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November 16, 1995 - Image 28

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-16
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f t m' I I

The Michigan Daily - T'POFF

6- The Michigan Daily - TIPOFF "95-196 - Thursday, November 16, 1995

Guards remain a mystery
Will Michigan's little guys play big?" By Michael Rosenberg

Hoosier hopes rest on Evans
Bobby Knight looks to senior forward to lead Indiana to its first
Big Ten title since 1992-93 " By Brent McIntosh

m

There are two ways to look at
8 Michigan's guards this season.
View No. 1: Michigan has three solid
guards in Dugan Fife, Travis Conlan and
Louis Bullock. Coach Steve Fisher feels
comfortable playing all three of them at
either point guard or shooting guard, giv-
ing him quite a few options in his rota-
tion. Fife, the team's captain and lone
x a senior, is a born-and bred Wolverine
y__ who is ready to lead the team. Conlan
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played significant minutes as a freshman
and has shown tenacity on defense and a
feel for the game on offense. Bullock
shot 59 percent from 3-point range in
high school last season, so he is primed
to cure the Wolverines' biggest weak-
ness - outside shooting.
View No. 2: Michigan has three
guards in Dugan Fife, Travis Conlan,
and Louis Bullock. Coach Steve Fisher
will play all three at both point guard and
shooting guard because none of the three
has proven to be a natural at either posi-
tion. Fife is the team's captain only be-
cause he is the lone senior. He has not
been vocal enough or confident enough
in his first three seasons to lead the team.
Conlan was a sparkplug in his freshman
season, but his shooting is suspect, as
evidenced by his scoring average of 1.4
last season. Sure, Bullock was outstand-
ing in high school, but there is an organi-
zation full of prolific high school gun-
See GUARDS, Page 9

FILE PHOTO
Dugan Fife, Michigan's captain and one of two upperclassmen, will be
counted on to provide leadership and outside shooting.
.J DAILY
for the most comprehensive
coverage of Michigan basketball

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At Indiana, the beat goes on.
Do the Hoosiers ever lack a great
shooter? The answer, for the uninitiated,
is no.
A Chicago kid named Thomas, a
pure shooter named Cheaney - now a
flat-topped forward by the name of
Evans.
Brian Evans, despite his reputation as
a gunner, is a coach's dream. He's a 6-8
version of Jimmy Chitwood, the legend-
ary shooter in - appropriately enough
-"Hoosiers."
"Indiana's got a couple guys we re-
cruited, (Andrae) Patterson and Charlie
Miller," Michigan coach Steve Fisher
said. "Brian Evans may be the best
player in the league."
Evans didn't just hit 58 treys last sea-
son, shooting at a 41 percent clip - he
also dished out a team-high 101 assists.
Perhaps the true measure of Evans is
that Indiana coach Bobby Knight, noto-
rious for verbally abusing anyone in
sight, has nothing but praise for the se-
nior.
"I have a great admiration for Brian,"
Knight said. "Brian was a kid that, when
he came to Indiana, was not recruited by
any other Big Ten school. I think he has
worked and developed, and he's got
some excellent skills.
"Brian reminds me a lot of Chris
Mullin when I had Mullin on the Olym-
pic team. He does the same kinds of
things."
Evans is expected to take the reins
this year in light of all-Big Ten forward
Alan Henderson's graduation, a task
Knight believes Evans can handle.
"I think Evans has done a really good
job with this team in his capacity as a se-
nior with the most experience of any-
body we have," Knight said. "I've been
really pleased."
Evans leads a team that finished tied
with Michigan for third in the conference
despite losing twice to the Wolverines.
Indiana returns two other sophomore
starters from that team in Patterson, a
forward, and guard Neil Reed.
Miller, a swingman, and 7-0 center
Todd Lindeman both saw significant ac-
tion last year, but the key to this season
could well be a pair of guards who didn't
play on the Assembly Hall court last
year.
The better-known is 6-4 Sherron
Wilkerson, who missed last year with a
spiral fracture in his leg. If he's over the
injury, and if he can flourish in Knight's
ultra-disciplined system, Wilkerson
could be a weapon.
"(He's) very good physically,"
Knight said. "Wilkerson has shown re-
ally no ill effects from the injury. He's a
little bit rusty from not having played in
a year."
Knight's other unknown factor at
guard is 6-1 Chris Rowles, a juco trans-
fer who is often compared to Jamal
Meeks.
"Chris is a little bit different than kids
we've had," Knight said. "Rowles gives
us a very quick kid with the ball, both up
and down the floor and in tight circum-
stances."

Indiana HOOSIERS
Last year: 11-7 Big Ten, 19-12 overall

Rowles averaged 19.2 points per
game last year, but those points were
scored while leading Carl Sandburg
Community College. Whether he can
score in the Big Ten, or whether he'll be
relegated to role playing the point, is yet
to be seen.
"Rowles is really good at getting by
people and getting something done when
he gets by them," Knight said. "That -
if in fact that matures and develops -
will be a real asset to him."
Quick guards, hot-shooting forwards
"So where's the rebounding?" you
may ask.
Evans is the top returning rebounder,

and the Hoosiers would prefer to have
him playing a little farther from the hoop
this year. They lost Henderson's 10
boards a game from a team that wasn't
exactly Windex when it came to cleaning
the glass.
Another factor for Indiana will be
December games against two of the
nation's best, Kentucky and Kansas. Can
the Hoosiers KO the 'K' teams? Will
they be able to learn from their losses or
gain momentum from their wins?-
And, of course, the perennial ques-
tion, these days a cliche: Whither Bobby
Knight? Who will be this year's target
for chairs, kicks, cuffs, whippings and
verbal abuse? Knight seems to have
picked the ever-popular NCAA as this
year's preseason front-runner - he
spent Big Ten Media Day berating the
rules committee for their jerseys-must-
be-tucked-in-or-else rule - but his focus
could change at a moment's notice.
Indiana faces a lot of questions this
year, but two things remain: the Hoosiers
have a shooter, and Bobby Knight can
flat-out coach. They don't have the best
team in the Big Ten, but it will be no
shock if the Hoosiers sneak back to
Bloomington with the title.

I

I

Postseason: NCAA 1st round
Returning starters:
Brian Evans (17.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg)
Andrae Patterson (7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
Neil Reed (5.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
Key losses:
Alan Henderson (23.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg)
Michael Hermon (6.0 ppg, 3.4 apg)
Coach: Bobby Knight
Career Record: 222-22 (28 years)
Record at Indiana: 3-159 (17 years)

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