Besides Schembechler, Frieder has no regrets NCAA TOURNAMENT SOUTHEAST REGIONAL NOTEBOOK

March 24, 1995|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Six years after he made a hasty exit from Michigan to coach at Arizona State, Bill Frieder says he has no regrets.

But he will admit, in hindsight, that he was bothered by an obvious double standard imposed by then-athletic director and football coach Bo Schembechler.

Frieder accepted the Arizona State job just before the 1989 NCAA tournament. Schembechler chose to sever ties with Frieder and let assistant Steve Fisher coach the Wolverines in the postseason. Shortly after winning the national title, Fisher was named coach.

When Schembechler resigned a year later to take a job as president of the Detroit Tigers, he remained as coach through Michigan's bowl game. And that was what rubbed Frieder the wrong way.

"That's where I lost respect for him," Frieder said. "He didn't let a non-Michigan man coach basketball, but he let a Detroit Tiger coach Michigan's football team."

Other than that, Frieder says he doesn't look back. He recalls talking with several coaching friends while he mulled the Arizona State offer.

"They all called to tell me what a better job Michigan was than Arizona State. In Michigan, I was the top guy in the state," Frieder said.

"But I'm not into all that. I'm not into egos and putting [Arizona coach] Lute Olsen out of business. He has a great program and always will. I was interested in taking on a program that had not had a winning season in eight years and building it into a very competitive program."

1% Consider it mission accomplished.

Film doesn't lie

Worried that Allen Iverson might allow success to go to his head -- the freshman guard is the Big East Rookie of the Year and Defender of the Year -- Georgetown coach John Thompson went to the film room.

"He heard so much about being the greatest guard Georgetown ever had, I had to take film out," Thompson said. "I took films of John Duren, Sleepy Floyd, Charles Smith and played it for him. I told him, 'You can believe this fantasy stuff if you want to, or you can look at this and learn.' "

Thompson nevertheless gave Iverson high grades in handling his personal life. Virginia's high school player of the year as a junior, Iverson received a five-year jail sentence for his role in a brawl at a Hampton, Va., bowling center. He was granted conditional clemency after serving four months and surfaced with Thompson.

"He's handled it extremely well," Thompson said. "He had as much pressure on him as any player. . . . He's not perfect, but he's a far, far cry from a fool. He's never been a problem to coach or on campus."

Looking for an edge

Kentucky's Rick Pitino leaves no stone unturned in preparing the Wildcats. A detail man, he leans heavily on film study to pick up any advantage.

"We studied Georgia's Shandon Anderson," Pitino said, "and saw that of 27 times he drove to the basket, 24 times he went to his left. I believe in studying tendencies."

Pitino estimated Kentucky would watch 16 or 17 films of Arizona State before last night's game.

Center Mark Pope, tongue in cheek, said: "We watched a heck of a lot of film. As a team, we're pretty slow learners, so we have to watch a lot of film."

Miscellaneous

Arizona State, with a school-record 342 steals this season, made its first Sweet 16 appearance in 20 years. . . . If the Sun Devils beat Kentucky, Frieder said he'd get a haircut while doing interviews today. "I like to do two things at once," he said.

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