The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - February 18, 1991 - Page 3
The coach reflects on the signing of
some of the nation's finest recruits
With his second recruiting sea-
son over, Gary Moeller has si-
lenced all reservations about a
*possible recruiting slump without
Bo Schembechler around. This
year, after signing 13 of Super-
Prep's top 100, most Prep experts
ranked his class in the top two in the
nation along with Penn St. After his
success, Moeller held a small news
conference with reporters, includ-
ing Adam Lutz of the Daily.
Reporter: How do you feel
about the experts labelling your
Mlass No. 1?
Moeller: Everybody says,
;Well, Michigan is number one,'
but heck, just because the media
says you're number one doesn't
mean you're going to finish num-
ber one. I don't remember if Miami
(Fla.) or Penn St. ever had the
number one recruiting class, but I
do know they won the national ti-
tIes. It all depends on how they
(athletes) come in and adapt to
the situation....If they turn out like
they should, then we can look at
winning. When you compete with
other schools and win, it helps the
entire staff and players. It is a joy
to go into these kids homes and to
talk about the University of Michi-
R: What are your thoughts
* about this class?
M: Without commenting on
certain individuals, I feel that it
was a good class, but until they
produce we just don't know. I think
we had a good effort. Overall, he
(Bob Chmiel) helped us recruit
well. We got some name kids, but
ones who we feel will fit in and be
Michigan-type players. We try and
measure attitude and how well
they will adapt to college life and
college football. We try and recruit
'good character' kids. A few of
these players will' be given a
chance in the fall to compete for
the back-up positions....Some have
the ability, but it depends on how
fast they pick it (the playbook) up.
They need to come in with excel-
lent physical conditioning.
R: Did you do anything differ-
ent this year?
M: We didn't have any real
changes. We had better communi-
cation between the staff and we
worked harder on recruiting during
the season....I credit Bob Chmiel
with finding the talent and then
making sure that they are the type
Continued from page 1
Ann Arbor. But while playing on
an AAU team with Dianne,
Michelle was "distracted" when
Michigan State suddenly became
interested in her sister, who was
then attending Michigan-Dearborn
as a part-time student. After Di-
anne accepted that opportunity,
Michigan State's interest in
Michelle was revitalized.
Now, she could play with Val
who was going to be a senior,
and with whom she had never
played growing up - for one year
at Michigan, or she could spend
another four years with Dianne in
"I was at the kitchen table,"
Michelle said, "and I had Michi-
gan's scholarship on the right,
Michigan State's od the left. Va-
lerie was on the right, Dianne on
the left. I'm not kidding you - it
was like that."
Michelle started leaning the
other way, and became very seri-
ous about becoming a Spartan. So
serious, in fact, that "she had more
or less made up her mind to go to
Michigan State," her father said.
"Michigan's always been tops with
our family, but because of the sit-
uation with Dianne ... And Michi-
gan State offered her summer
school, and things of that nature. It
just seemed to be a better package
Michelle called Michigan
coach Bud VanDeWege to let him
know that she was swaying, and he
called back, asking her to come
* down for one Iast visit "Thev es-
of athlete that we want to bring to
Michigan. Last year and this year
we were able to find good charac-
ter kids that we would want at
backs, how do you convince all of
them to come to one school?
M: Probably what will happen
in the spring is that Nate Holdren
will be converted to play inside
R: Were lineman the empha-
M: We concentrated on both
sides of the ball, lineman in par-
ticular. They will help us a little
next year in certain situations.
Someday they should be excell-
ent... We were fortunate that this
year there were lineman. Last year
we couldn't find any. This year we
needed more than normal. This
year we wanted a tight end, but we
could only find one that we even
wanted to recruit. From year to
year there are certain voids in po-
sitions and you just have to take
what is available.
R: What about the running back
M: Che Foster, Tyrone Wheat-
ley and Eddie Davis will all even-
tually contribute, but how soon I
just cannot say. All have the po-
tential to come in and contribute.
There is no question that Wheatley
was a gratifying recruit. He has
excellent potential to develop with
our help. He will definitely play
the tailback position, as opposed
to the other positions he played in
high school. Che is a back that you
can play at both positions. I would
compare him to the Leroy Hoard
SPUR I I N FMI I
linebacker. That means that the
players returning will be Elvis,
Ken Sollom and Todd Collins.
Since Ken is a senior, there would
only be one player left after his
departure next season to back up
Elvis. Wherever the quarterbacks
go they will be confronted with the
obstacle of having players in front
of them. I don't think that our posi-
tion is that deep. The three fresh-
men have all been successful and
can be good players.
R: What do you feel about the
players who have yet to pass Prop.
M: For some guys it is hard for
them to pass the test, because they
just don't test well. We only re-
cruit players who we believe will
make it. If we don't feel that they
will pass the test, then we don't
recruit them. If they don't pass,
then we will cover that bridge
when we get to it. We've had that
problem before and we will deal
with the situation.
R: How do you feel about the
precedent that has been estab-
lished with players leaving early?
M: It depends on the kid, every
situation is different. Jon Vaughn
could have developed himself into
being a better player. He would
have been better prepared for the
NFL. You cannot take your Mas-
ters before you finish your under-
graduate. You need to be the best
prepared that you can be. When
you decide to try for the NFL, you
should have a education...I am
tired of hearing and reading about
players leaving early because of
'We got some name
kids, but ones who we
feel will fit in and be
ers. We try and mea-
sure attitude and how
well they will adapt to
college life and col-
lege football. We try
and recruit 'good
the expected salary cap. It is not a
good enough reason to leave col-
R: Are there any players not re-
turning next season?
M: There are some of the fifth-
year seniors who won't be return-
ing. We had some kids last year on
scholarship who didn't play and it
appears if that might happen again.
I can't discuss any particular
player now, because I have not
spoken with most of them. I can
say that freshman running back
Juan Kemp will not be returning.
There is no particular reason other
than the idea of being closer to
home. I don't believe that there
was anything in particular that he
disliked about Michigan except
that he felt he would be better off
R: What do you think about the
new NCAA Legislation proposals?
M: It puts more of a work load
on the coaches. I want to be able
to evaluate the kids, and the pro-
posal will make it harder. It is im-
portant for me to see a kid play in
another sport besides football. How
does this guy perform in front of
audience? What are his work
habits? I like to find out as much
as I can including evaluating their
character. You want to bring the
best kids to Michigan. Running
with 95 players is a hard job. If you
cut that number to 85, then you are
going to take away from the qual-
ity of play in what you see in col-
Checking out the
Here's a look at some past, present and future headlines and stories that
have, are, or will appear in the paper.
Lokar quits Seton Hall - and U.S.
Sophomore guard Marco Lokar quit the Seton Hall basketball team and
left the United States to return to his native Italy. It had nothing to do with
expiring visas or graduation dates. Lokar refused to wear a U.S. flag on his
uniform jersey to support troops in the Persian Gulf. Because of this, his
pregnant wife received telephoned threats and Lokar was booed by fans in
Madison Square Garden during the Pirates' 81-65 loss to St. John's on
Lokar said he could not wear the flag because from a Christian
standpoint he could not support any war, and in his mind, wearing the flag
would indirectly, if not directly, support the war.
Personally, I disagree with Lokar's decision. However, this is America
and one is guaranteed freedom of expression. Lokar learned his decision
somehow did not fit under this category - and his call subjected him to all
types of ridicule.
The Detroit Tigers could be facing the same situation. Lou Whitaker
and Chet Lemon are both Jehovah's Witnesses. Because of this, when the
national anthem is played, they do not stand at attention, but instead enter
the dugout. This is pretty easy to disguise. If the Tigers elect to wear flags
on their uniforms this season, and both Whitaker and Lemon refuse for
religious beliefs to wear the flag, the decision will be quite noticeable each
time they wear the ole English 'D.'
Here's hoping a sad, sad, story does not repeat itself.
Band makes trip to Joe Louis Arena
Michigan's hockey team usually is not represented at Joe Louis by its
pep band. When the team competes in the Great Lakes Invitational, the
band is in a warmer locale with the football team for a bowl game. It was
good to see the band lending its support to the hockey team this past
weekend when the Wolverines faced the Spartans.
However, the Michigan band was overshadowed by its Spartan
counterpart. The Spartans had more selections of songs to play, and also
played songs that could be heard throughout the arena. Michigan, on the
other hand, played barely loud enough to be heard out of its section. Come
on now, their sectional solos can barely can be heard in Yost. In the
spacious Joe Louis Arena, it simply does not come through.
Michigan also attempted to be polite - until late in Saturday's game.
If the Spartan band began playing during a timeout, the Wolverines waited.
However, if the Michigan band for a change started playing before the
Spartans, it soon found competition. Finally, the Wolverines got a clue
and figured out that anything is fair in times of war - which is exactly
what this Michigan-Michigan State series turned out to be.
At least the hockey pep band is what it claims to be - a pep band -
unlike its basketball counterpart which thinks it's on some nightclub
Berenson adds IM basketball star
With the Michigan hockey team facing a depleted squad due to injuries
and the suspension of six players from Saturday night's Fight Night at Joe
Louis Arena, Michigan coach Red Berenson has had to search high and low
to fill the hole.
Berenson announced Tuesday that he has added Wolverine basketball
player Freddie Hunter to his team to help fill the void.
"Freddie walked onto a nationally prominent, or at least a one time
nationally prominent, basketball team and started," Berenson said. "There
is no question in my mind that he can pick up some of the scoring slack."
Hunter said he had never skated before but added, "Hey, I couldn't dunk
four years ago. I can now. I'm a quick learner. If Coach Berenson's willing
to take a chance on me, I think I'm good for a goal a game. I just need to
learn what icing means."
Basketball coach Steve Fisher called it "a chance of a lifetime."
R: You signed three quarter-
terparts. He went on to describe
how much the Michigan women's
program would be superior to
Michigan State's. Included among
these promises was better crowd
support, and full tuition for all four
terms, if needed.
So she signed to play with
Michigan. But when she arrived
here, Michelle discovered that
Schembechler had not kept his
word. "Basically, I was misin-
formed," she said. But despite be-
ing misled, she does not feel any
bitterness toward the Tigers' presi-
"The only hard part about de-
ciding to come here was I felt like
I was turning my. back on Dianne,
and it wasn't that way at all," she
said. "It really hurt. I felt like I was
telling her I didn't want to spend
the next four years with her."
Dianne did understand her sis-
ter's decision, though, and in fact
both she and Val did not look at it
as a sister vs. sister, but as a
school vs. school decision.
"I was happy for her wherever
she went," Dianne said. "I just
missed the fact of how we could
The fate of Michelle's first year
at Michigan had actually been
cemented before her commitment.
She was forced to sit out that sea-
son as a medical redshirt, due to a
broken foot which was first injured
on the eve of 1989. What type of
accident was she involved in? "It
was New Year's Eve I hurt it. OK?
That's self-explanatory," she
Unfortunately, at that time, she
was not aware of the extent of her
have surgery. When the doctor
went in, he discovered that her
sezmoid bone was not only broken,
but shattered. "You could tell (the
injury) was very old, because it
was all scar tissue, and you had to
cut through a lot of stuff, and take
out part of my tendon (to get all
the pieces out)," Michelle said.
So her season was over. Her
dream of playing with Val had
been so close, but now it was
unattainable. However, she and
Val still were able to spend time
with each other. "I didn't want to
interfere with (her first year) too
much, because if she relied solely
on me, she wouldn't have been
developing new friends, and that
wouldn't have been the right thing
to do either," Val said. "I tried to
give her her space, and I think it
worked out well. We spent time
together and did things, but not all
of her free time, or all of my free
time, did we spend together."
Michelle's first basketball sea-
son consisted mainly of rehabilitat-
ing her injury - running and using
the Stairmaster. She went to
games to support the team, but it
was difficult not being able to get
on the court.
"When my coach said I was go-
ing to be redshirted, it hurt at
first," she said. "I found myself so
distant from the team, I didn't like
it. I felt uncomfortable. I wanted to
get back in with the team again so
bad that I really couldn't wait for
this year coming up."
Hall started the '90-'91 season
as a capable back up to Trish An-
drew in the pivot. But when the
Big Ten season began, Van-
However, height alone does not
make the basketball player. Hall
has shown skills in all facets of the
game this year, giving the crowd a
tantalizing glimpse of what is yet
to come. In fact, said Van-
DeWege, she may be demonstrat-
ing too much of her talent.
"The problem with her, really
- and it's not going to be a prob-
lem in the future - is that she is
really good facing the basket,
too," he said. "Eventually, we'd
like to see her be a power forward.
She can handle the ball, she can
shoot it outside, she's a great
"We think that she can be a
tremendous player inside and out,
but right now the team needs her
inside, and she's got to understand
that that's where she's got to es-
When Hall sets up in the paint,
it provides a perfect complement
for Andrew, who is more of a fi-
nesse player. Each helps open up
the other's game.
"She takes a lot of pressure off
me," Andrew said. "She takes the
beatings inside so that I can get
myself open on the perimeter. And
I also have an easier time posting
up, because she gets the brun.t of
the punishment inside."
Hall's improvement has been
steady this season, but her devel-
opment is hindered by her
"rollercoaster" effort, according to
VanDeWege. "I've always had a
lot of belief in her ability, it's just
her mental attitude and approach
to the game have to be a little bit
more workman-like," he said. "I
think once that happens, she'll im-
Michigan rookie center Michelle Hall scores two points on a lay up
against Illinois. Hall follows in the footsteps of older sister Val, who
worked the middle spot for the Wolverines before graduating last year.
time. "I have to be more consistent
with my intensity, my aggressive-
ness," she said. "It shows what I
can do when I get out and do it. I
just have to go out and do it more
"I have a tendency when I get
Association, a women's league
played with 9-foot rims, could be*
gin a new era for female athletes.
Val already has been asked to play
in the LBA's inaugural game, and
Michelle may be only a few years: