The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, January 18, 1983, Image 11

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Battalion/Page 11
January 18, 1983
On the upswing
Haller has brought success to Baylor basketball program
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photo by Donn Friedman
coach Jim Haller makes a point during the
loss to the Aggies Saturday night in Waco.
Haller, the Bears have compiled 82 victories
past five-plus seasons, and have a 9-5 slate so
1982-83. The Aggies defeated Baylor 68-66.
by Frank L. Christlieb
Battalion Staff
WACO — Struggling through
a dismal 1977 season, the Baylor
Bears couldn’t find the right
winning combination.
While Coach Eddie Sutton
and the Arkansas Razorbacks
were running, gunning and
shooting their way past the rest
of the Southwest Conference
with a 16-0 league record, Coach
Carroll Dawson’s Bears were
standing dead in their high-top
sneakers, unable to muster the
talent to keep up with the rest of
the conference.
And the result? Baylor wound
up the season with an 11-17
overall record and a seventh-
place 5-11 conference record.
But before the final shot had
been taken and the final buzzer
had ended their season, the
Bears lost Dawson and gained a
young coach entering his first
job at a major university.
Only weeks before the end of
the season, Jim Haller jumped
from his post at McLennan
Junior College to take a shot at
coaching a team that during the
past three seasons had finished
with records of 12-13, 10-16 and
12-15. And although no one at
Baylor expected any quick mira
cles, Haller’s entrance made be
lievers out of the folks who were
already holding funeral services
for the Bears.
Annual Shoe Sale
.Sale ends Saturday , Jan. 22.
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Casual 49°-°
.?Casual 55- 39-
;? Casual 36°-° 19°-°
hu. Wt.goot Id*
Up to 50 f 60 %> Off
Sale Pr ices on every shoe c boot in stock i|
Olof Daughters Chinese Slippers
Down ,38 s --
I PL& .28^
? Clogs 25^ 24**
3Z°° 22-
¥ Crepe Casual 49- 9- Fleece Moccasin
Asolo 20*- ,95 -°
?U Wt. Hiking boot m s -? 59 :
iking Shoe 49
Wolverine Soots
d Wellington £9*?
6 Steel Toe. ^
? Wellington 60^
¥ Walking Shoe 45^
Also on Sale- 20% oft k\\ Books
Assorted warn; clcrthin^^utervjear,
knives^ tents, ^ luggage reduced
M\sales-final 5toc-k limited
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After leading McLennan to a
28-6 record in his only season at
the school, Haller instantly re
versed Baylor’s misfortunes and
turned his program into a win
ning outfit — one that has a 9-5
record so far this season.
Haller, then 31, coached the
Bears to a 72-70 victory over the
fourth-place Texas Longhorns
in the 1977 SWC tourney.
Baylor then lost to third-place
Texas Tech in the second
round, but the future promised
only improvement for Haller’s
young squad.
During the past five seasons,
the Bears haven’t been the
strongest force in the SWC, but
they’ve managed to finish as
high as second place in the
Led by all-conference perfor
mer Terry Teagle, Baylor tied
the Houston Cougars for second
place with a 10-6 SWC record in
1981. After receiving a bye in
the first round of the league
tournament, the Bears lost to
TCU by nine points but finished
at 15-8.
Haller’s 1981-82 squad,
which lost to the Aggies by
scores of 47-46 and 64-63 and
defeated them 58-55, recorded
the most victories (17) by a
Baylor team since 1971. Coach
Bill Menefee led the Bears to an
18-8 record that year.
The Bears haven’t had a hand
in an SWC title since 1950, when
they tied Arkansas with an 8-4
record. Looking even further
back into the Baylor record
books, the Bears came oh-so-
close to a national championship
during 1948, when they lost in
the national title game 58-42 to
For now, Haller’s still trying
to find the key to a conference
title, which for the past few sea
sons has been an Arkansas-
Texas-Texas A&M monopoly.
But the Baylor coach, now 36
and in his sixth season with the
Bears, finds the team’s yearly
improvement a promising sign.
“I am proud of the way that
our basketball program has im
proved during the past few
years,” Haller said. “We’ve had a
great deal of support from the
university, the faculty and our
fans, and Saturday night’s
crowd (at the Aggies’ 68-66 vic
tory over the Bears in Waco) was
a perfect example of that.
“We’ve had some great play
ers here through the years, such
as Terry Teagle and Vinnie
Johnson, who were both first-
round (NBA) draft choices.
Even though we haven’t won a
conference championship, the
fact that we’ve been successful
has really given our program a
When Teagle, the Bears’ all
conference player during the
past three seasons, left Baylor to
play for the Houston Rockets,
most Baylor followers predicted
the Bears would experience a
rough year. But after winning its
first six games of the season,
Baylor has found that new lead
ers have stepped in to fill
Teagle’s sneakers.
“I think the loss of Terry
motivated our players, because
they knew that they could play
without him and play well,” Hal
ler said. “I think there’s been an
absence of that one great star.
Teagle was our leading scorer
and rebounder for three years,
but this year’s team is a little dif
ferent. There’s no star at any
one position.”
For instance, Baylor seniors
Jay Shakir, Darryl Baucham,
Craig Kaiser and Ozell Hall have
led the team in scoring, along
with sophomore guard James
Stern. But Stern and Shakir,
ordinarily strong outside shoo
ters, combined to hit only two of
18 shots against the Aggies in
Saturday night’s loss.
Although Haller finds him
self in the midst of veteran
coaches like Sutton, Shelby Met
calf, Guy Lewis and Gerald
Myers, he says he doesn’t consid
er it a disadvantage.
“Not at all,” he said. “We’ve
beaten every school in the con
ference and done several things
that other teams haven’t done. I
just try not to let things like that
bother me. All I try to do is to go
out and do the best job I can,
whether it be in recruiting,
coaching or speaking engage
During his first year of
coaching, Haller had a good
teacher in the Aggies’ Metcalf.
After graduating from Sam
Houston State University in
1967, Haller spent one year as
an assistant under Metcalf at
Texas A&M.
Haller, whose squad has a 1-2
SWC record entering tonight’s
game with SMU in Dallas, said
he considers the Cougars and
the Razorbacks to be the league
favorites. However, he consid
ers at least six teams to have the
talent to finish high in the stand
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