Lack or Team Leader Hurt SIU During Season
|Item ID||Egyptian19680305Lack.tif |
|Title||Lack or Team Leader Hurt SIU During Season |
|Author||Dave Palermo |
|Description||Before the season began Dick Garrett was the man designated to fill Frazier's shoes. |
|Original Publication Source||Daily Egyptian |
|Date||1968 March 5 |
|Digital File Format||.TIF (Tagged Image Format) |
|Digital File Publisher||Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale |
|Rights Statement||All copyrights held by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email: http://reftrack.lib.siu.edu/reft100.aspx?key=SCRCEmail&cllcid=SCRR |
|Collection||Daily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale) |
|Transcript||Lack or Team Leader Hurt SIU During Season|
By Dave Palermo
Your team is the defending NIT champion. Every team you run up against will be out to beat you. Four of your five starters of last year, including one of the top collegiate players in the country, have graduated.
You also have only one extablished player and the university you coach for has a tradition of fine basketball teams; they expect the same this season.
These are a few of the cold, hard facts Coach Jack Hartman woke up to every morning this winter.
The 1967-68 Salukis had more talent than the NIT champs according to many sources but they lacked the experience and the ability to play as a team. They also lacked a player with the leadership abilities of Walt Hartman said it best during a post game conference; "We need a player who can score the basket at the right time and can come through with the key rebound. We don't have that kind of a ball player this year."
Before the season began Dick Garrett was the man designated to fill Frazier's shoes. He was the man counted on to win the close game.
Garrett produced, finishing the season with a 20, 1 scoring average and a 6, 2 rebounding average, but his lack of experience kept him from being the leader the team needed.
Howard Keene was the next candidate. A veteran, Keene possessed the maturity, but not the ability to come up with the key play. He spent the majority of the season getting into condition and regaining his confidence and didn't reach his peak until the end of the season.
With no one to assume the team leadership, the Salukis lost the close games.
In the games against Arizona, Evansville, Michigan State, Kansas, and Southwest Missouri State, to name a few, all could have been reversed had the Salukis a player who could come up with the key play to keep up the momentum.
The Salukis inability to win the close game put a great deal of pressure on the SIU mentor.
"What few people realize is the fact that were not going to blow anybody off the court
this year, " Hartman said.
Next season Hartman's problem could be alleviated.
The entire starting lineup with the exception uf center Keene will be returning. This will leave only the center and one guard position up for grabs.
Opposite Garrett will be Chuck Benson, a 6-4 forward who leaps like a gazelle. Benson, who led the team in rebounds with an 8.5 average and averaged 11.9 points a game, was one of the most consistent players on the team and possesses a deadly turnaround jumper.
Willie Griffin, at guard, l8 probably the fastest player on the team and has the moves of a professional. According to Hartman, Griffin's main problem is "putting his game together."
Despite his inability to score consistently, Griffin
finished the season with a 10.8
scoring average, third on the team,
The other guard spot Is a tossup between sophomores Rex Barker, junior Craig Taylor and freshmen Roger Westbrook and B.J. Trlckey.
Taylor and Barker have shown flashes of brilliance this season and both are good shooters.
Westbrook led the freshman team this year but connected on less than 40 per cent of his shots.
Bruce Butchko started most of this year at the pivot before yielding the position to Keene when he went into a scoring
While the native of Crete Is
lacking in the speed department, he has a good shot and If he can avoid another slump,
could possibly regain the form he showed as a freshman when he broke many of Walt Frazier's records scoring 23 points a game.