The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - January 28, 1991 - Page 3
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Press conference turns jousting match
with arrival of Baron
First, you should be warned that
this interview with Bobby Knight is
unedited. If you are under 18 or if
ou are offended by foul language,
please read no further.
If you ever get a chance to attend
a Bobby Knight press conference, by
all means go. Often his press
conference is more entertaining than
The first time I attended one was
last winter. I was in Champaign, Ill.,
covering a women's basketball
game. I stayed for the men's
natchup of Indiana vs. Illinois. The
Fighting Illini were all over the
Hoosiers, winning handily.
In the press conference, a
Chicago reporter stood up and said,
"Coach, you didn't score from the
12 minute mark to the eight minute
mark, that had to hurt you."
"Yeah," Knight said. He then
paused to chew his gum. Slowly his
eyes centered on the writer and he
*xclaimed with a deadpan
expression: "Brilliant fucking
Such is Knight. He will do
anything to annoy or irritate the
press. Yet, the press corps loves this
and will do anything to stir him up.
So, for your enjoyment we will
reprint the question and answer
portion of Knight's press
conference last Thursday night
after the Michigan, Indiana game at
- by Theodore Cox
f Reporter: What was the key
after it was 49-48 for you.
Knight: I don't think there is a
key. We were just able to get
some... You guys always think
there are keys. There isn't any key.
We just outscored them at that
R: How does this effort fare
against Michigan State Saturday
(Who Indiana played Jan. 26)?
K: I haven't even thought about
R: Even though Riley was
effective inside defensively, you
did get a lot of points in the lane.
K: Well, I think in the second
half, we did a better job with a
little movement. It presented,
maybe, a little different kind of a
problem then it did initially. That's
why I say we got into that point
where we were ahead by eight
maybe, and Michigan made a hell
of a run and came back and got it
all tied up. From that point on, we
got a little better movement inside
than we've had and perhaps even
.did a little bit better job getting
the ball inside then we did before.
But as far as Riley was concerned,
when we did get the ball in there,
particularly in the first half, we
had trouble getting anything done.
R: Did that lead to your free
K: Yeah, I think so. We're
Continued from page 1
opportunity to try out."
Much like Cohen, senior Gun-
nar Winckler had fantasies of be-
ing a Michigan superstar, but his
occurred on ice. After playing at
Northfield High School in Mount
Hermon, Mass., Winekler had ev-
ery intention of trying out for the
Wolverine hockey squad as a first-
year student. However, he became
ill around the time of tryouts, and
by the time sophomore year rolled
ground, he was too out of shape.
2 Nevertheless, he has excelled
the last few years as a center for
the Independent A Flyers. Last
semester, the team made it to the
championship match before fal-
Jing, and already this semester the
squad is flying off to a 2-0 start.
Winckler also serves as an official
for other IM hockey games. Much
like Cohen, he fosters little
bitterness over his failure to fulfill
getting the ball inside.'
to handle the ball wel
one really bad period
(Indiana guard Chris)
threw it away and (India
Calbert) Cheaney m
straight turnovers. I jus
hell to see that, because
point where we're con
game, where we're goin
out of reach. We sh
gotten that lead to 15 pc
R: Bob, Michigan
seems to rise and sink...
K: Hey, I don't e
about Michigan State.
looked at them, I ha
them play. I'll see them
I get home tonight. I
comment on Michigan
R: Coach, was Cl
tonight in shooting,
We're able team that can play in this
[1. We had conference competitively with
I in there. everybody in this conference, and
Reynolds that's all this team is. That's where
ana forward we are right now. We weren't
ade three competitive with everybody in the
st hate like conference last year, we're trying
we're at a to get to that point this year and
trolling the we're not even there yet. We're
ig to take it just a team that's trying to
ould have develop. All these guys talk about
)ints. their young teams - I laugh at
State still that, because I'm not sure anybody
in this league is younger than we
ven know are. It isn't like we're playing with
I haven't a bunch of experienced players.
ven't seen R: But yet today down the -
play when K: There isn't any but, yet
can't even anything. This is not a team that is
State. a national caliber team. You know,
heaney off I've been there.
or was it R: I understand that, but late in
the game, your young guys played
K: You don't care if I finish do
you? This could be the Goddamn
quote of my life I'm about to tell
you. Sparky's just a great guy. And
I told Bo, "You son-of-a-bitch, you
better keep one thing in mind," I
said, "For 15 years you only had
one friend in this league." He
looked at me, and he said, "How
many have you got now you son-
R: Coach, how's (Indiana guard
Damon) Bailey's injury coming
K: Both our trainer and our
doctor did not want us to play
Bailey tonight. He's got a deep
thigh bruise. I think they felt if it
was an absolute necessity, Bailey
could play, but it was just one of
those things that there isn't any
sense aggravating it. I don't think
under any circumstances we would
have played Bailey tonight.
R: Will he be ready Saturday?
K: I don't know. That's a touch-
R: Greg (Graham) played 36
minutes. How was his stamina?
K: I think Greg has good
stamina. We don't have many guys
that have great stamina. But Greg
may have the best that we have.
Greg and (Jamal) Meeks are
probably the two best guys with
R: Graham started the second
half with a lot of offense. Was
there anything he was doing the
second half that he wasn't the
K: Well remember now, he
made two or three steals for buck-
ets in the second half. He had four
buckets in the first half. I see he
had four buckets in the second half
and four buckets in the first half.
R: He had the first 11 points of
the first half.
K: Well, when we came in at
the half time,jhe first thing I said
was that I wanted Greg to score
the first 11 points in the second
R: Once he did that did you
shut him off?
K: Once he did that, we went
to somebody else. I mean, why run
the kid in the ground?
R: Now that you've had a
couple of minutes to think about
K: I haven't thought about
them. I've been too busy answering
these questions. Anybody else got
a question? Good.
Knight gets up to leave the
conference room. As he does, the
Indiana Sports Information Director
informs the press that the Indiana
lockerroom will be closed. Knight,
leaving the room, says, "What do
they need to get into the lockerroom
for; that's what I was just here for."
Fisher, fans, Berenson
deserve more credit
Thoughts from a Saturday at Crisler Arena...
Steve Fisher has done a good job coaching this year's Michigan
basketball team. That's high praise for a team mired in the bottom of the
Look at the big picture. This team definitely deserves an 'A' for effort.
Their Big Ten performances against Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois were
impressive in that category. They may not win too much but they
certainly are putting forth a spirted attempt. It's a team that is starting to
play defense too. Freddie Hunter may have inspired this. Whoever and
whatever, it is a far cry from last year and the Bill Frieder teams who
worried about offense so much that defense became a thing that simply
Fisher is molding a team in his image. Last year, it appeared as if he
was simply a ringkeeper. Now, he's into the ganM, screaming, moving
around, shouting instructions. He'll often call a ayer over, place his
hand on his head and give him instruction and motivation. He even picked
up a technical foul this year. With the amount of talent Fisher inherited
last year, you often got the idea that he simply didn't want to do too
much with them. This man now is in charge.
One thing is clear: Fisher's becoming comfortable at his job. And
with the recruiting class he has joining him, there's no reason to doubt
he'll only become more comfortable.
Crisler Arena is not that bad of a place to watch a basketball game
this year. Usually, it's not worth the price of admission. The student
section is into the game despite the Wolverines lackluster Big Ten record.
They deserve some high praise for that.
The problem rests in the other 75 percent of the arena. It takes the
students to get the rest of the crowd into the game. This may be expected,
but the problem is, the crowd only gets excited once or twice.
When they do, it gets pretty loud - and Crisler becomes respectable
for a few seconds. Yet, if you want to see how a basketball crowd in the
Big Ten should act - go to Iowa, Indiaha, Michigan State, or Ohio
E If Crisler Arena wanted to become a'better place acoustically for
basketball, they would throw some money into making it less
comfortable. There is a process to making Crisler Arena liveable as a
basketball arena that's seemingly been argued forever. Rip out the plush
cushiony seats, insert bleachers for the students, Tiger Stadium-type seats
for the rest of the crowd so they don't absorb noise, and make the student
section first-come, first serve. Then, invite Sports Illustrated. I bet they
wouldn't call it one of the worst arenas to watch a basketball game as
they did earlier thisyear...
Where are Michigan's best crowds? Yost Ice Arena. If you haven't
had a chance to see the highly explosive Michigan hockey team this year,
you are missing the boat. Yost does not have the greatest acoustics either
and when few showed up at the old barn just a few years ago, it was like
playing in a fog. Now, the place is packing them in to see the third,
ranked team in the country.
During December's Lake
Superior State series, the last time.
the Wolverines lost, a new cheer
started. As the opposing team's
player headed to the penalty box,
the crowd would yell as if
preparing for a kickoff. When he
- places his first foot in the box,
they respond... "See Ya!"
The cheer caught on quickly
and last week, the Bowling Green
players had a little fun with it.
(When you're in the midst of a ten
game losing streak, it helps to
keep your sense of humor.) One
player skated right up to the box,
appeared to be entering, then
Bnturned around and made a loop on
the ice, hoping to offset the cheer. The next one acted as if he was
entering, then stood and talked to a teammate.
Congratulations to Red Berenson. After coaching some awful teams
his first few years in Ann Arbor, Red became a .500 coach and an above
.500 coach with a sweep over Ferris State this weekend. His career record
now stands 129-128-15 It took seven years, but the team is in good shape
for years to come.
Add one asterisk to that last comment. The team will be in great
shape next year as long as Denny Felsner and David Roberts are not lured
to the St. Louis Blues. The team Red once played for and won NHL
Coach of the Year honors with would like to see the Wolverine pair irr
royal blue duds next season. It may be tempting.
Most interesting sign at Crisler Saturday: A man appearing to be
in his 60's quietly held a sign stating "Kill Saddam" during the playing of
the national anthem.
Bo Schembechler and Sparky Anderson made their first appearance
this season at Crisler Arena Thursday night. Members of the media noted
that Bo did not receive the usual friendly greeting accorded to him when he
used to step into the place.
Only a war got people to stop talking about Schembechler's faulty
mismanagement of the Tigers. The soap opera of Ernie Harwell's firing
lived in the newspaper forever. Bo now wonders what happened to his
popularity. And while WJR's Jim Long wants to take the blame, Harwell
said it all. Who cares who wants to take the blame, the end result is the
same, he said.
And no matter how much Long wants to take the fall, I'll bet my las-
dollar that Bo had his hand in the middle of it all.
K: Well, it's always a
combination of both things.
R: What things has Greg
Graham done to earn a starting
K: Starting for us doesn't mean
anything. Everybody starts for us.
Some game I'm going to start four
R: What four?
K: I haven't thought about that
R: I heard an interview earlier
on a radio station that you said
that anybody that says you have
team doesn't know basketball.
Where are you at this point of the
K: We're just trying to be a
with a coolness down the stretch,
like a little more experienced
team. Where does that come from?
K: Well, maybe it's great
R: Bob, did you get a chance to
speak to Bo (Schembechler) or
K: Yes, they came in. Sparky's
first comment was something like,
"If you're going to win, you better
get off to a Goddamn better start
then you did Monday night (When
Indiana was beat by Ohio State)."
That's really encouraging words
from a friend.
R: Did you remind him about
the 100 losses?
K: No, Sparky's one of the all
time greats. He's...
"I basically came here for the
education," he said. "Playing
hockey would've been a bonus."
As rare as it is for a walk-on
players to have the sort of impact
Hunter has, coaches still welcome
"There are so many kids who
can contribute so much," Michi-
gan football coach Gary Moeller
said. "There are plenty of good
walk-on kids who want to be part
of the program. I'd say it's about a
ten percent chance of a walk-on
making it as an active player (in
football). Sometimes I think they
go away from here with more re-
wards than the scholarship kids."
Current Wolverine kicker J.D.
Carlson and defensive tackle Mike
Evans both started their Michigan
careers as walk-ons.
Walk-ons have contributed lit-
tle to the current hockey team.
Only sophomore defenseman Paul
Sancimino is currently on the
squad, but he hasn't played in a
game yet. Still, coach Red Beren-
son noted that he plans on taking a
few more walk-ons next year due
to the fact that most of the schol-
arship players are not graduating.
In addition to giving hope to
other intramural superstars, Hun-
ter's ascent has also affected his
former IM teammates. The group
once known as Freddie and the
Seven Dwarves, which played
together for three years and lost in
last year's semifinals, is now sim-
ply The Dwarves. Rather than be-
ing upset at the loss of their super-
star, the players regard Hunter's
rise with pride and joy.
"We're ecstatic for him,"
commented senior Scott Merillat.
"We all knew he could play - all he
needed was a chance. And this year's
basketball team provided a good
situation for a walk-on."
Although inspired by the suc-
cess of their past teammate, none
of The Dwarves has any desire to
try out for the basketball team.
However, it is likely there are
hundreds of people on campus
lurking with some skill and a
dream, watching the Crisler Arena
crowd shout, "Freddie! Freddie!"
and rekindling old desires. Unfor-
tunately, only a select few are
lucky enough to be in the right
place at the right time. And the
rest can only take heed that a fel-
low underdog fought the odds and
"made it big."
Burn ham Associates
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