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November 17, 1994 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-17
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8 - Tipoff '- Thursday, November 17, 2$





____ ________ --

Respert leads Spartans in tight race
MSU guard is preseason Big Ten Player of the Year

When Jud Heathcote bids fare-
well to East Lansing at the end of the
season he may
very well have a
new ring on his Mi n St.
finger. Shawn 10-8, 2012
Respert's deci-
sion to forego the "
NBA draft and
stay with Michi-
gan State for his
final season gave
Heathcote a real-
istic chance ton
finish first in the
Big Ten. HOm: January 22
Respert is the Away: February 21
preseason Big
Ten Player of the Year for good rea-
son. Last season he buried opponents
with 24.3 points per game and is on
pace to be the Spartans' all-time lead-

ing scorer.
Eric Snow may be neglected by
fans, but conference coaches know
how good the Spartans point guard is.
Last year he averaged 6.7 assists to
lead the Big Ten. The senior is noted
as an outstanding defensive player as
"I think Michigan State has a real
good chance (to win the conference
title) with their backcourt," Minne-
sota coach Clem Haskins said. "Any
time you have a Respert or Snow,
three-year starters, you just have to
give them a chance. In this league, to
win, you have to have a good, solid
Snow's biggest problem is well-
documented; he flat-out cannot shoot
foul shots. He shot an ugly 45 percent
from the charity stripe in 1993-94.
After the backcourt the Spartans

have a lot of questions to answer.
Anthony "Pig" Miller graduated, leav-
ing Michigan State with a big hole in
the rebounding department. Junior
Jamie Feick is leading candidate to be
Miller's replacement.
Juniors Daimon Beathea and
Quinton Brooks are both returning
starters who are hoping to raise their
point production this season.
Brooks averaged over 11 ppg last
year and will have to take some of the
scoring pressure off of Respert.
Sophomore Jon Garavaglia had a
strong showing in the NCAA Tourna-
ment and it is anticipated that he will
be much improved this year. Thomas
Kelly is Heathcote's only freshman
but he has legitimate chance to see
some playing time.
State could be very good if the
team can develop around Respert. He
has been included on most All-Ameri-
can teams.
He will break Michigan State's
all-time scoring record, set by Steve
Smith, with 449 points. If he can
average over 27.5 points per game he
will break Calbert Cheaney's Big Ten
scoring record (2,613).
The Spartans will need better foul
shooting (66 percent last year) and
somebody to replace Miller's re-
bounding if they want to contend for
the title.
If Brooks and Feick can step up on
both ends of the floor and Respert
really is the player that everyone is
saying he is, Heathcote may just exit
East Lansing with his fourth Big Ten
- Paul Barger
Read Daily

Continued from page 17
by a nickname too-one that, of course,
ties the new recruits into the legacy of
their predecessors.
Fab Five II?
The second coming?
Fab six through ten?
Well, I've pondered this whole nick-
name thing too, and here's my take on
what we should call them:
Jerod, Maceo, Willie, Travis and
What's that, you say? That's not
catchy. That won't fit into a headline.
That won't make for a good book name.
What gives'?
What gives is that handing the new
recruits nicknames - like the Fab FiveII
- sets an expectation that they will make
the same kind of impact as the class of
1991. But they won't.
They won't start together as fresh-
They won't put Michigan on
SportsCenter night after night by carry-
ing on the legacy ofhigh-profiling dunk-
ing and trash-talking.
They won't lead Michigan to the
Final Four this season.
Why not? Because the circum-
stances that allowed the Fab Five to
excel do not exist for the new recruits.
The Fab Five were the main talents
on a team that needed direction; the
1991-92 team was theirs to take over.
But, the 1994-95 squad already be-
longs to Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.
Consequently, the freshmen will play
more of a supporting role, filling in
where needed, spelling the already large
load of talent.
Maybe one or two will start. Per-
haps all of them will play.
But no tidal waves of impact. No
trend-setting. No controversy.
Nothing that will compare with what
the Fab Five did.
"We don't need any extra crosses to
bear, with everything being a compari-
son," coach Steve Fisher says. "The
minute you say 'Fab Five anything', it
is an immediate comparison. Things
are never the same, even when the faces
are the same."
Fine then, you say. If you don't want
to give them a nickname that draws
comparisons to the Fab Five, how about
some other one?
How about the quintessential quin-
tet? Or the raucous rookies? Something
that characterizes them for what they'll
do as a group - like the nickname Fab
Five did.
But you know what? Ten years from
now I don't want to remember Chris
Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard,
Jimmy King and Ray Jackson for what
they did collectively. I want to remem-
ber them for what they did as indi-
Webber for his monstrous dunks
and immense power. Howard for his
low-post finesse and stoic character.
Rose for his flair and bravado. King
for his exceptional play-making abil-
ity. Jackson for clutch play and get-
the-job-done mentality.

Shawn Respert could eclipse Calbert Cheaney's conference scoring record.
ilhi have fighting chance

MAt d-hv s dMAN/naily
Maceo_ Baston dazzled at the Wolverines slam-dunk contest.

While Michigan, Indiana, Michi-
gan 'State and
Wisconsin are at-_
tracting the most Illinois
attention in the 10.8, 17-11
Big Ten pre-
season, Illinois
may have them
all matched.
Consider that
although the
Fighting Illini
lost Deon Tho- Away: January 17
mas and T.J. Home:Febmary26
Wheeler to
graduation, they return three standout
starters-last season's freshman sen-
sation Kiwane Garris, low-post force

Shelly Clark and three-point sharp-
shooter Richard Keene.
Add to the mix a number of prom-
ising youngsters, and the Big Ten
might have another legitimate con-
Garris may be the key to the equa-
tion. He was a top candidtate for Big
Ten Freshman of the Year honors last
season, before Iowa's Jess Settles
outplayed him to earn the award.
Nonetheless, his explosive scor-
ing out of the backcourt makes him
one of the most dangerous point guards
in the conference; last season he scored
30-plus points in consecutive games,
See ILLINOIS, Page 26

But in 20 years from now all that
will be lost. They'll be remembered as
Fab Five, for who they were as a group.
And the individual will be over-
shadowed - if not forgotten.
I don't want to see the same thing
happen to the new recruits. Regardless
of what they accomplish as a group,

they are all poised to become excep-
tional players on their own right, and
deserved to be recognized for as much.
Maybe this time around we can do
exactly that if we get one thing straight
right off the bat:
Their names: Jerod, Maceo, Willie,
Travis and Maurice.


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