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November 17, 1994 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-17
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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10 - Tipoff -- Thursday, November17,94

9

I.

V-

_. _

Van Gundy inherits conference contender
Finley, Griffith spurn NBA, return to Wisconsin to play for new head coach

Wisconsin lost a tremendous point
guard in Tracy Webster, but two of the
best players in the conference return to
the Badgers. Center Rashard Griffith
threatened to leave the team during
the off-season, but the 6-foot-1lIsopho-
more decided to stay to the delight of
new coach Stan Van Gundy.
Van Gundy will also have the plea-
sure of coaching senior forward Michael
Finley, a legitimate Big Ten and na-
tional player of the year candidate.
Finley, a second team All-Big Ten
performer last year, was fourth in the
conference in overall points and points
per game. He averaged over two three-
point field goals per game and had 28
steals in 18 conference games.
"Everything for us starts with
Michael Finley," Van Gundy said.

"He is as good as anybody in this
conference and we think he's gotten
better in the
off-season.
Wj g nflgn Expect him to
8-10, 1811 be handling
the ball more
for us and cre-
ating more
plays for other
people."
The prob-
lem that the
1 Badgers have
is that Griffith
Norn: Februr y1andFinley will
Away: February 11 have little sup-
port on the of-
fensive end of the floor. Starters Brian
Kelly and Andy Kilbride will be ex-

pected to step up their point production
this year. They averaged just over 12
ppg combined last season.
Darnell Hoskins, a very athletic,
defensive-minded player, will likely
be the fifth starter for Van Gundy
when the team takes on Wright State
in the season opener.
The Badgers need their newcom-
ers, such as 6-foot-4 freshman
Mosezell Peterson to become scor-
ing threats almost immediately if
the team hopes to make a run at the
conference title.
"We have a lot of question marks,"
Van Gundy said. "I don't think there is
a team in the conference without major
question marks. That is the common
denominator."
The biggest question mark for the

Badgers may be Van Gundy himself.
Van Gundy takes over his first Divi-
sion I program following head coach-
ing stints at Castleton State (Vt.) and
Massachusetts-Lowell. He spent the
last three seasons as an assistant with
the Badgers.
Now he must match wits with
some of the finest coaches in the
nation. Van Gundy, 35, has inher-
ited a team that is in position to win
a lot of games if the younger players
can develop rapidly. Van Gundy's
goals will revolve around keeping
the enigmatic Griffith content and
moving his young players along. If
he can accomplish these lofty feats,
he could very well get a ring in his
first season at the helm.
-Paul Barger

Finley

Wildcats try to avoid downturn after postseason

Northwestern, never a traditional
Big Ten power, is telling anyone
who will listen that it is a program
on the upswing.
And last season appeared to con-
firm that theory. The Wildcats had
their first winning season in 11 years,
were undefeated in non-conference
play and even earned an invitation
to the NIT.

But just as quickly as the expec-
tations were raised can they fall
down again. Four starters graduated
from last season's squad, and coach
Ricky Byrdsong returns only one
double-digit scorer. Correspond-
ingly, the Wildcats were predicted
to finish last in the Big Ten in the
preseason media poll.
Nonetheless, Byrdsong expects

U

the team to improve from last year,
even if it's only because the players
now know what it's like to win.
"In e x per i-
ence will be a
Northwestem f a c t o r,"
5-13, 1514 Byrdsong said.
"(But) every
other area of the
game we have
made some
strides. We will
be on the other
side of the nine.
We're not sure
where yet, but
Away: January 14 we're going to
Home: March 1 be on the other
side."
For the Wildcats to avoid the
cellar, they are going to have to find
some scorers. Senior Cedric Neloms
(11.7 points per game, 4.3 rebounds

per game) provides punch up front,
and big things are expected of 6-
foot-11 redshirt freshman Evan
Eschmeyer.
Inexperience will be a
factor. (But) every
other area of the game
we have made some
strides.'
- Ricky Byrdsong
Northwestern coach
However the third cog to the
frontline - senior Dewey Will-
iams - will have to elevate his
game for the Wildcats to bang ef-
fectively.
"There is a lot of pressure on
him to be the leader on the team.

,,.- - n. ax
,
. ,
d<
.T
. .xix ie,..

appearance
Once he becomes comfortable in
that role, he'll be fine," Byrdsong
said. "He's working awfully hard to
get where he needs to be. He knows
that he has to be a major factor for
us. He can clearly see that, this year,
there is no reason why he should not
be the man."
The backcourt is of more con-
cern to Byrdsong, however. North-
western lost gunners Patrick
Baldwin and Kip Kirkpatrick to
graduation, and the top returning
scorer, Kenneth Lee, averaged only
3.2 ppg last season.
However, Lee may grow into the
shooting guard position, and the
Wildcats could get some help from
young talent. Sophomore Jevon
Johnson fits in the point guard pic-
ture, along with freshman Geno
Carlisle and JUCO transfer Craig
Duerksen.
"I think we'll be a little more
athletic," Byrdsong said. "We may
not shoot the ball quite as well with
the loss of Todd Leslie and Kip
Fitzpatrick."
- Scott Burton
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Returning Starters: F Charles
Minlend (13.6 ppg, 7.8 rbg); F-G
James Scott (11..2, 3.7); G
Derek Brown (7.3, 2.6); G
Maurice Brown (6.0, 1.8)
Off the Bench: F Roshowon
McLeod (6.7, 3.8); G-F Rowan
Barrett (3.9, 1.6); F Sergio Luyk
(3.8, 1.7);F-G Fred Lyson (2.6,
1.0); C Tom Bayne (2.0, 1.2)
Top Newcomers: G Felipe Lopez,
C Zendon Hamilton, G Tarik
Turner
Nitknams: Titans
confrec: Midwest-
ern
.Ro* 16-13
Starters BackThre
Coaci: Perry Watson
Record vs Micigan:15-5
Returning Starters: G Michael
Jackson (12.7 ppg, 4.0 rbg); C
Alan Renner-Thomas (5.3, 6.8); F
Herman Jenkins (4.4, 3.1)
Off the Bench: G lyapo
Montgomery (4.9, 2.6); F Carl
Pickett (3.6, 2.5); G Terrance
Porter (3.3, 0.5); F Kareem Hailey
(2.0, 0.8); G Matt Domke (2.0,
0.8); F Kevin Mondro (0.1, 0.06.
Top Newcomers: F Kamau
Alexander, F Perry Robinson, F
Guido LeGardy, G Wesley Hicks

Returning Starters: G Damon
Stoudamire (18.3 ppg, 4.5 rbg);
F Ray Owes (12.9, 8.1); C
Joseph Blair (10.1, 7.2); G
Reggie Geary (7.4, 3.7)
Off the Bench: F Corey Williams
(3.8, 2.6); F-G Joe McLean (3.1,
1.8); F Jarvis Kelly (2.1, 1.8); G
Jason Richey (1.2, 0.5); F Andy
Bowen (0.3, 0.3)
Top Newcomers: F Ben Davis, F
Mike Dickerson, G Kevin Eaton, F
Donnell Harris, G Miles Simon
00. Pe nivn13
Ukamr:Quakers
Cvferean: vy League
Record: 25.3
Stwaer Back Four
4vech Fran Dunplhy
Retrdvs& Michiga: 4
Returning Starters: G Jerome
Allen (14.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg); G Matt
Maloney (14.0, 2.6); F Sharon
Trice (8.5, 7.1); F-C Eric Moore
(8.1, 4.9)
Off the Bench: F Tim Krug (6.7,
3.8); G Scott Kegler (5.1, 1.4); C
Nat Graham (1.7, 1.4); G Donald
Moxley (1.3, 1.3); F Cedric Laster
(1.5, 0.7); F-C Bill Guthrie (0.9,
1.3); G Jamie Lyren (0.6, 0.4)
Top Newcomers: G MIke Dzik, G
Garett Kreitz, F-C Michael Melcher

Returning Starters: F Brandon
Born (16.8 ppg, 5.4 rbg), F
Maurio Hanson (12.8, 5.3); C
Roger Smith (9.8, 8.1)
Off the Bench: G John Oliver
(5.7 1.9); G Fred Moore (2.4,
1.5); F Pat Henderson (1.5,
1.8); G Shane Neal (1.2, 0.3),
F Hiram Nelson (Did not play)
Top Newcomers: F Julian Scott,
G Bernard Smith, G Lincoln
Walters, G Marcus Watkins
lomie, December 22
Nicknam: Tigers
Conferenc: Southwestern
R cord:19-20
coac Andy Stoglin
licod W .Mk ,ga: 0-0
Returning Starters: F Dwayne
Whitfield (12.4 ppg, 6.7 rbg)
Off the Bench: G Greg King
(5.8, 1.8); G Titus Hooten (3.7,
1.7); G Roderick Taylor (1.5,
1.2); F Matt Williams (1.3, 1.3);
Top Newcomers: C Brad Collier;
G DeCarto Draper; F Robert
Fairley; G Ramone Kelly; C
Keith Montgomery; F Johnnie
Rogers

Tennessee-Chattanooga hosts
SYNCF
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Good luck to the 1994 Wolverines men's basketball team!

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