Dowling Green's Harold Anderson is one of the old pessimistic school. "We could use a little more size," he says, artfully avoiding the subject of Nate Thurmond. Thurmond was listed as 6 feet 10 last year. He grew half an inch over the summer. But that's the way it is with coaches. Give them sprinters and they lack speed, give them seniors and they lack experience. Give them the Marines and they call for the Air Force.
The fact is, Anderson doesn't lack much of anything. Twelve lettermen return from last year's Mid-American Conference championship team, with star billing going to Thurmond. "Thurmond didn't get the recognition he deserved last year," Anderson insists, and to see that it doesn't happen again the coach has booked the Bowling Green show into New York and Philadelphia. What eastern fans will see in Anderson's tall prodigy is a remarkable rebounder, a fine feeder and an accurate shooter—inside and out. Thurmond's supporting cast is excellent, too. In fact, the star may be upstaged by a man nearly a foot shorter—6-foot-1 Harold Komives. Last year as a sophomore, Komives averaged 21 points a game (five more than Thurmond), while showing none of the traditional sophomore defensive lapses.
Anderson has more. Back in solid scholastic standing is Wavey Junior, a springy 6-foot-2 forward. He was the starting forward, the third-leading scorer and the No. 2 rebounder until a poor report card finished him last season. Anderson may switch him to guard because the forward positions are manned by the same two who finished last season as regulars—6-foot-3 Elijah Chatman and 6-foot-5 Tom Baker.
Anderson has a host of fine players eager to take over as starters, but all are around 6 feet 3, which is why the coach can even mention height.
Though it will break fast when its aggressive man-to-man defense forces errors—"we are proud of our defense because we can attack with it," says Anderson—Bowling Green will usually work off patterns. Anderson watched his squad race through one recent scrimmage, came away looking dazed and said, "They looked so good they scared me."
Western Kentucky, at W. Kentucky, Dec. 15
DePaul, at DePaul, Jan. 28
St. John's, at New York, Jan. 31