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January 16, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-16

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Page 8- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 16, 1991

Big Ten
begins as
by Phil Green
Daily Basketball Writer
With Ohio State and Indiana
opening up the Big Ten season 4-0,
there haven't been too many early
surprises in the conference. Aside
from Iowa's upset of Michigan
State, things have gone according t
form. Even Michigan's 0-4 start wa
slightly expected.
"I'm more disappointed than sur-
prised," Wolverine coach Steve Fish-
er said. "We had chances to win two
out of four games, but we didn't. We
need to have guys make some
baskets when the game is on the
Three of Michigan's defeats came
on the road, with its lone home lose
coming against the Buckeyes;
arguably the best team in the
conference. Fisher thought that
missed free throws contributed to the
Wolverines' 10 point defeat versus
Ohio State. He added that turnovers,
Michigan's season-long Achilles'
heel, cost the squad its 79-78 loss in
Iowa City.
The biggest surprises thus far
have been some individual per
formances, including excellent play
by a few rookies. Illinois junior
forward Andy Kaufmann has
exceeded predictions, averaging 24
points per game, as opposed to the
12-15 ppg everybody expected.
The Illini also sport two of the
conference's most productive frosh.
Deon Thomas, though presently out
with the flu, is their second leadin
scorer, averaging 16.8 points pe
game, and his 7.1 rebounding aver-
age paces Illinois. Thomas' exploits
were expected - the real surprise is
guard Rennie Clemons who is
averaging just under eight points per
game and is second on the team in
Purdue adds its own rookie
surprise, 6-foot-7 forward Ian
Stanback. He's the Boilermakers
third leading scorer and secon
leading rebounder. Stanback's level
of play increased when the Big Ten
season commenced; he garnered 10
rebounds versus Michigan, and his
scoring average rose by two points
- including a career high of 12
points in a tough defeat to Indiana
Monday night.
"You don't expect that. Most of
the freshmen just sit around unde.
the basket and should be paying
admission," Purdue coach Gene
Keady said. "He's got a nose for the
ball. He's like a linebacker."
Iowa and Minnesota both start
young lineups with a couple of
standouts. Val Barnes, a sophomore
transfer from Butler County
Community College, is the only

Hawkeye to start every game. He's
averaging over 12 points per gam*
and tallied 24 against Minnesota.
Arriel McDonald, the Gophers '6-
foot-2 guard, recently cracked the
starting lineup and averages nine
points per outing.
Conference coaches also took
the time to complain about the early
season scheduling difficulty. Sorme
teams have played as many as three
games in a week. The coaches woul
all prefer to switch back to som
form of a Wednesday/Saturday
"We play four games in seven
days," Minnesota coach Clem
Haskins explained. "That's really too
many games for anyone."
Buckeye coach Randy Ayers
added: "I feel you have to get into a
routine and the random schedule the
way it is now, you can't get into
routine. A lot of times we don't
have time to prepare."
The reason for the hectic
schedule: television and the money it
"As long as you're going to have
programs that depend on television,
you're going to have to be flexible
enough to deal with it," Wisconsin
coach Steve Yoder said. "It seems
that most athletic programs are

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