisingly, the Big Ten has not followed suit. While it would
probably not be as profitable as the $6 million take that it gets from the
Rose Bowl, the conference could make a sizeable sum by hosting a four-
day outing at the Hoosier Dome. Yet, it has balked at the idea, claiming
that the 18 games played between January and March are more than
enough to determine the best team in the Midwest.
For a conference like the Big Ten, which annually receives multiple
bids to the NCAA tournament, a post-season tourney's significance isn't
that great. But for smaller leagues, like the Colonial Athletic Conference,
everything is on the line. Without a victory in the finals, James Madison
would never have made the Big Dance. To the detriment of the game,
many program's whole seasons ride on three days of play.
See HERRINGTON, Page 4
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The student members of the Judicial Board will convene
an Open Hearing on proposed amendments to the
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities on:
Wednesday, March 16, 1994
Algebra (4 levels)
Analytic Geometry & Calculus
Anatomy & Physiology
Career Decision Making