14 -The Michigan Daily -ipoff 195-190 - Thursday, November 16, 1995
The Michigan Daily - TIPOF
Height: 6-3 Weight: 185
Year: Senior Position: Guard
High School: Clarkston
Strengths: The most experienced
Wolverine. Can hit the outside shot.
Question Marks: Lacks confidence. Doesn't
take charge as point guard should.-
Born: March 24, 1945
High School: Herrin H.S., Herrin, Ill.
Children: Mark and Jonathan
College: Illinois State
1971-79: Head Coach - Rich East HS, Park Forest, 1ll.
1979-82: Assistant Coach - Western Michigan
1982-89: Assistant Coach - Michigan
198%-present: Head Coach - Michigan
.59 (seven years) Big Ten: 69-39 (six years)
hey spent years feeding meals and ideals to
Robert Traylor. There was his mother, Lenora
Traylor, and his grandmother, Jessie Carter.
He would eagerly anticipate each morsel.
"Hold your head up high."
''Have some macaroni and cheese"~
"As you grow up, respect older people."
They gave all -they could to Robert, and the
child eagerly grasped what he was given.
"Have some peach cobbler."
"The more you listen, the more you will get
the information you want. If you talk too
much, you might miss it."
He ate it all up.
Games FG pct. Steals
Blocks APG RPG PPG
0.0 0.7 0.9 0.5 Record at Michigan: 140-
0.1 2.4 2.5 6.5 0
0.0 1.9 1.8 3.4 a
.06 1.8 1.8 3.8 LL
,,. Willie MITCHELL
Height: 6-8 Weight: 217
Year: Soph Positin: Forward/Guard
High Schoo l:i Pershing
Strengths:Exlosive to the basket. Vocal
leader of ndofW h cut.
Question Marks: Very streaky shooter with
bad shot selection.
FG pct. Steals
Blocks APG RPG
0.4 0.6 0.3 5.3
0.4 0.6 0.3 5.3
q ; r
High School: CvAbrieO Richard
Strengths:fVery good outside Shooter. True
Question Marks: Has seen only nine
minutes of play as a Wolverine.
.Perhaps he ate a little too much. The
food, that is. By his senior year at
Detroit's Murray-Wright High School,
he had ballooned to 340 pounds. When
you are that big, you need to deal with a
lot of jokes.
He'~s so big, his stomach has to get to
pructice five minutes early just to make
sure his butt arrives on time.
Ha, ha, ha.
He gives new meaning to feeding a
gui' in the post.
He 's a true McDonald 's All-Ameri-
In high school they called him Baby
Shaq, but that described his game, not his
frame. Shaquille O'Neal is five inches
taller than Traylor, but he weighs in at a
mere 300 pounds.
A few weeks ago, Michigan assistant
coach Brian Dutcher saw Traylor stand-
ing next to 6-9, 210-pound forward
Maceo Baston in the lockerroom and
dubbed them "Thick and Thin."~
"'He's a monster," says Thin. "We
call him Baby Shaq, King Kong."
Traylor has heard all the nicknames.
He offers none of his own.
"It's something I'm trying to get rid
of," Traylor says. "Shaq is going to be
Shaq and Robert is going to try to be
Being Robert worked just fine in
high school, thank you. Traylor was
named Michigan's Mr. Basketball last
season as the top player in the state, de-
spite being 65 pounds overweight.
"I never played against him in high
school, but I saw him play," Taylor says.
"He was a man among boys."
And even when Traylor was a boy,
he was a man. Imagine: Baston played at
200 pounds last season. Traylor used to
weigh 200 pounds - in the sixth grade.
But don't think that the Big Ten will
be too much for the Big Ton. Traylor
possesses remarkable quickness for a
man his size. His footwork is outstand-
ing. It's hard to find a naysayer among
those who have seen him play. His skills
"He's probably one of the most
physically gifted athletes I have ever
seen," Taylor says. "For someone to
move like that at his size is amazing. On
top of all that, he's a good player. He's
very .intimidating. He has a real soft
touch with the basketball. He has the
ability to put the ball on the floor."
The natural tendency is to expect a
man this large to dominate conversation,
.as .though pthere is a certain words-per-
pound ratio that we all must follow. But
in fact, Traylor is relaxed and quiet -
"I have always been the type of per-
son that can listen to people and take ad-
vice," Traylor says. "Just listening and
learning, that's been the biggest thing.
It's easy for a person to say, I know ev-
erything.' but it's harder for a person to
sit down and listen and learn."
The bigger they are, the harder they
listen, apparently. Traylor tiptoes around
conversation, as though he might crush
you with too many words. He talks like
he doesn't want to get in people's way.
"He knows he has a lot to learn, so he
is always asking questions," Taylor says.
This is a surprise to people who only
know him as Robert Traylor, basketball
player. On the court, he not only comes
barreling down the court - a tractor
Traylor - but he doesn't mind talking
trash - oral Robert.
He will probably always be known
for his dunks, which are best measured
by seismologists. And he does enjoy the
dunks. But that's not what really excites
Traylor on the court.
"I like setting picks," Traylor says. " I
just like the contact. Setting picks and
getting my teammates open. Dunking is
something that's going to be there. Ev-
erybody can do that now. But a lot of
people don't go setting picks to get their
Opposing players generally can't
fight through a 300-pound pick. No mat-
ter how fast they are running, Traylor
stops them in their tracks.
On the court, Robert Traylor doesn't
mind getting in people's way.
People who see Robert Traylor on
the street are surprised at his size, but to
those who know, his size is hardly a sur-
prise. The Traylors aren't likely to win
any Family Limbo Contests any time
soon. Robert's grandmother is 6-3. His
aunt, Lydia Johnson, is 6-3. His cousin,
Chicago Bears defensive lineman
Alonzo Spellman, is 6-4. His uncle, Ri-
chard Johnson, is 7-1.
This is what you would call a large
family. On Thanksgiving, while most
families eat turkey, the Traylors eat Tur-
"Robert would eat a whole box of
cereal," his mother says. "He'll eat five
or six pieces of chicken. His grand-
mother is a real good cook. He's used to
eating very big meals."
Robert admits that he misses that
home cooking. He also misses that home
"Off the court, my biggest fear would
be not getting my grades," Traylor says.
FG pct. Steals Blocks
.000 0. 0
Travis CO'N LAN
Heighf 6-5 Weight: 190
Year. Sodh.Posit-on: Guard
Hometow: St. Clair Shores
Hih School:sLie Shore
Strengths: .ursanding defender who
played well inkey r:g +ut:e>>s
Question Marks: Decision making and
Hometown: Little Rock, Ark.
The Scoop: Oliver was recruited
by smalr schools but those to
walk on at Michigan.
The Sco:Syndr vwAlkdon
after scing 14 3 poirs a game as
a senior. Pronounced SHIND-lar..
"It's not like being at home where you
are at home and you got someone breath-
ing down your back, that parental figure.
For me, it was my grandmother, my
mother and also my aunt. With those
three, it was, "You don't get your grades,
you're not going to play."
That was not an easy threat for his
family to make. Traylor's aunt and uncle
both played professional basketball in
It was clear from the start: If Robert
was big, he would be a basketball player.
He quickly answered any questions
about whether he would be big.
"He was born at 10 pounds, 11
ounces," his mother says. "They wanted
to know why he was so big. They
thought there might have been some-
thing wrong. They wanted to run tests."
Some of Robert Traylor's collegiate
opponents will undoubtedly want to
know why he is so big. They will know
there is something wrong. They may
want to run away.
It usually takes freshmen a while to
adjust to the college game. And it will
take Traylor a while to adjust. The most
obvious adjustment, of course, is in his
waistline. Traylor has been dieting since
"We might be eating somewhere and
he'll have a salad, and I'll say, You
know you want more than that. You
Games FG pct. Steals B"o
ocks APG RPG PPG High School Highlights: Bullock was named "Mr. Basketball" for the
0.1 1.3 1.2 1.4 Washington, D.C., area and McDonald's All-American after scoring 25.7.
0.1 1.3 1.2 1.4 points, 8.7 assists, nine rebounds, and six steals his senior. Bullock had a
four-year high-school varsity record of 116-19 at The Canterbury School
and Laurel Baptist.