THE TOP THREE:
1. MICHIGAN (12-1)
2. LOYOLA (11-1)
3. WICHITA (13-3)
Who would have believed it? The Missouri Valley race was barely under way and already Cincinnati was almost out of it. First BRADLEY, with great shooting from Joe Strawder (33 points) and Levern Tart (24 points), whipped the Bearcats 87-77 for their first MVC loss ever (after 41 straight) at home. Then DRAKE broke through Cincy's usually reliable slowdown tactics and beat them in overtime 76-66 at Des Moines. Said Cincinnati's troubled Ed Jucker sadly, "Everybody is sky-high for us. They can't wait to meet us."
With Cincinnati floundering, WICHITA was the team to beat in the MVC. The Shockers bothered St. Louis with their zone press and beat the Bills 69-56. North Texas succumbed to Wichita too, 86-70.
January 27, 1964
Michigan's high standing in the Big Ten (see page 26) was no surprise, but OKLAHOMA STATE'S lofty stature in the Big Eight was. The cautious Cowboys put Jim King on Kansas State's Willie Murrell and King held him to a mere six points. Oklahoma State won 77-58.
With Loyola idle, Chicagoans were beaming over undefeated DE PAUL. The hot-rod-ding Blue Demons slowed down a bit for Dayton, gave the ball to skillful dribbler Emmette Bryant for a late stall and beat the Flyers 89-83. XAVIER, too, was going great guns—an 80-79 win over Louisville—until VILLANOVA came to town. Xavier thought it had the game won when the Cats lost Wally Jones on fouls, but Bill Melchionni led Villanova to a 90-88 victory.
Creighton got another big effort from Paul Silas, the country's leading rebounder, and trounced New Mexico State 99-73. DETROIT'S Dick Dzik, the No. 2 rebounder last week, could not match 47 points by Notre Dame's Larry Sheffield, but he got 26 and the Titans won 114-104.
THE TOP THREE:
1. VILLANOVA (12-1)
2. ST. BONAVENTURE (10-2)
3. LA SALLE (10-3)
It was an uncomfortable week for the East's best teams. Villanova managed to survive, but St. Bonaventure and La Salle were beaten, CANISIUS, an in-and-outer all season, held St. Bonaventure's Fred Crawford to 14 points, setting the stage for victory. Then four late foul shots by Frank Swiatek and John Brennan beat the Bonnies 78-75.
Duquesne hopped all over La Salle and clobbered the Explorers 89-58. Willie Somerset, a chunky little driver and jump shooter, scored 25 points, and a wearing half-and full-court press—including a first-rate job on La Salle's Frank Corace by Willie Ross—did the rest.
Princeton's smooth Bill Bradley put on quite a show at Ithaca. He poured in 49 points for a new Ivy League record as the Tigers edged Cornell 87-82. Bradley got 36 more against COLUMBIA—to become the nation's No. 2 scorer with a 32.9 average—but the hustling Lions upset Princeton 69-66.
St. Joseph's, over its early-season jitters, beat Seton Hall 83-76 and Wake Forest 73-64 for its fourth and fifth straight, ARMY, too, rapped Seton Hall 90-76 while TEMPLE put down Bucknell 72-65, ST. JOHN'S defeated old rival St. Francis 62-49, and NAVY surprised Georgetown 67-64.
THE TOP THREE:
1. DAVIDSON (14-0)
2. VANDERBILT (13-1)
3. KENTUCKY (13-2)
Everybody now knows that unbeaten DAVIDSON just loves to run and shoot. But the restless Wildcats, caught up in an unexpectedly close battle with Richmond, went to an unaccustomed stall to force the Spiders out of their pesky zone defense. Then, while Davidson dawdled with the ball, Richmond stubbornly stood its ground—for the last 13 minutes of the game. The Wildcats took only one shot—it missed—and scored four points on fouls. They barely beat the Spiders 52-49. Reasoned Richmond's Lewis Mills, "If we had come out of the zone, we might have been beaten to death."
Davidson's troubles gave VIRGINIA TECH hope in the Southern Conference race, especially when Howard Pardue's long jump shots (for 20 points) led the Gobblers past William & Mary 73-66, and sophomore sub John Wetzel's short jumper with 10 seconds to go caught North Carolina 90-88 in double overtime.
North Carolina, however, had better luck in its own Atlantic Coast Conference. With talented Billy Cunningham on a scoring and rebounding spree, the Tar Heels put down Maryland 97-88 and North Carolina State 79-71. Cunningham scored 40 points and picked off 28 rebounds against the young Terps and then evaded State's box-and-one and 1-1-3 zones for 27 points.
The zone defense was all the rage in the South last week, even at KENTUCKY, where once Adolph Rupp had assured all who would listen that never, but never, would they see it played by a Kentucky team in Lexington. Last Saturday Rupp's Wildcats went at Tennessee's carefully disciplined 1-3-1 attack with a 1-3-1 zone—in Lexington. Sophomore Tommy Kron, playing the point, held Tennessee's Danny Schultz to 11 points and disrupted the Vols' entire offense. That, along with Cotton Nash's 23 points and three key steals in the closing minutes, gave Kentucky a 66-57 victory. But The Baron was reluctant to call his obvious zone a zone. Said he, in his best Stengelese, "It was a transitional and shifting man-to-man backed by a hyperbolic paraboloid between the ball and the basket."
Tennessee's loss left GEORGIA TECH, an easy 59-45 winner over Mississippi State, all alone in first place in the Southeastern Conference. But State's Babe McCarthy was unimpressed. "I think Vanderbilt is 15 points better than Tech," he said candidly, and then predicted that Vandy would win the conference title, VANDERBILT, meanwhile, beat Mississippi 88-81, while Tech lost to LOUISVILLE 68-59.
Miami, muddling along nine points behind Memphis State, suddenly rallied behind slick Rick Barry (24 points, 23 rebounds) to beat the visiting Tigers 78-69.
THE TOP THREE:
1. UCLA (15-0)
2. OREGON STATE (14-3)
3. UTAH STATE (10-2)
"They just keep that press always at your throat, then they blitz and you're bombed out." That was a shocked Howie Dallmar speaking last Friday after his Stanford team lost to UCLA. The Bruins, ahead by only 65-60 midway in the second half, had hardly looked terrifying. Then, all of a sudden, they were off and running. With Walt Hazzard deftly handling the show, they scored 11 points in 80 seconds and left the startled Indians for dead. UCLA won 84-71. The next night the blitz came earlier. Hazzard and Gail Goodrich just zoomed UCLA to a cozy 27-12 lead in the first eight minutes and the Bruins went on to win 80-61.
Meanwhile UCLA's Big Six competition did not look threatening. Second-place CALIFORNIA (5-1 now) took USC twice, 65-64 and 65-47, while up north WASHINGTON STATE and WASHINGTON split a pair of games. State won 61-59, then lost to the Huskies 63-61.
For 10 straight days OREGON diligently practiced a game plan for Oregon State. The Ducks plotted a tight zone, with 6-foot-4 Larry Cooley tracking State's 7-foot Mel Counts, and a strict ball-control game. It worked beautifully. Counts got 26 points, but the other Beavers could not find the basket, and sophomore Guard Jim Barnett shot Oregon to a 47-45 victory. Then the plan went awry. Saturday night at Corvallis Counts broke up Oregon's zone with 38 points and OREGON STATE won 66-53.
It was a sad week for Arizona's entries in the Western AC. NEW MEXICO, playing a deliberate game and a harassing defense for all it was worth, knocked off Arizona 59-50 and Arizona State 63-54; WYOMING beat the Sun Devils 87-82 and then Arizona 71-69. Utah, however, ran into an old friend in Honolulu and regretted it. Gary Cook, a 6-foot-8 center who had warmed the Redskin bench as a sophomore and then quit in disgust, scored 30 points as HAWAII upset the Utes 80-63. It was enough to get Coach Jack Gardner out of a sick bed and back on the bench. The sight of Gardner must have upset Cook. The next night he scored only nine points and UTAH won 67-61.
Utah State gave its big Wayne Estes the ball against Montana and then stood back to watch the fun. He shot in 42 points as the Aggies romped 99-70.
THE TOP THREE:
1. TEXAS WESTERN (15-1)
2. TEXAS A&M (8-4)
3. OKLAHOMA CITY (10-6)
Most Southwest teams, including Texas Western and all eight SWC combatants, busied themselves with midterm exams, but Oklahoma City was brought up short by a couple of upstarts. First HARDIN-SIMMONS, usually a lightweight in Southwest basketball circles, whipped the Chiefs 87-74 with a tough defense and Nate Madkins' 28 points as OCU's Bud Koper went off to the hospital for 30 stitches to repair a cut over his eye. Three nights later NEBRASKA got ahead of the tall Chiefs at Lincoln, then sat on the ball for the last five minutes to wait out a 74-65 victory. "Everybody's getting ahead and holding the ball," complained Oklahoma City's Abe Lemons. "Draw the foul and ride the game out is the motto."
While Lemons grumbled about the newest trend in college basketball, HOUSTON'S Guy Lewis liked it just fine. "Sure, we run a delay game," he said, "but when we do it, we're waiting for the defense to make a mistake. We're trying to score—not just shoot." Lewis' team was doing both quite well. After a so-so start his Cougars, attacking deliberately and pressing hard on defense, had won eight of their last 11 games. The latest: a 93-64 trouncing of Southwestern for their fifth straight.
DICK DZIK DETROIT
PAUL SILAS CREIGHTON