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January 28, 1991 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-28

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - January 28, 1991

Attempt to spark
Crisler crowd fails
by Theodore Cox
Daily Basketball Writer
In yet another attempt to excite the less than enthusiastic Crisler Arena
crowd, someone placed fliers in the student section before last Thursday's
Indiana match-up. The fliers implored the fans to get involved in the game
and gave examples of certain chants fans could use to do so.
"Enough has been said about the lack of enthusiasm of the fans in
Crisler Arena. It is time to quit talking, and generate some noise in support
of our team and their efforts," the notice began.
Apparently, the arena staff didn't think too highly of the work. Security
tried to collect as many fliers as they could before the game began.
The seats were, however, covered with Maize and Blue pom-poms.
ALL WRAPPED UP: Michigan guard Kirk Taylor had his right wrist
taped up during the Illinois game Saturday. He apparently sprained his
thumb against Indiana last Thursday, but says it shouldn't affect his game in
any significant way.
HANGING ON: The Wolverines turned the ball over only 12 times
against Illinois. This is much improved from the time early in the season
when the team averaged 20.
MISSING THE MARK: Michigan center Eric Riley has been
struggling of late from field. He was 3-8 against Illinois, and 1-8 vs.
Indiana. His frontcourt mate Sam Mitchell is having shooting problems as
well. But his are not in the paint, rather they are from the free throw line.
Mitchell missed three straight against the Hoosiers.
SALUTING OUR TROOPS: The Fighting Illini added small American
flags to the front of their uniforms in support of our troops in the Persian
Gulf. Illinois Assistant coach Jimmy Collins has a son who is presently in
Saudi Arabia.
"That's just our little way of showing our support," coach Lou Henson

Big Ten Through Jan. 26,1991
Men's Basketball Standings
Conference Games All Games
Ohio State 7 0 1.000 17 0 1.000
Indiana 6 1 .857 18 2 .900
Michigan St. 5 3 .625 12 6 .667
Wisconsin 4 3 .571 10 7 .588
Illinois 3 3 .500 13 6 .684
Purdue 3 4 .429 11 6 .647
Minnesota 3 4 .429 10 7 .588
Iowa 2 4 .333 13 5 .722
Michigan 2 6 .250 9 9 .500
Northwestern 0 7 .000 5 12 .294
.:* }:* }*.1:" ": :...1.'::*'tiY:*:"*.:'"t:: :'::"":"::'..t:.':'. ..Y.** .1.{.:*: :V '::.":: ::":;:.." ..1 :'Y. '}".":'t:{: t1.: . :

Tolbert Taylor
Both guards Tony Tolbert of Michigan and Brooks Taylor of Illinois wear
the same number, are the same height, and look similar. We could have
sworn the two were brothers until Taylor passed the ball.

Michigan forward Sam Mitchell posts up against Deon Thomas.
Mitchell scored six straight points for the Wolverines.

Continued from page 1
Every other player - overall and
in league games only - is
shooting below the .500 mark.
All of that means a Wolverine
basket on any particular shot is an
exception and not the rule. Not a
good sign - especially in the Big
Ten, where shooting percentages
average around 50 percent. In fact,
Michigan is dead last in shooting
percentage. Dead last: that is,
behind even Northwestern and
Wisconsin, who the Wolverines
beat. Indiana and Ohio State lead
the conference at about 55 percent
Now back to the original
statistic. Michigan is 4-0 when
shooting over 50 percent from the
field and'5-9 when shooting under
50 percent. The victories came
against Central Michigan, Eastern
Michigan, Chicago State and
Marquette - not exactly teams
against whom 80 percent shooting
is necessary to win. And the five
triumphs where the Wolverines hit
under 50 percent didn't exactly
come against UNLV: Utah, Boston

University, Pennsylvania, North-
western and Wisconsin.
Against Illinois, Michigan shot
44.8 percent from the field. Time
and time again the Wolverines
went to the hoop, only to see their
shots bound off the backboard,
then the rim, then usually the floor
-- and not by way of the net. Even
free throws weren't dropping;
Michigan shot 58.8 percent from
the line (10 for 17). Missing that
many free throws just won't cut it.
Demetrius Calip is a good case
study of the Wolverines' shooting

woes. While he led Michigan on
Saturday with 25 points, he shot
only 41.7 percent from the field.
Now, shooting 41 percent every so
often isn't all that bad -
especially if you're scoring that
much - but winning teams seem
to have at least one player a game
who goes absolutely nuts.
Kind of like Illinois' Larry
Smith. Here's a guy who entered
Saturday's game averaging 12.3
points per game on 44.9 percent
shooting. Against Michigan, he
bombed away for 28 points on 9-of-
14 shooting from the floor (64
percent) and 10-of-11 from the
line. He brought Illinois the victory
- and Michigan just doesn't have
a similar capability.
Just to add some perspective,
poor shooting is a new phenom-
enon for Michigan. Two years ago,
they nearly set an NCAA record
for shooting percentage en route to
a national championship and last
season they shot a respectable 51.3
percent. I guess it really is true
that to win consistently, you need
to shoot consistently.
Or was that obvious before we

Smith shoots down
Wolverine comeback

by Andrew Gottesman
Daily Basketball Writer
Michigan may have
controlled the first half of its
game with Illinois Saturday
afternoon, but the Illini seemed
to be missing something.
That something was Larry
Smith, who exploded for 22
second half points en route to a
career-high 28. Smith also had
10 rebounds, seven in the second
frame, and four assists.
Smith's flurry was, without a
doubt, the key to Illinois' 72-67
"A couple of things were crit-
ical factors," Michigan coach
Steve Fisher said. "Let's start
with the obvious: Larry Smith.
"He did an excellent job in
penetrating. We had (Demetrius)
Calip and (Michael) Talley on
him - smaller guards that he
was able to take advantage of."
The senior from Alton, Ill.,
entered the game averaging 12.3

and 5.6 rebounds per game. But
Saturday, he brought the Illini
back from a halftime deficit,
helped hold off the Wolverines,
and sealed the game by hitting
two free throws with 9.7 seconds
"The last two or three weeks
I've been doing a good job in
practice taking shots that were
there for me," Smith said.
"(Before) I was taking bad
shots, like I was forcing the
Smith definitely forced the
issue after halftime Saturday. He
scored 22 of Illinois' 40 points
during the second half, including
20 of its last 28. At one point, he
scored six in a row to give the
Illini their first lead, 50-49.
Three more times, the Wolver-
ines would pull ahead and three
more times Smith put Illinois
back on top with four- or six-
point spurts.


Continued from page 1
I've grown smarter and wiser. I make
sure that I get what I need to get
done, done."
Last fall Hunter proved this. Over
the summer, he demonstrated to the
Michigan coaching staff that he
could play basketball. But, he still
had to prove'to the Big Ten that he
was progressing towards his degree
at an appropriate pace. Too often, he
took classes part time so he could
Work to pay tuition. This was his
fourth year of school, and he had
only junior standing academically.
So while Hunter was learning the
ropes of Michigan basketball, he
also was taking 18 credit hours
towards his degree in industrial
psychology. He assured the con-
ference he would take 15 credit hours
this winter and he would take classes
over the spring and summer.
On top of this, he surrendered a
$1,000 check he received in August
from winning the Gus Macker Slam
Dunk contest in Port Huron. At the
time he won it, Hunter knowing of
his aspirations to play for Michigan,
refused to cash it.
"It was a shock just looking at it
and seeing Frederick Hunter and
$1,000," Hunter said. "I'd love to
cash this, but I didn't want to
jeopardize any future. I decided it was
best to wait. I was hard to give up,
but if I had to make the decision
over again, I would have done the
same thing."
- He eventually donated the money
to his alma mater, U of D High.
He made all of these commit-
ments without even knowing wheth-

January 9 was the date when
Hunter was cleared by the Big Ten to
play for the Wolverines with junior
A day later, Fisher gave Hunter
his first stab at Big Ten action
against Iowa. He did everything he
was supposed to: set picks, grab re-
bounds, and play defense. Fisher
quickly saw that Hunter was the
missing forward he so desperately
needed. Although he is only 6-foot-
5, Hunter is strong and a good
leaper. He is also one of Michigan's
smartest players. He rarely turns the
ball over - a Michigan nemesis
this year.
"Freddie Hunter is a gift from
heaven," Fisher said. "He might be
our best player believe it or not,
right now. He's very athletic. He
plays as hard as you can play every
second, and he plays with a great
deal of intelligence."
Slowly his playing time has
increased, until a week ago he started
against Wisconsin. It was the first
time a Michigan basketball walk-on
has started a game since Paul
Groffsky in 1953-55 and Hunter's
defense was instrumental in
Michigan's comeback 69-68 over-
time victory. For the game he
grabbed eight rebounds and chipped
in three points.
After the game a grin from ear-to-
ear emerged from Hunter's face and
he exclaimed: "It can't get any better
than this." It is a grin Hunter has
been wearing all semester. He
unterstands the odds he has beaten,
and words can't express how
thankful he is.
"You can see him smile everyday
when he puts on his practice

plays basketball, like pick-up
games. I know a lot of people,
names and faces, from playing pick-
up, recreational basketball here the
last three years. It's good to know
they're rooting me on."
Hunter's notoriety has came a
long way since the fall when Fisher
didn't even know his name.
He was discovered by student
managers Dave Balza and Roger
Harvey who, while involved with
the Gus Macker tournaments and
campus intramurals, noticed Hunt-
er's ability.
Hunter's basketball story, how-
ever, begins before this. In high
school Hunter did the same things
for his team he does now. At 6-foot-
3, his ability was slightly better
than average. His strength, as it
always has been, was defense. He
was always assigned to cover the top
offensive player. Near the end of his
senior year in high school, almost
overnight, Hunter's leaping ability
"We had our last league game of
the season, after that I wasn't
jumping," Hunter said. "We had a
break after that game, a day of rest.
Then the next day we had a practice
and I just came in and I was doing
two-hand reverses. Six inches
wouldn't be an exaggeration as to
how much more I was could jump."
The change was too late for
colleges to notice him. So when he
came to Michigan, he worked on his
game by playing four days a week
anywhere he could find competition.
He and his hallmates at Bursley
formed a team named the Dungeon
and the group went on to win the
residence halt championship. The

Continued from page 1
Lou Henson said. "That was the
difference - he played great."
Opposing coach Steve Fisher
concurred. "Here's a fifth-year
senior, and you talk about the
importance of experience," Fisher
said. "He was the guy that when the
money was there, and it was needed,
he delivered."
Michigan's own comeback fell
short, as Illinois (3-3, 13-6) shot 820
percent from the free throw line
down the stretch. In addition, the
Wolverines failed to recapture the
lead on several occasions, after cut-
ting the deficit to within one basket.
"We're down two or three at the
end of the game and we throw it
away on the swing," Fisher said.
"This is a hard loss for us."
One bright spot for Michigan was
Sam Mitchell. The rookie power
forward erupted for three straight
baskets during one stint in the
second half, prompting an Illini
"I told Sam I've liked what he's
done against Wisconsin," Fisher
said. "I thought I should have used
him more against Indiana, and I
thought he played well today."
However, the Illini returned from
the timeout and silenced Mitchell's
offensive burst.
"Sam got tired, but when you
score two or three times in a row,
they tightened up on him," Fisher
"We felt (Mitchell) could hurt us
if he had that opportunity," Henson
said. "We wanted to get our defense
going on him."
Fisher started a bigger lineup that
featured three true frontcourt players
- Freddie Hunter, James Voskuil
and Riley. While improving the
team's low-post play, the new lineup
also affected Michigan's defensive
"I feel like me and Hunter were a
good three-four (small forward-
power forward) tandem," Voskuil
said. "Freddie can defend the other
team's scorer, and then we switch to
make me the scorer on offense."
Voskuil thought he and his
teammates excelled defensively, but
he showed concern for the fouls.
"Aggressive 'd' is always gonna
give us more fouls," he said. "But
aggressive, smart defense won't."
Playe TFG Fr R A PF TP

Michigan forward Freddie Hunter shows off some of his offensive skills
against Illinois forward Scott Pierce

competition that Balza noticed him.
"I saw him in a dunk contest and
that's where I was really impressed,"
Balza said. "The other manager
Roger, he had always talked about
him because he ref'd him at his IM
games. He said, 'He can play with
us.' I said, 'I've seen him play IM
and I'd have to see him play against

member sitting in conditioning just
on the side. I was kind of in awe. It
felt good that I was there seeing all
these players that I'd seen on T.V.
- big time recruits and all that.
"But they were nice because I
remember after the first day of
conditioning we needed to go back to
Crisler and I was all prepared to walk
har and it r [N-m~rin 'rnlh

Hunter 1-1 1-1 4 0 0 3
Voskuil 1-1 0-0 3 1 3 3
Riley 3-8 4-5 6 4 3 10
Calip 10-24 3-5 2 4 4 25
Talley 6-13 1-2 2 5 5 15
Taylor 1-3 0-0 1 2 4 2
Tolbert 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0
Mitchell 4-7 1-4 6 1 3 9
Pelinka 0-0 0.0 0 0 1 0
Totals 26-58 10-17 29 17 24 67

3-pt goals: 5-12 (voskuil 1-1, Calip 2-6,Taley 2-
4, Tolbert 0-1 )FG%- .448, 3-ptFG%- .417, Fr%-
.588. Bks: 7 (.Voskuil 2, Riley 4, ,ihell 1). Turn-
overs: 12. Steals: 7 (Hunter 2, Voskuil 1, Riley 1,
Talley 2, Mitchell 1).


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