April 11, 1960
April 11, 1960

Table of Contents
April 11, 1960

1960 Olympic Basketball Team U.S.
Bally Ache
Scouting Reports
  • Two full major league teams could be fielded from the Los Angeles roster, and there'd still be fine players on the bench. Yet this club will have to be lucky to win the pennant again

  • Red Schoendienst was out last year but even so the Braves were heavily favored to win the pennant. They failed. Now Red is back, there's a fiery new manager and Milwaukee is favored

  • The San Francisco Giants are hungry. Last year they were just about to eat the cake when it was stolen away. Now they are smarter and tougher, as the National League will soon discover

  • Friend, Mazeroski and Skinner are back inform, and the Pirates are dangerous once more. But without real power, they must play near-perfect baseball to rise above fourth this year

  • Slipping steadily since their third-place finish in 1956, the Reds have frantically plugged first one deficiency and then another. Now, at last, they seem to have a sound, solid team

  • Tied for seventh in 1957, tied for fifth in 1958, tied for fifth again last year, the Cubs have been improving. It would seem that this year...but no. The higher you go the tougher it gets

  • The Cardinals have gained in power and the pitching should be improved. But in 154 games an awful lot of baseballs are destined to find their way safely through that leaky defense

  • The Phillies have junked an old, losing club to give their youngsters a chance. This will be no miracle of 1950, but at least the Phils will lose in a younger, more interesting way

  • The Sox won in a weakened league and no one knows it better than Bill Veeck. He has strengthened the attack and made them the team to beat for the first time since 1920

  • A group of pawns on Frank Lane's chessboard came surprisingly close to capturing last year's pennant. Now, having exchanged a few key men, Lane feels he has a winner

  • The old Yankees are dead, and their replacements are not in the same class. This is a sound team but it is far from being a great one and it will need lots of luck to rise above third place

  • Tactical troubles—at shortstop and first base—still plague the Tigers. But the main problem is strategic: how to stir contented also-rans and give the faithful something really to shout about

  • The Red Sox finished in the second division last season for the first time since 1952. Now Jensen is gone and Williams is going, going. It may be a while before the Sox climb back up

  • After several halfway seasons, the Orioles are now fully committed to their youth program. Youngsters have taken over as the old names fade. It will all pay off...someday

  • There's a new optimism in Kansas City. The outfield is solid, the infield and pitching are better, and Hank Bauer has pepped up the whole ball club. Fifth place could be the result

  • A few years ago Washington was a one-man ball club and a last-place team. Things are brighter now. The Senators are still a cellar team but now they have some players people have heard of

Motor Sports
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back


Oscar Robertson leads a group of brilliant basketball players who earned the right in Denver to represent the U.S. this summer

The 17th Olympiad, in Rome, is five months away, but last week the U.S. clinched its first gold medal of the Games on the playing courts of Denver in a tournament that led to the selection of the 12 young men shown on these pages. They will represent the U.S. in basketball, and are the first athletes to be named to the 1960 Olympic squad. Of all the teams that will wear the U.S. colors in Rome this summer, none will enjoy such worldwide superiority.

This is an article from the April 11, 1960 issue Original Layout

This was made abundantly clear in the Denver Coliseum during the three days of elimination games. Never has such a stunning array of amateur basketball players appeared in one tournament. When the Olympic selection committee went into a huddle well after midnight on Saturday, the real problem was not whom to select but how to leave so many good players off the team. The committee would have been justified in issuing a public apology to the players it was forced to pass over.

Yet despite the excellence of all eight teams in the Denver tournament, the group that won—the NCAA University All-Stars—stood out like Gulliver in Lilliput. Led by Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson and West Virginia's Jerry West, the All-Stars won all three of their games with relative ease, and the nicest thing about this is that the job of coaching them was the happiest kind of farewell gift college basketball could give to a gentleman named Pete Newell. Newell has retired as California's basketball coach to become its athletic director. Slim, erect and fast turning gray in his mid-40s, he is as fine a coach and man as ever graced this sport. He earned the job of handling the All-Stars when California finished second in the NCAA championship two weeks ago, and now he will coach our Olympic team in Rome.

In the All-Stars, Newell had under his command the best team of his coaching career. But he also had-a serious problem, aside from the obvious one that his boys had never played together. "I have," he said before the tournament began, "12 Indian chiefs and no Indians. All of these kids have been the stars of their college teams. The plays have been set up for them. Each one of them has been handling the ball 50% of the time during his games. When I put five of them out on the court, I have to have some Indians to go with the chiefs because five times 50% is 250% of the time. Some of these kids will have to sacrifice themselves to a team effort—maybe even sacrifice their chances of impressing the selection committee."

In just two brief practice sessions, Newell found his Indians. One was a skinny Texan named Jay Arnette, another was Bowling Green's chunky Jim Darrow and a third was Georgia Tech's rugged Roger Kaiser. In another sense, Newell made Indians out of all his chiefs. The All-Stars played as if each wanted to help all his teammates earn a trip to Rome.

But the best Indian was Oscar Robertson. Oscar, the Big O, the marvel of agility, grace and disciplined skill, was simply magnificent. In the All-Stars' first game, with the Phillips 66 team (whose coach, Warren Womble, will be Newell's assistant with the Olympians), Robertson played against Phillips' fine shooter, Red Murrell, and held Murrell scoreless for the entire game while scoring 23 points himself. In the second game, with the Goodyear Wingfoots, he asked Newell to let him guard Good-year's top man, Dick Boushka, at a critical stage in the play. Boushka never got a point after that while Robertson was going on to collect 29 for the evening. In the final game, with the Peoria Cats, he guarded Peoria's ace shooter, Bob Boozer, for the first half and held him to three points. In that game Robertson got 20.

As difficult as the selection committee's task was, I would argue strongly with its choice of Burdie Haldorson of the Phillips Oilers (the lone survivor from the 1956 Olympic squad) and Boozer over Ohio State's John Havlicek and Peoria's Jack Adams. Also the choice of Al Kelley and Les Lane over Darrow and Ohio State's Larry Siegfried. These four who didn't make the team are among 12 alternates selected by the committee. But agree with the picks or not, the squad as chosen should run away from the best the rest of the world will have to offer at Rome. Pete Newell again will make Indians of them all.

ILLUSTRATIONPHOTOJERRY WEST: West Virginia 21; Cabin Creek, W. Va.PHOTOWALT BELLAMY: Indiana 21; New Bern, N.C.PHOTOBOB BOOZER: Peoria Cats 22; OmahaPHOTOAL KELLEY: Peoria Cats 27; McCune, Kans.PHOTOLES LANE: Phillips 66 26; Purcell, Okla.PHOTOOSCAR ROBERTSON: Cincinnati U. 21; IndianapolisPHOTOJERRY LUCAS: Ohio State 20; Middletown, OhioPHOTOJAY ARNETTE: Texas 21; Austin, TexasPHOTOTERRY DISCHINGER: Purdue 19; Terre Haute, Ind.PHOTOCOACH PETE NEWELL: California Oakland, Calif.PHOTODARRALL IMHOFF: California 21; San Gabriel, Calif.PHOTOADRIAN SMITH: Armed Forces All-Stars 23; Farmington, Ky.PHOTOBURDIE HALDORSON: Phillips 66 25; Austin, Minn.PHOTOCOACH WARREN WOMBLE: Peoria Cats Peoria, III.