THE TOP THREE:
1. VILLANOVA (14-1)
2. ST. BONAVENTURE (11-2)
3. ST. JOSEPH'S (11-5)
Villanova's Jack Kraft is not a complainer, but occasionally he broods about little things. Such as why his talented Wildcats sometimes have trouble with mediocre foes. Last week Villanova let harmless West Chester stay alarmingly close for a half. Then big Jim Washington, a Bill Russell type, took charge of the backboards, Richie Moore poured in 26 points and the Wildcats won 78-61. Penn also had Villanova wrapped in a tight squeeze for almost 30 minutes before the Cats pulled off four quick steals to put away the game. This time slick-shooting Wally Jones scored 20 points as Villanova took its 10th straight, 72-48.
St. Bonaventure got little Pan American and its glittery pro prospect, 6-foot-9 Lucious Jackson, into cozy Olean Armory and taught them a few things. Fred Crawford scored 36 points, 6-foot-5 Art Wood held Jackson to 17 and the Bonnies won 84-77. ST. JOSEPH'S and PROVIDENCE, two early-season slackers, came on fast. The Hawks, going with their big men now, beat St. John's 72-60. Providence held off Canisius to win 77-74. Three days later against Niagara, the Friars led by two points with seven minutes to play. Then Noel Kinski came off the bench to stir up a fast break. Jim Stone and John Thompson each scored 35 points and Providence ran away with the game, 95-75.
La Salle broke down on the road. The Explorers' defense bent before a 31-point whomping by DUQUESNE, then disintegrated altogether against hot-shooting MIAMI. The Hurricanes' Rick Barry, maneuvering adroitly through and around the big Explorers, slipped in 32 points as Miami won 121-99. In Washington, GEORGETOWN'S Jim Christy eluded La Salle's box-and-one zone, scoring 30 points to lead the Hoyas to an 85-81 win.
Army's best team in years also found the road rocky. After beating Hofstra 64-59 at West Point, the Cadets were ambushed by Duquesne in Pittsburgh and lost 74-68. Then PITT clawed weary Army, 86-64. Duquesne, meanwhile, with stubby Willie Somerset scoring 47 points, beat Xavier 83-76. SYRACUSE had its big guns roaring at home. Led by Dave Bing's 24 points, the Orangemen buried Colgate 117-91.
THE TOP THREE:
1. DAVIDSON (15-0)
2. VANDERBILT (13-1)
3. KENTUCKY (14-2)
"I hereby dedicate this game to Kentucky alumni in Atlanta who are sick of seeing Georgia Tech beat us." That was KENTUCKY'S Adolph Rupp talking in Lexington last week, and nobody was sicker of losing to Tech than The Baron. But, for a while, it seemed that his magnanimous gesture to the folks in Atlanta would be wasted. The cagey Jackets, playing their backcourt men deep, lured Kentucky's over-eager Tommy Kron out just far enough to over-spread the Wildcats' new 1-3-1 zone. Ron Scharf cut through for easy layups and Tech led 39-37 at halftime. Kentucky, however, moved Kron back a few steps and pretty soon Georgia Tech was in big trouble. Cotton Nash (22 points) and Ted Deeken (19 points) led a sizzling Wildcat fast break, and Terry Mobley shot over the Tech zone for 16 more. Kentucky won 79-62.
Tennessee almost had DUKE. Danny Schultz, the sharp-shooting little guard, hit for 15 straight points in the second half and, with 23 seconds to go, the Vols led 54-50. Then big Jay Buckley hooked in a shot, Denny Ferguson stole the ball away from Schultz and whipped it to Buzzy Harrison for a layup that tied the score. Jeff Mullins' three points in the last 79 seconds of the second overtime gave the game to Duke, 65-63.
Two unlikely challengers popped up in the Atlantic Coast. MARYLAND'S young Terps shook up Wake Forest with some hot shooting and whipped the Deacons 91-82. SOUTH CAROLINA, under new Coach Dwane Morrison, who took over for resigned (because of "nervous exhaustion") Chuck Noe, surprised Clemson 67-56.
Loyola of Chicago, even without injured Vic Rouse, hardly expected a tussle from slumping MEMPHIS STATE. So State confused the Ramblers with a zone defense with man-to-man variations; Bob Neumann led a vigorous backboard charge that swept away 79 rebounds; and down went Loyola 83-65. Then the Tigers trounced Mississippi State 81-66.
Unbeaten DAVIDSON'S quick gunners were back on target after a 10-day rest. Fred Hetzel scored 29 points as the Wildcats ran Wofford bowlegged, 105-73. VIRGINIA TECH was still winning, too. The Gobblers defeated East Carolina 72-68 and Virginia 78-62.
THE TOP THREE:
1. MICHIGAN (14-1)
2. WICHITA (14-3)
3. DE PAUL (12-0)
Life kept getting less beautiful for Loyola and Cincinnati, last year's NCAA finalists. The Ramblers, no longer quick or deadly, tried to hoodwink WICHITA with a zone defense instead of their usual press. But the Shockers shot them out of it and then went to work on Loyola with their exasperating delay game. Dave Stallworth got 29 points and, when the Ramblers were forced to foul to get the ball, Wichita dropped in 10 straight free throws in the last three minutes to win 80-76.
Cincinnati, suddenly everybody's target in the Missouri Valley, lost its sixth game, to ST. LOUIS 78-76. Ron Bonham, although hounded by Rich Naes and Rich Parks, tried desperately to keep the Bearcats alive with 29 points, but there were just too many aggressive Billikens for Cincy.
Beating muscular MICHIGAN in the Big Ten was proving almost impossible. Minnesota tried it with an orthodox zone and got an orthodox 80-66 thrashing. Michigan State used an all-court press and a 1-3-1 zone with chasers, but couldn't catch up with Cazzie Russell, the Wolverines' wondrous sophomore. When he was not jumping, hooking or driving for his own points (34), Russell fed Bill Buntin with zingy passes (for 25 more) as Michigan won 91-77.
Ohio State and Illinois still had hopes. Gary Bradds, despite Purdue's collapsing zone that at times threatened to engulf him, pumped in 47 points for a new St. John Arena record as the Bucks won 98-87. The Illini trounced Arizona State 97-78.
Some daylight began to show in the MidAmerican race as first-place OHIO U. caught Western Michigan with its star Manny Newsome nursing a gashed hand and beat the Broncos 95-68. Newsome also lost his national scoring lead to BOWLING GREEN'S Howie Komives, who got 43 points—for a 33.6 average—as the Falcons smashed Findlay 107-78. Unbeaten De Paul was idle. CREIGHTON, with Paul Silas picking off 36 rebounds and scoring 22 points, hammered Marquette 84-57.
THE TOP THREE:
1. TEXAS WESTERN (16-1)
2. HOUSTON (12-6)
3. TEXAS A & M (8-4)
Patience and fortitude paid off handsomely for HOUSTON. The deliberate Cougars went at TCU with their stifling full-court press from the very start, and it so upset the Frogs that they gave away the ball 13 times in the first half. Houston won easily, 83-63. Baylor was tougher for the Cougars. They just did squeak by 61-60, for their seventh in a row, when Baylor's Lee Yearwood missed a foul shot with four seconds to play.
Oklahoma City's Abe Lemons, who only recently was complaining about injuries, wished he had more cripples like Bud Koper. Koper, sore-legged (from a cracked ankle bone) and sore-headed (from a 30-stitch cut over his eye), scored 34 points against SMU. Unfortunately, the Mustangs had some shooters of their own—Gene Elmore and Carroll Hooser got 42 between them—and the Chiefs lost their fourth straight, 79-73.
Rice was the only other Southwest Conference team to win last week. The Owls blasted Trinity, 94-74. TEXAS WESTERN out-scored West Texas State, 61-53.
THE TOP THREE:
1. UCLA (15-0)
2. OREGON STATE (16-3)
3. UTAH STATE (12-2)
As most people suspected, OREGON STATE is more than 7-foot Mel Counts alone. Last Friday when the big fellow got into foul trouble, outside shooters Jim Jarvis and Frank Peters took over against Stanford. Jarvis scored 19 points, Peters 11, and the Beavers won 65-57. Saturday night, Counts again picked up three early fouls. This time Peters poured in 20, Jarvis 12 and Stanford lost again by exactly the same score.
It was a frustrating week for Colorado State's excitable Jim Williams. While UTAH STATE'S big front line merrily thumped his Rams at Logan, Williams prowled the sidelines, wringing his hands at every whistle. His histrionics were futile. Led by Wayne Estes' 29 points, Utah State won easily, 86-70. The next night at Salt Lake City, Williams was reasonably calm as his team baffled UTAH with perfectly executed screens that trapped Ute Guards Doug Moon and Skip Kroeger. Then Utah switched from hustle to muscle as burly Granny Lash and lanky Dan Hawes put a stop to CSU's patterns. Moon got the idea too, and his long-distance shooting put the Utes back in the game. That touched off Coach Williams. He sat on the floor, exchanging barbs with the officials and even Utah Coach Jack Gardner. But Utah beat him anyway, 78-68.
Brigham Young's Stan Watts was much more composed when his Cougars played Utah State. He just sat by helplessly as Estes fired in 28 points, and Troy Collier 27, to bomb BYU 105-90. Said Watts admiringly, "I don't know what on earth we could have done to stop them."
Seattle had almost no trouble with Dayton. Little Peller Phillips bombed away from outside and the Chieftains romped, 80-63. But it took last-minute baskets by Charlie Williams and Rich Turney for Seattle to put down Idaho, 63-57.