THE TOP THREE:
1. TEXAS (5-0)
2. OKLAHOMA CITY (5-1)
3. RICE (5-1)
San Francisco's Pete Peletta wasn't the only one enchanted by OKLAHOMA CITY'S pure shooting. SMU's Doc Hayes, after watching Bud Koper lob in his pretty jump shots for 44 points to beat the frustrated Mustangs 95-90, was bug-eyed with admiration. "The greatest shooting I ever saw," gushed Doc. "I just had to go over and shake his hand." Against TCU, Koper came up with a cold hand, but sophomore James Ware and the other Chiefs fired away steadfastly, and the Frogs succumbed 67-62.
December 23, 1963
Southwest Conference favorite TEXAS was still winning, but the Longhorns weren't exactly stampeding anybody. Jim Clark tossed in five free throws in the last 52 seconds to hold off LSU 70-65, then contributed a field goal, steal and two foul shots in the final minute to overtake Oklahoma 81-78. RICE, meanwhile, looked like a contender. With 6-foot-10 Kendall Rhine and Larry Phillips doing the rebounding and scoring, the Owls put down Tulane 90-62, Florida State 102-81 and Centenary 90-76.
THE TOP THREE:
1. NYU (4-1)
2. VILLANOVA (4-1)
3. NIAGARA (3-0)
Despite an abundance of talent that would make life serene for most coaches, NYU'S Lou Rossini had big problems. His Violets managed to get by Northwestern 75-66 in Chicago but their helter-skelter attack and haphazard defense just were not good enough against TOLEDO in New York. The ambitious Rockets harassed Barry Kramer and Happy Hairston, NYU's big shooters, with a switching man-to-man and, after a while, they even took command of the boards. Meanwhile Larry Jones and Bobby Williams, a pair of speedy, deft playmakers, spread the confused Violets with wide patterns that let Jim Cox (he got 33 points) and Ray Wolford slip in for short jumpers and easy layups, and Toledo won 87-74.
Villanova, after a delightful 97-48 warmup with Scranton, found the going stickier in upstate New York. The Wildcats got by Buffalo 58-56 on Wally Jones's late six-point burst, but NIAGARA upset them, 63-57, as sophomores Art Coleman and George Phillips snapped up 28 rebounds. Seton Hall also lost its clean record, to ST. JOHN'S. The young Redmen, working the patient offense that Coach Joe Lapchick prefers, surprised the Pirates 69-65. PROVIDENCE, out in the Midwest, looked like the Friars of old while outhustling St. Louis 72-66. But then DEPAUL scattered their scrambling defense with quick, sharp passes and won 82-64.
There were signs that ST. BONAVENTURE was about ready to crash the big time again. With Fred Crawford, a slick sharpshooter, piling up 64 points, the Bonnies ran away from Steubenville 113-86 and beat Xavier 87-82. TEMPLE, too, looked good while bombing Lehigh 66-38 and American 83-54. But Penn was outshot by MICHIGAN STATE 87-75. PRINCETON was counting its blessings, all of them named Bill Bradley. He got 27 points as the Tigers beat Lafayette 69-64 in double overtime and 31 in an 80-76 victory over Navy.
THE TOP THREE:
1. KENTUCKY (5-0)
2. DAVIDSON (5-0)
3. VANDERBILT (5-0)
Southeastern Conference coaches have learned to be wary of Adolph Rupp, especially when he isn't claiming championships for KENTUCKY. But everyone knew that Rupp had All-America Cotton Nash and a swarm of brilliant sophomores to go with him, and he didn't fool a soul when he said recently, "I'd rather be a winner than a prophet." Last week, with Nash, Ted Deeken and sophomore Larry Conley moving in and out of the pivot as if it were a revolving door and banging in baskets at a merry clip, and with Terry Mobley quarterbacking a searing fast break, Rupp's "Katzenjammers" smashed North Carolina 100-80 and Baylor 101-65.
Vanderbilt, however, isn't about to concede to Kentucky. It has the stars—6-foot-9 rebounder Clyde Lee and 6-foot playmaker John Ed Miller—to challenge the Wildcats. The Commodores had Duke down by 13 points, let the Blue Devils get away for an 85-85 tie and then whipped them 97-92 in overtime when Miller threw in 10 points to give him 39 for the game. Arkansas was easier for fast-breaking Vandy. The Hogs lost 101-77.
The rest of the SEC was a giant step behind. FLORIDA ran over Tampa 108-75, AUBURN beat Southern Mississippi 80-74, TENNESSEE defeated East Tennessee 48-47 and Sewanee 55-31. But Mississippi State lost to MEMPHIS STATE 73-65, and Alabama bowed to TEXAS TECH 92-74.
Duke finally got around to an Atlantic Coast foe and showed Clemson that a slowdown won't work against the Blue Devils. Big Jay Buckley scored 21 points, and Duke won easily, 75-52. North Carolina State suddenly became less of a threat. The Wolfpack was beaten by MARYLAND 72-62.
It was clear, too, that West Virginia's dominance of the Southern Conference is just about over. VMI, for the first time in 32 games, licked the Mountaineers, 68-64.
THE TOP THREE:
1. MICHIGAN (5-0)
2. LOYOLA (4-0)
3. WICHITA (4-2)
Davidson, the small southern school bent on acquiring a big reputation, got a foothold on fame against Ohio State. The Wildcats turned loose Dick Snyder, Terry Holland and Fred Hetzel on a dazzling fast break, tied up the Bucks with a pesky, pressing defense and down came OSU, for the first time in 51 games at Columbus, 95-73. Moaned Coach Fred Taylor: "We never even challenged them."
Two nights later MISSOURI came along and Ohio State didn't challenge the Tigers much either. Missouri plastered the Bucks 85-74. Then INDIANA'S Van Arsdales, Tom and Dick, with 51 points and 43 rebounds between them, demolished Missouri 100-76. All of which indicates that Ohio State is in for a long, hard winter in the Big Ten. MICHIGAN looked more and more like the Big Ten's best. Junior Bill Buntin and sophomore Cazzie Russell shot superbly and the Wolverines smothered Butler 80-70 and Western Michigan 104-81. IOWA and MINNESOTA were still unbeaten, too. Iowa edged St. Louis 79-77 and SMU 73-70; Minnesota trounced South Dakota 107-62.
UCLA'S Walt Hazzard, who makes it all work, was explaining his team's style before the Sunflower doubleheaders in Kansas. "We are a Mighty Mouse team," he said. "We lack size so we must depend upon speed, the zone press and a sagging defense to beat the big boys." So the precocious Bruins jammed up Kansas State's 6-foot-6 Willie Murrell inside, Hazzard bewildered the Wildcats with his slick passes, Gail Goodrich threw in 21 points, and UCLA won 78-75. The next night UCLA surrounded Kansas' 6-foot-7 George Unseld with three men and held him to three points. Hazzard and Goodrich shot for 44, and the Bruins won again, 74-54. USC supplied the only comfort for the home teams. The Trojans lost to KANSAS 60-52 and to K-STATE 82-58.
Winning was coming harder for NCAA Champion LOYOLA. Detroit took the Ramblers into overtime before losing 113-108, and then Western Michigan's little Manny Newsome scared the daylights out of them. He pitched in 44 points, and Loyola had to hang on desperately to win 105-102. Undefeated CREIGHTON won three big ones, over Idaho State 63-61, Arizona State 84-83 and Utah State 96-91 in double overtime.
Bradley, coming off a splendid 92-85 victory over Arizona State, was ready to press and run against WICHITA. But Wichita's Ralph Miller had other ideas. He shut off the Braves' running game with a semislowdown and kept the pressure off his big Nate Bowman underneath by putting it on Bradley outside. Bowman got the rebounds, Dave Stallworth got 24 points, and the Shockers took the game 56-50.
Cincinnati, ball-controlling in its old familiar pattern, was out in front of Wisconsin 56-42 on the shooting of Ron Bonham when the Bearcat system suddenly collapsed. Cincy, no longer fearsome, had to resort to a cat-and-mouse stall to come away with a 65-60 victory.
THE TOP THREE:
1. UCLA (4-0)
2. STANFORD (2-0)
3. OREGON STATE (5-1)
While the West's preseason favorites—San Francisco and Arizona State—were sadly learning the hard facts of life at scattered points around the country and UCLA was adding to its already substantial prestige in the Midwest, CALIFORNIA pulled off the major surprise of the young season at Berkeley. Cal hit Oregon State with a withering full-court press on Friday night, and the Beavers lost their poise and, too often, the ball. What's more, the Bears' 6-foot-10 Camden Wall treated State's 7-foot Mel Counts shamefully. He screened Counts out underneath the basket, held him to two field goals, scored 17 points himself, and Cal won 65-55. The next night Counts demonstrated that he had learned his lessons. He picked off 16 rebounds, scored 17 points, gave Wall only a single field goal, and OREGON STATE won 61-49.
Oklahoma State's invasion of the West was pure disaster. After whipping Brigham Young 71-64, the usually cautious Cowboys lost four starters on fouls and the ball game to REGIS 62-59. COLORADO STATE, a past master at the slowdown, then beat Oklahoma State at its own game 58-49. SEATTLE, with a new coach (Bob Boyd) and a new system but with the same urgency about scoring, followed John Tresvant, a 6-foot-7 leaper, to easy victories over St. Mary's 84-60, Montana State 97-75 and Idaho State 91-67.
Utah's perspicacious Jack Gardner, who pampers his nervous stomach by swigging milk on the sidelines, last week had the look of a man who has been drinking cream. His Redskins, playing unaccustomed good defense, romped over Pacific 90-72, Texas A&M 98-71, St. Mary's 72-60 and were still unbeaten after five games.