Page 10 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 6, 1991
11, A T tRs
by Josh Dubow
Daily Sports Writer
ornebds to be
limi1ted for Big Ten
by Phil Green
Daily Basketball Writer
Now that the Big Ten has hit the halfway point of its season, it's
become obvious that the conference will not approach its record seven
NCAA tournament bids from last year.
Nationally-ranked Ohio State and Indiana are shoe-ins, and Michigan
State should cruise into the tournament field as well. However, after that,
the Big Ten becomes one tremendous mess.
Illinois, presently tied with the Spartans for third place, owns the
impressive credentials necessary to be invited. The Illini, though, also
own the not-so-impressive credential of probation. Hence no post-season
action. Not only does the probation eliminate Illinois, but it could also
get another Big Ten team shut out of the field.
"I hope it doesn't hurt us (the Big Ten)," Ohio State coach Randy
Ayers said. "Any team can step up and play well in the tournament that
came from the middle of the pack. We did that last year."
Illinois coach Lou Henson doesn't think his team's circumstances will
hinder the rest of the conference. "If those teams are good enough, they'll
be selected, regardless of where we finish," he said.
While no dark horse has emerged from the pack, Iowa could be the
team to watch. The Hawkeyes have won 15 games thus far, including
impressive victories over UCLA and Michigan State. However, like the
rest of the conference, they will need a strong second half to secure a
possible post-season bid.
"They have a lot of players who played last year, but not well, and this
year they're playing much better," Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote
said. "I don't think you're going to have a .500 record or two games over
.500 and get in the NCAAs."
RUBBING SALT IN HIS WOUNDS: Norhtwestern coach Bill
Foster didn't think things could get any worse. His Wildcats didn't return
any starters from last season's dismal 9-19 performance, and they began
this year with an even less impressive 0-9 start.
Like most coaches, Foster looked forward to a new beginning for the
second half of the season. But for Foster, the second half couldn't begin
any worse as conference powers Ohio State and Indiana are the next teams
up on Northwestern's schedule.
On the bright side for Foster is his point guard, rookie Pat Baldwin,
who leads the conference in steals and ranks among the leaders in assists.
SUPER SOPHOMORE: Ohio State's Jimmy Jackson edged out
Indiana's Calbert Cheaney for Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Year honors a
year ago, but if the conference offered a similar award for sophomores,
Cheaney would win convincingly. Jackson is not having a poor season,
it's just that Cheaney's numbers are quite impressive.
During conference games, the Hoosiers' sophomore ranks second in
scoring (20.8 ppg), first in free throw percentage (95%), and second in
field goal percentage (61.7%).
RECORD SETTER: Last year's Big Ten Player-of-the-Year Steve
Smith recently added another milestone to his already impressive resume.
The Spartan's senior has hit 40 consecutive free throws, breaking the old
conference mark of 38 straight set by Indiana's Keith Smart in 1987.
Smith will put his mark on the line against Iowa tomorrow night at the
- Jeff Sheran contributed to this story.
The Michigan wrestling team places an especially high emphasis on
conditioning. Coach Dale Bahr is willing to sacrifice performance in the
dual meet season in order to prepare his squad for the NCAA and Big Ten
The Wolverines' practice schedule consists of four two-a-day practices
during the week surrounding a recreational workout day on Wednesday. Bahr
does not worry about his team being fatigued during the dual meet season as
long as they are in top shape for the post-season.
This high level of conditioning does not go unnoticed by Bahr's fellow
Big Ten coaches, especially Tim Cysewski of Northwestern.
"Michigan is probably the best-conditioned team we have faced so far,"
Cysewski said following the meet last month between the two squads. "You
can tell that Dale works them hard in practice and it seems to be paying off
in the dual meets."
Bahr even practices his team on the days of meets. He does this to loosen
the team up before the meet and also because his players only wrestle seven
minutes in a meet. Even with the extra practice, meet day is the lightest
workout day of the week.
This practice regimen differs from other Big Ten schools, especially that
of 17-time defending Big Ten champion Iowa. Coach Dan Gable's
Hawkeyes prefer lighter practices through the regular season and then hit
two-a-days in the week before Big Tens. But, Iowa also places little
emphasis on the dual meets for enhanced performance.in the post-season.
While Wisconsin follows a similar workout pattern as the Wolverines,
the Badgers treat dual meets with greater importance.
"We always want to compete our best whenever we wrestle," Wisconsin
coach Andy Rein said. "In that respect we place more emphasis on the dual
meets. But, as a coach I learn where our team stands in preparation for Big
Tens and NCAAs.'
Instead of measuring his team's success by its dual meet record, Bahr
looks at the number of All-Americans and National Champions.
"At Michigan, we choose to aim for higher goals than other schools do,"
Bahr said. "The dual meets actually get in the way of our preparation for the
NCAAs and Big Tens."
This is evidenced in the way Bahr schedules the dual meets and the heavy
COLLEGE HNWlS TOP
FIFTEEN HOCKEY POLL
The Cornell Sun compiles a weekly college hockey poll,
Wrestlers toil now
for playoff payoff
conditioning he puts the team through. While the Wolverines competed in
11 meets in January, the schedule tapers off dramatically come February
with Michigan only participating in four meets. He does this to prepare and
focus the team for the Championships.
This philosophy is not new to Bahr even though the results have not
been successful in recent years. Last season, despite posting an 11-4 record
in the regular season, the Wolverines placed a disappointing sixth in Big
Tens and 31st in NCAAs.
"Last season we got caught up in our dual meet success in the past few
seasons," Bahr said. "By the end of the season we had lost our focus and th
In response to that, Bahr has made minor changes in his approach toward
the Big Tens this season. Instead of stopping practice a week before Big
Tens, Bahr is having the team practice up until three days prior to the
Championships. This still differs with the philosophies of Wisconsin ard
Iowa, as both schools practice up until the day before Big Tens.
Bahr hopes his team will start peaking in the next two weeks. While this
approach seems logical, as all wrestlers qualify for Big Tens and NCAA
qualification is based upon Big Ten Championship performance, it requires a
lot of discipline from the wrestlers themselves.
It is not easy for professional athletes to change gears from low intensity
to high intensity, and it is even harder for collegiate athletes. While most of
the wrestlers are confident they will be prepared for the post-season
tournaments, they will have to prove it with championship performances.
Bahr has placed a large responsibility on his wrestlers to motivate
themselves, and hopefully they will be focused and intense enough to reach
their potential by the time of the NCAAs.
Even though Iowa has dominated the Big Ten, it is unfair to blame the
Wolverines' practice schedule on their performance in the post-season as the
two teams do not have comparable lineups. Bahr's philosophy should hel
Michigan in the post-season, barring injuries. In the Big Tens and NCAA,
where wrestlers have multiple matches in a day, the Wolverines' superior
conditioning should manifest itself in a much improved post-season
voted on by the sports staffs of 12
newspapers nationwide, including
The Michigan Daily.
Points Last Week
Team (First-nlace votes)
_ .r ..... y. .v. i.uvv v.vv( ay yyaM
1. Lake Superior (13)
2. N. Michigan
3. Boston College
10 Boston University
11 Ferris State
12 North Dakota
14 New Hampshire
15 St. Lawrence
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Morris leaves citing
poor media relations
LSA-Student Government is
currently accepting applications for
STUDENT GROUP Funding.
If your group has an event,
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come to 4003 Michigan Union and
pick up a request form.
LSA-SCE SERVES YOU.
from Staff Reports
Lifetime Tiger Jack Morris is
packing his bags for Minnesota
today. Morris became a free agent
after passing on arbitration and
declining to sign with the Tigers for
a guaranteed three year, 9.3 million
dollar contract. The new contract
would have been a one million dollar
raise from his previous contract.
Morris led the 1984 World
Championship Tigers with his
performances on the mound. Con-
sidered one of the most successful
pitchers of the 80s, Morris had his
share of troubles in recent years.
In the past two seasons his record
was 21-32 with an ERA of 4.51 last
year, and 4.86 the previous season.
A month into this coming season,
Morris will turn 36. In his years
with the Tigers Morris has
accumulated 198 career wins.
Morris' discontent with the Tiger
organization and the Detroit media
had been increasingly evident over
the last few years. Many baseball
experts feel that the star pitcher was
anxious to leave Detroit and the
Tigers behind him.
Claiming he received unfair
treatment from the media over his
contract situation, Morris said he
might never talk to the media again.
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